Feb 29, 2024, 06:42 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Mobile TARDIS build - BC style

Started by DTrasler Writing, Sep 01, 2023, 10:33 pm

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DTrasler Writing

In an astonishing turn of events, I cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner, hosted and entertained (it was a lunch, really, but roast Turkey and all the trimmings, plus dessert), and then got time to finish painting the sides of the Tardis, and print, coat, and attach the phone box sign.


Accuracy is not my thing, but this build is making me very happy. I also added a few more parts to the Spider-enlargening machine for Halloween. Including some spiders, which will really help...

Anyway, it looks like all things may be possible, despite the fears of yesterday. As Archimides said, if you give me a long enough lever, and a place to stand, I'll invent pole-vaulting.

Tomorrow or Monday, I may get around to drawing in the details for the remaining two sides!



Ooh, it's coming along very nicely.  The blue looks good too. 

I hesitate to comment on a work in progress, but since I suggested trompe l'oeil, painting to create the illusion of depth to panels, you're basically going to have an upside-down "L" that is darker blue and a right-side up "L" that is a lighter blue, and extend the "L" the entire length of the panel.  I don't know, maybe I should keep quiet because I don't know what you're doing yet. 

On a different topic, I quite like the bottom crosspiece on your walls, and how it is taller than the others.  It is something accurate to actual police boxes and something I wish I'd done with my TARDIS but I can't figure out a way to retrofit it.  It looks good. 
"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.

DTrasler Writing

Thanks Volpone - I think the Trompe L'oeil will be a work in progress for some time. I'm not the artist in the family, but all the artists we do have are traditionally flaky and hard to pin down to important tasks like painting a Tardis. The first step is getting the remaining two sides (Left and back) fitted with the paper strips and painted blue. My friend int he UK has confirmed he's going to start work on the signs, but hasn't given a firm timeframe. I think that's a bit rich, given he's a Professor at a training hospital, what else does he have to spend his time on?

The sections at the bottom were on the design picture I was working from, and it's only since looking at the logo in the top right of this webpage that I realise they're not necessarily Tardis standard. That's a shame, because they made my math much more complicated.

Yesterday I took ten minutes between rain storms to try an assembly and mobility test. Assembly shows I'm still not very accurate with my post holes and brackets, and that it's not easy to put together single handed, but it can be done. Second, the door is not QUITE too small for me to squeeze through, but it's close. No big dinners for me.

The mobility test was terrifying. Everything rattled, and I haven't actually put in the cross pieces that will have the handles for me to hang on to. Despite this, I did a graceful pirouette in both directions, and travelled forwards and backwards without incident. On a smoother surface than my driveway, it might even be fun!


The above video is a hyperlapse I took of the assembly and driving process. Hyperlapse is good for the assembly, but I should have got someone else to video the driving. I need to pad the contact points where the hoverboard meets the wooden frame to cut down on the banging noises.

DTrasler Writing

Since I finished the building of the spider enlargening machine, I allowed myself some time to start working on the final two panels. The first one is the rear one, now marked up, papered, and with the windows cut out, cut out again, reseated and spray painted. You can't actually USE spray paint on this kind of foam, but I'm covering the edges of the window frames with painters tape. It takes the paint well, and it makes the window frames look neater.
Tardis 2.jpg

Tardis 3.jpg

Thanks to the damp weather, and being stored outside in my super new shed, some of the paper on the first panel is starting to lift. I'm trying painting the whole panel with matte varnish. I'm hoping that will seal the paper, provide some waterproofing, and maybe have a nice dull sheen into the bargain. When I add to the trompe L'oeil painting, I'll varnish it again.

Tardis 1.jpg

One of the other reasons I'm getting so much done on the Tardis is that the repairs to my dalek are going badly. I spent a good hour and half working on re-attaching the eyestalk, only for it to fall off without any provocation. While I ponder alternative solutions, at least I can move the Tardis on a bit.

DTrasler Writing

Oct 18, 2023, 07:30 pm #34 Last Edit: Oct 19, 2023, 12:53 am by DTrasler Writing
OK. After some intense back and forth on the Project Dalek Forum, I got Derek's eye sorted out and reattached...again. I'm now fairly certain that I'm pretty sure it probably won't fall off again soon.

Tardis 5.jpg

I was worried about that because I want to do something for the 60th, so I had emailed my Chief Librarian to ask if the library was doing anything for the anniversary. She replied that I should check with the individual Branch Managers. What does the city pay her for, if I have to do all this legwork?

Anyway, with the repair complete, I got the new windows painted up and the back panel painted blue. If I have time tonight, I'll add a coat of varnish and put the windows in. Oh, and try to do more shading for the individual panels.

Tardis 4.jpg

Once the Back Panel is painted up, I can fit it between the two rear corner posts and permanently attach them together. That way assembly becomes -

Base unit with wheels
Front and back pieces.
Side panels.

Fitting the last side panel is tricky, especially as I really ought to be inside while it's going in, because squeezing through that door is not ideal.

That reminds me: I need a catch for the main door, and a magnetic catch for the phone cubby, plus I still need to print the actual phone. And repaint the interior of the cubby white. Then it's just a matter of mounting the sound system.

DTrasler Writing


This one definitely gives me a 1963 1st Doctor TARDIS feel.  Fun watching the build unfold. 
"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.

DTrasler Writing

It's been a bonkers couple of days, with EVERYONE working on the Halloween MAD science lab. I did get to divert a shopping trip to RONA so I could pick up a sliding bolt for the inside of the main door, and a magnetic catch for the phone cubby. Fitting the latter was awkward, because all my screwdrivers were too long, but I got it done. The door now stays shut when I want it to, so that's a win. I got the sliding bolt on the main door, so that'll stay closed too, but it was a pig to fix, as usual. I don't know about everyone else, but I have a nightmare with these kinds of things. I check, I measure, I put the screws in, and it doesn't close.

