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1963-71 TARDIS Roundels Colour?

Started by jamiebate, Mar 29, 2015, 08:12 pm

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Hi folks,
I'm new here, but I've been visiting for a while and have found a lot of photos and things to be a great help in creating scale models for the action figures and stuff. I've got a couple of questions, firstly, what colour were the roundel walls really? I've gathered they were the sort of mint green colour that we know the console to be but they seem like a beige/cream colour in a lot of photos from The Power of the Daleks and Colony in Space. Also in other photos they just seem white, could it be that they were repainted a couple of times? (between 63-71 before anything major was done to them like adding dish or refurbishing the set for Three Doctors


Mar 30, 2015, 05:32 am #1 Last Edit: Mar 30, 2015, 05:58 am by galacticprobe
Greetings, jamiebate, and welcome to the TARDIS Builders family (and out of "Lurk Mode"). The console room walls started out about the same color green as the console in 1963 (as recounted by Carol Ann Ford), and seen in some color publicity photos during the Hartnell era. Those "original" roundels were white vacu-formed plastic - not sure exactly what kind, but they weren't as transparent as the later roundels. The "light" seen in them, I think, we figured out was reflection from the studio lights as those walls weren't back lit.

"Power of the Daleks" was the first Troughton story (the third story of Season 4), and was some three years into the Series. Color publicity photos from that time could have been taken with different lighting conditions, different film quality, etc., plus there could have been some "wear and tear" on those walls. (The console, being the focal point rather than the walls, probably got more "touch-ups" as needed than did some walls in the background.) So the walls' color could easily have faded from age and studio lights. Those walls had also been given some reworking and the original vacu-formed roundels had been replaced with flat, frosted perspex (or some other translucent material) and placed flat against the recessed roundel openings. (Not sure which story that change actually happened in, but maybe someone can provide that info.) The walls were still not back lit and the roundels appeared quite dark at times.

"Colony In Space" was the 4th story in Season 8, and the color of the walls could have changed during the major reworking/refurbishment that the console (and room) underwent as the Pertwee era got into full swing (and was 90% in color). So by this point, in essence, we're talking about eight years of time having passed, and the console and room having being given a complete "refurb", while retaining the flat, frosted roundels. Even in "Colony In Space" the roundels only had the studio lights bleeding through them; when you look at the roundels in that story, the roundels closer to the floor are dark, and the roundels get lighter the higher on the wall they go and the closer to the studio lights they get. (It wasn't really until Season 15 that the roundels were intentionally back lit to make them "light up".)

Long explanation, but to sum things up for your original question (Topic title: "1963-71 TARDIS Roundels Colour?"):
The original 1963 roundels were white, and vacu-formed plastic; by "Power of the Daleks" the roundels were now flat, frosted perspex and remained like that until "The Time Monster" had them as "washing up bowls" with light coming through their flat bottoms. (The following story, "The Three Doctors" saw the return of the flat, frosted perspex roundels with the same light bleed through as in "Colony".) So if you're looking for "the 1963 originals", then you'll want ones made of white plastic.

I hope this was helpful.

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


Firstly thanks for the long and detailed answer, it's exactly what I was after. I've decided to base my model on the later seen version of the walls but before they were chopped down by 5 inches, so they are from 'The Daleks' Master Plan' you might say (as that's the latest photo showing the tops of the walls in their original size I believe). I'm using white perspex for the walls themselves and then a thick frosted perspex for the backing which I'll be able to back light for display. The model is in 1:18 scale by the way, hopefully they'll make a couple of classic Doctors action figures in that scale (I know a new series McGann is on the way which will be just as good). My next task is going to be finding a way of getting a scale console made - I considered maybe 3D printing but I wouldn't know any of the sizes or anything unless I was supplied with a file correctly scaled that I could send to a company.