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Russell's TARDIS

Started by russellsuthern, Jun 15, 2014, 09:05 am

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Time for another update!

I gave the door & door jamb three coats of cuprinol undercoat...


I also started work on the backing board for my final panel which will house the cubby hole for the phone!


My thumbs healing fine, but I was a bit disappointed I didn't grow another hand...


Anyway, that's where I'm at.
Hope your builds are all going well.




Oct 09, 2014, 06:13 am #61 Last Edit: Oct 09, 2014, 06:14 am by galacticprobe
Looking good, Russell! (And I hope your thumb is healing quickly. I almost feel like I spoke too soon - or should that be, not soon enough? :P)

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


completely brilliant build. Loving the recycling you're doing, and your attitude about making it look old worn and as if many hands have repaired it over the years, I took the same approach. the use of bubble wrap is hilarious and looks pretty great actually. I tip my floppy hat. I love getting free old wood too, people toss it out all over the place. very handy to be a handyman with a van when that happens. carry on!
It's always a matter of time...


Thanks, Mobius!
Yeah, I wish I had a van for some of the bigger bits.
Not much to update at moment, been away on a training camp, great fun, but not much time for TARDIS building...
However, did pick up this little piece for four quid...

It's a money box. I love the cartoonish design, the dark blue colour, & the picture of the grumpy Bobby on the box!

I did manage to paint the back of the door white...

Plus, here's a pic of my latest booty...
(Don't worry, not that kind of booty!)

The 3 large sheets of ply will make the base & roof, the 3 strips of wood will be the central dividers that run up the middle of each panel, & there's some perspex there which is a bit difficult to see, but will make my last window.
Most of you probably already know this, but you must always ask the owners permission if you take stuff from a skip, if you don't it it is legally classed as theft, even if the stuff was due to be thrown away.

Finally,I wanted to put one of those Gallifrey TARDIS plaques behind my phone door, but I'm not paying thirty quid for a bit of perspex with some typing printed on it, so I knocked up one myself...

It'll look fine once i've popped it in a nice frame & attached it to the door.
That's all for now, hopefully more progress soon!

All the best,



Oct 25, 2014, 04:16 pm #64 Last Edit: Oct 25, 2014, 04:19 pm by russellsuthern
Hi, all,
Started painting my panels the final colour I want them:
The left panel is the original undercoat, on the right is the top coat.
I used exterior matt emulsion, & just went for the darkest blue they had. Didn't seem to have a name, but I could dig out the serial number if anyone's interested...
I actually liked the original colour, that "smokey" gray-blue reminded me of the Pertwee box, or even the Eccleston/Tennant box, but I had decided from the start I wanted a dark blue, which I always liked from the TARDIS in the Cushing movies.
I think the dark blue firstly looks more like a real police box, but also gives it more of a mysterious, spooky look...
My only worry is that the varnish will tint the whole thing a horrible greeny colour, so I'll have to test a small area first before going ahead & doing the whole thing... (That supposedly 'clear' yacht varnish comes out really yellow, doesn't it?)
The chaps fighting on the wall are part of a mural on our training hall wall.
They are Shaolin fighting monks. (should paint a Yeti next to them, but might not get away with that...!)

That's all for now, folks!

Good luck with your builds,



Hi, all,
Since starting this madness, I've been on the look out for a nice old fashioned style phone to stick in my cubby hole.
I wasn't looking for 100% accuracy, just something that gave the feel of a nice old style bakerlite phone.
I tend not to do ebay because I'm A) a luddite/technophobe, & B) because I like the excitement of rummaging around in old charity/junk/antique shops.
However, a lot of the shops in Brighton tend to be marked up for the tourist market. One place called "Snoopers Paradise" had a few phones in it, but the cheapest was 65 pounds, & the most expensive was 225 pounds!!
Well, that's out of my bracket by a country mile, so the search continued, until I found a nice little antiques market in Shoreham, where I found this little beauty for only a fiver!

It's a bit difficult to see in the photos, but it's main problem is that it's not black, but a dark green colour, but no problem - just paint it black.
I first decided to paint it matt black as I thought this would give it a more functional, utilitarian look, less like an ornament, but it came out awful & I hated it!

No matter, the matt black became the undercoat, & I've re painted it with a nice gloss black, which I'm much happier with!

As I said earlier, I'm not too fussed about accuracy, & I'm not worried about it working or not, I just want a nice looking phone for people to see when they open the cubby hole door.

That's all for now.
Hope the dark evenings aren't getting you down!



Nice find! And looking good.

I went on an eBay binge to of recent to find one of these but like you it was a matter of too expensive for what I was looking for.



Hi, David,

Yeah, vintage stuff seems to be extremely fashionable right now, the number of vintage shops that have opened in my local area recently is crazy. Trouble is it really pushes the prices up.
Quite frustrating!!



Hi all,
Recently spotted some buildings with interesting patterns of glass in their windows. Each pane was a different type of pebbled/frosted/hammered/crackled glass.
Loved the look, & even considered using it for my TARDIS, making each pane different, but in the end thought it would look a bit contrived.
But it does show how you look at different things depending on what prop you are building. When I was making my Dalek, it was all sink plungers, egg whisks & landrover indicator lights. Now I'm making a TARDIS it's all pebbled glass, vintage phones & fresnel lamps!

