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Volpone's TARDIS build...

Started by Volpone, Nov 18, 2011, 10:44 pm

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Volpone

Well, I couldn't resist monkeying about a bit. As I mentioned, the basic dimensions are off the Barachaki box--but somewhat simplified. A mistake I made is that I used 4x4s for the corner posts which, of course, are 3.5"x3.5"--making them a bit narrow as it was, but I forgot that the 1/4 rounds added another inch or two to the width. If I'd used 1x4s for the vertical rails I'd have probably been ok (and it would've done more for the aforementioned simplification of design) but for some reason I decided to use the 1x3s that the original design used.  This left me with more NST panels.  Even so, it has a definite 1st Doctor look...

Of course I really didn't know any of this when I was making the build.  I'd found Scarfwearer's build diary and some other odds and ends, but I didn't discover this place properly until I was well into construction. But I digress. 

The point is that it keeps picking at me, what my box would look like with the proper white windows and phone panel trim. Especially so because I used white foam-based moulding for the windows and the salvaged trim I used on the phone panel was white too. So rather than paint, today while I was playing fetch with The Dog, I got out some heavy grit sandpaper to take off a bit of the blue.  I may do a quick and dirty white phone panel sign and hint at a painted over St. John's Ambulance crest, but most likely I'll just go back to the blue for a couple reasons:  1) I really grew up with the Tom Baker color scheme and 2) because I have false windows and the color of the plywood behind them is a very light grey, I lose a lot of contrast when I have white window mouldings.
"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.

Volpone

This site has been a blessing and a curse. Before getting here, I had no idea about the vagaries of the various props.  Now that I do...

To recap, I built my TARDIS based on dimensions for the Barachaki prop.  But I painted it more like the 1980s-1996 prop.  Indeed, when the 2005 series came out with the white phone plaque, I thought it was a cheap shoddy looking job, compared to the "more accurate" blue/black sign.

Now that I know more about actual police boxes and the original Brachaki prop (to be fair, I did see the Hartnell episodes 25-30 years ago, but didn't remember the paintjob), it kind of bothered me that I had the "wrong" trim and door sign (don't get me going on the lamp.  That's for another time).  Since the (salvaged) trim for the plaque and the material I used for the "window" frames was originally white, I sanded them down a bit to make it look like they'd been painted over and some of the paint had worn off. 

After a computer crash and learning the venerable old printer wouldn't work with Windows 7, I finally got the new printer installed last night and zapped off a St. John's badge and the PDF of the proper phone plaque. Some work with a scissors and some clear shelf lining paper and voila!  A garden shed redressed in the proper livery. 

(Another reason for the white sign:  one of the unforeseen effects of my design simplifications is that my corner posts are around 2" too narrow, making the door panels that much wider--and thus more square--like the NST...which had...wait for it...a white door sign.  Sooo...
1345495376201.jpg
...another crappy cell phone snapshot of a work in progress.  (I need to finish up some trim on the door signs and finish painting over my most recent waterproofing efforts--oh and eventually do the windows on the OTHER three sides to match the front.) 

All told, I'm quite happy with the result.  And if I ever decide I like the other way better, I just need to repaint the trim, paint over the St. John's crest, and pull off the door plaque. 
"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.

mobius

Quote from: volpone on Nov 24, 2011, 03:28 am
Once I got the interior painted, on a whim, I picked up some cheap styrofoam plates from the local supermarket and glued them to the walls


those plates look awesome, the fact that they're smaller than the roundels should be, make them look farther away creating a greater illusion of depth, at least to people who like us, have certain expectations about how big a white circle, on a wall inside a call box should be! it's a brilliant idea.
It's always a matter of time...

Volpone

I hesitate to update because I've got enough on my plate that my planned "refit" is a very low priority, but...

I found this place after I'd started my build.  I used a blueprint of the Brachaki prop as a starting point with shortcuts for simplicity.  But being a good obsessive-compulsive--and looking at it every morning when I make my coffee, some of the shortcuts started to bother me. 

Unfortunately it took some time before I hit on a refit strategy.  But before I went ahead with it, I broke out the Brachaki blueprint (and some measurements IronAgeMan did on the Crich box because I was considering making it more "Met-like"), whipped up some "overlays" in PowerPoint, and did some comparisons. 

