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New, New TardisBuilders!

Kiwidoc's Console

Started by kiwidoc, Jan 24, 2013, 08:42 am

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Nov 07, 2013, 11:16 pm #120 Last Edit: Nov 07, 2013, 11:18 pm by galacticprobe
Hmmm... Interesting one there. In the US we usually called them "banana plugs". Then again, those were the single plugs we used. When we had two banana plugs linked together with lead wire like that we simply called it a "jumper lead". This might be another one of those things that you'll want to print out (from one of Kingpin's great photos at the DWE, where a small part of that original panel piece is still there, but lower on the panel) and show it to someone at an electronics or electrical supply store and say "I need some of these". (I'd try an electronics store first since they're used more in electronics than they are in electrical things.)

Sorry I'm not of more help here. If you haven't found anything more useful by the 17th (when I'm back from my Arizona visit), let me know. Then I'll be in the right time zone to call my friends in the Coast Guard who still work with these things and ask them to "refresh my memory" on their proper name.

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


Just a minor note.  Bought a box of 'old radio knobs' online and hope to be able to utilise most of the them on the console somewhere.


PS:  There is a set of of switches and plugs on the real console - on the metal pane facing the camera, - it looks like a rack-mounted set of controls?    Careful scrutiny of this has shown ad brand on it of "Bell & Howel" which were apparently well-known makers of film and video equipment.   It doesn't look like consumer stuff but could easily be a bit of old film/tv studio gear which fits with the other panel of switches and plugs that Tennant used to bash with a mallet...    If anyone tracks down the exact models I would certainty be interested but I think this will have to be a crafty re-production job as per MD's console..


Nov 08, 2013, 07:00 am #122 Last Edit: Nov 08, 2013, 07:00 am by galacticprobe
Nice collection of knobs! I'm sure that with the right application of silvery paint on some of them, you could use them on actual switches mounted through some of the panels (to take the place of some of those small hard drive hubs), and have them actually control some aspect of the console's operation, and not just look pretty (which they will as well).

Great find!

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


Feb 03, 2014, 12:58 am #123 Last Edit: Feb 03, 2014, 01:00 am by kiwidoc
Hi folks, it's a much belated Happy New Year etc from me - I hope you're all doing very well.   I'd particularly like to say a big Hello to GalacticProbe who had a birthday in January which went unremarked so HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear chap, here's wishing you 1200 more.    I've been around but very quiet for a few months - my father died unexpectedly in November and life hasn't allowed a lot of building time since then, we're still cleaning his place up in preparation to sell it (he was a bit of a hoarder... and it's been something of a lesson to me).  I'm starting to get back into my console build again and have picked away at pieces as time and inclination allowed but although I photographed them at the time I can't lay my hands on everything right now so please forgive me if there are some gaps in my commentary of this build.

Texturing and Painting.    

I finally got all of the ribs covered in my toilet paper-based coral texture.  There are a few small gaps to go back and cover plus I I have to do the blanked between ribs so there is some future work to do but I can't face any more right now - this process took AGES!   I then tried about 6 different paints before deciding that the undercoat on the real console (see early construction pics) has a strong fleshy-coral tint so I picked out a pinky colour and then slathered that on to several ribs before deciding it was showing through too prominently even after I put on 3 other colours and mixed the together so I replaced the based colour with a dark mustard, then sponged the pink on in liberal patches, then applied the other colors on top of that.   Tedious,  I hate painting!    Looking pretty good now though I still need to dirty them all down, de-pink a few spots and add some green/copper run off effects, but it's basically there.   I figured I wait until some of the main controls are installed before I do touch-ups, then i can do blending in of the instruments at the same time.


The fibreglass resin panels I made have proven to be very brittle and all have broken to some extent, just being stored in the garage.  I decided to try and use them but needed to find a way to mount them so I bought some scrap Lexan (thick perspex/acrylic used in Windows), and fashioned 3 console panels and attached them using screws in my outer rim, and two screws at the top, up into the underside of the central area.  I've then laboriously been trimming down the resin panels to fit the area (1 complete so far, 2 getting close) and then these get mounted on the Lexan so that they aren't taking any weight and won't break (unless treated really roughly from above...).    One down side is that I used hot-melt-glue to attached the one panel I've completed so far and I forgot that the glue dries white-ish so it does show up through the panel but I don't think it's too far out of character.  On the other panels I'm thinking of using clear builders' adhesive designed for gaps around baths/windows etc.

They aren't a perfect fit around the inner part of the outer ceramic ring but it's close enough and I'll fill that area with junk I guess, as per the real thing!   My panels are necessarily flat so don't curve gently in the middle as I'd like but most people will never notice this and I'm sure you guys won't tell... ;)

The plastic panel with the clutch plate and keypads is made from frosted perspex and this weekend I found some of that giant bubble-wrap to put underneath and give it the right texture.  I don't think bubble wrap was used on the console but it is something (perhaps a floor mat?) that looks very very close so that suits me!

Amongst my Dad's stuff (he was an electronics technician, specialising in car radios), I've found a few odds and ends that I might use on the console, including a box of calculator keypads.  None are a perfect match for the 2005 console but a couple are close enough and actually have a little more visual interest that the real ones do so they're going to be installed on this panel.

I've having the devil of a time trying to find perforated metal for the other 2 panels.  My local metal retailers want nearly $200 for the two pieces I need and I cna't find anything even vaguely close on auction sites, scrap dealers or even at the local dump.  I've emailed several metal dealers to see if they will give me some chepa but no joy so far.   I even made a paper template (8mm holes estimated) and tried drilling out a piece of 3mm MDF but the control needed is too great for me and the area I drilled was a mess and would never be convincing unless I slave for hours and hours over it.   We'll call that Plan B!

Console decoration

I chanced across a set of 3 glass cone candle holders at a local second-hand store so I grabbed that, they look like a good match to the console, basically round versions of the hex holders I already have.

I have a bucket full of knobs now, along with some vacuum tubes, valves, and some switches and wires, thanks to scavenging through Dad's electrical and radio supplies.  I also scored a few gauges (mainly from cars, but there is one nice Hartnell-Style Amp meter).  I've also been collecting other odds and ends like metal gears, I've bought some second hand fuse holders, I have a few pump parts and a couple of bakelite electrical fittings that should fit in quite well.

I've also found an old starter-pull from a lawn mover which I think would go well on this version of the console, somewhere.


At some point, I have completed the shields /touch light instrument and have installed the gauge in my demat lever housing, as well as making it a new lever with proper wooden ball on the end.  It just wants some buttons and lights now but do you think I can find the right things?!


Yesterday I picked up a $10 LCD monitor.  Being silver and 17" and having some space below the screen it seemed like a good candidate to convert to a console monitor.  I cut several pieces of MDF to size (choosing 5cm for the back ledge and 10 cm for the front one).  I've cut grooves into the panel and have no-more-nails'ed them together.  I plan to create the scoop section from either plastic from a ring-binder or possibly metal from an old venetian blind - depending on what I can lay my hands on.  This will leave the controls for the panel intact, in case I ever need to get at them.  
The end of the scoop area will be filled with modelling clay and smoothed over so that the whole thing looks solid.    
I have some ideas on creating the arm for the monitor, but I want to figure out the counter-weights first - I think that could be tricky.   Quite pleased with how this is going so far though.

What else?  Oh, lots probably (lie the time I tried to make insulator rings from polystyrene, failed miserably and cut my finger instead, or the time I tried to get plastic to create the central column and it was going to be too small...) but I've spent my entire lunch break writing this so I'd better attach some pictures and sign off.   Thanks for listening.

PS:  I also had to cut my outer ceramic ring into 6 pieces to make the outside diameter fit properly once I'd spaced the ribs out more to be correct to TV (I believe).  THAT was a wrench and I did some damage to it as you can imagine so that needed lots of patching up, which almost saw me write the project off, but never fear, I got through it...   Just need to do the crackle paint and cream top coat next, when i eventually take it all apart for final painting..



Feb 03, 2014, 05:12 pm #124 Last Edit: Feb 03, 2014, 05:34 pm by galacticprobe
Whoa! Glen, those close-ups of your (semi) completed console panels look very close to some of the reference photos in the 2005 Console Reference Section! And if you look through all of the photos, you'll also find a few that look like there is some of that white-ish hot glue on them (or at least between the laminate layers), so I wouldn't worry about that. Your lighted photos look like the panels are lit with a "white" white or possibly a "warm" white? If you light them with a "cool" white you'll get that "ice blue" look to them that appears in some of the reference photos (like this one:)

And as you can see in this photo, that panel has two 4-sided "cones" on it. The original console - as in when it started out - had three 4-sided cones: two here, and one on the panel with the Trim Phone. Only one panel had a 6-sided "cone", and you've got that one set with that hex-cone inside the wheel spacer. So you're on a good roll. Go ahead and use those round "cone" candle holders in place of the 4-sided ones. (Only our hairdressers know for sure! ;)) And when you come across some 4-sided ones... UPGRADE!

