7th Doctor Comic Adventures Inspired Console Room

Started by d33j r093r5, Jul 28, 2019, 11:41 am

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d33j r093r5

Thank you kindly KIT-KAT. Much appreciated.  :) Hopefully I'll be able to post some more in the next couple of days.



Truly amazing work! Wonderful detail! Should be fun to see this!

d33j r093r5

Aug 22, 2019, 02:46 am #32 Last Edit: Aug 22, 2019, 08:37 am by d33j r093r5
I was thinking about an idea I had for using printed transparent stickers for the console screens. I wondered what they might look like, whether it was doable and / or worth doing. and how it might actually be done. I started on what I could actually do now and give them some appearance...

My days of modelling in Solidworks has some history behind it. I worked for the better part of 20 years at an engineering company, specialising in water cutting. I was the manager for that part of the business for the last 6 years I was there (was also the Network and IT administrator), but I started out in CAD drawing / CNC programming. We also developed out own range of aesthetic products which we produced with the water cutter. So, we also needed some brochures and presentation media. Suffice to say, I wore a lot of different hats. I got some experience in graphic design...

To cut a long story short, I converted the screens model to a line drawing dxf, exported it to Illustrator, scaled it up and saved it as an image. The reason you scale up line drawings and not images is that it's all vector information, not pixels, so you don't lose any image quality when you convert...

screens dxf.jpg

... if you're familiar with working in Photoshop, once you have it in there, you can play with layers, image positioning, effects, moving things around, etc. Again, to cut a long story short, I produced these:


... none of the images are my work. I cheated and found some images online, which I then manipulated, colourised, highlighted, etc, until they had the look (more or less) that I wanted, and arranged them to fit the screens. There is some Gallifreyan text in the top and bottom frames (and a little in the large main one as well) that I made using the WS Gallifreyan font. Actually, they spell out sentences in English, but 'm not telling you what they are  ;)  ;D ... curious to see if people can work it out...

... I should also point out that, while the images have more-or-less the look I want, they won't be the final images I use. I only did this as an interim to see how they would look. Making those images will take a bit of time, which I don't currently have. Also, other people made these. I want to make my own...

... anyway, I then exported the individual frames to png files. The reason you would use png's as opposed to jpg's is so you can have a transparent background. jpg's are compressed image information, and the background is always colourised in some way (default is white). png's allow you to exclude the background colour, so your whole image is just the details. Theses are what I created:

Main Decal_190821.png

Left Decal_190821.png     Right Decal_190821.png

Top Decal_190821.png

Bottom Decal_190821.png

... having got these, I can then create decals on the different surfaces on the original model in Solidworks. Keeping the outline of the shapes allows them to be lined up exactly. From that I was able to create this render:

002_Custom 7th Doctor Console Complete Sub-Assembly_190819_2.jpg

... are you guys familiar with the term "uncanny valley"? If not, it's the phenomenon of recognising that something isn't quite right, but not necessarily knowing it consciously, or even being able to tell what it is, but at the very least it makes you uneasy, worried. Very specifically, it relates to how people relate to anthropomorphic personifications. If you viewed it as a type of graph, on one side you have a peak, which then dips and curves down into a "valley" fairly sharply, and then slowly curves back up to another peak. On the one side we have fully human. On the other, something that ISN'T human, but looks and acts almost completely human. And that valley represents anything in between. On both peaks, people feel completely comfortable, but people start to get very worried and uneasy by anything situated in the valley. As a couple of examples, on the opposite peak to human beings, we have Lt Commander Data. Aside from his skin tone, and a couple of quirks, he is so human that people generally feel completely comfortable around him, even though he is recognisably a machine. And in the middle of the valley we have Kamelion (in his true form, of course). Kamelion is creepy! He looks humanoid, but his features are a caricature, he moves like a marionette, his voice is distorted and mechanical, etc, etc. Things which scream "not human". We don't have an issue if it's something inanimate like a box, or a vehicle (K9, KITT). But as soon as something tries to be human-like, and is not, we start to feel anxious. This is the uncanny valley...

The reason I digressed into the explanation is because that render of the console now falls into the uncanny valley of consoles. When it was just the render without the screen decals, it was fine. If it was a real console, with real touch screens, it would probably also be fine. Right now, something looks wrong, and it's difficult to put your finger on. Photographers, CG Artists and Graphic Designers will pick it immediately...  ;)  ;D

The decals don't interact properly with the console. They LOOK like they should; they're in the right places, the angles and perspectives match, but something about it looks fake. Well, it's a rendered image, it's always going to look like a rendered image, and is thus always going to be kind-of-fake. But the decals highlight that fact, and the suspension of disbelief is broken. What's missing are things like interactivity with the light, reflections, integration with the environment. If this was Photoshop, a layer would be added to the image, that would be an overlay for the decals, mostly transparent, but with some lighting effects, that only affects that layer. Not really doable in that way in Solidworks. But, I was able to achieve the same effect, by doing what amounts to the same thing...