Anyway, made a bit of progress:

Finished my phone & am very happy with it:
I was looking for something to light up my lamp. Didn't want the hassle of wiring my TARDIS up to the mains, so it had to be battery powered. Also, I wanted it to have a constant on setting as well as a flashing mode. In the end I found a camping light, which was a bit expensive at a tenner, but did everything I wanted.
I had to modify it a bit, trim it down to fit & I gave it a light coating of blue paint.
I couldn't decide whether I wanted blue or white light. I really love the light blue, turquiose colour police car lights have now, so I thought I'd use that. It would give the light & bit of colour for interest, without being too dark.
I think Russell T. Davies said that blue was his favourite sci-fi colour, & I have to agree.
It flashes just a bit too fast, to be honest, but it's fine for what I want:

I bolted the two halves of my first panel together & added the central dividing wood strip:

It needs another coat of paint & it's done!

So far so good.

All the best,



Hi all,

I bolted my side panels together, added the central strip of wood & painted them the final dark blue:
I also put the hinges on my door:
I used the long higes you see on gates because the door is quite heavy & I didn't think ordinary hinges would take the weight:
This means I've finished the back, sides & the door! Getting there...
I had quite a bit of trouble finding the door handles. I wanted a large & small one that matched. I didn't really care if they were black, gold or silver, but I did want them to match, but most places only did the standard size. Eventually I found a little DIY shop in Brighton that did three sizes of handle, so I bought the largest & smallest size:
Probably too early to put them on, but I couldn't wait!
My quality control supervisor is still keeping his eyestick peeled. He seems happy so far. If I get it wrong apparently I'll be exterminated...

That's all for now...

All the best,



Saw this little cartoon in The Times today in relation to the Philae probe landing on the comet...
Seen variations of this about a squillion times, but that's okay- always good to see an unexpected TARDIS appearance!

Cut the wood for my last panel.
By the end I was cursing using inch thick wood- trying to saw inch thick timber with just a hand saw & trying to keep it straight & tidy is a pig!
By the end my arm was killing me & I was thinking all kinds of crazy stuff...
"Why didn't I use 3/4 inch thick wood? Why not 1/2 inch? Why don't I just paint the panels on?- no one will notice!!!"
Thankfully all done now, & I am happy with the way it looks.
Glued it all together:
When It's dry, I'll nail it all together from the back for extra strength.

That's all folks!



Not much of an update, I'm afraid, but here goes...

I made a box to put the phone in...

A white box, yesterday..

Rivetting, eh? (Actually, I'll screw it into place!!)

I also have made some headway with the final panel...



The two blue planks either side of the panel in the last pic are going to make up my corner caps.
This is one bit i've not been looking forward to.
The problem with using reclaimed wood, is that it's never quite the right size.
If you buy it from B&Q, at least you can get it cut for you, but all these bits I'm using are a little too narrow, so I'm having to cut thin strips to add to them, which I was worried about, as when you cut a long bit of wood it tends to split.
However, the wood I'm using is exterior decking from a students garden. It's treated hardwood & is rock solid. This means it doesn't split, but is really hard work to saw through!
So, this means things seem to be going well so far. I wanted to build my corner caps out of this stuff because it's sat in my students garden for 10 years without rotting, so I'm sure it'll be good for another 10 years, especially with all the paint that"s going to get chucked on it!
My other problem is that I originally wanted to make the corners out of two, inch thick planks, so the whole thing would be 2 inches thick & 6 inches wide, but the amount of space I have to put it in is just too small, so I'm having to go for two 3/4 inch thick planks. It means the posts will be 1.5 inches thick & 5.5 inches wide.
I hope the extra 1/2 inch i've lost doesn't show too much!
Finally, I don't have the skills, or equipment to do any fancy bevelling along the edges, so the caps will have to have quite a simple design, which I hope will still look good & won't notice too much.
As you can see, i've got some issues to work through with this part of the build, but I hope I can come up with something that looks half decent.
Anyway, however it comes out, I'll let you know!!




Dec 01, 2014, 08:44 am #72 Last Edit: Dec 01, 2014, 08:44 am by galacticprobe
Well, judging from what I can see so far I honestly don't think anyone is going to notice that half inch unless you tell them. That happens a lot with builders; they are a little too critical of their own work. It looks beautiful, but they'll point out something small that isn't right, and you look at their build and say "I can't notice it, even after being told about it!"

So don't worry, Russell. I think she'll look just fine!

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


Thanks for that.
I'm sure you're right.
I think the corner posts often look different depending on the angle at which you look at them. Sometimes they look really thick & chunky, but other times they look quite thin & weedy, so I think you're right when you say half an inch here or there shouldn't matter as long as most of the measurements are right.
I'll certainly be glad when they're done, though!



Hi, all,

This is where I am with my 1st corner post:
Need to finish filling it, then painting it, then make three more!
I'm building my TARDIS a bit like a bit of flat packed furniture from Ikea.
That is, I'll make it all in sections, then get a gang of my students to help me put the thing up in one afternoon.
The plus point is, each bit gets fully sealed with paint, which I think will help preserve it from unseen water damage, the minus point is- I hope i've got all the measurements right!
On a slight side note, even with the corner posts being a bit thinner than I wanted, they weigh a ton!
I've been impressed recently by some Youtube vids of people putting up & taking down their TARDISes on their own with no help! I'll like some of what they're on! There is no way I could do that with my one- perhaps I need to get down to the gym a bit more...

Anyway, I have finally finished my final panel- hussah!!

This panel has the phone in it...
I think I'll make a little box to pop the phone on, I've seen some of the other guys do this, & it helps to make the phone stand out a bit more, otherwise it does look a little lost in that big space.

"Who is this? River? Is that you again? I've told you to stop calling me- you're just embarrassing yourself!"

(Time to wake up....)