Jun 21, 2024, 02:07 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

TARDIS for my Timeless Child

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

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: redfern on Mar 11, 2022, 02:14 pmWhat 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.

It's 51" (130cm) to the roof and another 5" (13cm) for the lamp. At the moment we keep toys in it, for the longer term I was considering building a small console inside against the back wall, not sure yet. Despite being scaled down to around 1/2 size, it still takes up quite a bit of space.

It just squeezes out our front door and into the back of my minivan, I had a fun idea to take it to some different locations and take pictures as if visiting different times, planets and places. Not done that yet, but might be fun to see if its practical this summer.


Hi Beltalowda, been following your progress and your tardis is looking really brilliant and a great quality build, I'd have loved something like this as a kid! Mint!



Kudos on the TARDIS-y rug too.  I use lots of hexagon/circle motif fabrics in my home too.  They look neat.  And if I keep my mouth shut about them being TARDIS-inspired, I don't come across as a nerd. 
"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.


Quote from: moonbeam on Mar 11, 2022, 06:16 pmHi Beltalowda, been following your progress and your tardis is looking really brilliant and a great quality build, I'd have loved something like this as a kid! Mint!


Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it. Even though it for my daughter, I am getting a lot out of building it. It's challenging and fun solving construction problems with the limited space, tools and skillset I have. Learning lots too.

You reminded me, that as a child I had a plastic TARDIS Wendy house! Although my dad didn't make a TARDIS for me, he did make me cool stuff to play with, such as an excellent Ghostbusters outfit and a proton pack, and other little things like a wooden sword of omens from Thundercats. I think I am just taking it to the next level for my little ones.


Quote from: Volpone on Mar 12, 2022, 07:31 amKudos on the TARDIS-y rug too.  I use lots of hexagon/circle motif fabrics in my home too.  They look neat.  And if I keep my mouth shut about them being TARDIS-inspired, I don't come across as a nerd. 

Thank you. I hadn't really thought about the rug, but you are right, it does work well with the TARDIS. I do have a lot of geometric patterns around, I quite like that kind of thing.


Mar 12, 2022, 01:12 pm #35 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2022, 01:51 pm by Beltalowda
Just a short post today, fitted brass barrel bolts to the the inside of the left hand door, top and bottom.

Top shot

Bottom shot


Quote from: Beltalowda on Mar 12, 2022, 01:02 pmAlthough my dad didn't make a TARDIS for me, he did make me cool stuff to play with, such as an excellent Ghostbusters outfit and a proton pack, and other little things like a wooden sword of omens from Thundercats. I think I am just taking it to the next level for my little ones.

I love reading anecdotes like these!  Alas, my father was not so "craft" inclined.  He did, however, convince his sister to sew me a nice and heavily lined "Dracula" type opera cape and bought a me tux that was "out of style" and thus no longer being rented from a shop so I could look a bit more convincing at Halloween.  This was the mid 70s, years before the seasonal shops started to appear and the far more elaborate costumes and makeup were available.  Obviously, I outgrew the tux ages ago, but I still have the cape.  Rarely do I ever put it on, but it still fits as I was already near my final height when my aunt sewed it.


The Pull to Open sign saga continues.....

TLDR (I am definitely getting into way too much detail in this post, sorry); Made a new Pull to Open sign and mounted it.

My first sign was something I didn't give much thought to. I noticed on Aliexpress, that you could get inexpensive tinplate signs made with a custom image, and I figured that would be good for my TARDIS, I did some rough measurements and scaled it so I could fit a couple of St Johns badges on as well. It arrived a few weeks later. The print quality was surprisingly good, and I mounted it with screws. As it's a rectangle and has rounded edges, I haven't been completely happy with it.
PXL_20220421_105721479 - Copy.jpg

So I started again. It's worth noting that this is a static sign, the "Pull to Open" is a lie.

I first of all made a frame from 20mm wide, 2mm thick wood from the trimming section of the hardware store, cut some nice mitres and painted it blue. I cut a sheet of white plastic to fit under the frame, then printed the sign to sticker paper. The overall look was good, but I wasn't happy with the material or finish, so I decided to have a go at the tinplate sign from China again. Note that the black ink started to run out as I printed the sign, hence the grey lettering.
PXL_20220307_214747947 - Copy.jpg

I found a different shop at Aliexpress that could do a larger sign, so I thought I would center the image for the sign and cut it out, avoiding round edges and holes. Unfortunately it went a bit wrong, despite preparing a high quality scaled image and telling them not to adjust it, and give them sizes in cm, they got it wrong, they thought zooming in was appropriate, and couldn't care less that it was wrong when I complained about it, fortunately there was a returns process, I just have to wait a couple of months for my refund.

The sign was 30cm by 30cm, so I prepared the image with a cutting line/box for 21cm x 21cm and a wide white border. I sent this....

I got this....
PXL_20220320_053209591 - Copy.jpg

A little disheartened, but I persevered. I tried a different shop, added guidelines to the image, and re-iterated my size requirements. This time success, although the text isn't a crisp as the previous sign, I am really happy with it. Just had to wait 2-3 more weeks for it to arrive.
PXL_20220410_042823931 - Copy.jpg

Cutting time, I already had tin snips, but I wasn't very good at using them without bending the sign previously, a couple of YouTube tutorials later...
PXL_20220421_111314189 - Copy.jpg

Using some rough sandpaper (100 grit), sanded the back of the sign and the door panel, using Gorilla super glue gel, glued the sign on. A couple of clamps held it in place. It's initial cure was quick, but you need to wait a while longer for optimum strength.
PXL_20220422_022216814 - Copy.jpg

Folded the sandpaper to the width of the frame and roughed up the top surface of the sign, placed the frame, glued the horizontal pieces first, then the vertical. I don't have wide clamps, so my toolbox will have to do this time.
PXL_20220422_022557952 - Copy.jpg

All done, much happier with this one.
PXL_20220422_032852058 - Copy.jpg


Sep 06, 2022, 11:57 am #38 Last Edit: Sep 06, 2022, 12:10 pm by Beltalowda Reason: Fighting with the image attachment system :(
It took a while, as life tends to interfere in TARDIS builds, however I managed to get the windows done.

I bought some sheet plastic, 2mm, in white and black and made up a couple of test windows. The window frames were also cut from the white sheet plastic. This allowed me to choose the look I wanted for the 'fake' windows around the sides and back. Remember the door windows are see-through!

PXL_20220131_232125259.MP - Copy.jpg

It's worth noting that I cut the sheet plastic with a very sharp Stanley knife, after securing in place with clamps and using a metal rule for my cutting line. It was really hard work! It wasn't until I started doing the actual windows that I discovered there is a special tool for cutting sheet plastic, it's like a knife, but has a hook shaped blade that you drag towards you, and it cuts out a channel, so much easier using the correct tool.

PXL_20220906_112807104 - Copy.jpg

I figured it was easier to work on each face of the TARDIS lying down, particularly as I planned to glue the plastic window in place. Not sure which episode this remindes me of.... 11th hour maybe?

PXL_20220622_004922946 - Copy.jpg

I measured and cut each window individually as there was some discrepancies due to the way I made the TARDIS exterior panelling. I used hot glue around the edges and placed something heavy on top for a minute or so. I discovered early on that the hot glue melts the sheet plastic a little, not enough to deform it, but just enough to distort the glossy finish on the other side, which wasn't desirable. So, I made sure that I only applied glue on areas that would later be covered by the wooden frames.

PXL_20220622_014514505 - Copy.jpg

I used 8mm wide wooden trim for the frame, spray painted matte white. Then cut the mitres using a 45° square and a sharp knife.

PXL_20220622_022638306 - Copy.jpg

I measured each section and cut each piece of trim with a little hot glue. I made a sanding tool, using a tiny bit of sand paper stuck on the end of a piece of trim, for keying the plastic prior to gluing.

PXL_20220623_012329999 - Copy.jpg

This took some time.....

PXL_20220622_031418851 - Copy.jpg

I positioned each piece and applied masking tape to one side so I could fold the piece back into the right place quickly. This made gluing with the hot glue much easier, as hot gluing onto plastic is very unforgiving if you put the piece in the wrong place, you only get one chance!

PXL_20220622_032611224 - Copy.jpg

And this took even more time....

PXL_20220623_033504279 - Copy.jpg

Finally done, this image shows a comparison between the genuine windows on the front and the fake glossy black windows on the sides and rear. I am very happy with the result.