005_7th Doctor Comic book Console_5 inch_alternate_top screens_190818.jpg     006_7th Doctor Comic book Console_5 inch_alternate_top screens_190818.jpg

... how the profile looked before the change...

010_7th Doctor Comic book Console_5 inch_alternate_top screens_190818.jpg     008_7th Doctor Comic book Console_5 inch_alternate_top screens_190818.jpg

... after the change. I've added a "layer" to the model. It matches the top dimensions of the screens, is only 0.1mm thick, but has the same properties as glass in a rendered environment. So that when I go back and render it again...

005_Custom 7th Doctor Console Complete Sub-Assembly_190819.jpg

... it now looks like it's meant to be there!  ;D I'm still not entirely convinced it looks like a screen image, maybe a picture under glass (which is what it is, in reality), but at least it doesn't look "wrong"...

006_Custom 7th Doctor Console Complete Sub-Assembly_190819.jpg

... so that when we get those very bright reflections on the screen that makes them look white, or like a mirror, the decals behave accordingly. The decals even have reflections of the rotor over the top of them, as they should!

Anyway, onto more relevant matters...

I actually DO have some "Gold" PLA filament for printing; I purchased it from China a while back when I was making the http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=6277 . I used it for a small number of parts on that console. I'm pretty sure it's not suitable for this console (although you never know), but I thought I would give it a go for printing anyway. I was keen to get started, so even if this ended up just being a prototype, I was cool with that...

P1040059.jpg     P1040058.jpg

... decided to start with the base. Always a good place to start. Also, figured while one printer was doing that, I could get the other printer to do the base inserts. I like having 2 printers. It not only speeds things up, but you get to see how things will fit together by printing in more than one colour at a time.


... this is the "gold" filament I will be printing with. The lighting in the room at the moment is terrible, but it IS a fairly darkish gold anyway. And, honestly, looks too plasticy really. There are better metal-infused , metal-looking PLA filaments out there than this...

P1040060.jpg     P1040062.jpg

... getting the printer ready for it's first print in quite some time. The last thing I printed was the http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=8789 , and that was over a year ago at this point. Firing up the printers after a hiatus is always a bit exciting, and a bit worrisome; it's fun to be printing, but also nerve-racking, as you're not sure whether they are going to give you issues right off the bat. They were working fine when I turned them off last time, but because of those moving parts that need lubricating, and filament which deteriorates over time, especially if you don't keep it in a cool, dry environment, are going to cause you problems. Not just in and of themselves, but they also don't play nicely with the printer. Blocked nozzles are a pain in the proverbial to clear! Also, printers collect dust when not used, and have heating elements that turn up to 220oC. After you build a PC, turning it on for the first time is called a "smoke test". you LITERALLY have one of those every-time you fire up a 3D printer, especially after a long break!  :P

As it happens, the print head DID actually smoke as it got rid of old built up residue and dust. It was done after about 10 seconds, but you always stare at it in fascinated horror until it's finished, caught between "this isn't actually serious, is it? This is normal right?" and "Shut it down before you burn yourself out of house and home!" Anyway, it passed, and the printing began  ;D ...

P1040063.jpg     P1040065.jpg

P1040067.jpg     P1040068.jpg

P1040069.jpg     P1040070.jpg

P1040071.jpg     P1040072.jpg

P1040074.jpg     P1040077.jpg

... the first layer has gone down very nicely. That usually half the battle won, right there; if the first layer goes down nice and easily, then the rest of the print is almost always a given, provided nothing untoward happens. Also, in this light, the colour doesn't look half bad! Maybe, out of some sheer fluke, I've already found my console / room colour!  :)

One thing that IS slightly concerning though; you may notice throughout the pictures that there appear to be lines of filament that run across the model that do not follow the horizontal printing pattern. That's print-head ooze. Normally between stop-starts, the print head retracts the filament slightly to help to prevent that. And good quality PLA filaments tend not to do that anyway. That it's happening means that the standard retracting isn't doing anything, and my filament is sh**! Shouldn't be surprising. It was cheap and nasty filament. Bought because it was cheap. This is a good definition of that term "untoward" I was using earlier. Mind you, you can have perfectly successful prints with ooze; you just have some extra work later, cleaning up artefacts and spider-webs. We'll see how we go...

P1040081.jpg     P1040084.jpg

... second layer down. Things progressing nicely...


... nice close-up of the layers. you can actually see both the first and second layers in this shot. First layer runs horizontally, the second vertically. And, as it happens, a good shot of some of those ooze lines as well...


... this is now about 6 or 7 layers in. Once the first 3 layers are down (which are all solid layers), it has then been set to print at 20% in-fill. This reduces the amount of filament needed to print, and the amount of time it takes to print as well. You can set how many solid layers you want to the outside, as well as what percentage in-fill you want. I typically go 3 solid and 20%, but it depends very much on the print...

