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BioDoctor900's Eccleston/Tennant Console

Started by BioDoctor900, Jul 14, 2012, 12:23 pm

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Yes the rim sections look fantastic!


So the past few days at work, I've been making something to try and solve a problem. The Support Neck. I thought that the rotor wasn't standing straight because the neck I had (An old mixing bowl) wasn't strong enough to support the rotor, also that I've never really been too happy with the one I had as it looked a bit out of proportion. So I made one at work by layering wood that had been cut out in circles. This took quite some time and a LOT of rasping. I ended up only having some chipboard in the wood store, this probably wasn't the best for a smooth finish. So I had to go over the surface with a rasp to try and smooth it and then I resorted to filler.





I created the screen support out of an old pipe which I hammered flat and it took quite a bit of working to get it round, but I riveted it together and it works ok.



I put in a piece of corrugated plastic sheet to see how it would look with a rotor in it, and it looked ok


I painted it up black and carried this home. It's quite heavy and had to run with it to the train, luckily I got on it, but it was a bit awkward. I got it home and took the old rotor neck off. It was then I realised that I'd got it wrong. It wasn't the neck at all, it was the buttress legs. Over time they have buckled, quite severely and so the console was slanted, I just thought that it was the positioning of the legs. So I had to fiddle about with trying to make it straighter and then placed the new neck on top. It's not actually attached to the console, it just sits on top, but I put the rotor on and then wedged it in with the old neck at the top of the rotor and it looked a lot straighter. With the screen on, it doesn't pull it to the side, so hopefully it wont in the future.




The new neck looks better and I've still got to paint it up better and paint on the bronze rings, but the pivot arm looks a lot better and it holds the screen up a bit higher. The only downside now is that the buttresses are going to need replacing  ::)  :-[  >:( Urghh the joys of prop building



She's looking fantastic BioDoc!!! :D I love the ingenuity you've used to create the time rotor's neck. Where do you keep this magnificent console?
And don't worry about having to make upgrades to the Old Girl; it's something that the Doctor was constantly doing to the TARDIS during this particular era of the show. ;D

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Nov 06, 2015, 03:56 am #138 Last Edit: Nov 06, 2015, 04:20 am by galacticprobe
I agree with The14thDr; the new neck looks great, and it will only improve once you've painted those brass/bronze rings on again. As for your console's ribs starting to sag and having to be rebuilt, when I looked back through your Build Diary, I noticed that due to your innovative way of lighting the console, you didn't incorporate any of the "Separation Buikheads" that are in the original console:
(Photo courtesy of davidnagel from one of his posts in the Reference Section.)
Those bulkheads (yellow arrows) are under each rib, and aside from providing the console with sides for the panels to rest on and a mount for the lighting, they also provide structural support for the ribs. As the weight of what's on top bears down on the console's neck, and all of the ribs, those bulkheads transfer that weight to that support brace that runs around the legs (at the base of the bulkheads). All of that not only holds the console's legs (and the "unibody" ribs) together, but it also distributes the weight so no one rib is borne down upon more than another.

So, when you get around to replacing those ribs, maybe you can find a way to incorporate some sort of bulkhead like these to help your give your console added structural integrity and prevent those ribs from buckling again.

And I'll still throw in a nice Envy(small).jpg, for both the console, and the tools and workshop you have access to!

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


Well this is what the console currently looks like.....


:'( :'(

I'm rather sad, I Love my console and I loved seeing it in the corner of the room, but as I said previously, the buttress legs had started to warp, but I didn't realize how bad it was. I think the issue is the fact that the sides are made from MDF, which as much as the compression gives a rigid enough surface, it doesn't do well under pressure/weight as the clue is in the name, Multi Density Fibre Board. I think over the two years since I made the new legs, the weight on top of them has caused the legs to buckle. So I had to take the console down, not just because it was bugging the hell out of me with the fact that the console wasn't sitting straight, but also that I didn't want it to collapse during the night (it probably wouldn't have, but i'd rather be safe than sorry)

So at some point....god knows when as I've recently lost my job and so now haven't got money, I shall have to purchase some Plywood and some more mod roc....Part of me is kind of happy with the fact that I get to rebuild the legs and make it a bit stronger than what it was, but It's also disappointing to see it piled up in the corner. So after Christmas at some point, I should be able to start replacing the buttresses.