Anyway, that's done now. I have painting still to do, one more panel (left side, looking from the inside), and securing the back panel as a single piece. But it's Halloween in a minute, so I should finish all that first.

No word from my buddy back in the UK about the signs. I don't want to nag him about them, because he's doing me a huge favour he absolutely did not have to do, but I think I should maybe buy a new black ink cartridge and print off the remaining two side signs, and wait on the vinyl for the front sign (which I intend to be a light-up one).

DTrasler Writing

Oh, more small progress and pictures!


Painted the corner posts (finally!)


Papered and painted the final panel - details to paint in later, and windows to cut out.


Picture of the bolt fitted to the inside of the door.


That's gettin' there!  Looks good. 
"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.

DTrasler Writing

Now Halloween is out of the way (a RAGING success, by the way, which just means we have to work harder next year...) I can go back to trying to complete this Tardis before the 23rd.

Tonight I took apart the old light cage. Making the top out of foam was smart in terms of weight, but it's not very durable, and I'm pretty sure it's going to get knocked about a LOT. This thing is designed to travel in bits, and the light is going to be the most sticky-out piece, if you'll pardon my engineering jargon.

So I cut a disc out of a stray piece of wood and drilled some holes for a sturdier set of dowels. Sadly, the extra length of dowel I bought a fortnight ago has completely evaporated in the intervening time. It may show up this weekend, in which case I can complete the posts and make a receiving plate for the inside of the roof.

Hoping to also pick up a second hoverboard from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist this weekend too. Then we fight over which board goes in the dalek and which in the Tardis.


DTrasler Writing

Still no new hoverboard - no buyers for our old treadmill, so no cash to splurge on hoverboards. I did wrangle a new printer cartridge out of the household budget, though, so I have printed off three temporary signs. They'll do until my mate in the UK comes through with his cut vinyl ones. I'm sure he will. Any day now.


And if he doesn't, I should have the signs in place and have a sort-of complete Tardis for the 60th celebrations. Of which there are none, in fact, around here.

DTrasler Writing

It's been another long weekend for me here, but the downside of that is being given new DIY tasks to complete. That can really eat into the time that should be spent on building a Tardis. This time it was the youngest kid's room - the carpet needed to come up, and we were going to clean and polish the floorboards and put down a rug. Except it wasn't floorboards underneath, it was old and broken cork tiles. When I'd scraped them off, there were old vinyl tiles. I was damned if I was going to try getting rid of them, so now they're the new floor until we think of something clever, like laying new vinyl tiles over the top of them.

All this is just preface to me saying it's a miracle that I managed to make two more frames for the signs:


And I put together and covered the printed sections to go in them.


Hoping to get those pieces put together today, which leaves me less than a week to make the wooden frame for the front, which actually has to contain a light source as well, and paint the light cage for the top, and find a hoverboard, and a way to get the Tardis and Dalek up the mountain to Simon Fraser University which is a suitably Sci-Fi location to take Anniversary photos and video.

(And, obviously, fix the leaking roof that we discovered in the course of fixing the floor, and make the damn video for work, which is the only part of all this I might actually get paid for....)

DTrasler Writing


Well, that lights up, and highlights several inadequacies in the making. Still, that's the last of the signboxes I had to make, and the most complicated. Considering all the other stuff I did today, getting this done too was amazing. I'd give myself a day off, except this was it.

So, I have all the signboxes, and two are already fitted. I've painted the light cage for the top, and figured out a way to securely attach it without needing tools to take it off again. Probably.

I wanted to do a full stack this weekend, but I don't think that's going to happen now - we're off to the cinema in an hour or so, and that will probably be the end of the day.

On the less gloomy side, I said I wanted to have this built by the 23rd Anniversary, and i might just have managed it, though not necessarily including driving the thing about. Which was really the bit I was looking forward to. Might be time to call the local press again, and tell them I've done another stupid thing.
 (This was the last time: https://www.tricitynews.com/local-arts/sci-fi-superfans-build-costume-props-3101546)

DTrasler Writing

I realise, looking back through this build, that I haven't really documented the process. I've just been taking pictures when I have finished (or given up on) each section. This seems particularly lax with the signbox, which might have been of interest to some people struggling with their own designs. On the other hand, my approach to electrics has made strong men cry and caused others to ring the fire brigade as a precaution, so maybe least said, soonest extinguished, eh?

Last night I decided to stack as much as I could without cutting holes in the basement ceiling. I had to fit the last window in the back panel, try and glaze the front windows, fit the restraining bars inside, and attach the light up signbox on the front.

Step one:


Ok, the back panel is sorted, and the whole back section is fixed together in one piece.It's only a little bit wobbly.

Step two:


Forgot to mention this earlier, but the new light cage is fitted around the light and secure. The only issue here is that it is operated by a credit-card sized remote that looks exactly like the other seven remotes that go with all the LED strings we got for Halloween. I checked all of the ones I could find, and none of them work with the light. No sign of the original one. If I could stop pulling up floors, going to work, raking the bloody leaves and counselling the kids, who knows? Maybe I would get ten minutes to tidy my workshop and find it, but that's not a priority, apparently.

Step three:


This is the windows on the front half-glazed. No, you can't tell that from the picture. Yes, I'm going to have to get darker material. No, I have no idea where from.

Step four:


Ha! I screwed the light box to the front and A: Got it the right way up and B: it hasn't fallen off yet! Also C: It still lights up!

Step Five:


My phone looks so nice in the cubby! It may not be screen accurate, but it fits!


The door has to close too?


There's always something, isn't there?