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iansrobinson

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iansrobinson last won the day on April 15

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About iansrobinson

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    In the jungles of Skaro
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  1. This is the story of my arm, which I started mid-February. I had to do a small amount of rework with the gun; with the arm I had to do quite a bit more. Sometimes I'm a little hasty, and when something goes awry, instead of standing back and thinking things through, I plough on, and end up creating even more work for myself. I know I do this, I know it rarely works out well, and yet I still have that snap reflex... I bought a 1960s plunger from DalekSupreme4. It looked great, but unfortunately, I was a little overeager in sanding the edges and the rim, resulting in a dull, patchy appearance. To remedy this, I bought some matt black Rust-oleum peel coat and over the next couple of days gave it several thin coats. Finished off with a 1.5 inch washer and an M6 steel bolt, I'm now pretty happy with it. The wooden ball joints for the gun and arm had some rough edges around the holes where the forstner bit had exited. I filled these with P38 and sanded back. Not strictly necessary – the damaged rims will be on the inside of the dalek – but some part of me wants to ensure that even the bits not on display look highly presentable. I ended up making a three-stage arm from 16swg aluminium tube. Adam S has described how the internals work, and I've done nothing different other than add a thick o-ring to the middle tube to prevent it extending further than 9 inches from the outer tube. The bushing has been the most time-consuming part of the whole restoration so far! With very few tools, everything comes down to sanding and filing – a lot. My first idea was to create the bushes from thin laser-cut MDF disks, which I drilled, then glued together and sanded. Guess how many of these disks I ruined by drilling off centre? More than half. Eventually, however, I had enough to create a set of bushings. All well and good, until it came to drilling the bushings to accept a grub screw. This was too much for the glued layers, and they split and separated. I glued them back together, but by this point I was thinking I was likely storing up trouble for the future, so I ditched the MDF bushes and bought a nylon rod and tube. This second round of making bushings has consumed hours of my life, extending over several weeks. Turns out that nylon has a magical property whereby you can sand it and file it for hours, and create a small mountain of powder, but for no appreciable reduction in diameter. Plus, it's hard to cut and hard to drill – take it slowly, or it'll melt and foul up the blade or bit. What else have I learnt? That even the smallest nick or groove in the channel through the bushing can scratch the tube as it's pushed through. I spent the best part of a recent Sunday assembling the arm, screwing in the bushings, and then testing it, only to have the nylon scratch the middle tube. Disassemble, apply wire wool and wet and dry to the aluminium, sand the inside of the bushing, loose all sense of perspective, reassemble, test, and... scratch. And again, and again. I was to angry to take photos at this point. To attach the plunger to the arm, I glued an M6 threaded sleeve into the narrowest tube. Eventually, after a couple of months work, I have an arm with a smooth action. But boy, it's heavy...
  2. Wise heads - thank you. I think I'll try and fix the gun hole pretty much in line with John's suggestion, but nothing else.
  3. Here's an idea, for which I'd appreciate some feedback. I'm thinking of filling the gun/arm holes and building up the walls of the shoulders with – what? plaster of Paris? P38? – to even out the asymmetry, and then using these modified shoulders as the basis for a new mould. The asymmetry is worst at the rear, where one corner is shallower at the base by about 15mm – that is, I'd have to build up the wall around this corner, to a depth at the base of about 15mm. Here's the outline of the 2 rear corners put one on top of another: Hence, I'm thinking plaster of Paris. Is this the right material? I would have thought it would be easier to build up and shape the necessary volume with plaster rather than 2-part filler. But what would you recommend?
  4. A somewhat disappointing discovery last night: the shoulders are really very asymmetrical. Not only is one hole larger than the other, and one box narrower than the other, the whole of the body is tilted to one side, and one of the turns at the back much shallower than the other. There are minor inconsistencies, and then there are major flaws, and this feels more like the latter, to the point where I wouldn't really want to use these shoulders. It's a big set back because I don't really have the tools or the space to undertake a protracted build of new shoulders. Some slow thinking to do.
