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A Construction Drum Dalek

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#1 ajpsyber


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Posted 23 July 2013 - 02:30 AM

I've actually been working on this build for a while so the updates will come fairly quickly. I wanted to post here since I received so much inspiration and information from this site and all the members but my Dalek was not the standard and I only found this Special Projects section recently. I'm very happy that there is a place for my Dalek on this forum. My Dalek is not only different because of some of the techniques and materials that I'm using but because the main body of the Dalek will be an orange and white construction drum. It won't have the Dalek shape but I'm going to try to keep everything else to scale in relation the the shape of the drum. 
I got the idea for this build from a t-shirt I purchased on Teefury called deadly cone.
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It's a cool design and a cool idea but when I looked at it I pictured a construction drum rather than a traffic cone. I started looking at drums whenever I would see them on my way to work or walking around and the more I looked the more I knew it would work and I knew I had to do it. So for the next few weeks after I made my decision I scoured the internet for all things Dalek and that's when I found this site and many others. It was great and a little intimidating to see the work and craftsmanship put into these builds.

In February I started collecting most of the basic elements I'd be using in my build keeping in mind that I wanted to keep cost and the need for serious tools at a minimum while still staying faithful to Dalek design. Though I toyed with the idea of keeping the color scheme orange and white I just love the classic 60's Daleks and will be going with the color scheme of the Daleks with the silver body and black dome from "Evil of the Daleks".

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As you can see in the following images I began with the construction drum, six squares of cardboard for the neck rings, wooden dowels, plastic tubes, a lazy susan, clear plastic ball, yogurt container, ball bearing casters, deodorant caps, wood, floral wire, Styrofoam half balls, small plunger head, wood glue and Spackle. 

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In my next post I'll be showing some of the steps in creating the dome and eyestalk for my Dalek.

Thanks for the inspiration and for giving me a place to share my process.


#2 ajpsyber


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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:44 PM

In this post I'll be talking about the construction of the dome and eyestalk of my Dalek. One day when I have the space and tools available I will try my hand at constructing a dome the way it's described in the manual but for now I'm working on a small table in the living room of my apartment. I happened to have a large metal mixing bowl that was about the right shape but not wide enough and had a flat bottom so I extended it and filled out the shape using cardboard.
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I covered the form with plastic wrap and then I started to create the dome using paper mache. I applied the paper mache using Elmer's Wood Glue and once I had it completely covered in two layers I felt that it was a little too round so I filled it out a little more with cardboard and applied another couple of layers of paper mache.
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After I had a shape I was happy with I cover the paper mache with a layer of Spackle, sanded it smooth then I cut the slot for the eyestalk. I painted the dome flat black to prime it because I was originally going for a silver dome but I liked the black dome and switch to the color scheme from "Evil of The Daleks".
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Once I had the dome constructed I moved to the eyestalk. For the eye I used a clear plastic craft ball, a yogurt container and a pvc pipe fitting. I used my Dremel to cut a hole in the ball and fit the yogurt container inside. I used Spackle to smooth out the transition from the ball to the container and drilled a whole in the opposite end for a wooden dowel to be inserted.
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I inserted the pvc pipe fitting into the yogurt container.
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I was going to use polycarbonate tubing on the eyestalk but the eye was already heavy and the pipe would make it even heavier and I didn't want the eyestalk to droop down. I went to the discount store and found a toy for blowing bubbles that came in a tube that was the correct diameter and very light.
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I cut it at the top and used it to fit over the dowel for the stalk.
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I made the pivot out of a tightly rolled strip of cardboard glued with Elmer's glue and smoothed out with spackle.
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For the discs I used Sculpey flattened and cut into rounds.
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After baking I cut out the inner diameter to fit the stalk.
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I mixed paint to get a color close to the original color and painted the discs.
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Once I had all the pieces I began to put it all together but first I drilled a small whole in the eye and ran an LED light through. Then I ran the wire through the stalk and tested the fit of the eye, stalk and pivot.
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I primed the eyestalk in black
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and then painted the stalk silver before adding the discs.
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Still trying to keep things simple without the use of too many tools I attached the eyestalk to the dome using two thick pieces of cardboard that I formed from thinner pieces of cardboard glued together and wrapped with masking tape. They are light but very strong and easy to cut to the inside shape of the dome. I used a long bolt going through the cardboard and pivot then secured it with a spring wing toggle bolt.
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Then I attached the mechanism to the dome using L brackets. I had to bend the L brackets because of the uneven surface of the dome.
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Once the pivot was attached to the dome I attached the eyestalk to the pivot and adjusted the tension until the eye moved up and down but didn't just droop. This is the point when I started to see a Dalek forming.
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In my next post I'll go through the construction of the neck which you can see a preview of in the last photo and completion of the dome with dome lights. Thanks for checking out my progress. 