As for that "bubble wrap" panel - I'd say stick with that. The actual prop probably had someone with a drill press to drill those large holes into frosted perspex/plexi, and then sandwiched that between two layers of regular thick perspex. The large bubble wrap method gets the look across, and that's all that matters. It works, and brilliantly so!

I'm surprised that you're having such a hard time finding inexpensive sheets of that perforated metal. Usually they have that in 2 x 4-foot panels at home improvement stores. One of those sheets would take care of the two panels on the console. They're not that expensive over here in the States, so if your home improvement stores are marking them up that much - holy frack! (I's send you one, but shipping something of that size, even though it's flat, it's still large and the costs are high on that.)

And don't worry about the panels not being "curved". If you look at some of the reference photos you can see the actual panels are pretty flat themselves, and the "curve" is a bit of an optical illusion, which I think you'll get with your panels once the console and all of the bits and bobs are in place on the panels.

I'm in sensory overload now! Wow! Simply... WOW! And of course, like M.D., you're peaking myEnvy(tiny).jpg meter! There was so much I wanted to say once I read your latest update, but I got so excited it's all gone out of my head as I typed the above!

So keep going! You're doing a "Fantastic!" job! Also, a very Happy New Near to you, too, and a huge THANK YOU! for the birthday well-wishes!

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


WOW.... love that texture and the paint job....WOW..
absolutely stunning!!!



"I could retire and be the curator of this place,"  the 11th doctor or maybe the 12th?


Wow that is coming along great. Super impressed over here


Feb 07, 2014, 03:14 am #127 Last Edit: Feb 07, 2014, 03:37 am by kiwidoc
Thanks guys , always nice to know someone is checking out the updates  :)

Haven't had much time this week to do more panels but achieved a couple of little things:

1: Buttons for Demat Lever housing

2: Pneumatic buttons for brass unit on console panel ( did we ever get around to assigning labels or numbers to each panel for easy reference?).  The paint is a little rough but with a another coat, some judicious sanding and some weathering I'm hopeful they'll look just like real buttons!

I've been struggling to located some of this industrial pneumatic style buttons - they're very expensive new and that seemed very wasteful but I haven't come across a single second-hand example in the last year so decided to make my own.   The brass-style ones are created from lids off Coke bottles and a ring of plastic garden irrigation pipe, filled with hot-melt glue.    The de-mat housing buttons are slightly different (being larger) - these are rings cut from a metal pipe, filled with hot glue.  The housings that will one day contain lights are also (thinner) pieces of pipe, mounted on washers to give them a little of their characteristic texture.

You may also have spotted the push light unit assembled in the background?  Just needs batteries now.  The decorations are little screw-head covers used in cabinet-making.

And the monitor conversion is going well - I've created the curved section with a piece of metal venetian blind, salvaged from the house I grew up in!


Feb 07, 2014, 05:23 am #128 Last Edit: Feb 07, 2014, 05:35 am by galacticprobe
Ha-ha! Yes! I did notice that push-light assembly... immediately after admiring the progress on your Demat Lever. Both look, well, FANTASTIC! As for panel numbers, I don't think we ever put numbers to them on this console, possibly because so many controls are also on the ribs that separate the panels. I think we've just been referring to them with names like:

Compass Repeater Panel - metal mesh panel with the gyrocompass, and the switchboard that gets basked with the mallet, on it;
Trimphone Panel - the other metal mesh panel;
Keypads Panel - the panel with the two small keypads on it, that looks like it's got bubble wrap under it;
Commlink/Shields Panel - the panel with the push-light on it, as that control seems to have been used for both;

The only two panels left are the one with the six-sided crystal "cone" on it, and the rather (ordinary?) panel with the two four-sided crystal "cones" on it, and I don't think they've been given "names", so to speak. Although, at the end of "The Age of Steel" when the Doctor inserts the recharged power crystal into the console, he plugs it into the panel by opening the six-sided crystal cone (which looks hinged on the back) and then closes the cone. (Could that possibly be the "Power Panel"?) And since the monitor, for the most part, stays pretty much around the panel with the two four-sided cones on it, maybe that one is the "Monitor Panel"?

I think I'll let that one settle in a bit (because once that does, we still have "ribs" to name!).

Those industrial hydraulic/pneumatic buttons? Unless anyone has plans to have those buttons actually do something, I'd say stick with the scratch-built versions. Yours look pretty much the part. Those buttons are indeed expensive, unless you luck out in a junk/antique shop, or in an electronics "junk" lot on eBay. Even my friends still on active duty who have access to such parts can't get their fingers on any of them, even the broken ones; seems they're now turning the broken ones in to be repaired! (It's not as easy to steal re-allocate such parts as it was while I was on active duty... but then I was known as the "scrounge-meister". No - forget that; don't call me the scrounge-meister. I just happened to have a knack for finding the unfindable.)

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


Hehe, scrounge-Meister!

By the way, if anyone has trim phone measurements and/or detailed photos, could you let me have them?  I've had no luck getting one locally and most eBay folk won't ship out of the UK so I'm thinking I'll have to scratch build one.   Thanks!


Feb 07, 2014, 04:46 pm #130 Last Edit: Feb 07, 2014, 04:53 pm by galacticprobe
Glen,  here are a couple of choices you might have luck with: (You'll need to paint the main body green. This one also has the * and # keys if you need them. It's also a "Buy It Now", and according to the shipping info, they do ship to "Kiwiland". I checked a few destinations and the cost seems to be standard for any international shipping. The description says this one is brand new in the box and works with all modern phone systems. It also gives the dims for the phone.)

And this one: (You'll have to paint the handset on this one white/off-white. This phone doesn't have the * or # keys - like the original, and if you don't need those keys you'll be fine; in the States we need them. This one is an Auction (no bids so far) with 1 day 21 hours left to go. Shipping says the seller will ship to New Zealand, but doesn't give rates; it says to contact the seller for shipping rates. So you might want to shoot him a message on that before bidding. The description, though, says this phone didn't work when the seller plugged it in, and he says it has a crack in the handset which you can see in the photos.)

If you'd rather scratch-build one, between the dims given in that first listing and the extra photos from the second listing, you should be able to make a go of it if all you want is a dummy phone. I've ordered one like that in the first listing a while back (same colors - black body and white handset), and it works fine on our US phone system; in fact we called Uni of Bath several times on it when making arrangements for The Evil One's semester there, before we got international calling enabled on our mobiles.

There are 13 watchers eyeing that black and white "Buy It Now" phone, so if you want a working one on your console that you can plug into your wall, then I'd say jump on this one. (It should be easy to pop off the cover, give it a light roughing up with some fine sandpaper, and then give it a nice olive green spray.)

Hope this is helpful.
Dino. (Living up to the reputation as the "scrounge-meister"... Fracking hell; what a name! :P)
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Feb 11, 2014, 10:09 pm #131 Last Edit: Feb 11, 2014, 10:15 pm by kiwidoc
Hello folks, just some work in progress today.

I have been roughing out a shape in MDF and this morning cut it down.  No points for guessing what its going to be, though there will be a few niggly moments trying to get it right I'm sure (eg how can I do the button numbers nicely?) but I'm feeling pretty happy about this as a process.   I was sorely tempted by the items Dino found and posted but when the shipping is as much as the item something in me rebels a bit.  If I screw it up I might still go back to buying off the shelf though...   :)


I've also added some metal caps to the end of the curved section on my monitor surround and given the area a layer of paint which can be sanded back and give the top silver coat something to stick to.


Oh, and I'm finally getting around to doing more work on the trim control units, here are the surrounds ready for levers and random gears (old car parts, salvaged from Dad's garage) to be installed sometime soon.   PS:  I always thought that the port/starboard control was added on later and were a bit whimsical but I've seen pictures of original units and they had the same control, it's meant to be there - how funny!


Holy crap, that is some really impressive work! I wouldn't even know where to begin with a project like that, and with all the hundreds of odd little parts and doodads you'd have to somehow find or create.

Can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done.


Feb 12, 2014, 06:47 am #133 Last Edit: Feb 12, 2014, 06:48 am by galacticprobe
Looking really great, Glen!

(Getting ready to start cranking up that Envy(microbial).jpg meter again!)

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


Taking shape.  8)

Also, back to the trim control handles.   Broke one off whilst screwing the handle on.  Superglue to the rescue, hopefully it holds...