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A Thing That Looks Like A Police Box...

Started by Cosmic Hobo, Jul 30, 2013, 10:28 pm

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Jason Onion's Hartnell TARDIS? 4661159.jpg
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


Can't see any pics colours for it??




Dec 01, 2013, 07:04 am #32 Last Edit: Dec 01, 2013, 07:17 am by galacticprobe
Vortexion, I know Jason hasn't been on in a while, but check out some color photos here: All of the color photos are on Page 1. Some are publicity photos, some are behind the scenes snaps. It shows the color of the Hartnell TARDIS in all of her blue-grey glory. (And it is a nice color.)

You might even find more color photos in other threads under the sub-board The only color publicity photo that I don't see in any of those threads is this one:
Similar to one that's already in there, but a little more of a close-up on the TARDIS (as well as Hartnell). I think I'll add this one for good measure. (To my eye, the color is very similar to that of the 2005-2009 TARDIS.)

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

Cosmic Hobo

Aug 22, 2014, 01:34 pm #33 Last Edit: Oct 12, 2014, 11:56 am by Cosmic Hobo
Episode 12: This Idiot's Lantern

Well after a longer than expected pause, we're back in business.  Personally I like to think of the protracted gap between posts as more of a 'mid season break' rather than a 1980s' hiatus.

As the title of this 'episode' suggests, we have recently been focusing on the 'highlight' of the build - The Lantern.  See what I did there?!

This is actually something that was started way back in early 2013 when I had the good fortune to purchase a copper ship's lantern, complete with fresnel lens, for the bargain price of £21.  Given that I am taking the Hudolin version as touchstone for the details, I was particularly pleased to find something that so closely resembles that prop's beacon.

For the purposes of maintenance, we decided to make sure the lantern was an independent unit that could be removed relatively easily when needed - Probably to change the bulb, but also as a precaution in some of the more extreme winds we tend to get during the winter.

Not much in the way of build photos for this, suffice to say the lantern has been fitted with a wooden 'house' structure comprising of four this dowels, with a roof and base, as per the Hudolin design.  However, as accuracy comes second to personal preference, unlike the Hudolin, our version is topped off with with a dome, as I couldn't help but feel it looked 'unfinished' without it.  There is also a practical side to this decision as it will hopefully add an extra bit of protection from the rain.  We also added some wooden mouldings to the edges of the wood to give it a bit more of a 'finish'.


Soon to be united... The new roof and lantern, ready to be placed on top.

As many of you have said over the years, the first question everybody seems to ask is ''does the light on top flash?''.  I must admit, in the greater scheme of things, I'm not entirely sure why this particular detail fascinates people so much - I'd much rather they appreciated the window work, or even the undersign stepping, but that's probably just me.  In light of this (there I go again), I was determined to make sure we did not disappoint, so purchased a set of white LED car fog lights.  These have been mounted front and back onto a central column that runs from the top of the lantern 'house' to the base and is encased in the copper lantern itself.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that there is indeed a new roof ready to go up and take things to - ahem - a new level...

Next Episode: The Roof Of My World


Absolutely beautiful work.
I went for a black Hudolin sign also, but yours looks a lot better than mine!!


Cosmic Hobo

Thanks Russell - I've been following your build with great interest and I think your 'Pull To Open' sign looks very authentic.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product.  Hope the build is going well.


All is going to plan, albeit slower than I would like, but that's to be expected, as I'm an impatient bugger.
It's boxes like yours that give me the inspiration to continue!



Oct 13, 2014, 05:24 am #37 Last Edit: Oct 13, 2014, 05:27 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: Cosmic Hobo on Sep 24, 2013, 10:46 am

Wow! I don't know how I missed this one before. (It must be the late hours.) Your refurb is going great. And I have to ask, where did you find this plaque? So far all the ones I've come across are the Rubbertoe ones (whose shipping to the US makes that option out of the question - it's more than the plaque itself!), or "Rubbertoe rip-offs" - what looks like Rubbertoe plaques, complete with word-for-word descriptions with the exact same photos of the plaque, that people have bought, and are flogging them for literally double what it would cost for a Rubbertoe plaque plus the shipping! (Still, even the Rubbertoe prices for the plaque are a bit high considering it's a 4" x 10" x 1/8th" piece of etched perspex.)

So, where did you find your plaque?

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


Great work. The color is beautiful !
TARDIS is complete !

Cosmic Hobo

Thanks Bill - The colour has been a long time coming.  Bizarrely, getting a deep shade of Navy Blue is incredibly difficult, but I'm very pleased with what we ended up with.

Hi Dino, my plaque was discovered on eBay (UK) for about £10.  I have just had another look to see if it is still available, but no joy.  It's worth checking intermittently though as I'm sure there will be others.


