Dec 06, 2023, 03:12 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

TARDIS for my Timeless Child

Started by Beltalowda, Jan 22, 2022, 01:37 pm

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Rassilons Rod

Quote from: redfern on Feb 02, 2022, 12:59 pmThe point being, audiences were meant to perceive the Hartnell interior as "white" (or pale "grey")

All of which would be fine and dandy if it didn't spend the next year in colour without a repaint (and the following console spent half it's life in green too...)  ;D  ;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.


Feb 03, 2022, 01:43 pm #16 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2022, 02:43 pm by Beltalowda Reason: Image reupload
Back to the doors. By this point I had cut strips of 5mm plywood to use for the the panels, which saved me quite a bit on wood/cost and weight. I now had to figure out what to do about the windows. I had decided for the time being, that the doors would have real windows and the other sides fake windows. I was also not really fussed about an authentic look for the the 'glass'. This photo just shows all the cut pieces placed to make sure it was going to work.

I bought transparent 2mm acrylic sheets and cut to size. As this was the first time working with acrylic, I was not sure the best method to cut the sheets with the tools I already had. I opted to score the sheet with a sharp Stanley knife many times then "snap" the pieces off. It took a while and the results were acceptable. No cracks thankfully. The window trim was wooden strips I bought in 1m lengths at desired widths (2mm thick), cut to length and painted with matte white spray paint. I then used 3M double sided tape, cut into thin strips, to glue the trim to the acrylic. The border trim was 12mm wide and the inside pieces were 8mm wide, the panels on the door cover the window edge partially, which will hold the window in place, thus the 12mm trim will appear as 8mm and uniform with the rest of the window trim. The acrylic still has the protective paper on the back in this photo, that's why it looks white, not transparent.

Top edge view, quite a poor mitre although it was one of my first, however it is hidden so I was not too bothered. My mitres have improved since.

Doors were primed and the pre-painted panel strips were glued in place once the window was sitting quite happily in it's spot. The window wasn't glued in place, but it sits quite snugly.

Door panel trims all glued, panels painted, two coats and windows in place. The window on the left doesn't have all its trim in place in the photo yet. That was secured in-place a little later.

Mounted both doors on the TARDIS and finally moved it inside. I only had around 20mm clearance to get the TARDIS in the house, I just got lucky as I had forgotten to measure in advance!


Love it!

Great work,



Feb 06, 2022, 03:07 pm #18 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2022, 02:48 pm by Beltalowda Reason: Image reupload
And now for the "Police Public Call Box" signage. I initially tried to find an affordable print shop, and go with some type of plastic, but I struggled to find anything suitable here. So I decided to do it the long and complicated way with the materials and skills I already had.

More 5mm offcuts! The sizing for these were more of what looked right rather than absolutes. Cut the ply to length, and glued some 10mm x 2mm trim onto the facia, my mitres have improved!

I like the overall style of the 11th Doctor's TARDIS, but I wanted to make the signs removable should I want to change to another Doctor's box style or upgrade to acrylic with back lighting. I went for Gill Sans, and using my favourite paint program arranged and altered the size of the text to fit. Its worth noting that the "PUBLIC CALL" text needed to be stretched out of normal proportions in order to look right. Printed off some samples and placed them until I was happy with them.

Primed and sanded the sign, masked off the trim and painted with matte white spray paint.

Once I was happy with the placement and size of the text, I then printed the same text to glossy sticker paper. Carefully cut out each individual letter, measured and stuck them down in the correct place.

Now painted the sign with matte black spray paint, two coats of course, and allowed to dry. Peeled off the stickers to reveal the white underneath. Removed the masking from the trim, and painted blue by hand.

On the back glued a strip of timber for strength and allow mounting on the box. I only made one sign at this point as I wanted to assess the final look, and how much work was involved. I am now in the process of making the other 3 signs. Top shot.

Bottom shot.

Front sign close up, I am pretty happy with the result. There was a little bit of bleeding due the the texture of the wood, but I feel it gives it character. Looks like I have a lot of letters to cut out in my near future.

I had to make sure the "C" from Call was centered!

There is no top coat over the paint, however I am considering doing a clear coat on top just to protect the lettering.

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.


That looks really good! I think a clear coat would make it look like it was behind glass (or acrylic) the way the real signage is


That is a clever solution and quite appropriate for a scaled-down TARDIS (it seems to me like it adds charm, if that makes any sense).  And it actually looks to me like it was hand-lettered by a professional sign painter.  I was just scanning along and assuming what you were doing so when I saw the finished work I had to go back and actually read to see what you'd done.   

I maintain it is good to have at least a couple things on a TARDIS you aren't 100% happy with (as long as they can be retrofitted) because then it gives you something to look forward to--when you can go back and "fix" the thing you weren't totally happy with.  You get it all 100% right the first time and there's nothing to bug you and make you want to go back and tinker with it some more and all you get is sitting and admiring your work.   
"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.


Clever method to get the sign on there.
Definitely gonna copy this for my box when the time comes haha


Quote from: GraysonA on Feb 28, 2022, 09:06 pmClever method to get the sign on there.
Definitely gonna copy this for my box when the time comes haha

Good to know it will be a useful method for others. I think it works reasonably well and is definitely budget friendly. Getting the font the right size was the first challenge, the only other issue really is that it is time consuming. I have almost finished the other 3 signs for the other sides, and this time I made sure I did much more sanding of the surfaces before painting and after the prime coat, it has definitely made a nicer finish. Unfortunately, I still had a little bleeding due to a couple of the letters lifting at the edge slightly, particularly under some of the 'O's, I might try to touch them up with a brush.