  5. Thanks 3Dalek! And a good prompt for me to write up more of my recent attempts to build new appendages: some efforts really quite successful, some less so. This time: the gun. I've already detailed the making of the collars, gun rods, octagons and firing mechanism. I actually did a few of these tasks twice: the spacers for the firing mechanism were originally cut from dowel, but the centre holes weren't particularly centred, so I remade them with cotton reels and overflow pipe. The silver spokes on the octagons I redid as well because I wasn't happy with my first attempt. Before assembling, I had to paint the collars, ball joint and the small ball at the end of the firing mechanism. Each received several coats of primer, Holts HSILM25 silver paint, and lacquer. The ball is beech: this received a couple of coats of spray putty to fill the wood grain prior to the silver. The shaft is made from 1.5 mm thick aluminium, rubbed down with fine wire wool, medium and fine sanding pads, and rubbing cream from Halfords. The ball joint stopped at the front by a 3mm, M3 flat-headed screw sitting in an O-ring, and held tight by a hose clip at the back. I glued the rods to the collars using epoxy resin. I cut the end off an ear stick and used the stick itself to 'twirl' glue into each hole. I still ended up overfilling some of the holes such that when I inserted the rod, the glue spilled out. My goal, given the constraints imposed by the existing components, is to make something that is 90% accurate, from the outside at least, to the "Dead Planet" daleks. This gun is perhaps only 80% accurate – the rods have sharp 90 degree bends, rather than the rounded profile of the originals, the collars are thick and broad, made of plastic, and attached to the rods with epoxy, the silver lines on the perspex mantles are a little thin, the ball is held in place with a screw stop and a clip, and the colours overall are a little off. But... I love it! It has crisp industrial heftiness that renders it a truly threatening instrument of fictional destruction...
  6. I've been away from home quite a bit the last few weeks, and only get to do a little work now and then, but in that time I've built up a backlog of little accomplishments – and setbacks. Over the next few days I'll try and write them all up. Eyestalk The man at the hardware store at the bottom of the road took one look at the short thread on my old Dansette leg and immediately found me a few nuts to fit. These I sank into the body of the pivot through the flat face, and secured with epoxy resin. The leg now screws in wonderfully flush to the face. Eyeball next. Having sanded it, I drilled and countersunk a hole through the centre of the face so as to allow the narrow end of the eyestalk to be screwed in on the inside. The hole in the back of the eyeball for the original eyestalk was 1 inch in diameter; the replacement wooden leg is much narrower at this point. To fill the hole and grip the leg, I cut and sanded a couple of pieces of plastic tubing that sit inside one another to form an inner sleeve. I was planning to glue these inside the eyeball, and fill the gap around the outside edge, but I've since decided against fixing them permanently. Wherever possible, I'm attempting to make everything easy to disassemble, just in case... If I modify the dalek in the future to represent a more recent model, I may want to replace the tapered eyestalk with a straight tube, at which point the original hole will come in useful. By placing a 4 inch piece of clear acrylic tube over the leg, and seeing at what point along the leg's length the tube sat nice and snug, I was able to mark the point on the narrower end of the leg that would emerge from the eyeball. Allowing for the height of a single nut, I then calculated how much of the leg I would have to cut off for it to sit against the inside face of the eyeball. I cut the leg, drilled a 4mm diameter hole in the end, and glued a nut over the top. Lastly, I cut black and white sections for the front of the eyeball from 1mm thick plasticard. For the blue disks, I purchased 9 pre-cut from Craig, but they're currently packed away, to avoid them being scuffed. I did briefly try them with the acrylic tube, and they fit perfectly – I don't think there'll be a need to glue them. Dome Lights These were the very first things I made, but after seeing the photos of them attached to the dome, I felt the collars were far too tall. So I sanded then down. Then, borrowing from moviedalek's approach to creating replaceable dome lights, I cut a couple of inner discs from plasticard, and glued a pair of M3 bolts to each so that they can be attached to a bulb holder on the inside of the dome.
  7. Hi Simon. Can't remember if you're going for a tapered or straight eyestalk. I've got a spare wooden 10-inch long tapered Dansette leg I'd be very happy to send you if you're interested. ian
  8. I bought mine from here: https://www.wooden-balls.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/55/products_id/526 They're made in Germany, but delivery is typically just a few days. There is the downside of the paint becoming scratched - but I guess that just adds to the authenticity... I personally feel that metal balls look too shiny, and out of character, but I guess you could dull them with some fine wire wool.