P1040089.jpg     P1040099.jpg

... 9-10 layers in and quite a few layers in respectively  :P please don't ask me how many, I really wasn't paying that much attention  ???  ::)  ;D What IS visible here are definite features of the base becoming apparent. There are the holes I left for wiring to be inserted, if necessary, and for attachment to a floor, same thing, and the recesses where the inserts will sit. Also obvious now is the oozing! Lots of pretty spider-webs. If you've followed any of my previous print-builds, then you'll know this isn't THAT un-common, although it's always a much better print without it, and less likely to run into issues. Thus far, everything seems to be going fine, and I'm thinking more and more about how this filament might actually be ok for the final console / wall colour...

... at about this point I derided to fire up the second printer and print the base inserts. Because why not, and Yay!  :D  ;D

P1040104.jpg     P1040105.jpg

... I'm actually very lucky to have 2 printers. My brother and I both decided to get one at about the same time. As it happens, we both decided on the same printer. From the same place. Via the same website. We're brothers, what can I say  ::) Our interests were somewhat different though; I was mainly interested in making models to compliment my DW collection, and justified it by the fact I was working on an engineering project that would allow me to rapid-prototype parts for visual purposes (not use; the final parts needed to be made from hardened steel!). My brother had his own commercial project he was bringing to fruition, and actually needed to make working parts for it. Both printers worked to purpose admirably, but my brother's needs quickly exceeded the limitations of the printer, and he upgraded. I, on the other hand, had no such problems, and was very happy to take it off his hands!  ;D Having 2 identical printers means I can use the same programs on each one, without re-tooling, jigging, modelling, programming, etc. Very handy!


... the start of the inserts; (*best David Banks Cyberman voice*) Excellent!  :)

... and now comes the wrinkle; this is the photo I took of the base being printed about an hour and a half after the last one I posted:


... notice anything wrong? I didn't at first, and I'm the one with lots of experience in 3D printing! There does not appear to be ANY further progress since the last shot! Now, in fairness, I wasn't feeling particularly well, and I did go and have a lie-down in between shots, so I wasn't paying attention. Nevertheless, the printer was still working, but wasn't actually printing anything. This can happen for a few reasons, but the main two are 1) the filament / nozzle is jammed. There's a gap between the feeder and the heated extruder which is essentially a plastic pipe. If filament gets heated and then re-hardens in that tube, it jams it up and blocks all the flow. You can tell when this has happened because the mechanical feeder starts making a "toonk-toonk-toonk" noise as it continuously tries to push through filament, but it resists. And 2) you've run out of filament! Well, I had pretty much a full spool, and the feeder wasn't making any noises. But when I checked the spool-to-inlet line, there was no filament! What had happened was either there was a break in the filament on the spool, or the filament line snapped. Either way, the feeder / extruder ran out of filament to print!  >:(  :P  :'(

... and we come back to that whole untoward thing. Cheap, nasty filament! The break would only occur, now or previously, if the filament is NOT good quality, which we already know it is given it's oozing habit. It does this because it's melting point hasn't been calibrated properly, so it's properties haven;t been set correctly, making it far more brittle than it should be. This is also why it snapped. As a result, I'm going to have to search further afield to find a suitable filament for the console / room. As for the black filament...

P1040109.jpg     P1040111.jpg

... that's printing just fine! Skipping ahead...

P1040121.jpg     P1040122.jpg

... the "finished" prints!

The black parts were printed face-down on glass, without any adhesives. For most print jobs, you want to put something down on your printed heat bed to prevent the print from lifting and curling during a print. There's lots of different methods. Using a tempered glass sheet on your heat bed helps dissipate the heat evenly through the surface, so it's a good one to use for consistency, but not all filaments will happily adhere to it. Often, you will need to put something else down for the PLA to "stick" to while it's printing. Surface morphology is the trick here. Essentially, if you have a "rougher" surface, the greater the surface area and more varied that surface area is, which means there's a better surface to "grip". Lots of things you can use for this; special printer-pads, painter's blocking tape, glue-stick, even hairspray! I like using blockers tape and hairspray, they're my go-to choices. I also like printing directly on glass without anything else, because it makes that surface shiny!  ;D And that's the effect I was going for. On my renders, you will notice that the black inserts are shiny and reflective, while the console-proper is somewhat matte. It's a good effect, and I'm hoping to replicate it. Hence, why I printed the black parts face-down on the glass. And they've come up quite nicely...

P1040125.jpg     P1040138.jpg

... not perfect, by any means, but good enough to purpose. As for the failed print...


... again, the lighting isn't the best, but it's better than on the printer. And it actually is too dark. It might be just as well it didn't print successfully. This was also printed directly on glass, but with hairspray to help keep it there. Console parts DO tend to curl, more so than other parts, because of those tapering sides. Something to do with the way the heat dissipates more easily through the thinner section because it's less insulated, and so the edges shrink faster than the rest of the object. Thermo-expansion / contraction calculations not necessary, the fact that it happens is enough to know! In any case, hairspray helps prevent that, so I used it, unashamedly. If you have a look at the bottom of this item...


... you can see it has a similar reflective shine as the black inserts, but slightly rougher. See above description  ;D

As to how these pieces WOULD have fit together...

P1040135.jpg     P1040136.jpg


... not the best effort, I know, but it gives you an idea of how it will all fit together.  :)

However, something else I found out subsequently as well; I made the holes O6.3mm to accommodate a O6mm dowel. The holes, when I measure them with a vernier, are between O5mm and O5.5mm! That's not right. I've never had that before. Biggest discrepancy I've encountered has been ±0.2mm, not a whole 1mm out! When I checked the base of the base, it was smaller by a few mm as well!  :o :o Now, either the printer, sitting without operation for a year, has de-calibrated itself (unlikely), or again, it's a problem with the properties of the filament. It would make sense; if it hasn't been properly calibrated to temperature, then it's thermal expansion/contraction properties will be out as well. Definitely brooming the Gold. In any case, looking back at the renders, I've realised that the colour I'm after isn't really copper, as I initially thought, nor gold; it's brass! This console room needs to be done in brass.  :D  :D

I used to work a lot with brass. It's basically just 66% Copper and 33% Zinc, but when combined gives interesting wear-properties. Brass can be almost white-gold in colour as well, without being polished. It will also give the interior more of that mixed feeling of Classic vs New as well; light and airy combined with dark and broody, with a touch of that Time-Lord, bad-taste extravagance. I'm going to go now and see what I can find in Brass for the printer. Wish me luck!


d33j r093r5

Apr 13, 2020, 07:22 am #33 Last Edit: Apr 13, 2020, 09:21 am by d33j r093r5
I'm not really much of a social person. Bit of a shut-in really. I have study, which means I need to go to the uni campus for workshops, labs, etc, but if I can avoid going and just work from home, that actually works really well for me. My university posts all its materials online, including the lectures. Means I have very few direct contact hours, and I make up the difference at home from the comfort of my office.  ;D

Same with work. I work in IT, which means I can do a lot of what I need to remotely. Not everything, but a good deal of it.

So, with this whole self-isolation / social-distancing thing going on at the moment, I can't really say it has affected me all that much. Except for toilet paper. Gods, I miss toilet paper...!  :P

Here's the thing; with pretty much everything having gone into lockdown, I don't have to be at uni at all, and all my clients are having very few problems because they're all at home as well. Which has left me with some free time. I may be a recluse by nature, but I still need things to keep me occupied, or Ima go as stir crazy as the rest of the world seems to be at the moment...

So, I've refocused on this little project of mine. I'd been wanting to continue with it for a while. One of the reasons I stopped was lack of time to devote to it. The other biggie was cost. I need a LOOOOOOOT of filament to complete this one, and since I'm looking at Brass, Bronze or Copper fill PLA to do the job, the amount was looking prohibitively expensive... ok, should probably give a bit of background on that...

Normal PLA filament (Poly-Lactic Acid), which is a corn-derived plastic, is the main print material of choice for printers. It's very hard, prints nicely and consistently, and can be used for a wide variety of applications. It's not the only print material though. I won't go into detail about the others as it's not really relevant. Suffice to say PLA doesn't necessarily fit ALL applications, and there are other things you can print with that have different mechanical properties, depending on the end use. For the most part, PLA is a one-size-fits-most material. For me, who primarily prints models (and a few useful parts where material isn't critical), PLA is my go-to.

You may recall that I was looking for a shinier, more metallic feel for this particular console. The design and colour kind of demands it. Enter metal-filled PLA. There are a variety of different types on the market, steel, aluminium, copper, brass, bronze, etc. Essentially a percentage of actual metal powder is added to the filament to give it the look and feel of that particular metal. Produces some interesting and beautiful results. I was keen on the brass-fill, for obvious reasons. Here's the rub: A normal 1kg spool of PLA (which is typically about 330m at 1.75mm diameter) will cost you anywhere between AU$11.00 - AU$50.00, depending on manufacturer and / or quality. It's obviously much cheaper to buy from China (   ::)   ), but you take a chance on the print quality. Some of it is actually pretty good. A lot of it can be a dog's breakfast.

Metal-fill PLA is a different animal. For starters, different manufacturers add different amounts of metal. It can be as high as 80%, and as low as 20% (by weight, as opposed to amount of material, which is an important distinction given the difference in the densities of the materials. Typically, PLA is 1.23g/cm^3 whereas Brass is 8.4g/cm^3). I won't go into the calculations, except to say I spent a lot of time on them, working out an apples-for-apples ratio comparison to determine who was trying to sell me what, for how much, and whether I was getting the same bang for my buck. But to give perspective, a 60/40 PLA/Brass ratio spool of Brass-fill PLA which weighs 500g, and only gives you about 120m of filament starts at about AU$60 and pretty much goes up from there, pretty much everywhere except China. In China, you will pay about AU$15 per spool, BUT the ratio is 80/20 PLA/Brass ratio. Obviously, the spool is longer as well, close to 300m. When you print something, you're not really interested in weight, as print length; you need to know you have enough metres of filament to complete the job. But all companies sell by weight. You can see why it gets complicated very quickly.

