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New, New TardisBuilders!

A cheap and quick K-9 build (maybe)

Started by darth_baldrick, Feb 21, 2014, 11:37 pm

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Apr 20, 2014, 07:17 am #15 Last Edit: Apr 22, 2014, 07:04 pm by darth_baldrick
So, here goes then with another day of K9.
There was a bit of sun, but not enough to do much Tardis as it also rained on and off, although I do have a small update for that as well.  :)

First up on K9 was giving up on the folds for the head, so they were removed (well, fell off actually if I'm honest!)
which meant starting to fix an edge of wood so i had something to join to middle to.

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Is it me, or does he look like he is starting to wear hair curlers!

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Once they were on, then it was a case of cutting so pieces to fix to make the width of his head.

Measuring the Palitoy K9, the body was 5cm wide at the top and the head 3cm, so by my calculations, the large version is 20cm wide which should make the head 12cm. Or at least that's the size I'll make it anyway!  :D

Starting with the bottom piece as then it should be able to stand up on it's own

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I'm doing this is small chunks and leaving the back of the head until last as I'm hoping I can make it curve slighly!

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I wasn't sure on the eye section for a while, but decided I will do it in hardboard, paint it grey initially then either stick something red over the top or paint it red.

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There was actually about 10 photos to get that one, as my 4 year old kept waving K9 in front of the camera as I tried to take it! I'm sooo glad camera's are digital these days.  ;D

One more bit of his nose for the day today (mainly as I'm running out of smaller off cuts to use up)

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For some reason I started then thinking about the neck, how did it attach to the head? Sounds like a simple question, but for some reason I thought it went through the back of the neck.
But it doesn't. It goes from underneath the head.

So once again using the tea towel holder method (draw the circle and cut lines across that and then push the middle out), I managed to get the hole done for the 2nd pipe joiner I'd bought.

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I actually had to fit another wood piece along the bottom edge to make sure I didn't put the neck too far over as well!  ;D

And with that came the end of the day, just enough time to hold the head in the air and see if my Scale looks roughly right!

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Well, I'm quite happy with the progress so far, just need to carry on with the other side on another day now.  ;)

Oh, and even with all the sides fully on, a 4 year old can still use it as something other than K9!

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Until next time.....


Apr 21, 2014, 04:08 am #16 Last Edit: Apr 21, 2014, 04:09 am by galacticprobe
There sure is a load of work going into this fabulous build! All of those cuts and angles, not to mention the curved sections that meet with other curved sections, and those odd angles in the "legs" area. (It makes my head spin - which doesn't take much these days - but it's coming along beautifully! (And if you build the inner workings just right, you might even be able to keep the little pilot that's hiding inside in the photos hiding inside so he can drive K-9 around for you! ;))

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


Another day off and time for some more K9 assembly.  :)

Something I should point out though is all the curved pine looking pieces are from a couple of long edging bits of skirting I bought and just cut down, as it's pretty cheap to buy and has 2 flat sides as well.

The thinking was the curves will come in handy for fixing the various bits together from 2 sides, or giving me a slope when needed.

So the first bits to do were attaching small pieces around as fix points, starting with the bottom of the nose

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Then around the edge so I could fix the very front bit

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From there it meant I could do a couple more short pieces and fit the side

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After that, I spent an age thinking about how I could do the top and back of his head and possibly make it curve.
Eventually using some of the curved pieces it would give me a staggered shape that worst case could be 3 or 4 straight bits to get around it.

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I've done similar at the top, by putting a piece across then it should raise it up and down again.

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My little helper was around at this point to get involved as it meant he could use the screwdriver and fix bits together, I'd been told to do the "boring" bits and cut things to size!  ;D

Then of course came the "How to curve it moment!"

By going back to my original idea that hardboard should bend a bit like a very thick cardboard, I scored a load of cuts across the width of a piece to put on the head

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It was bent about a bit and did actually get a bit of a curve to it when fixed on.

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Unfortunately I had to use longer screws though to fix it to something, so they're not as flush as the others but they should blend in a bit with any luck when it's finished.