Some interesting things got revealed:  First off, it looks to me like the Met Box is significantly wider than the Brachaki prop.  Not 2005 wide, but much wider than the 1963 prop.  Second, I used 2x4s for my base, making my actual box a bit narrower than the prop.  Third, I made my roof stack about twice as tall as it should be.  (Yes, the lamp is way too small, we already knew that.)  But the really interesting thing, I'd made my lintel signs with some scrap wood I had laying around, and they're more like 7 1/2" tall instead of 5 1/2".  This actually comes in handy because I was stumped on how I was going to do the "step" molding detail under the lintels without redoing everything.  But as it is, I can just cut my top signs down on the bottom and have almost exactly the right space for the moldings. 

(Oh, and here's a newer picture of her, but I had to use an older shot for the overlays because the new one is a bit crooked and my version of PowerPoint wouldn't let me straighten it.) MyMetBrachaki2.1.jpgTARDIScropped.JPG
"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.

Volpone

...and yeah, right now the top looks like crap, but I had to choose between looking cool and being waterproof and in Portland Oregon waterproof trumped cool.  I'm hoping I can fix that if/when I get around to a refit. 
"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.

Volpone

Dec 04, 2013, 09:14 pm #50 Last Edit: Dec 04, 2013, 09:17 pm by volpone
Ugh. Not the update I was hoping to make. The build season is over here and I have things higher on the "TO DO" list, but I'm definitely planning to do some refitting to make her more in line with the relative dimensions of a TARDIS--when I find the time.  But yesterday I was out puttering about the yard and I leaned up against her and she rocked.  

Now there are many things you are happy to tell someone if they ask you about your TARDIS.  But "a bit tippy" isn't one of them.  So I got out the level, a lever, and some bricks and shims to start leveling out the bricks it rests on--that were sinking unevenly into the wet soil.  

As I was doing this the bottom panel next to the door gave unexpectedly so I grumbled and went into the house to get the key.  

The cardinal rule of owning an outdoor TARDIS--especially in a wet climate--is "do regular inspections."  I know this.  But like computer backups and shoeless cobbler's children, I haven't been doing it.  I popped her open.  She wasn't in terrible shape for the amount of rain we've been having.  But there appeared to be a leak in a top front corner.  And the plywood on the panel with the phone door had rotted out under the bottom crosspiece.  >:(  Then I realized one of the cardboard boxes on the floor was being badly deformed by the plastic bins stacked on top of it--indeed the bin on top was deforming the lid of the one under it.  Somehow water had gotten into the top bin (which was filled with firewood--long story).  So I got to work clearing her out so I could better check for more rot.  

It doesn't look like I had significant new rot beyond the bottom edge of the panel next to the door (I only have one opening door).  

It looks like in my zeal to waterproof the top, I didn't think to caulk the bottom edge.  Rain was hitting the ledge around the base and pooling there, where it could get under the lip and wick up into the plywood, rotting it from inside.  

An added moment of terror was pulling out some collapsed cardboard moving boxes and discovering hundreds and hundreds of dormant insects, along with bits of woodlike byproduct--termites!? :o

Luckily some quick work with Google revealed them to be merely ants who'd found a (relatively) warm dry place to hang out.  So now along with any upgrades I join the likes of Dino and Chris that move to damage control and repairing outdoor rot. :(
"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.

galacticprobe

Dec 05, 2013, 08:17 am #51 Last Edit: Dec 05, 2013, 08:18 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: volpone on Dec 04, 2013, 09:14 pm
...I join the likes of Dino and Chris that move to damage control and repairing outdoor rot. :(


I think you mean "Scott" and Chris. Scott is the one who's repaired his TARDIS's rot. I just use his TARDIS as my avatar (with his permission, of course) because I love how she looks. (I have repaired rot on an old wooden skiff that I restored. Does that count?)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

Bah. I keep getting you two mixed up, even though I think I talked to him a couple times. :)
"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.

galacticprobe

Dec 05, 2013, 04:12 pm #53 Last Edit: Dec 05, 2013, 04:12 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: volpone on Dec 05, 2013, 11:55 am
Bah. I keep getting you two mixed up, even though I think I talked to him a couple times. :)


An easy mistake to make... everyone knows we could pass as twins, much like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger! ;D ;D ;D

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

geminitimelord

Quote from: volpone on Dec 05, 2013, 11:55 am
Bah. I keep getting you two mixed up, even though I think I talked to him a couple times. :)
I see no way you could mix me with Dino. LOL

galacticprobe

Dec 06, 2013, 05:07 am #55 Last Edit: Dec 06, 2013, 05:07 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: geminitimelord on Dec 06, 2013, 04:14 am
I see no way you could mix me with Dino. LOL


Scott... I think it's the avatar! (But how did you like my "Twins" analogy? Appropriate, eh? ;) ;D)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

Ugh.  Good news and bad news.  Awhile back I found lantern chimneys from Vermont Lantern Company that are shaped like a Fresnel lens.  When it was pointed out that they were on closeout I snatched one up.  It showed up today. 

