Dec 08, 2023, 08:51 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

Tips for building a custom console

Started by Jade, Oct 03, 2020, 10:57 pm

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Ok I'll post this here rather then my build thread as it might help someone not make the same mistake I made (although maybe I'm the only one who would do this)

I had cut out some mock console panels to get an idea of size. However while trying to work out the layout today I realised that I'd only be able to fit 5 panels (although it did tempt me to go ahead with this as a nod to the infamous Dapol console) so clearly my angles were wrong somewhere.


What I did was take the measurement from the diagram of 46" and took 10" off making 26". I then took 10" off the top measurement of 17" making 7" and the cutting from corner to corner.

What I should have done is used percentages! 80% would have given me a bottom measurement of 36.8" and *0% of 17" would have given me 13.6" so I was off by 6" on the top. Oh well back to the drawing board when I get some more cardboard.

scotland yard

Volpone... did you get my message?
Oh my giddy aunt!!


Ok tomorrow I'm hoping to map out the hexagon piece that will be the base for my plinth. I'm thinking 20 inches for each side should be good (my console panels will be about 30 inches) but I want to make sure I have my sums right for the angles. So am I right that it should be an angle of 120 degrees?

\                            /
  \                        /
    \                    /
      \___________/ <-----120 degrees?


Thought I'd post this here instead of in my build thread as any answers might be useful to other console builders.

So I'm nearing the stage where I'm going to start painting parts of my console (the plinth) and obviously I'm going to want the panels to blend in.
I have though about a green colour. It would be like the original console and would tie in with how I've nick named mine the Jade console but the downfall of that is how it would react against a green screen if I use one? (I also have a white screen but that could cause other problems)

A silver/grey. Could come across as metallic but clean but not sure how it would look on wood. Could have the panels looking silvery with the plinth a darker metal. My original thought was to have the plinth look like it was constructed as metal struts. Temporal Mechanic's new console has a metal scheme but I my find it too dark for my panels?

White? Could be hard to pull off without looking like painted wood or dirty?
Black. Could look good but I think I prefer lighter consoles (Baker's era, Five Doctors, Twelfth Doctor) plus after finishing this console I may remake another set of panels based on Star Wars which would be black.

So if anyone wants to give any advice on what colours to use. Tips on how to paint the console or just anything in general relating to colour schemes please post them.


Well I'll put this out here to further muddy the waters.  Would work for a K-9 build as well as a TARDIS console.  I built plywood cabinets for my A-Team van.  But I didn't want them to look like plywood so I got countertop laminate material in a brushed steel to surface them in.  Cut everything to size, paint contact cement on both surfaces, wait 5(?) minutes and stick them up (and get it right because once they touch there's no repositioning).  Then use a router to buzz out holes and trim the edges. 


While I was trying to find a picture of the product, I came across this:  Peel and stick vinyl "brushed metal".
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


@Jade , It's possible to do a much lighter version of the metallic scheme that I did. I used black as the background and layered gunmetal and pewter over it with tiny amounts  of aluminum shades on the edges. You could do a test board to see  how  it looks, but I would suggest starting with a light gray base and then doing silver and aluminum acrylic metallics over it. I dry sponge large areas in between the controls, then stipple with a dry brush to increase the brightness. Once that dries I do a broad dry brush to blend.

I almost took Adam Savage's approach of using HVAC tape and doing a dirty wash on it.


Yes I think I'm going to go with what you suggest here. I'm guessing spray paint is the way to go for the majority with maybe a can of metallic for highlighting and drybrushing?

I'm actually looking forward to starting painting now although I have one more strut to construct as I had to stop yesterday after catching my leg with the saw. My god those things are sharp!


Good luck with the painting. I always think that's the exciting bit when things really start to come together..




@Jade I usually paint everything flat black, or matte black first so that it isn't shiny and smooth. The midtone and highlight metallic colors adhere better with dry sponge and brushing if it isn't smooth. I also will sand in between coats so that any surface texture gets knocked down in the process.

Test scraps are your friend here. Dry brushing can be pretty forgiving but it's good to test to make sure you don't have too much paint on your sponge or brush.


Yes I've made up a test piece ready. Unfortunately the store was out of grey spray paint so got to wait till they restock. They did have aluminium and chrome sprays though.


Ok quick question. I've finish building the bottom of my base. I'm know looking at getting either two 70x140 boards or four 70x70 boards to go on top in order to build the top of the console.
Question is what angle do I need to cut the board to get my six sides and what width should each side be?

I've drawn a mind blank trying to work it out even using four pieces of square paper and I just can't seem to get it to work out right.