Add to that, I don't really know what ratio of PLA-Brass is going to give me the desired effect. And with higher ratios of brass, the more abrasive the material is. The nozzles typically on a printer are made from brass. You could potentially wear them out very quickly. Hence the need for steel nozzles with large brass ratios.

It was all a bit complicated at the time, not to mention potentially very expensive, so everything got put on hold.

I did a little bit of printing in the interim. Nothing doctor who related. Experimented with tessellating rhombic dodecahedrons as an idea for a game a few months back...

P1040203 copy.jpg   P1040204 copy.jpg   P1040205 copy.jpg

... and printed a stand to help me perform a physics experiment at home while the social-distancing thing is happening just recently...

P1040201.jpg   P1040202.jpg

Unfortunately, this proved to be a bit too much for my good old workhorse printer, and it finally killed the extruder...

P1040192.jpg   P1040194.jpg   P1040195.jpg

... these are images of the dismantled print-head in my attempt to fix it. Ultimately proved futile. I will need to buy a new print head for it. That'll be another AU$100 or so. In the meantime, I'm down to one printer...

P1040196.jpg   P1040197.jpg

Anyway, with regard to this project, I picked up again a couple of weeks back. Like I said, lots more free time, and I needed to keep myself occupied. It seems in the interim that metal-fill PLA has dropped off in use. I think despite the beautiful finish it provides, and the harder wearing properties, it was a bit too expensive for most people. It still exists, but it's much harder to get. After a bit of research, I decided to try out a spool each of Chinese Brass-fill and a Bronze-fill PLA with an 80/20 ratio PLA/Metal in each, to see how they will go. Still waiting for that material to arrive. Again, not good at sitting on my hands, so last night I decided to try printing the base of the console again with that goldish PLA I had from ages ago. I tried it before for the base of the console to see how it would go, but the print failed. I thought at the time the PLA had probably degraded, and wasn't great to begin with anyway. As it turns out, it may simply have been my workhorse in the process of dying! Coz I got a print from it today, and I've gotta say, it looks pretty schmick!!

P1040168.jpg   P1040170.jpg   P1040174.jpg

P1040178.jpg   P1040179.jpg   P1040181.jpg

The colour / texture is not quite what I want, but it's close enough to get an idea of what it will look like once completed. It looks too plasticky as well; it NEEDS to look more like metal to give the correct finish. Classic consoles are fine to print straight with regular PLA; they were essentially painted wood, and gave off that somewhat artificial feeling, which PLA can mimic quite well. I'm fairly certain I could get away with printing it in this colour, but I'm keen to get it as metal-looking as I can...  ;D ;D ;D

P1040182.jpg   P1040184.jpg   P1040185.jpg

... you can see in regular daylight (minus the flash) just how un-metal like it really is.

Anyway, you will probably recall from a couple of posts ago (where the original base failed to print) I had also printed the black inserts, which printed very nicely. Whelp, still got those. And I gotta say, assembled it looks pretty schmick as well!  :D  ;D

P1040186.jpg   P1040190.jpg   P1040191.jpg

... that's more or less where I'm up to. Currently, I have the next console piece on the printer. I'll leave you with where they're at for the moment. Will post again when they're done...

... I promise not to wait another 8 months next time  ;)  ;D



P1040206.jpg   P1040207.jpg

EDIT: BTW, WHO-ppy Easter everyone!  ;) :D ;D


Looking forward to the finished print!
Kind Regards,



d33j r093r5

Apr 13, 2020, 09:25 am #35 Last Edit: Apr 15, 2020, 07:13 am by d33j r093r5
davidnagel, me too ;)

BTW, I suddenly realised why this appeals to me so much, in spite of feeling that gold / brass walls might be a tad tacky: It reminds me of a Goa'uld ship! All it needs are hieroglyphs on the walls, and it could potentially be something out of Stargate. I might have missed it altogether if I hadn't re watched it recently...

EDIT: it seems I've had this thought before (re: Stargate).  ::) I have the memory of a goldfish, it seems...  ;D

d33j r093r5

Apr 14, 2020, 03:24 pm #36 Last Edit: Apr 14, 2020, 04:59 pm by d33j r093r5
Ok, so... a lot has happened in a day  ;D

Firstly, something I forgot to mention, not PARTICULARLY important, but worth mentioning; while on the scavenger hunt recently for suitable filament (and finding metal-fill going out of vogue), discovered there is something called "Silk" PLA filament. It's essentially standard PLA, possibly with some extra Polyester or Nylon added, but gives the material an almost metallic sheen. The popularity of it seems to be on the rise, which may be why metal-fill is becoming harder to get. And it seems to look the part as well...

