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New, New TardisBuilders!


Started by pmc, Apr 17, 2010, 04:17 pm

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Apr 17, 2010, 04:17 pm Last Edit: Nov 29, 2010, 01:35 pm by Scarfwearer
Hello everybody, well here I go........

I've been a member of this site for a while now and love everybodys efforts in their desired build. I have always wanted to build a Tardis and finding this group really inspired me as there are some great builds on here. I was aiming to build an NST, the Eccleston - Tennant version. I even started to buy little bits and pieces for when I eventually started. The thing that got me really going was visiting the BBC and being confronted by the new 2010 Tardis. Seeing the Tardis in the flesh just made me WANT ONE. :) I suppose the clincher was meeting Matt Smith the very same evening.

Seeing the 2010 version solidified my thoughts and decided for me that this is the one I wanted to build.

All I want to say is that this build is going to be a bit of a slow burner but as Einstein said himself, time is relative  ;D

I have been looking for Fresnel lenses for a long time now and not really had much luck, that is without spending lots of cash on an antique. With my new found impetus I started my search again. Watching the first Doctor Who Confidential and the tour of the new Tardis interior a comment was made that some of the roundels were made from plant pots from a well known DIY store. This got me thinking that the lamp that they use on top of the 2010 prop must have come from a shop here in the UK. Anyway searching the internet I came across what I think is the exact one they use. Here is a shot of it next to a picture I took of the Tardis at the BBC:


I think you will agree that this has to be the one. I ordered one and waited for it t come. A few days later I got a call from the supplier and they said that they couldn't sell me one as it had gone out of production. I got a bit frenzied at this point and scoured the net for another supplier that hopefully would have some in stock. I found another supplier and ordered not only one but three. This may sound a bit nuts buying three but I thought I may need a spare and undoubtedly I may be able to help someone else out on here if they ever need one and cant source it.

It came yesterday so I thought I would start to make the necessary changes and kick off my build.

I had already bought a lamp that I think was used in the original NST prop and the 2010 prop looks like it uses parts from the original lamp. Here is the new one I have just bought and the original one.


It looks like the top cover of the original has been placed on the lamp that I bought the other day.

I started to deconstruct the original lamp and this is shown below. This was fairly simple and just required a bit of gentle persuasion.


I then started to deconstruct the new lamp. this was very easy as its all held together by screws. You can see in the second photo below that the spokes that run on the outside, of which there are six, are held in by little allen bolts. the spokes are equally arranged round the outside and as there are four on the new Tardis lamp two had to be removed. Doing this meant that the remaining four were not equally spaced, I'm not sure if they have removed them all on the prop and equally spaced them or have left them as I have. I'd be interested if any of you know, I cant remember noticing this on the one at the BBC and i cant really tell from the photos that I got.


Once this was done I put it all together and the comparison is below.


The top is just resting on the lamp and I think its a bit high so I will have to make some adjustments. I think you will agree though that its pretty close to the one used on the Tardis.

I was also looking into getting the top "Police Public Call Box" signs made last week. I e-mailed a number of companies that look like they could do this. I sent them the pic below and asked them to quote. Please bear in mind that the measurements below are maybe slightly incorrect.


Anyway I only got two responces and I was a bit flabbergasted at the cost. Both quoted for opal acrylic with black blockout vinyl graphics, one quoted with 5mm acrylic £277 for four and the other quoted with 8mm acrylic £329 for four. This to me sounds a bit pricey. I can buy the acrylic sheets for around £35 and this would do all four signs. All I would then need was the actual graphics. I have asked another company to quote me for just doing the vinyl sticker so I could make the signs myself. Hopefully this will come back cheaper. I would be interested if any of you UK guys know of any companies that may be cheaper.

Anyway sorry for this long post, it may be a while before the next one so please be bear with me.


'badkarma' got his signs for £7.50 a sticker - [ref msg=1811]Re: Hudolin Box "POLICE public call BOX" Signs[/ref].

Hope this helps :)



Apr 17, 2010, 06:08 pm #2 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2010, 06:09 pm by DoctorWho8
PMC, one thing you should know about that prop you saw at the BBC was it is NOT a screen used prop.  It's a promotional prop, very much like the screen props, but still has some differences.  I could list some of the differences, but that's up to you.

Another thing is I have PDFs available of the NST signage.  The links can be found in the TARDIS Prop reference section in the 2005-2009 Ed Thomas thread.  FYI, the font used for the sign is Gill Sans Regular.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


Yeah Bill I know the Tardis at the BBC isn't one of the actual props. If you would like to list the differences then that would be usefull.

