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Richard's Smith/McGann TARDIS

Started by superrichi1a, Jun 26, 2010, 10:17 pm

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Jun 26, 2010, 10:17 pm Last Edit: Apr 27, 2011, 09:02 pm by superrichi1a
Hi, yup, I'm new to this site, first day, although I have been a member of several other TARDIS building sites in the past. I live in a village in the Midlands, and what I'm trying to create is a bit of a pic n' mix of TARDIS design aspects. The general shape of the new series prop, with some of the detailing of the McGann prop, with some of my ideas, decorated to look like the 2010 Steven Moffat TARDIS. I am running low on pictures at the moment, but I do have some of some parts. What I have completed so far is 4 corner posts (bar some of the decorative pieces that will be added later), the base (essentially finished, just need to have the wooden floor actually properly nailed in), and 3 sides, with the door currently in production.


Some woefully inadequate pictures there, I'll have to get some more taken soon  ;)

Any tips anyone on how to improve what you have seen (well, I know you haven't seen much but...) And, while I'm here, a question. What is a good method of attaching the corner posts, sides/doors, and base together. I had some ideas of my own, as no tutorials I have found seem to cover it but, I though I could attach some pieces of wood to the corners of the base, attach the corner posts to these, and from there attach the sides to the corner posts. This would be strengthened with wooded brackets etc. But, parts of this idea will look messy and ugly on the inside, and I was wondering if anyone has some other tips?

Thanks for reading :)
And, if he is reading this, thank you to Steven Selgar, for giving me some plans to use for aspects of my build and passing on some tips and wisdom to me about box building (heck, he probably doesn't even remember me now anyways...)
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


Hi and welcome to the best TARDIS building site in all of time and space!

Firstly your photo isn't working so we can't actually see what you have done.

However in the aspect of attaching posts to the base, there are several methods, from brackets at the base of the posts to blocks for the posts to slide over or even holes in the base for the posts to slide into, it depends on your build method to some extent.
On Matt Smith's box the walls are held in place by simple sliding bolts, though doing this means you have to make sure you lock the structure together with the sign boxes so that the posts don't move.


Thanks for the ideas on how to fix the posts in place, very helpful :)
Yes, I did notice that the picture wasn't working, I'm not sure why, I wonder if I even added this link correctly, oh well, I'll try to figure out what went wrong soon!
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


I finally got some pictures taken when we did the first fit test of the base, corner posts, and sides. I haven't got round to resizing them all yet but, hopefully, this will work:


Hopefully that is working. Most of the TARDIS is made out of soft wood, while the panelling in the sides are big MDF sheets, not the best choice of lumber I know, but, with my limited resources, I figure that I can make up for that with wood preservative and a lot of paint. As this is going to be an outside TARDIS, every few months or so I'll check it over for damage anyway, so I hope it should be fine.
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


Jul 04, 2010, 11:20 am #4 Last Edit: Jul 04, 2010, 11:23 am by Scarfwearer
Looks like a great start!

MDF is generally not recommended for an outdoor build - it soaks up water like a sponge even from damp air inside the box. Several people here have war-stories of what the weather has done to their beloved TARDISes after even a year or two outdoors, even without MDF.

We have a sub-board on this subject: [ref board=91]Weatherproofing[/ref] - definitely worth reading before you go too much further.

There's also this FAQ topic in the Workshop: [ref topic=1145]How do I weatherproof my TARDIS?[/ref].



Jul 10, 2010, 09:31 pm #5 Last Edit: Jul 11, 2010, 06:55 pm by Scarfwearer
I finally got round to resizing some more of my images, so here are some more pics :)
Yes, i am using MDF for an outdoor build, like stated earlier. I have been paying close attention to weatherproofing my box because MDF isn't the best choice, I think that I'll be fine, as there are many others who have used much more MDF than me in their builds, and, as well as doing a lot to protect my box from the weather, I plan to check for damage and repaint every 3-4 months or so. I would also like to thank Scarfwearer for pointing me in the direction of some weather-proofing information :)
Anywho, my TARDIS is a 2010 NST build, it seems smaller than it should, so I checked my plans against some other NST plans online and found that my base is about 5 inches out and my doors are 3 inches to small. But, it seems that my plans do bear some resemblance to other plans for the old Cushing and early TV boxes, so, what I think I must have are some plans for old boxes that have been adapted to look more like a NST box. It'd like my box to be bigger but, it's too late now, and I'm not even sure where I'm going to put this one yet. doesn't really bother me though, I doubt anyone will notice, it's only 3 inches, and the rest looks proportional :)
I've very kindly been pointed in the direction of a Smith lamp that I can buy online, I'll have to get that soon. Also, since these pictures have been taken the doors to the TARDIS have been completed, albeit windows.
Next to build I have the signboxes. I am using Glenn's manual, and, while I'd be totally lost without it, his method of building them seems overly-complex, so does anyone know of an alternate way?

Thanx  ;D

Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


Another...quick update. So yes, the doors have been finished, almost, the only thing left to do is add the door stop to the left door, I'll do that last so the sides can be stacked against each other for ease of storage though. I couldn't resist printing out some quick decorations for my doors, the door sign and the St. John's Ambulance logo until I get proper ones made out of perspex.


I have also got the wood ready for the sign boxes.


Some of you may notice that, well, they're just lengths of skirting board. The grooves and pattern don't really matter because that's the part you won't see, but skirting board was the only this I could find that in my opinion was the right thickness and texture.