#3 RepeatedMeme


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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:23 PM

Good pics - nice and informative.

#4 ajpsyber


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Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:04 PM

In this post Ill be writing about the construction of the neck section of my Dalek. I started with six squares of thick cardboard that I cut from a packing box.
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 I used a ruler to divide the square into eight section and to find the mid point, then I used a compass to draw my circle.
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I used two squares of cardboard for each of the three neck rings. I cut out two rings, one a half inch smaller on the outer diameter and then joined them together using masking tape.
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The half inch difference gives the beveled effect of the Dalek rings. I then covered the rings with paper mache to give a smoother effect.
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Once I had the three rings I used the leftover circles from the inner diameter cut outs to locate the position to cut the notches for the eight neck struts. 
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The neck struts are constructed from 1/4 inch wooden dowels that were 12 inches long. Each strut is made from 3 dowels glued together to form a triangle shape.
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I used the extra dowels that I had along with the center cutouts from the neck rings and spare cardboard to construct the neckbin.
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My neck is different from traditional Dalek necks in that it tapers in from bottom to top. The outer diameter on the bottom ring is 16 inches and the outer diameter at the top is 14 inches. I did this because the construction drum that I am using for the body only flares out very slightly from top to bottom and I wanted to give my Dalek some differentiation in shape. I felt it looked better aesthetically.
Once I had the rings, struts and neckbin assembled separately I put them together in a test run to make sure everything fit.
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Luckily things went together pretty well and I only had to make some slight adjustment. After the test run I took it all apart covered the neck bin with masking tape and primed everything with black paint.
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I then painted the neck rings and struts with silver paint before reassembling the pieces.
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Youll notice that in the test run the neck struts and wooden dowels continuing below the bottom ring, this is because originally I was going to use the extra length for the Dalek neck to sit above the handle on the construction drum
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but after looking at it for several days it bothered me and I cut down the dowels and struts. I then cut the handle off the construction drum which was a major pain but well worth it in the end as you will see in future posts. 
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After reassembling the neck I added the mesh and I'm using a lazy Susan to allow the head to rotate.
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So here is the completed dome and neck of my Dalek. You will notice that I have painted the dome glossy black and added the dome light which are made from deodorant capes
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and led lights.
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Please check back for my next post which will be the gunbox, plunger arm and gun. 

#5 ajpsyber


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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

So here is the construction of the Dalek Gun, Plunger Arm and Gun Box. I created the Dalek gun using polycarbonate tubing, floral wire and a Styrofoam ball.
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I used my dremel to drill eight holes a half inch from the top of the tube and eight corresponding holes eleven inches down on the tube.
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I left about an inch to go into the Styrofoam ball.
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After gluing the tube to the ball I primed it with black paint and then painted it silver.
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After the gun was painted I used floral wire to create the eight rods and glued them in place.
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For the Dalek plunger arm I was originally going to use the same polycarbonate tubing along with a wooden dowel but I really wanted the arm to be able to extend and retract and I didn't feel like I could get the right effect with those materials, plus they were heavy and I was afraid that the ball joint wouldn't support the weight and the arm would just hang down instead of being able to be moved and positioned.

Whenever I’m working on a project everywhere I go I’m looking for something that I can incorporate into my work. So one day I walked into a discount store to see what I might find and I came across this water toy called Splasher which you use in a pool to suck water in and shoot it back out.
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In effect it work like a syringe and has a nice smooth feel so it was perfect.
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I cut off the foam rubber handles and took off the plastic ring where the water would shoot out, this is the end that I attached to the Styrofoam ball.
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It helped that the Styrofoam was porous  because the Splasher needed air flow to keep the smooth extending and contracting motion.