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I did the same with the bottom part of his head (I was using up a load of offcuts I found laying around, rather than getting a whole new piece of board), but this meant cutting them to meet smoothly wasn't going to happen, so I've overlapped them.

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Some wood filler was then used to even up the width of the middle to the sides and to start to smooth down the overlap.

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Same again over the top

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And that was it really for the day today.

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I'll smooth down some of the filler and put a bit more on the head where needed after that.
Next jobs will be the back, and the giant calculator looking bit, maybe one night in the next week or so, but there's another bank holiday coming soon worst case!


Apr 22, 2014, 05:35 am #18 Last Edit: Apr 22, 2014, 05:35 am by galacticprobe
He looks really great in that last photo. Just think of how good he's going to look once you've gotten all of the filler sanded, and the paint applied. Just think, once the shell is finished, all you need to do is get a decent RC tank model and use that to give him some motion. The treads will be his "wheels" (and he'll be able to travel over more than the original could), and the raise/lower of the gun barrel could be used to raise/lower his head.

Not too sure how to get his tail to move, or his nose laser and antenna to extend, but then I was never an RC person. Still, even as a static model this K-9 looks like he's going to turn out just fine!

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


I'm back with some more updates from what have been a very busy weekend off (as there was some TARDIS bits done as well). In fact, going back to work today to not do any manual work has been more than welcome! (I do I.T. stuff in the real world - sit, drink tea, chat on the phone) ;D

Anyway, first up was nice and simple, needed to cut a piece which will sit on the top of his back over the gaping hole currently there

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As you can see, I'd made an inner frame using a few more cut pieces from the skirting strips I'd bought, because they are angled then it's sort of straight enough to screw to when it's in place.

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It's not fixed yet as I still need to work inside, in theory it will be one of the last pieces to get screwed into place.
After that was a quick think about how I would join the head to the body, maybe a bit of wood from the base upwards?

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Hmm, not so sure on that, so instead I was sidetracked into cutting the base for K-9, from a slightly thicker piece of MDF (compared to the hardboard the rest is made from)

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Simply sit him on there, draw round the bottom (lines provided by my little helper), simple. Or not as you will see later on.

Oh, totally off track for the moment, but I bought some Perspex to make his eye piece with, £1.50 including postage. That'll do for me!

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So anyway, back to the building and here's what I have to join together

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Like those of you who have read my other diary will know, I have no plans for anything I do so it's a case of giving things a try and hoping for the best!
My thoughts initially were a T shaped piece would be able to hook into the white neck opening, so after thinking about it for ages, I ended the day with 2 bits of wood screwed together and a headless K-9 still!

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So the next K-9 day started with trying to fit the head again.
Carrying on with the T shape and modifying it from that idea, the idea was to take the bottom of his head off so it could be fixed inside and be a bit stronger

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So laid on its side I attached a couple more pieces so it could reach into the body

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Then tried to hook the silver piece over the top, mainly to hide it all as much as anything else!
That was just a cheap aluminium vent pipe from the diy store, basically tin foil around a metal spring when I looked at it!

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So after all that, I realised it was a rubbish idea as there was no way to fix that inside the body, so took it apart ready to try a different approach tomorrow after another trip to the DIY store.

Just to feel like I'd done something though, I screwed down some bits of edging to the base, thinking that I could simply just pop the top of K-9 onto it and it'll hold fairly steady, maybe without the need to be screwed in if I decide to do any stuff with the inside at a later date.

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And the final day over the bank holiday, started with a quick visit to the DIY store looking for another way to join the head to the body seeing as my first idea was as useful as a chocolate fireguard.   :D

Having looked online, steel flu pipe seemed a good idea, bit expensive at £27 but at least it would be solid.
However, they didn't actually keep it in stock so plan C was called into action!  ;)

Starting with the idea of a piece of wood which went from the back to the front of K9, sticking out through the neck hole would give me a start. I had the wood left over from a makeshift workbench I'd made in my garage years ago, lucky I don't throw things away!