So, yeah, a bit of an update there. I'm on holiday now for 8 weeks, luckily I have a very flexible hours job and we're pretty much done until more work comes along in September. Hopefully I'll get some speed up on my build and have it finished by then, in time for the winter bad weather  ;D

Richard :D
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


oh yea, thats looking good. nice you got some free time coming up. looking forward to more updates


I had a friend round today as I did the latest fit test, he coined the phrase "A New Series on a much needed diet", a phrase which I have heard many a time before, which has got me thinking. I had a comflab with all my numbers, totted up all the scores to the slightly-off plans I fiddled with to incorporate elements of other boxes that I liked. The base is 54", 6 inches less than the reported size they used in the show, where as the doors are 2" shorter than the should be. Neither of this is that noticeable in real life, it's still a damn of a lot fatter than the classic box, or even the Hartnell box, which has the same size base as mine. Taking these proportions into account it seems that I have unintentionally created a slimmer NST, still big enough to fit in with other NST builds but slightly smaller, hopefully in such a way that it pleases the faults that many classic fans like finding with the new box, it;s chunkiness, while still being big enough TO BE a NST, and not to start to look like a smaller Classic TARDIS. I'm pretty proud of my little blunder now.

Of course... all of what I have just said depend entirely on my ability to actually finish the box, and make it look good.
Crossed fingers ;) I'm sure it'll turn out OK in the end ;D
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


I wouldn't worry too much about the base size, you said that you had some detailing from the McGann prop going in, you base is about right for the size of that box and your doors split the difference height wise between the NST and the Hudolin.
Looking good, keep it up


I've been thinking about the windows recently. Back in the ye old days of RTD and the Tennant box, I planned to simply use translucent white perspex or acrylic for the windows, same as the Police Box sign, to allow light through the edges and to still look like clouded glass. At one point, I considered glass and pebbled glass, and it'd be nice to use real glass, but I think for my purposes perspex will be more appropriate (cheaper, easier to handle, less breakable).
But, soon after, I made the decision that there was no point in building a TARDIS NOW, towards the end of it's reign, when in a few months it'd be made old news by the new Smith model, so I decided to do just that, decorate my TARDIS as a Smith. Now, although I didn't realise it at first, this came with several complications and perhaps short-cuts. For example, one good thing that came of the decision was that it was easier to get the lamp for my build, as I am told the old version has been discontinued. Anyway, it has also provided me with a problem. As I am using perspex for the windows, I don't know if you can even buy translucent grey and black perspex. Can you? I haven't had a proper look yet. If not, how am I going to get the effect of the grey and black windows by day, and a set of lit up windows by night? Thanx :)
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?


Jul 15, 2010, 03:18 pm #11 Last Edit: Jul 15, 2010, 03:20 pm by mordrogyn
Yes you can buy black perspex, I would imagine grey also, though as for these allowing the light to pass through I don't know how well they would work.

For dark windows during the day, drape some black cloth behind the glass, thin though otherwise light won't pass through it at night.
For night time, the problem becomes being able to see inside the box because of the lighting....

Untested but I believe that if you hang white cloth behind the black that it may act as a screen/diffuser to prevent this.

Oh and for the record, there are no grey windows, thats just how the light refracts on the textured glass in those panes.... if you have an old shower door knocking around the frosted glass used in many of those is very similar to what is used in those panes.


Sorry, not really an update, I don't have any pics or anything, but...I started on the sign boxes today, I only got the top side of the rear sign box completed, so I didn't bother with pics. It's defiantly the most fiddly part of the build so far, may take a while longer than expected to complete, still, I reckon I will speed up now that I know roughly what I am doing  :)
Does anyone know a good place I can get the sign graphics made? And possibly the door sign? I don't really have any leads so far. I thought Wickes of B&Q did them, but I'm not sure if they'll do them exactly as I need them.
I also came up with my plan of the windows, thanks Mord for some tips ;) I'm thinking if I could use some translucent dark grey or black perspex, as I've found a seller online who does every colour under the Sun. I'm also thinking that if I get some translucent white perspex, and place smaller pieces over the lower corner parts of the windows, It'll create the desired effect of frosted glass (once again...thanks to Mord for info :)). I reckon it'l let the light through nicely, but, maybe to well, so if that's the case, I plan to place a thin layer of perspex behind the windows to act as a light diffuser (hoping to pioneer another of Mord's ideas here).  ;D
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?



I just made my windows from clear acrylic and sanded one side then added the textured where i wanted it.
Haven't experimented too much with the light and dark inside yet, will look a it when i get that far.

Another thought I did have though is to build a light box behind the windows, they can be seen on some promotional pics of the hudolin, if the insides are dark or black that would recreate the darkened window look, and with a light inside it may create the lit window look, the sanded acrylic "should" diffuse the light, though I don't know how well a dark box would light up.


Hello. Yes, not really an update yet until I have taken pictures, but I thought while I'm here I might as well got the thread a shout. All my sign boxes are "finished", by that I mean I have done all the evil measuring and cut all the pieces of wood I need, but I haven't nailed any of them together yet, not until I get the sign graphics. I'll say this again in my proper update, but, does anyone know of a place in the UK (or anyone who can do this and ship to the UK quickly) that can do my sign graphics cheaply. I can't really afford anything north of £100, and even anywhere close to that is a massive stretch I may not be able to afford. I have one quote so far for almost £400, and I'm getting quite worried, as my deadline to finish this is 1st September, in my opinion, when the bad weather starts, and shortly before i return to work :'(.
So yeah, also good news. MY LAMP FINALLY ARRIVED!!! Almost 2 weeks late but oh well  ;D
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?