Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Tardy TARDIS, the 11th Doctor, and His Amazing Swappable Heads

So I finally put the kibosh on continuing to fiddle with this Doctor Who. I bought all of the materials last summer, in an ill-fated attempt to have it finished to send as a gift by November.

Shyeah. I should have known better. November rolls around and what was intended as a birthday present instead magically becomes a Christmas gift.

Or it would have, had I finished it by then. I didn't. And not by New Year's, or even Easter. Only now have I washed my hands of this pesky time lord. I would appreciate it if Gallifrey could reimburse me temporally, now that I think of it.

But there are a few cool features with this project. First, the Doctor model itself is from Crooked Dice, and they also sell a set of alternate heads: one with a fez, one with a stetson, and one with a beard. In other words, you could make the Doctor's appearance specific to any of a number of story arcs.

But I didn't want to choose -- that's lame! So I ordered a second Doctor mini, and the alternate heads. I then cut some metal posts from a couple of clevis pins from the hardware store, snipped off the original Doctor head, drilled into the neck, and sank some magnets into the body. I used the second Doctor mini to get a pristine version of the original head.

From there I drilled into the heads from the bottom of the neck up, and mounted posts in them. With a bit of fiddling, I made the Doctor much more versatile. 

The TARDIS was actually more frustrating. That's because nobody makes a police call box that is both A) accurate and proportionally appropriate, and B) cast well. The best I could come up with is the Ainsty Casting "Constabulary Communication Cabinet," and that arrived looking like a piece of resin slag: leaning and out of true. I had to add some plastic framing trim around the "POLICE BOX" marquee, to match the 11th Doctor's box. I also chopped off the crappy miscast fresnel lantern on top and made one from scratch using styrene rod, brass wire, and greenstuff.

I created custom decals for the TARDIS: the "PULL TO OPEN" and St. John's Ambulance signs, as well as all of the "POLICE BOX" signs. I tried taking the 600 dpi .pdfs to Kinko's to print, but they only printed them at 300 dpi. I ended up buying inkjet decal paper and doing it myself. I learned a lot.

Anyhoo, better late than not at all. Maybe only slightly better, but slightly better is better than, er, no better. Here he is:


  1. What product do you use for the grass on your bases?

  2. Incredible Tardis. The posters look great.