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2013 time rotor

Started by pmc, May 05, 2013, 06:43 pm

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May 05, 2013, 06:43 pm Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 07:20 pm by Scarfwearer
Hi everyone, I'm not sure if this post is in the right place but I wanted to start a discussion on materials for a possible build project.

I don't want to get beyond myself as I still have a Tardis build to finish but I was watching 'Journey to the centre of the Tardis' again today and a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. Firstly I thought wouldn't it be good to build the time rotor from the new Tardis, this would make a great room feature and light source sitting in the corner of any room. My second thought was it would be nice to build a roundel from the new Tardis, again this would make a nice room decoration and provide a nice light effect. These two projects are quite small and self contained, when I say small I mean small in comparison to a full Tardis build.

I was wondering what people's thoughts were on these suggestions. Also I have been looking at acrylic tubing to use for the time rotor and it looks like this might be a bit expensive, again any suggestions?



They sound like great projects!

But please - one project per topic | one topic per project.
By all means start another topic to talk about building the 2013 roundels.
The workshop section is the place for talking about projects before you get started: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=1364



Right Ok, like I said I was not sure I'd posted this in the right place. Please by all means move it to where you think it should be. It's not too clear where things should be posted without being an expert on this forum.


May 06, 2013, 05:11 am #3 Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 05:21 am by galacticprobe
There are several ways to work the light tubes.

You could get six fluorescent tubes (I think for the average room 4-footers would be enough), and then get the colored sleeves they sell to go over them for that "blue" effect. If you think 8-foot tubes would work better and can't find sleeves that long, then Tap Plastics would be the place to go for the colored sleeves. They also sell acrylic tubes and their prices are very reasonable for tubes of this size. The top and bottom casings for the tubes (where they meet with the base and top of the rotor) could be PVC pipe, and that cone part could be made from either a PVC reducer, or that cut-down funnel trick like on the Shield/Commlink Button.

The "spikes" in the center (those things that look like "Bomb Pops"): The main housing for them could easily be made out of fins of half-inch ply or strips of 1 x 4 to get a smoother edge (I'm just guessing at the fins' thickness in relation to a living room - they may be thicker on the prop). They could be affixed together via a wooden dowel that slips down the center where the fins come together. The actual spike could be a fluted dowel, or that same corrugated cardboard that was discussed here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php/index.php?topic=4332. Of course it could also be made in the same fashion as its housing, only using thinner wood and a smaller center dowel.

The bottom spike would just sit in its housing on the base of the rotor innards as that spike doesn't move. The upper and spike and housing of course would basically be made the same way. Getting it to retract and extend? (Too much for my brain at the moment.) Also, the top of the rotor looks to be more complex when it comes to how things are mounted up there, and I can't see a clear enough image (for my eyes) to start guessing at that part.

The really hard (and expensive) part is going to be that large clear casing that encloses the rotor's workings. Tap Plastics does sell them, but you're looking at $$$ (and that's expensive in any currency).

I hope this babbling is at least a little helpful.

P. S.  I've got a small idea for the roundel so I'll be looking for that topic when you start it.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Thanks Dino some good ideas there. I have looked at some prices for acrylic tube for the outside and for 5mm X 400mm X 2000mm it's a whopping £515.52 so I will have to come up with an alternative.

This leads me on to do I make it full size or not, full size as well as being more expensive may be too big and dominate any room.

Using fluorescent tubes is probably what ill do, I would like to use LEDs though but wouldn't get the all round coverage that a fluorescent tube would give. I've used the LED strips for other projects and maybe if I arranged this so I glued 3 strips round a triangle rod this would be good enough. The good thing about LED strips is that you can have any colour you want and if you get the digital ones you can have some neat moving effects that although wouldn't be authentic to the prop might give some flexibility in its use in my home.

I'll try and get some 3D images put together with some ideas.


Some time ago, http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?action=profile;u=782 had the idea of using thin acetate sheet rolled a couple of times: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=1053
There's also a collection of the topics we have about timerotors here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?action=proplist;sa=show;id=210

Hope this helps,


OK Ive been doing some calculations and based on the fact that Matt Smith is 180.34cm I have extrapolated the console time rotor measurements. Bear in mind angle difference etc these are very loose but I would imagine the design team would use standard sizing so this also needs to be taken into consideration. Having said that I don't think these are too far out.


Anyway see what you think.


May 06, 2013, 03:29 pm #7 Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 03:49 pm by Scarfwearer

I think you could get a better estimate by considering the foreshortening effect of the relative closeness of the camera:

A regular hexagon always has twice the diameter of one of its edges. So the longest horizontal red line in the picture above should be twice as long as the second longest.
In terms of pixels they're actually in the ratio 300:200, so a lot of foreshortening is happening.

I think Matt Smith will be apparently 33% taller in this image than he would look if he were standing at one of the outer corners in the same vertical plane as the centre of the time rotor, which would suggest that the rotor dimensions you have should be proportionately larger.

Bear in mind also that people never stand as straight as they do when there's a ruler on their head, so he's probably not quite as tall in the picture as his listed height - depending on the heels of his boots, the styling of his hair, any acting that might be going on... Humans are not generally a very good yard-stick for photogammetry, but sometimes they're all we have...

The console is also not perfectly straight-on to the camera in this picture, and with the ratio of the shorter horizontal lines you could work out how this distorts things with some geometry. I'm guessing the effect is much smaller than the foreshortening, though.

That said, this is not a very exact science and there's always a degree of guesswork involved. The best method is often to work from several images with several different references. If we could identify the model of monitors used and get a width, we might be able to make a fair estimate of the timerotor diameter when they're in the same shot.



Yes I know what you mean Crispim, I have used some of my measurements to create the rotor in 3D and I can instantly see there are errors. I'm open to any suggestions on sizes.

I've been looking further into large acrylic tubes for the external tubing, I could buy 1000mm tall by 300mm diameter for £131. I know this size is too small but I am quite willing to spend that much so I may just settle for something that isn't quite 100% exact. I really want a solid exterior so am quite set on an acrylic tube, having young children anything less than solid wouldn't last I'm afraid. I have asked an online source to quote me for 1200mm X 400mm so ill wait and see their response.

I have a few ideas on the final look of this so when I get time ill get some designs done in 3D and post them on here.


tony farrell

Michael Pickwoad has clearly designed the console to have elements from all eras of the show - the "McGann" plug-in wires, the large viewing screen panel akin to the one in the Baker version, the round Hartnell meter, etc.
Looking at the overall proportions of the console's hexagon, they appear to be remarkably close to Brachaki's original - the central Perspex column appears to be a little narrower but, the collar at it's base (the bit where the monitors rotate) appears to be very close to the diameter of the original column. The actual hexagonal 'table' appears to be at the same height as the original whilst the angle of each panel again seems comparable.
If that's correct - big if - then the diameter of the original console's hexagon (opposite corner to opposite corner) is 86" or 215 centimeters.
That might give you a reasonable starting figure against which to test your reference materials.


Ok guys I have come up with a design that I think might work.


Not sure what size it will be yet as I have some quotes coming in for the outside acrylic tube. Depending on this will determine how big I make it but I would like to think it might be around six foot.

I may refine the the design a little but just wanted to get this out there.