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Next up was to hold it tighter through the neck, so the trip to the DIY store had seen be look at the cheap options, so bought the widest piece of pipe insulation I could find, stuck it around the bit fixed through to his backside, plus going back to my point about I never throw anything away, well it just so happens I had a piece of guttering left over from last year when I made a Ghostbuster backpack!

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Ideal to wedge around the foam so it can't move, then just need to get the head attached.
So using my ever technical method called guessing, I screwed a bit of wood to the current piece, in what is somewhere between 0 and 90 degree angle, ready to sit the head onto.

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Now I forgot to take photos of the next couple of stages, but basically, it involved wrapping more foam around the bit of wood you see sticking up on the last picture, then I needed the help of my grown up assistant (yes I had to call the wife to help with this bit!)
The silver flu pipe bit was stretched over the foam and to the bottom of the neck where it joined the body, then we could sit the head onto the top of that.

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A couple of jubilee clips were used to hold that onto the white spacer, but also it clamps it to the foam, so it shouldn't move

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They actually came free with the foil piece, which was a bonus as otherwise it would have been out with the superglue or silver gaffer tape!

And that was it for the weekend, just time for one last photo...

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K-9 has a head that stays attached! whoo!  8)

So that was the weekend done, a massive jump forward in the evolution of a wooden dog, roll on the next stages!  ;D


Oh, I forgot something.

Remember I said the base should have been easy, well, actually it ended up not quite working out right.
I screwed the edges to the base board, tried to sit K-9 over it, pushed down and.... split the join around side.  >:(

Like an idiot, I'd screwed them right at the edge, but because I drew around the OUTSIDE of him, I should have put them about half a centimetre in so the sides would fit over them.  ::)

Didn't take long, and a couple of new screws in the side and he was back to one piece and sits neatly on the bottom now.  :)


Just a couple of bits and pics from the last few days, nothing major though.

First off thought I'd try and do something for the bit on his back (is it just me, or does it remind anyone else of a 1970s/80s calculator?)

Using up a few offcuts from the main body, first off I just cut a squarish bit and used copydex to glue a curved edge piece to the top.
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This K-9 isn't going to be screen accurate or anything, so this will do! He'll sort of be K-0.9 ha ha  ;D

I was thinking of laying that flat, but then though I might get some sort of light under it, so when I stick some coloured pieces of Perspex on there I could drill a hole for each led and have it light up. Good Plan, but might not happen!  ;)

Still to do that, I cut another piece to the same size and then made a mini frame on that to give me a bit of a gap.

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I've not fixed that together yet as it'll be done nearer the end when I've done the coloured bits on top.

I decided to fix the red Perspex for his eye directly to the wood, rather than sticking it to something else, but it meant taking his nose apart first (as you do), plus I had to cut a bit off the edging piece which the top of the nose fixed to.

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But at least you can see a bit of what I had done to hold the head on!
Anyway, first I thought I'd try to stick it down, then thought better of that idea and actually put 2 screws in place instead.

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I'll just stick a bit of red paint or something on those to hide them.

Then it was just a case of rescrewing the top of his nose back on

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Doesn't look too bad I don't think.

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My little helper wanted to do something quickly with K-9, but all I could think of was to make a bit for his nose.
Nice and simple, just 2 of the curved pieces stuck together (he got to use the copydex as it has a brush!)

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Which I think will be good enough even though it's not pointed, sloping or anything technical like the real one, but these were more offcuts and will probably look ok when painted.  :)

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Plus it does have a small gap at the bottom so I might even be able to do something to have a nose piece slide back and forth.

Hopefully a bit more later this week!


Only a quick update this time, as my little helper was keen to do something with K-9 or the Tardis build.  ;D

So, I've been gradually cutting up some Perspex into squares as I've had 10 mins here and there.

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Still got a red piece left to chop up, but it's soooo slow using a hacksaw, I'm used to my big trusty rusty saw on everything!    :D

So, I thought I'd let him paint the section on the back with some black paint (remember I'm making a large version of the Palitoy K-9, not the real one!)

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I wasn't sure what to use as a paint table, but found an old PC in the garage, perfect height!  ;)

So he did that and also wanted to paint a couple of Tardis pieces, but as his attention span is about as long as my short term memory, I just got 4 of the small pieces out to paint blue.

