Mar 24, 2023, 10:20 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

Planning a 7th Doctor build! Advice appreciated!

Started by Andy, Feb 19, 2023, 08:20 pm

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Hello all,

Not sure if anyone has already built one of these, but my dad and I are considering building a 7th Doctor TARDIS (based on Remembrance of the Daleks).

Other than knowing that I'll need wood, glue, paint, perspex and some electronics for sound f/x and lighting, I am feeling at a bit of a loss as to know where to begin. Would anyone be able to give advice on where I should start? I know I'll be following the Tom Yardley-Jones plans, but are these available anywhere?

Is it possible to make a TARDIS that can be deconstructed for transport? What colour paint should I look at? Where and how do I get signs made and so on!

Any starter for 10 advice would be appreciated, as I am a bit overwhelmed with where to even begin with the plans!!

"My mom thinks I'm cool."
Proud owner of an Imperial Dalek!


Hi Andy.
Welcome to TARDIS builders.
Pretty much every Tardis variant has been attempted over the years.
My first advice would be to have a good look through the build diaries section.
Find as many diaries relevant to your variant of Tardis as you can and give them a good read through.
It's really helpful to see how people have tackled the project before you and you'll pick up loads of tips and advice.
Good luck and don't forget to start a build diary of your own so we can see how you get on.


You'll have to poke around a bit for everything you want but I can get you started.  Here's excellent research by Tony Farrell on the dimensions and details of the various TYJ props:

Somewhere there is a guide for how to build a TARDIS.  I can't really help you with that.  I didn't know about the guide until after I'd done mine.  Or, you can do like me and just come up with the structural aspect yourself and apply the dimensions from the above graphic. 

Then you'll probably need to look at various build threads to see how other builders solved things like the signage and the lamp and they hardware and decide what works best for you.

You'll also have to think about if you want to simplify things or go for 100% accuracy.  I simplified at first--blue box with panels and a lamp on top--but later reworked to be more accurate (I added lighting and ventilation and figured out how to change some of the dimensions to get it closer to the props). 

You'll also need to think about how you'll be using your TARDIS.  One that is outdoors permanently will be built very differently than one that you want to be able to take apart, load in a truck, and bring to conventions.  One that you'll have inside, you'll almost certainly have to scale down the dimensions (unless you've got 11' ceilings). 

I will say, the color of blue is probably the smallest worry.  It seems like a big deal, but blue looks totally different with different lighting so no matter what you pick, some days you'll be happy with it and some days you won't.  Personally I always go with the darkest shade I can get.  I've never been able to go too dark on blue but I regularly pick a shade that is too light.  At any rate, with the classic series boxes, you can always repaint and different shades of blue actually make it look better.  I suspect the TARDIS got touched up with whatever blue was handy to the BBC prop people over the years. 

Last thing I think I'll say in this post is that a full-sized build isn't cheap.  Back around 2009, with new materials from a hardware store, about the cheapest you could build a blue box with a light on top was probably $500-600.  Getting one screen-accurate would be more.  I remember going around the hardware store with my cart and getting more and more scared by the amount and cost of the materials I was piling onto it.  And when I was all done and through the checkout, how much of a load it was on the little pickup truck I was using at the time.  It takes some resolve to build a TARDIS. 

OK.  I lied.  I'll say one more thing:  I don't know you, your skills or resources or how you think or solve problems.  So one other thing to consider is, maybe find a way to scrounge a refrigerator box or something to experiment on for a relatively low cost and see what you think works and doesn't work and go from there.  Whatever you do, we'll support you here.  My first attempt at a TARDIS was butt-ugly.  But no one here said anything bad about it.  Everyone just congratulated me and told me what a good job I'd done. Later, when I went back and redid a few things (OK, a lot of things), people told me how much better it looked.  A lot of it will be just getting started, posting pictures, and asking questions.  Or, like I said, looking at build threads here to see how people did their builds and picking and choosing the techniques that you think will work for you. 
"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.


Feb 22, 2023, 05:31 pm #3 Last Edit: Feb 22, 2023, 05:34 pm by russellsuthern
Me again.
Just wanted to add a couple of bits.
A few people have made their builds collapsible so they can take them to conventions etc.
Two that spring to mind are: brenk9carter and Sillysparrowness.
Volpone is right about the colour.
It changes dramatically under different lighting conditions, so I'd pick a blue you like, see what it's like on., then lighten or darken it until it looks right to you.
Tardises look better with lots of different coats of paint anyway.
If your box is standing outside for any length of time, you'd need professionally printed signs that can withstand the weather, but if it's collapsible and being stored inside, you might as well just photocopy or ink jet print them and stick them behind some perspex or some such.
Hope that's helpful.