Silk-pla-bronze-3d-printer-filament-1-75mm-1kg-silky-bronze-shine-shiny-3D-printing-material_2.jpg    Silk-pla-bronze-3d-printer-filament-1-75mm-1kg-silky-bronze-shine-shiny-3D-printing-material.jpg

... if the brass and bronze fill I have coming don't pan out, this may be a suitable alternative. Anyway, small digression, on to more important stuff...

So, I had bits on the printer when I signed off yesterday. Well, one bit, but I followed it up with more...





... I'm curious to know how many other model / prop / set makers experience this: when in the process of making something with multiple components, as soon as you have the next bit ready, regardless of the fact that you'll probably have to disassemble it again after, you just HAVE to add it to the current build-in-progress. True, you may want or need to check it to see if the part works properly in context, but that's almost a foregone conclusion with today's design techniques and tools. I'm talking more about just getting excited to see how it will look. I've made a number of models to date, and the process doesn't seem to get old. It gets easier, but there's never a lack of enthusiasm to see the next bit get added to the model. I'm digressing again, I know. I only bring it up because I took lots of photos, and I'm debating whether to show EVERYTHING, or just the parts as they come off the machine, and then the final product...

Anyway, I printed 2 bits like the one I just showed you, and then left the printer going over-night. Woke up to this:


... and set the next one going.

It occurred to me at this point that there was something I had been meaning to do with my previous classic series TARDIS builds, but never got around to. It was a design element for all of them (a fairly substantial one actually), but I'd always just let it fall by the wayside. Which is weird really, since I had all the bits for em. Anyway, I'm talking about the Time Rotor housing. I have the acrylic tubing...


... and I have the round acrylic pieces to make the lid (made on a water-jet cutter, a carry-over from a previous life)...


... so, bugger it! I'm not goin' anywhere!! I have nothing else to do currently. Lets make this as complete as possible  :D  ;D  :D

The tube I bought a couple of years ago specifically with the housing in mind on my models. It's a standard 40mm diameter, so all my models take that into account. The design of this console calls for the length of the tube to be about 50mm. That's not hugely critical as long as it's close. A mm shorter or longer isn't going to throw anything else out of whack. So I got to it with my trusty tenon saw, and ended up with a piece roughly 51.3mm in length. Pretty straight too, when I check it against a set square...


... please ignore the hand sanitizer in the background, and just take it as a sign of the times...  ;)

Popped out 2 of the discs to use for the "lid" of the rotor housing. The wall thickness of the tubing is nominally 2mm. So the top part of the lid matches the OD of the tube at 40mm, whilst the lower and inner part of the lid is 36mm diameter (to match the ID). It's not perfect, the circles are actually slightly bigger (asked for them that way), because they need some finishing work done to them...


... you can see the dabs where they were still attached the main material, the somewhat rough and uneven edges (they were cut a little bit too fast), and some dirt left behind from the water and garnet when it punched through the material. It's fine, the acrylic had a protective peel-off coating on both sides, which I'll leave on until after I've finished cleaning them up...

In the meantime...


... nother bit completed...  :) And I've decided to not add all those extra unnecessary build pics. I'll stick a few finished ones in at the end...  :P  ;D

Anyway, sanding and polishing. Did this to the top and bottom faces of the tube, and the edges of the "lid" pieces. I needed to grind them down to size a bit, smooth them up, and get rid of as much of the "frosting" as I could. I have handy tools for this...

P1040245.jpg    P1040246.jpg

... I knew that dremel would come in handy one day. Well, technically it's not an ACTUAL dremel, but it does the same job. End result...



... it's not necessarily easy to discern, but that second image is the tube with the inner part of the lid nestled inside it. If it wasn't clear up to now what I was going to do, you can probably see where it's going at this point. Cut a long story short...


... that big splodge is hot glue...


.... another tool that finally came in useful! So the inner / lower part rests inside the tube and prevents wiggle. It's a snug press-fit, so the lid doesn't pop off easily either. And the top bit just covers the tube, matching the external diameter. QED.


... more bits!




... and that's all the gold-ish bits printed. Now for the screens  ;D
All said and done, pretty much the console proper is printed and assembled now, sans detail. I got curious about how it would look in a TARDIS diaorama. So I stuck it in my Season 21 / Five Doctors Console Room.

:o :o :o :o :o

I'm NOT sharing the picture yet, you'll just have to trust me that it looked awesome!  ;D  Moving on...

Next off the printer were the console screens...

P1040277.jpg    P1040278.jpg

??? ??? ??? uhhhhh.... something's not riiiiiiiight...