I'm going to try and not be too hung up on exact matching of size or detail. That's not to say I'm not going to try and make it as close as I can but sometimes by trying to be too correct you can just make the job become too much of a chore. Lets face it there have been plenty of Tardis designs not to mention actual police boxes. :)


Nice Job!

And PMC, I can do you the signs graphcis themselves much cheaper and can post them to you from Canada. I can roll them around a tube for secure shipping.

I love the new Matt Smith lamp :)


The lamp box seems to be wider, the lamp box has rounded corners and maybe a smaller 1/8″thick piece on top of it where the lamp sits on, and the top signs are the wrong font.  The windows are a little different in color.  Those are the ones I remember off hand.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


I think you are spot on with your Lamp! I agree you need to lower the lid a bit.

Primrodo does excellent work, I have one of his door signs!

Another thought on the Call box signs, I got mine produced for about $140. I went to a sign shop and gave the dimensions I wanted for Acrylic. They cut 4 pieces for me. I then went to Kinkos's which is now Fed Ex Office. The one I went to had one of them Vinyl Letter making machines. I gave him a PDF of the Call Sign and asked that it be done in Black with the inverse on the letters. The guy was kind enough to apply them to my pre cut acrylic pieces. The price I mentioned was for both the signs and the lettering. If you are close to a big town like London you should be able to find a fed ex kinkos that has similar equipment.

Getting the lettering is the tough part, finding someone to cut Acrylic should be simple.  Just a thought.


Yeah I do need to lower that copper lid. The lamp is made from aluminium and real easy to work with but the top section is all one part so I need to cut some off so as to lower the copper lid. I just need to work out a method of then securing them both together. Only slight problem is that the aluminium top part of the lamp screws onto the body of the lamp so if I permanently secure the copper lid to it I then wont be able to screw it onto the lamp body, hope that makes sense.

Thanks Primrodo for the signage offer this is most generous, I will try and exhaust all possibilities here first but may take you up on that, thanks a lot. :)


Apr 21, 2010, 05:29 pm #8 Last Edit: Apr 21, 2010, 05:30 pm by mordrogyn
I'm assuming that the screw hole visible in the top of the lantern is what attaches the "lid" to the rest of the lamp.

You could always bond the copper weather cap to the "lid" with a corresponding hole to allow you to still screw the thing together.
It's unlikely to be visible to anyone but giants when in position on top of your box


Yeah there are two screws on top of the lantern that attach the lid to the main body. I had thought of creating corresponding holes in the weather cap, I'll have a think.

I have hacked about 20mm from the top of the lantern so that the weather cap sits lower down. I have also wired it up so I can see what it's like when its lit. I will post some pics as soon as I can.

One question I do have for the keener sighted of you, the spokes that run down the side of the fresnel lens are unevenly spaced because on the original lamp there were six and I have removed two to leave four. My question is do you think that on the Tardis these spokes are evenly spaced so that they are 90 degrees apart?

One good thing is that I had a company respond today to my top sign request and they can provide all four on 5mm opal acrylic with vinyl face for a total of £107.65


OMG yeah that price is high, I had all four signs made for about 200 dollars US, that is crazy that is almost triple what I paid when you take monitary conversion into account.
I want notes, lists and answers by the time I finish this here Juicy-a-Box! WARNING: I am Thirst-ay! And it is Fruit Punch! And it is Delicious!"


Yeah thats high....Why not cost out just eh acrylic sign and I can cost out the vinyl for you...easy enough to lay down.


Apr 22, 2010, 03:09 am #12 Last Edit: Apr 22, 2010, 03:13 am by Primrodo
Also, here is the new lamp from a set picture. I still like this lamp PMC found, but it is different...


Looks kinda ;ike this, clip and air holes and all:



Apr 22, 2010, 04:02 am #13 Last Edit: Apr 22, 2010, 02:10 pm by DoctorWho8
Here's another thing I notice between the Promotional Props and the TV Props.  Thanks to Primrodo, it confirms something that I couldn't see in other photos until now.

The promotional props use the lamp PMC found.  However, the TV props use the lamp Primrodo shows.  The lamp PMC found is a little narrower and taller than the lamp Primrodo found.  See the difference.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


I had another set of eye look over Primrodo's find.  What you found is very close to the TV model.  The main differences are the clasp is quite square on the TV lamp and it doesn't have the ventilation grille near the top where the lid closes.  Instead it has holes drilled into the base section, above and below the glass lens, to compliment the holes left behind from stripping various things off the original lamp.

So look wise, we have a near match.  But if the price of it as Badger shows, it may not be the best price wise.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff