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New, New TardisBuilders!

Kiwidoc's Console

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

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Hi, thanks very much.  Yes, I'm in Christchurch, New Zealand and you're right we're generally nicknamed Kiwis, after a native bird - not the kiwifruit (" kiwi" in the US).  :)

techno gallifrey

Oh I see, I'm in Auckland, and attempting to build a custom console
based on Matt's first console room.

the mister


Mar 11, 2013, 02:11 pm #33 Last Edit: Mar 11, 2013, 02:12 pm by galacticprobe
Once again the ENVY factor grows! (And yes: I do have enough for anyone building this console with such details and skills - and has the room to do it in. So this makes two and counting!)

Looking great so far, Glen! Like M.D.'s, this looks like a faithful and sturdy reproduction.

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


Today I was back in the workshop after much pondering.   No photos today though.

1)  Having broken my most useful router bits and still have several discs for my central dais to cut into rings (for weight mainly, but also to reuse the central wood elsewhere - waste not, want not!) I spent some time fixing an old jigsaw type of tool that had been seized for sometime.  Took it completely to pieces but end result was working tool and a lot of MDF dust.   had a washer left over at the end.  As you do.

2)  Began gluing the discs of the dais together.  I have also begun sanding the ones that will be painted in brass.  'll undercoat and them make them smooth before trying to spray them with a nice metallic colour.

3)  In discussion with Dave and also having received my full size sextant for the console I reluctantly had to accept that my console 'ribs' were too wide.   Reducing them would also make my panel spaces larger and their apparent smallness has been bugging me since the first fit together.    So today I bit the bullet and one-by-one I took each rib apart, cut down the spacers holding the sides together, trimmer the outer skin then reassembled them.   Happily the MDF skin remembered the shape so there wasn't the hours of struggle required when first fitting them.   End result is 6 skinnier ribs and a feeling that it's going to look a lot more accurate when I next test fit.     end result for anyone else looking in the workshop:  No change at all after the afternoon's work..   :)


Mar 17, 2013, 10:31 pm #35 Last Edit: Mar 17, 2013, 10:31 pm by galacticprobe
Wow! Bummer about those ribs - having to do all of that work on them. But as you say, now they're more accurate and it gives you more room on the panels. Though I suppose it could have been worse; if you'd made your rim in sections instead of one piece then you'd have to rebuild each section of the rim as well. So that's looking on the bright side of things.

Which reminds me... did anyone ever figure out how wide the two sizes of ribs were? For some reason 12 inches for the wide ones and 8 for the narrower ones sticks in my head, but I've got so much trivia crammed in there I couldn't remember my own name if it wasn't tattooed to the inside of my eyelids. ;)

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


Mar 17, 2013, 11:55 pm #36 Last Edit: Mar 18, 2013, 01:45 am by kiwidoc
I've never heard any figures for the rib sizes so resorted to estimating from pictures.   Based on the width of the full size sextant I now have  - 18.5cm from pivot to bottom of the adjusting bar (no idea on terminology) and the Singer sewing machine handle Dave sourced, I am putting the thinner ribs at 19.5cm.   It may be anything from 19-21cm but the 23cm I had used in my plans originally is too wide.

For the 'fatter' ribs I'm using 30cm.  I don't have any reliable rationale for that but at 1.5x a thinner rib it feels appropriate.

Those sizes equate to 7.8" and 11.8" respectively so your source (and memory) must be pretty good Dino, and it's somewhat reassuring to me that I'm so close to what you've seen or heard elsewhere.

Cheers, Glen


Hey KiwiDoc, I am sorry for the trouble, but I suspect and hope you will find this a happier more scale size...
I am aware that if the sewing machine handle on the screen console is from a different manufacturer I could be quite off.  It is just My best guess. ::)

Keep it up -
Brilliant work Glen!


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


Well now, where was I?  Ah yes - back in April 2013 my console wasn't built yet was it... what stage was it at back then... HARPS PLAY AS THE WORLD SHIMMERS IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES

I've spent most of one eternity working on the ceramic outer ring.   I've marked all 125-ish of the outer dimples using a wooden template then drilled about 250 pilot holes, then cut 250 pieces out with a hole saw, then made 250 cuts with a thin blade to complete the gap, then cut 250 wooden pieces to glue to the back.  Because both the process and my technique was a bit rough, I filed sanded 250 dimple holes (breaking a couple but it all comes right in the end), glue those 250 inserts to the back of the ring's skin, then filled those 250 dimples with builders fill and moulded the shape I wanted.     I have yet to sand the builders fill back and I'm afraid that it might be a tricky job but I can now see the end-of-the-tunnel light and can't wait to move on.


dimps stuck on.JPG

dimps filled.jpg

dimps filled 2.jpg

Oh, and it turned out I'd missed some dimple.  So instead of a new batch of builders fill I found some hobby clay and smeared that around and it went on beautifully!  I don't know whether it will take paint or whether it might dry out and crumble away but if not, it is a terrific substance to work with in this sort of thing.  Time will tell (etc).
dimps filled 3.jpg

In other news, a hand wheel has arrived from China for my variable resistor assembly, which I don't think I've shown you yet?   These are cores of solid MDF and covered in corduroy (a pair of long-serving cord trousers were about to be chucked which was good timing) to simulate the wound-wire look.   Sprayed black, I think they're a good match for the look!    I don't know whether I'll keep the end plates I've made or try to fashion some slightly better ones.  I'm inclined to gunge them up and just make do.    I am having trouble deciding what to do for the main screw thread bar across the top, but something will come to hand, I hope.


variable close.jpg

This (pictured in an earlier post) is the turbine housing from one of the console ribs.  Simply made, it will have white Perspex between the legs and the top is made from the centre of a CD-spindle.   Not the world's most polished product but it doesn't have to do anything.  Might put a light in it, I was thinking...

I have been collecting some old pumps at local markets, roughly NZ$20 a pop.  Not too bad but it adds up quickly..

Found some dials at a junk store from a broken (and obviously cheap to start with) barometer for $1 each.  They're a bit too big for the main Demat lever housing that I was thinking of but I think they'll be good on the console somewhere.

And the one thing I think has come out well recently - the central dais has been painted up.   I bought proper sealing undercoat paint for MDF, then sanded it and applied the top black and gold coats.   The metal rings have appears both brass and copper coloured in the show over time so I figure that starting with gold and dirtying it up will work quite well.  The gold rings really look like metal and the black parts are nice and smooth.   I just need to figure out how to do the top couple of rings which house the monitor arm.  I'd like it to be move like on the show but without metalworking skills it's a hard task to make a mechanism out of wood.  We'll see!



And since my tools and paint were out I finally got around to doing a dog bed for our precious pup...
(and it took about a week to coax her into it!)


Looking great Kiwidoc-

I absolutely love the corduroy on the variable resisters- amassing- wish I had thought of that...

and the CD spindle hex thingy is coming along very nicely- I have been contemplating that little gizmo for some time now-   looking good.

Thanks for sharing with us

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


Apr 19, 2013, 05:13 am #40 Last Edit: Apr 19, 2013, 05:14 am by galacticprobe
Okay... aside from all the ENVY! you and M.D. are filling me with, with both console builds looking so, well, "Fantastic!", I wonder if something like these will help either or both of you out with the monitor swivel: (comes in 17- and 13-inch diameters, and is on Clearance),

or this (12-inch diameter).

Shipping cost might be a problem, though, depending on where you live (

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


Thanks Dino, I must look into something like that.  One issue is size (it needs to be something like 25" across) but the other is that there is a solid surface above the swivel which isn't going to move.  I'm thinking about doing something like this crudely sketched picture...

The red, green and blue sections are all the central dais thing, but the green part swivels.  If I could get a lazy susan with a large enough central hole to put down a stable core for everything above the lazy susan it might work.    Guess i'd better look at some sources and see whats around in my area..    Cheers, Glen

Quote from: galacticprobe on Apr 19, 2013, 05:13 am
Okay... aside from all the ENVY! you and M.D. are filling me with, with both console builds looking so, well, "Fantastic!", I wonder if something like these will help either or both of you out with the monitor swivel: (comes in 17- and 13-inch diameters, and is on Clearance),

or this (12-inch diameter).

Shipping cost might be a problem, though, depending on where you live (



My Neck ring is very similar in design, but mine is made from an old mixing bowl, it had a crack in the bottom of it. I cut two rings and cut out a tennis racket shaped ring to go between the neck ring and the rings on top. I bolted it together with a nut and a butterfly bolt and it swivles round

Have a look at my page and you'll see what i mean, its hard to explain :)

Hope this helps


the mister

that neck looks beeaaauuutiful


Apr 29, 2013, 08:15 am #44 Last Edit: Apr 29, 2013, 08:20 am by kiwidoc
Quick updates:

Monitor Swivel:  Have taken Dino's suggestion and invested in a 12" lazy susan bearing arangement, rated up to 1000lb.  I've sandwiched this between two more circles of MDF and have mounted a thinner disc of ply on top.  The idea is that the central MDF disc will turn and have the monitor arm attached to it - to whit I've roughly routered a channel from that disc, so that the monitor cables can go down to the centre of the TARDIS (to borrow a phrase..).



Texture Tests:
I've been thinking of and trying a number of things for the coral effect.   The polyurethane glue sold here is rubbish, I can't afford spray foam, nor spray insulation.   I thought that bubble wrap suitable distressed and overpainted might work but no...
I tried papier mache but found it didn't give the effect I wanted until I found a craft for homes website showing how to make branches of coral with papier mache.  A-ha!   Soak toilet paper in hot water and mix it up.  Add you preference in terms of flour or glue and/or jointing compound (I haven't tried any of this yet, just the water and paper so far) - drain and you have a nice pulpy mixture.   Smear and let dry.

I tried this on a scrap of MDF and also over some types of bubble wrap and plastic etc.  I think the mix itself is enough and possibly building up a few layers in places would make it look irregular enough.   I'm pleased with this result and now will start looking out for a massive package of TP, on sale.    It is likely to be quite a paper-hungry process.


Texture Tests 2:
Porcelain.   Ah.   So the general consensus is the the later console was sprayed in Plasti-kote crackle heritage gold.   Which I can't buy here and which may even have gone out of production?       Plenty on Ebay etc but to pay $7 a can and $86 postage is not great value, even if it can legally be posted.    
Incidentally, check this page from Plastikote - I think I actually like Colony Cream as a visual match better than Heritage Gold in any case - anyone else agree?

So I've finally got my console ring ready to start painting.  I've tested it in one area so far  The rest of it needs a bit more of a sand then I'm painting on undercoat/sealer, sanding it then doing a base colour, applying a crackle medium and then painting a top coat.

here you'll see a gold base coat, with crackle on top (right side of the photo only), then a mix of white and yellow I mixed up to test with.  It's a bit rough but since I intend to sand it off and go over it again I'm not too worried.  But I think the cracking effect has come out quite well - what do you think?   Possibly that could be larger, but if the whole ring was done the effect would probalby be fairly noticeable?2013-04-29_19-51-06_909.jpg2013-04-29_19-51-23_161.jpg2013-04-29_19-51-30_546.jpg2013-04-29_19-51-35_770.jpg