... and it's only now that they've finished printing that I see the mistake. These were the OLD design for the screens.  ::) ::) :P

You can see the problem in the next couple of images. The shape of the top and bottom screens:


... vs the spaces they're supposed to fit into:



... the centre and side screens are fine, fortunately. But this is what happens when you leave a project for a long period of time, and aren't paying enough attention to what you're doing when you finally come back to it.  ::)

It's also fortunate that, as far as mistakes go, this wasn't too bad. Fairly small pieces that don't take a day to print, and easily correctable. Gotta say, if I'm gonna f*** up, I prefer it to be at this end of the spectrum  ;)

So, easily fixed...


... except NOT!  :P Half the pieces are unusable, they've just printed..... badly. They're too small to even fix!


... gonna have to print em again. Mind you, I've gone ahead and started the next print (the underside decals of the console), and that's gonna take a little while. So, the remainder will have to wait.

On my initial renders, I made the underside decals a dark grey rather than black, as they highlighted better, showed off the contours. Turns out there's a very good reason for that: that's what actually happens in real life as well. But I figured, what the hey, the black is already loaded, I'll just make em that colour...

021_Custom 7th Doctor Console Complete Sub-Assembly_190808.jpg

... compared with...


... hmmmm, not happy with these at all, not least of which the print got buggered up anyway. Something baffling about the way these printed as well. I neglected to put tape on the glass, so a couple of the corners lifted up and stuffed em anyway, but it almost looks like it tried to print one of them at 90 degrees at the start and then changed its mind?? ?? I haven't worked out what happened there yet, it's bizarre. Suffice to say, the finish and general look of these parts is the dog's b****cks anyway. So, after reprinting the extra screen pieces I needed, I changed colours to a dark grey, added tape to the bed for adhesion, and then printed the underside decals... one at a time this time. If it stuffs up, then it'll only stuff one, not the whole batch. Good thing too, because the spool of dark grey is out-of-spec. The diameter of the filament is nominally 1.75mm. This was a bad roll, and often fluctuated wildly (I'd forgotten I had it, have run into this issue before). I had to restart only once fortunately, the remainder of the underside decals went off without a hitch...




... even without a flash, the textures show up a lot better under normal light... compare the two:

P1040313.jpg    P1040315.jpg

... no contest, right? Ok, back to screens...

Actually, I might post this, and then start another one to finish off. Getting a bit long otherwise...


d33j r093r5

Apr 14, 2020, 05:23 pm #37 Last Edit: Apr 14, 2020, 05:35 pm by d33j r093r5
Ok... NOW back to screens...  ;D

While all the printing is going on in the background, I am doing assembly of the bits that I've got. One of the things you need to be mindful of when working on a scale model of something you're designing on a PC is the actual size of things once they're made. You do get a feel for it, and are generally careful, particularly if you've been modelling for a while. But occasionally things get through the cracks.

It's not exactly a design flaw mind you; I get the impression that when I was working on it I realised how small some of those screens were going to be, and so made them JUST big enough for it not to be an issue. Which it ALMOST wasn't. The pieces are large enough to be able to manipulate and put them in the model. affixing them is another story.

Fun aside: I like Blu-Tack! It is BRILLIANT as a modelling tool for sticking things together. It stays together for handling and display, it comes apart easily if you need to re-address something. It's malleable and versatile. I'm amazed that more people don't use it for modelling. Plus, I'm really lazy... yeah, i don't need to go into that again. For reference, see my earlier published works  ;D

Having said all that, the top and bottom screens on each panel are REALLY small. And the recesses in the console that I left for the screens are REALLY shallow. I can't tell you what I was thinking when I designed it, because I honestly don't remember; it was almost a year ago. There WERE space concerns, but I'm sure I could have found a way around that ( i usually do)... anyway, the point is, I didn't see that Blu-Tack was going to be helpful here. The Hot-Glue gun was too large and imprecise. I DID have some super-glue in a micro-dosing bottle. It MIGHT work. Anyway, to give you an idea of what we're dealing with here...




... fun and games. I used the super-glue on the first face...


... and, as you probably expected, ended up with super-glue on things I didn't want super-glue on. Like the front faces of the screens!!  >:(  >:(

Fortunately, I have an abundant supply of acetone! That dissolves super-glue, but doesn't affect PLA, so I can clean it off with that and a soft cloth!

Except it DOES affect PLA, and now the screens have scratch-like marks from the cloth on the face!!  >:(  >:(  >:(  >:( Ok, no more super-glue!!

It was probably redundant to go into all that unnecessary description of thinking what to use besides Blu-Tack, when I already said how much I liked it and ended up using it anyway!!!  :P I just had to make the pieces really small, and then roll them out until they were a very long, thin, fine sausage of Blu-Tack. And that's worked!

So...... final assembly pics!  ;D

This is the underside of the console with the decals being added:

P1040319.jpg    P1040318.jpg

P1040320.jpg    P1040321.jpg

... which look good in any light, Happy.