I primed the arm with black paint
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but when I moved it in and out the paint came off so added a third section to the arm which would let the arm extend and hide the small section where the base color was exposed.
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The third section actually made the arm look more accurate so it all worked out. Once I was happy I painted the arm silver.
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I know the gun box is usually one complete section set into the Dalek but after cutting off the handle of the Dalek I didn't want to cut into the drum anymore so I decided to create the gun box in two separate sections cut to the shape of the Dalek and attached with L brackets. The sections are made from reinforced cardboard and masking tape, primed with black paint and painted silver.
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I used cardboard inside the gun box around the Styrofoam balls to hold the ball joint and allow the arms to be moved and positioned.
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This is me holding the gun box sections for positioning.
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Finally I attached the arm and gun and began to prime the construction drum with black paint.
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I'm pretty happy with the way it all came together and I can move and position the gun and plunger arm. In the next post I'll be going over the hemispheres, the collars, mesh and slats and the body painting.


#6 cheese_merchant


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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:19 PM

Great job.  I wasn't expecting such a quality build from a traffic drum.

The gunboxes really look like metal.  You are doing amazing things with cardboard and paper.

#7 ajpsyber


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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:18 PM

So we’re almost to the end and in this post I’ll be talking about the Dalek hemispheres, collars, mesh and slats. Before I get into it though, there is a previous step that was left out and that is the wheels that let my Dalek be rolled around. I purchased wood from Home Depot and cut it to fit just inside the base of the construction drum, two vertical and one horizontal. I screwed the wood together to form a framework and attached two set of ball bearing casters.
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This simple setup works very well for making the Dalek mobile.
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Now back to the body. For the hemispheres I used Styrofoam half balls purchased for a very good price at Smoothfoam.
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Since the construction drum is curved my original idea was to trim the Styrofoam half balls to fit the curve but after purchasing a Styrofoam cutting tool and many, many failed attempts at any kind of smooth cut I decided it wasn't worth the effort and mess it would take for the barely noticeable space on either side of the hemispheres. I painted the hemispheres and applied them to the drum using masking tape to hold them in place temporarily while I worked out the spacing.
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Once I had them positioned properly I glued them using a hot glue gun. I was afraid at first that the glue might melt the Styrofoam but it work very well and I was able to apply the hemispheres quickly and easily. After applying the hemispheres I painted the drum silver and then touched up any silver that got onto the hemispheres.
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I then moved on to the collars. I cut the collars from cardboard.
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There were two sections for the top and two for the bottom. I used small rectangles of cardboard placed around the top of the drum to space the top collar out away from the body. For the top collar I only painted it silver since it was going to be covered by the mesh and slats.
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For the bottom collar and the slats I used the covers of aluminum food trays that I purchased for a few dollars.
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The aluminum was easy to cut with my utility knife. I used my hot glue gun to apply the aluminum to the cardboard form that I had already cut for the bottom collar. The aluminum alone would have been too thin. I glued both collars in place and moved on to the mesh and slats.

I purchased a roll of screen mesh that I used for the neck and the collar mesh. It is easy to measure and cut. I measured the mesh to extend a quarter inch above and three quarter inches below the top collar.
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The slats measured 5 1/2 by 1 1/2 and were cut from the same aluminum as the bottom collar. I attached the slats and the mesh using silver thumb tacks for the bolts and hot glue.
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The last step was to apply several coats of high gloss finish to the hemispheres and black base of my Dalek.
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It is truly a Dalek now and almost ready to reveal its master plan. In the next post all will be revealed. Exterminate!!


#8 ajpsyber


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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:24 AM

So we made it to the conclusion of my build diary. If you’ve followed along from the beginning then you've seen the building blocks and watched it all come together. From a construction drum, Styrofoam, lots of cardboard, tape, glue, paint, wire, a plunger and other odds and ends comes a Dalek.
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So before the reveal let me tell you about the finishing touch that I added. My Dalek is really a life size action figure, that I made for myself, with movable arm, gun, eyestalk and dome but I also wanted it to have some speech capabilities because what is a Dalek without it’s cold, robotic and distinctive voice. I found some inexpensive RE-Recordable PUSH BUTTON Sound Module/Chips on Amazon  that let you record your own sounds from your computer. The hardest part was finding clean recordings of Dalek phrases without any background sounds or music. I was able to find and clean up three phrases that I was happy with and after recording them I placed the units under the dome with the push buttons within easy reach.
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The completed Dalek which cost under $200 to build and took about 5 months. I love seeing it in my living room every day and I’m very proud of the way it turned out. I did my best to stay faithful to the Dalek design except for the adjustments needed for the shape.
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Thank you for following my Dalek diary.
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Here is a fun little video I made to show what the Dalek can do and say. It’s stylized to minimize the distracting background in my apartment.


#9 spagga


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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

That's a funky Dalek! Sort of shades of the early Cusick designs in the skirt. Great stuff!

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