Mar 07, 2022, 10:10 pm #24 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2022, 02:52 pm by Beltalowda Reason: Image reupload
Door Signs

Faced with expensive sign makers here in Japan, or at least, not being able to find cheaper ones. I had a look on Aliexpress, which I use for buying electronic components usually, and found these novelty car license/number plates, and thought, that might do if they could print a custom image. So I searched, low and behold I found some shops there that will take ANY image and put it on the tinplate sign for you for under 10 pounds. Downside is there are ugly mounting holes at each rounded corner and they only have set sizes (I chose 20cm x 30cm and put the text to one side). My door panels have an inside measurement of around 21cm, so around 17cm square would work. I prepared an image of the same proportions as the tinplates available that included the 'Police Telephone' text and a couple of St. Johns badges. The St. John's badge would be 7cm in diameter. The print turned out OK, cutting was a bit of an issue, as I had to cut out the St. John's badges and trim the 'Police Telephone' text along one side, then fold the tinplate and round the corners to match the other side.

On the closeup you can see I used bolts to attach the sign, couldn't find brass ones unfortunately. The St.John's badge is actually a sticker I made, but it has already smudged, so I will definitely use the tinplate version I had made and cut.

Image also shows the tinplate St. John's badges as well as offcuts from the tinplate sign, just to give an idea of what it looks like, and the cutting I had to do. I bought tinsnips from local hardware store, and had to practice cutting first before I attempted the curves! Strongly recommend doing practice cuts first!

Currently working on a new version of the 'Police Telephone' sign as I am not really happy with the current one, acrylic sheet backing and a wooden frame, frame is 2cm wide and 2mm thick, and mitered at the corners. The text itself is just on sticker paper, which I might use, but more likely I will try and get vinyl stickers/lettering made (from a car sticker shop), or go with the tinplate again, but this time have the text centered so I won't have the mounting holes and it can sit behind the frame. I also have a brass handle waiting to go on too.


In Olden Dayes, they had overhead projector transparency paper (well, plastic).  And well into the computer age you could still find it in office supply stores--for inkjet printers.  I wanted a backlit sign so I printed it and then spray-painted the back of the sheet white.  Stuck it behind a sheet of plexiglass and it has held up very well.  (I think I may have veeerrry caaaarefullly hit the front (the side the inkjet printing was ont) with some clear spray paint, but I can't remember. 
"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.


It's a nice idea having a backlit sign, and I had thought about using a convenience store laser printer to print on a clear sheet, but that doesn't seem to be an option these days. For the time being I will go with another tinplate sign. I found a shop on Aliexpress that does 30cm x 30cm, so I can easily fit the text on the sign without worrying about the holes. I also drew on a square cutting line to make it easier to resize and keep square. Hopefully it will fit snugly behind the frame I made. Below is a cut down image I sent the shop, I sent them 6000 x 6000 pixels to get good smooth lettering. (I actually took out the diagonal guide lines for the image I sent to them.)

If it turns out well, it means I can get another made in the style of the 13th's Tardis and switch it out if I fancy a change.


Completely off-topic, but our "like" button is totally counterintuitive (at least to the visually oriented).  I haven't had enough coffee yet and went to "like" the last post and was like "thumbs down!?  'Unlike'?!  I didn't even know we could 'unlike' posts."  Then I woke up enough to see the "You like this" underneath the thumbs-down.
"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.


Mar 11, 2022, 11:55 am #28 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2022, 03:01 pm by Beltalowda Reason: Image reupload
I feel I have hit a milestone today, as all 4 "Police public call box" signs are finished and mounted. I had originally only made one to see if the techniques were viable, and then came winter.

When we left our hero he had managed to create three wooden signs, all that was left was to paint them.....

Masked off the trim and the sides, and painted with matte finished white spray paint, did 3 coats and sanded with one of those sanding pads rated at 320 grit in between the 2nd and last coat.

Printed my pre-prepared lettering onto sticker paper and began cutting....

Drew pencil guidelines so I can place the sticker lettering straight. Used an eraser later to remove the pencil before painting.

I wanted all the signs to be the same, so I made sure my placement was correct with each letter, this took some time.

Need to be careful of Typos.

Some time later.....

Once all the lettering was stuck down, I painted with matte black spray paint, 3 coats. I hadn't removed the trim masking from earlier, as I plan to hand paint it blue at the end.

Once dry I carefully peeled each letter up. I kept all the letters I peeled, not sure what to do with them, suggestions welcome.

Some time later...

Even more time later... Bottom sign is the experimental one I did a while back. Note the difference in texture between the black on the new signs and the original (bottom one). The extra sanding with 320 grit really made a big difference to the finish, well worth the extra effort.

Had to wait for the next dry and sunny day, then painted the back and sides of the signs, two coats.

Finally, painted the trim on the front of the signs by hand, two coats again.

Mounted all 4 signs with two screws each from the inside, and washers to lift them from the main body just a little. This means if I want to replace them later I can do it quite easily.

Jiji for scale.


What a beautiful box!  How tall does it stand?  Roughly 4 and a half to 5 feet?  Also, Are you storing items within it for that last shot?  Might as well have it serve a practical function when your child is not role-playing.