Once he'd done those, that was going to be work over for the day, as bubble blowing is far more fun, it's just a shame we can't all stop working when we've had enough to do that!  ;D

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By this morning it had dried, so I've just sat it on K-9s back to get the general look and feel ready for doing some more next week (there's a show on this weekend at Milton Keynes, 3 doctors - 6, 7 & 8 will be there so should be a good day out).

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Bye for now!  8)


Exiting stuff :) This is looking really, really good! I wish we had more K9 builds around here, it seems to me that it's a build with a lot of creative possibilities and it would be nice to see more original takes like this on it. I love how you've taken to heart that you're building the toy and not the prop, quite sensible really, and quite funny :D
Swung round here because as of Thursday I'm off work, and with all that hardboard left over from my own attempt at this last year hopefully I'll be able to jump on the bandwagon with this :P (Ironically also basing it off a toy, in fact that's partially why my last one failed, I kept making scaling errors!)
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?


I'm terrible with working to plans and have a very limited toolbox, which is why just having a go at enlarging my old Palitoy K-9 seemed the best idea.   :)

Also doing the toy, there's not going to be as much detail to try and fit in which will be a bonus.
Maybe some fairy lights inside to make it light up the eye and back panel, but that'll probably be about it.   ;)

Maybe I should try and make a extra large cardboard box to put it in after.  ;D


A few odd bits here and there over the past week, mainly when I get 10 mins and can do something indoors!

So first up came after doing the washing up (random thoughts!) and that was thinking about his ears.
I've seen some great ones on here for the proper builds, but the toy ones don't look as complicated or have a mesh, so what could I do.
Well, the answer came to me as spoons. Wooden spoons to be precise to fit in with the build ???


So now you really do think I'm mad! But bear with me on this as the end result isn't too bad (for a toy!)
I'd bought some grey paint a while ago, so thought if we just dipped them in that, we'll get to the colour I'll want for the rest of his body.


However, once it dried, the colour was a bit light so in the most non technical way of colour mixing, I poured some black paint into the grey and stirred it.
This seemed to be a better grey which you can see where one part is the original grey.


Next up, how to make the spoons more like his ears... Out with the saw!  ;D


Thinking of the easiest options as always here, so first off hacked a bit of the wood away so it would go up against the curve a bit better.


Litterally hacked it off, as it was so awkward to try and cut neatly!  :o
Then simply screwed the spoon handle to the back initially


However, they were still a bit too spoon shaped so another attack of them with the saw..


That'll be close enough!

Then it was a case of making a pair of holes in the head that would still be tight enough so they wouldn't just drop down.


In case anyone is wondering, a 13mm drill bit makes a lovely hole if you ever need to poke a wooden spoon into another bit of wood!  ;D

So that was all over a few days during the week catching time when I could. Next up a tail.. 8)


And once again the washing up helped come up with a tail!

I had been planning to try and do it like the real one, black surround and all that, but then noticed that the toy version literally just sticks out of the back.

Now, what in the kitchen would make a good enough tail.... well it turns out an old whisk!  ;D

I had to cut the curved ends of the whisk off with a pair of pliers though, as it meant I would have needed a large hole to get it through the wood and keep the round bit otherwise.


This is holding quite tightly and I can just wrap a bit of tape around the inside to stop the tail being pulled out.  ;)
And when you look at this compared to the toy version, it's not bad in how close it looks.


And that's really it for now, just one last photo and unless they have got the weather totally wrong for the bank holiday, then K-9 will be getting a bit of down time for the next couple of weeks as I won't have time to do any for a while.


Bye for now folks!  8)


Some great original thinking! I am really enjoying this build diary, just the ingenuity of it all, and more and more the goal of sticking to the toy is creating a piece which is still recognisably K9, but has some really interesting new shapes and features. The back panel for one I really like, the black contrasted with the colours gives a nice vibrant feel, and the tail looks, in it's own way, more intricate and high-tech than the prop. It reminds me of a solenoid, or, as was my first impression, those old Cyber-guns. Brilliant stuff on show here :)
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?