Yup. Getting a blue you're happy with is incredibly difficult.  And your contentment literally changes with the weather and time of day.  Unless you're going for a late 70s/early 80s box you might as well just buy the darkest blue you can find--and then add a liberal amount of black to it.  (Although maybe not as much black as Rich did initially. ;) )
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Oct 20, 2014, 05:12 am #41 Last Edit: Oct 20, 2014, 05:12 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: Cosmic Hobo on Oct 19, 2014, 01:57 pm
Hi Dino, my plaque was discovered on eBay (UK) for about £10.  I have just had another look to see if it is still available, but no joy.  It's worth checking intermittently though as I'm sure there will be others.

Thanks for the info. I'll keep an eye out for one like this. So far I've only seen the ones that look like they're from Rubbertoe, but at more than twice the Rubbertoe price! (I think someone is scalping.)

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

Cosmic Hobo

Jun 05, 2016, 10:13 pm #42 Last Edit: Jun 07, 2016, 10:07 pm by Cosmic Hobo
Episode 13: The Roof Of My World

I can't believe my last post was almost two years ago...!  The good news is that, whilst I may have neglected my build diary, we certainly haven't neglected our favourite blue box...

The biggest change since the construction of the lantern has been a whole new roof section.  True to form, when I started this project I was convinced that the roof would be one aspect that I would keep clear of, with the exception of the necessary weather-proofing and finessing.  However, it was not long before I began to have a change of heart...  As the overall shape of the box improved, the original roof seemed to be lacking a certain 'bulk' and height - from certain angles it almost looked like there was no roof at all!  For a while, I was happy to convince myself that it was actually quite close in appearance to the Brachacki Modified, but really it was starting to niggle...  And so, feeling more confident about the woodwork then when I started, I decided to create a new (second) tier for the existing roof.

The new addition has served two purposes; firstly it has improved the overall silhouette dramatically, giving the box a much more classic 'Police Box' shape.  Secondly, the new section has provided the box with a whole extra level of weather-proofing, as it actually fits like a hat over the original roof.

Roof__0008_Layer 1.jpg     Roof__0007_Layer 2.jpg     Roof__0006_Layer 3.jpg

The first stage was to make an outer 'lip' that would sit on the original roof's ledge.
A new step was then added to the lip, high enough to clear the gradient of the sloping roof beneath, and then angled beams where added to support the new roof.

Roof__0005_Layer 4.jpg     Roof__0004_Layer 5.jpg     Roof__0003_Layer 6.jpg

With all four sloping panels fitted, filler and lead tape was applied to all the joins, and the wood given a few coats of weatherproof paint (in 'Iris Blue' which looked a lot like the mid-Pertwee era shade).

Roof__0002_Layer 7.jpg     Roof__0001_Layer 8.jpg     Roof__0000_Layer 9.jpg

Finally the whole of the new section was covered in roofing felt (stuck down with bitchumen) and given several coats of the final dark blue paint - Ready for the lantern to be added.

As with other aspects of this build, we did not get too bogged down in the precise measurements of other props (as these would probably not have been entirely compatible with what we started with anyway), and instead opted to go with what appeared correct to the eye after a few tests.  In this instance we simply stacked planks of wood along the front and side steps of the roof, until we reached a height that looked proportionately correct.  The wood was then cut as close as possible to what was stacked.  Similarly the gradient of the roof was increased so as to be more obvious from the front.

The new roof was fitted with upright bolts in the centre 'platform' which the lantern slots over and is held in place with wing nuts.  In theory this will make any maintenance fairly straight forward, and should the winds threaten any damage to the lantern in the winter months, it can always be taken down until things get milder.

Despite being the heaviest section of the entire build, it was actually quite straight forward for two of us to lift the new roof into place.  There were a few scary minutes whilst we wriggled it into position; worrying if it wasn't quite large enough (it was a snug fit), but a few good taps with the mallet got it in place nicely.

Next Episode: Journey's End

Cosmic Hobo

Jun 07, 2016, 10:14 pm #43 Last Edit: Jun 11, 2016, 02:25 am by Cosmic Hobo
Episode 14: Journey's End

I tried hard to think of an appropriately 'amusing' pun for my final 'Episode', but in the end nothing quite rang true - After all, it really has been quite a journey since we started this project back in 2013.  Suffice to say, I am more than happy with how things have turned out, and the novelty of seeing that blue box at the bottom of the garden whenever I visit has not worn off.

Tardis Makeover 2.jpg

"Life depends on change and renewal!"

Thanks to everyone who got in touch during the course of the build, and also a big thank you to those who run and contribute to this site; it's certainly been an inspiration, and long may it continue.  I may be a mad man, but at least now I'm a mad man with a box!


And, yes - The white windows prevailed in the end!


Bob's your Uncle

That's weird!
I was just roaming around the site yesterday and found your build diary for the first time, wondering how I had missed it before.
I remember thinking to myself how odd it was that it just abruptly ended.
And then today, a new update. I must be psychic.  ;D

Beautiful job with the restoration.
I can't wait for the next episode.

"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09