Oct 15, 2022, 12:24 pm #39 Last Edit: Oct 15, 2022, 12:30 pm by Beltalowda
A sign of the times.

Signs, signs, signs, so glad most of them are done. My box is mostly a Smith/Capaldi era box, and as such I wanted to have a St. Johns sign on the door. I initially scoured the internet and found an image that had reasonable quality, I had it printed onto tinplate alongside the Pull to open sign. At this point I wasn't completely sure how to mount the tinplate disc, and just to get something on the door I printed the same image onto sticker paper. It looked OK, but after a couple of months and a little bit of water spilled, it started to look less than ideal. It was at this point I closely inspected the image, it was indeed quite accurate for the onscreen boxes, however as I looked more closely, I noticed that the lettering was inconsistent (some rounded ends and some square) and the lions and unicorns were not very clear at all.
PXL_20220307_214645333 - Copy.jpg

I recently picked up a laser engraver, so I got the idea to engrave my own onto thin wood. The starting point would be importing the design/image into the laser software, which can engrave images, but you get a cleaner result if you use vectors. So, I took it upon myself to trace out all the lettering and lines.


Still, I wasn't happy with it, so I tried again with other images I found on this site of actual St. Johns badges found on real Police boxes. I traced a few different badges and finally settled on one I liked.

Screenshot 2022-09-13 204626 - Copy.jpg

First run, turned out quite good, no colouring but still a reasonable result. Not completely happy with the offset fill, which seemed to add geometric shapes to the engraved area.


Following this I spray painted white acrylic paint onto some thin good quality 4mm plywood. There was a bit of sanding with 180 grit paper, and some extra coats before the engraving. I covered the next two with masking tape, then one without masking tape. Masking tape helps to reduce surface scorching, but I wanted to see the difference myself.

PXL_20220906_035937447.MP - Copy.jpg

The one without tape actually gave an interesting old and weathered look to the white paint, the engraved area was also quite dark which was good, but not ideal, as there was no masking tape, I would not be able to paint that area. Of the two masked badges, one I peeled the masking tape off very carefully then clear coated.

PXL_20220913_114206570 - Copy.jpg

The final badge I sprayed a couple of coats of black paint before removing the tape, then clear coated afterwards. The tape removal was quite painstaking, I have a microscope for electronics work, which made the removal much easier.

PXL_20220913_050011163 - Copy.jpg
PXL_20220913_111035622.MP - Copy.jpg
PXL_20220913_111708839 - Copy.jpg
PXL_20220913_113000203.MP - Copy.jpg

I mounted the final badge earlier today with a couple of black screws, and I am quite happy with it. However, I had already made another badge with a different setting for the engraved area (horizontal lines vs. Offset), just to see if the result is as clear.

PXL_20221014_235251326 - Copy.jpg
PXL_20221014_235323703.MP - Copy.jpg

Either way, I feel the detail I achieved is pretty good, especially with the lions and unicorns.

2016_0206_005015_003 - Copy.JPG
2016_0206_010520_006 - Copy.JPG

If anyone would like the vector image to engrave or print their own, I am happy to share the data. Just let me know.

Andrew Harvey

Personally, I think the geometric shapes add a certain something... Very nice job that!


Well... Well done! It is wicked! Great to have followed this thread and you should feel pretty chuffed with the outcome!
Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.


Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate them. I am not particularly skilled at wood work, I know just enough to be dangerous, I have definitely been making this all up as I went along, thankfully most approaches have worked out o far.

Unfortunately my progress recently has slowed down quite a bit. Too many other things going on. However I am planning on getting some Arduino powered lighting sorted next, for the lamp on top as well as the interior. I found some interesting Arduino code online that is based on the flickering lights from the classic game "Quake", which can be easily adapted for the pulsing TARDIS lamp on top.

I have already had a custom flag made up of a TARDIS interior, which I plan to hang once the lighting is done. I will probably get it done after the festive period and update this post accordingly.


No Chimney, so have to improvise, with some minor modifications for Christmas.
Let's see who turns up, perhaps I should leave some jammy dodgers instead?


I am sure that Santa Claus would prefer a warm Tardis Reproduction to a sooty old fireplace with narrow flues any day!