Since I work night, it is a beautiful day out, and it was more fun to be outside than send off resumes, I took The Dog for a run and then dragged out the stepladder to see if the new glass would work with the existing lamp cover.  It will work more perfectly than I could have hoped.  But while I was up there I discovered my most recent waterproofing had backfired. 

My box is 1/4" ply for the walls.  4x4s for the corner posts and a big old 2x8(?) that got cut into 4 pieces for the top signs (which do not light up, obviously).  The top signs are structural and hold the sides to the corners.  The top edge of the plywood, while painted, is exposed to the elements and had started to delaminate in a couple spots.  I had a roll of press-on rubber adhesive flashing from another project so I mated that up to the roof and laid it over the plywood down to the top signs.  Caulked the crap out of the top edge too. 

Unfortunately weather and water are pervasive and my top edge on the flashing had failed in a couple spots so it not only wasn't preventing water intrusion, it was serving as a nice little pocket to trap water and allow it to never dry out while soaking the top of the plywood.  :( 

The good news is, this gives me an excuse to bump my refit to the top of my project list.  And there is no rain forecast until the weekend.  It does require more engineering, but more on that later.  It also looks like I can put in proper windows on all four sides (I was thinking of doing just the front) and having it look OK. 

So for now, to recap:  4x4s (which are 3.5x3.5) are obviously way too small for proper corner posts.  And the 2x8 for my top signs is too wide.  That's fine though, because I left off the "steps" under the sign for my build and with the right sized top sign, that leaves space for steps without a major rework.  Also, my base (plinth?) is wider than the Brachaki prop.  So my fix will be to round off the outside corners of the 4x4s and then put a board on each side as a veneer to get that out to 5"-ish. 

Obviously, this will overlap the walls so I'll be trimming the crossbars to put in a new outside rail.  Then a 1x2 gets screwed to the old rail (with a rounded inside edge) and the new corner post veneer mounts to that--better, stronger, and better looking. 

The plan had been to simply rework the roof so it sat lower for an accurate look (and of course integrating the new light) but the rot on my top edges is causing me to reconsider this.  I'm thinking I'll buy new top sign material (which is a whole different can of worms) an use the old top signs to replace the damaged ply--stronger, more structurally sound, more resistant to rot and water intrusion--win-win all around (apart from the added engineering). 

Then it is cut out windows (and likely the phone panel) same, bevel the base, and repaint everything. 

But first, the literal icing on the cake:  Years ago I tiled my bathroom floor.  I've got the leftover premixed thinset in a 5 gallon bucket in the TARDIS.  I'm going to use it to "frost" the outside of the TARDIS.  This will do a number of things (in theory):  1) it will get rid of a bucket of old thinset that has been lying around, 2) It will let me bevel the door panels without having to try and router them, 3) It will give a concrete color and texture to the box, and 4) hopefully it will add some waterproofing and structural support.  5) As paint wears off grey will show underneath and as thinset falls off it will make realistic "chips" and weathering to the paint.  It should be real slick. 

Of course I've got to work up a more detailed plan than this and a cut list.  But that should happen on the weekend, while I work on making money right now.   
"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.

superrichi1a

I sympathise fully with the weather situation, but am somewhat enthused to hear your refit plans :) they sound like they'll take this build in a new direction, both in looks and structure, and that I find quite exciting!
What do you mean about the frosting allowing you to bevel the edges without a router? Couldn't follow that bit ???
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?

Volpone

Have you ever replaced a single pane window with points and glazing?  One side of the frame is wood.  Then you tilt the glass into position and pin it in with the little metal points.  Then, to finish it off, you lay a rope of glazing putty and then use a putty knife to bevel it.  Eh, I can't find a decent picture.  I'll take some if/when I try it. 
"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.

superrichi1a

I think I'm with you... I'll have to wait and see anyway ;)
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?