It's the only thing as a Prop maker that I have found, is the upkeep of props, especially the console and the TARDIS, which yet again needs work doing to her.....I sometimes just wanna throw in the towel and bang my head against a brick wall  :-\

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to get her fixed soon



Hi Biodoc.

Sorry to hear your console needs so much repair work.
I can understand your frustration. These things do always need a lot of upkeep/maintenance...
But please don't throw in the towel! Keep up the good work as I always enjoy seeing your builds & your console is a fantastic piece of work which really deserves the TLC you need to give to get her up & running again.
It will all be worth it in the long run!



A chap of your talents should have no problem getting a new job. Good luck.

And everything Russell said, I agree.


Dec 17, 2015, 05:42 am #142 Last Edit: Dec 17, 2015, 05:42 am by galacticprobe
Ditto to what everyone's said so far! As for your console's ribs and the sagging, when you get around to putting the old girl back together again, remember to use those internal bulkheads that separate each section. That will put one bulkhead under each rib and provide the structural support needed to prevent any sagging once the neck and column are in place.

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


Dec 17, 2015, 12:46 pm #143 Last Edit: Dec 17, 2015, 12:46 pm by seanclarke1
Hello Biodoc,

When building these things we learn by doing.  Each build is a prototype for the next one.  The next one will be better (and possibly bigger).

This is not the end but the end of the beginning.

Best regards,
Sean Clarke.


Hi guys,

So I've finally started work on the console again. I went out and bought 2 Sheets of 9mm Spruce Plywood to replace the buttresses that had buckled. 1 1/2 sheets were used to make the buttress sided and the other half I used to make a new circle to hold it all together. I then used some 18mm MDF to create some sloped pieces which I will use to hold up the panels, the same as the internal bulkheads on the original. I'm also planning on buying the tubes for the rotor, which are going to be about £60, so as long as I have the money, I'm hoping to get the rotor finished and fingers crossed, MOVING!





It does look slightly bigger than the previous version, So I may have to get slightly bigger panels....I hope tomorrow I can get the other two legs put together, then I can get it sized up and then start cardboarding and mod rocking it

To Do....

- Cardboard & Modroc Buttresses
- Adjust Circle to right size
- Add LED's to the circle panel
- Position & Mount Motor for Rotor
- Attach Panels to bulkheads
- Attach Neck and rotor
- Add in New Tubes
- Install Pulley to top of rotor
- Wire in electronics
And a lot more....

More Soon



Mar 13, 2016, 10:00 pm #145 Last Edit: Mar 13, 2016, 10:03 pm by BioDoctor900
Right, been hard at work with the console today. Got the cardboard taped to the buttresses and then mod rocked them, although I was only able to do round the tops on each of them. Need to get more mod roc. I then stood the console up and started to attatch the panels to the bulkheads and then added in the LEDs. I added on some of the controls onto the buttresses and that's as far as I've got so far. I've got one panel I've got to cut out again, so thats the next thing to do.









So I'm happy with how it's looking so far

More soon



This is looking really great, BioDoctor! ;D I love how the butresses are made out of cardboard. Looking forward to seeing more updates!

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Mar 14, 2016, 06:02 pm #147 Last Edit: Mar 14, 2016, 06:04 pm by galacticprobe
Argh! Those are console "ribs"; the "buttresses" were those large curvy thingies running from the console room floor to the ceiling.

Other than the terminology, this upgrade is amazing! Those bulkheads will definitely give you the structural support you need to keep this old girl solid. The glow on those panels is just like the original - looking like it's a different shade depending on how the photo is taken. And I want your column cover! It looks so sturdy: not like the flimsy wobbly sleeve I've got (waiting for a console to grow under it). Where did you find that tube, and what size is it? (And if I've asked that before, please forgive the old, forgetful, medicated brain. :P)

Brilliant build that definitely registers on the old Envy(small).jpg meter!

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


The tube was given to me by a friend and fellow prop maker and he told me that it comes from the same place that supplies the BBC. It's 23cm in diameter and I think it's just over a meter long



Mar 15, 2016, 05:08 am #149 Last Edit: Mar 15, 2016, 05:08 am by galacticprobe
You have some nice friends, BioDoc! (I wish I had friends like that.) Yours is just a tad larger in diameter than what I'm looking for (8 inches, or 20.32 cm), but the length would work nicely. It really puts even more of a professional touch to your console. (I've "envied" it already, so I'll just add a small ENVY! this time. ;D)

And I'll continue my hunt for a suitable cover for my column... as I think about what will end up inside it.

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