With the addition of all the screens:

P1040306.jpg    P1040307.jpg


... and the completed console!:





... and as a bonus, some TARDIS interior shots:




Well, that was a fun and interesting way to fill in a couple of days. I now have to wait for the metal-fill PLA to arrive to do the next round of printing. Will also try and get hold of some of that silk PLA for testing as well. Hopefully, the metal-fill will get here in the next couple of days. If and when it does, I shall post again then! :)



Rassilons Rod

In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.

d33j r093r5

Unfortunately the photos don't really do it justice. In terms of overall height and width, it's about the same size as the other classic consoles that I've modeled, in keeping with the 1/13th scale (assuming that I've modeled them correctly, of course). This console has a much fatter base, and the angle on the console control panels is a lot more acute, bringing the outer edge higher on a person's torso. I'm not a particularly good photographer, so I'm not certain what angle / scale / perspective I could use to give it proper context. Having said that, Sylv DOES look tiny next to it, but then in fairness he looks tiny next to just about everything  ;D

I'll see about setting up some shots to give a good sense of scale / perspective...

Rassilons Rod

It's a great looking console though.  I remember imagining some kind of ST:TNG touch controls on it when I saw it back in the day.

I think you've done a cracking job on the design of the panels too :)

I'm curious how the heights of the figures compare to eachother.  I'd previously understood they were about the same height rather than in proportion with the actors.  But I did notice that Peter doesn't look like he's in The Time Meddler :D
In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.

d33j r093r5

Thanks rassilonsrod, much appreciated.

Up until a few years ago, the proportions of the figures were pretty good actually, with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker being the tallest, and Patrick Troughton and Sylvester McCoy being at the smaller end. Even the early Peter Capaldi figures were in scale. However the most recent Capaldi figures, supposedly in line with the rest of the range, were huge, exceeding Pertwee and Baker in height. The detail was fantastic, and unless you were really paying attention / collecting the series, you wouldn't notice. Relatively minor gripe with what has otherwise been an excellent range of figures. I think they've brought them back into line with the most recent additions. Suffice to say, I can design my models with some degree of confidence that they're going to fit with the 1/13th scale.  :)

d33j r093r5

Apr 16, 2020, 06:30 am #42 Last Edit: Apr 16, 2020, 06:45 am by d33j r093r5
Sooo... I did say that this console was more or less the same size in terms of overall dimensions as the other classics. Yah, it is actually bigger  ::) BUT, not much, relatively speaking ( I sound like Tom Baker "How big's big? Relative dimensions you see, no constants. ... There are no measurements in infinity, you humans have such limited little minds, I don't know why I like you so much..." - Masque of Mandragora). Anyway...

I did some pictures to show the differences. Please excuse my terrible photography skills...


... the wooden console is just there for showing off  :P ... and is the only one of these consoles that I didn't model / make.


... Time Monster console comparison with the new one; slight height difference...

P1040335.jpg    P1040336.jpg

... and slightly bigger in girth as well when compared to the Season 21+ and Season 18-20 consoles. The 18-20 and Time Monster consoles are pretty much exactly the same dimension wise...


... ok, here I was experimenting a bit; was finding it difficult to get a good shot that showed the size difference. Thought this might work. It reeeeeeally doesn't  :P

So, I went for the practical approach...

P1040340.jpg    P1040341.jpg    P1040345.jpg

... it's about 6% bigger in width and length over the other 2 consoles...

P1040349.jpg    P1040348.jpg    P1040347.jpg

... yeah, terrible photogrpahy skills... mind you, not easy to manipulate a camera AND hold a vernier steady while photographing. The displays are hard to read though. The 18-20 Console is 85.85mm in height, 21+ Console is 86.94mm in height, and the new one is 93.53mm in height. About 7.5% taller overall than the other 2.

So it's definitely the biggest console I've made. Actually, it will definitely be the biggest console room I've made, once I get finished. I hope you all don't think it's TOO big though...  ;D

Ooh, before I forget, I did a Doctor height comparison as well...


P1040350.jpg    P1040351.jpg

Who's who? Which who are you?


... and finally, the Doctors with the consoles...

P1040352.jpg    P1040353.jpg



These are all awesome builds. I really need to get the 3-D printer!

d33j r093r5

Apr 16, 2020, 03:28 pm #44 Last Edit: Apr 16, 2020, 03:31 pm by d33j r093r5
Thanks amachielson, I'm flattered. Given your body of work, from you that's high praise indeed.  :)  :)  :) Honestly, you could probably do a much better job than myself WITHOUT a 3D printer. However, I can't recommend them enough; they're enormous fun to model for and print with, not just models, but anything you like really. And that means you can use them for practical and useful applications as well, at the same time that you're having a lot of fun. :)

The consoles themselves aren't the only things I've printed; the console rooms exist to go along with them as well, plus a few other DW related projects besides... ;) And I've used them for rapid prototyping of parts for engineering projects I've worked on as well, but that falls somewhat outside the scope of the forum.

Thanks again.