  9. Hi Simon. Have you considered wooden balls? They're a little pricier than Magic 8 balls, but wonderfully solid. Those shoulders – gun box and collars – look fantastic, by the way. ian
  10. To report back here: With one vote for each, I let the friend whose pillar drill I was using have the deciding say – and he suggested forstner. So I bought a couple of Planet Long Series forstner bits, and drilled out those holes. Drilling all the way through, I splintered the exit holes a little, and a couple of the screws holding the supporting frame together grazed the balls – but nothing a little filler can't fix. Things I'd do differently next time: - Use a pillar drill with sufficient vertical movement to drill a ball in one go. The bits were plenty long enough, but there wasn't enough vertical movement in the drill to descend 4 inches. So halfway through drilling each ball, we had to stop the drill and wind up the base plate. The bit head helped keep everything nearly aligned around a vertical axis, but there was a little lateral movement, resulting in a slight kink in the tunnel. I had to do a lot of hard sanding afterwards inside each hole to allow easy passage for the tubes. - Lots of good bracing. I used an old resin ball joint bracket from my disassembled dalek, with screws in each corner onto a wooden base plate, to hold each ball in position. But there was a lot of vibration, which may have contributed to a not-quite-perfect cut. - I'd consider drilling 9/10ths the way through from one side, and then turning the ball over and cutting in from the other side to avoid any splintering of the exit hole.
  11. Here's a summary of some of the things I've done over the last few weeks. First, I dry assembled the gun, using a plastic Christmas decoration filled with foam as a temporary ball joint. The goal here was to work out whether I preferred the rods and collar butted up against the ball joint, or the tip of the gun. I think I've decided I'll actually situate them halfway between, with a few millimeters of barrel between the rear collar and ball, and an equal amount between the front collar and the tip of the barrel. My preference is to leave the barrel and rods unpainted, so I rubbed them down with fine wire wool and rubbing compound. Hopefully this will complement whatever silver I end up spraying the collars and ball – if not, I'll spray the whole thing. I enquired on another thread as to whether to use a flat spade bit or a forstner bit to drill out the wooden balls I have for the gun and arm ball joints. With one vote for each, I let the friend whose pillar drill I was using have the deciding say – and he suggested forstner. So I bought a couple of Planet Long Series forstner bits, and today drilled out those holes. I used one of the old resin inner brackets to help brace the balls. Drilling all the way through, I splintered the exit holes a little, and a couple of the screws holding the frame together grazed the balls – but nothing a little filler can't fix. I was unhappy with the original eye stalk, but liked the eyeball itself, which was another solid resin piece. So I took a saw to the thing: With the eyeball separated from the shaft, I've started to rub it down. I bought an old Dansette wooden leg, and experimented with 32mm diameter acrylic: as I reported elsewhere, 4mm thick acrylic fits nicely around the leg, whereas 3mm thick acrylic is too loose. And finally, I started on the eye pivot, using 1 x 18mm and 2 x 6mm MDF. Lots of sealer and sanding. The plan here is to drill a 15mm diameter hole in the flat face, and sink and glue a couple of nuts so that the Dansette leg can be screwed in.
  12. I found that using 32mm OD acrylic tube with a Dansette leg, I needed 4mm thick tubing, not 3mm. 4mm thick walls ensure the tube sits snug around the leg 4.5 inches from the eye pivot, as per the Mk 1 plans. Here are 2 photos, the first showing 3mm thick tubing, the second 4mm thick tubing. As you can see, the 3mm thick acrylic is loose around the leg at the 4.5 inch mark.
  13. I sometimes think that the early shots show a base that is slightly angled inwards – I'd be tempted to keep as is. With regard to reducing the shine: how about lightly rubbing it with fine wet-n-dry or wire wool? ian
  14. I've got these two 4" beechwood wooden balls for ball joints: What should I use to drill out the 1" and 1.5" diameter holes: a flat spade bit or a forstner bit? Thanks for any help you can offer. ian
  15. Quick question: what would people here recommend for cutting arm holes from 4" solid beechwood balls – 1" and 1.5" flat bits or forstner bits?
  • Recent Status Updates

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      Looking for the close up photo of the portable graphic equaliser deck that Nick Briggs use's with his Moog MF102. Somewhere out there, I have seen this photo of him sitting at a table with the graphic equaliser, to fine tune in the sound of the Moog. Could be used as a reference photo if allowed on the Forum.
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    • madianm

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