Sep 25, 2023, 11:35 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Mark's Cardboard NSD/2005 Dalek

Started by Mark, Mar 20, 2016, 09:08 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Mar 20, 2016, 09:08 pm Last Edit: Mar 20, 2016, 09:26 pm by Mark
Well based on Dino's suggestion, and with Russell's (of Black Dalek fame) encouragement, I have decided to post the ongoing saga of building a Dalek from cardboard.

I have seen some really great cardboard Daleks over on Project Dalek so I thought I would have a bash.

Now I don't have any particular reason for building him other than I fancied one, so I have not set myself any deadline for completion. This explains why I started building in March 2015 and have still not finished!  ::)

Anyhow, I started with the base fender part. It was fairly easy if I'm honest and a great way of getting started.


I used a combination of PVA glue and a hot glue gun. The main reason for the dual glues is simply that the PVA creates a stronger and visually better join but the hot glue cures in a few seconds as opposed to hours. I suppose you could liken it to spot welding with the glue gun.

The fender still looks like it did in the last picture so it is missing the angled bits and the top.

The next part I tackled was the skirt. Getting this done was important to me because as soon as the basic shape is complete, it screams Dalek at you.

20150519_191638.jpg20150520_191408.jpg20150627_162124 small.jpg

By this stage it was time to bite the bullet and attempt the shoulder section. Having never built a Dalek before, I was concerned this was going to be the difficult section. however I was plesently suprised at how pain free it was.

20150722_183252 small.jpg20150729_142528 small.jpg20150730_183901 small.jpg

I used the cross shaped piece to give me the right height and so I could work out exactly where the circular top should line up with the egg shaped bottom. Fitting all the bits of card to form the shape of the shoulders was very time consuming and I am glad its done with.


Mar 20, 2016, 09:37 pm #1 Last Edit: Mar 20, 2016, 09:50 pm by Mark
I didn't clad the shoulders next, instead I went onto making the neck rings. I could have made these using one piece rings as I have plenty of material but instead chose to make them in quarters. This was for two reasons, firstly for ease of handling when cutting and mainly for strength when finished. For those if you who have ever used corrugated cardboard for making stuff you will be well aware that how you cut a part can make a difference.

You can see in the first picture that the "grain" of the carboard is all in one direction for each segment of neck ring. Each neck ring was made up of three layers of card, with each segment aligned up to cover the join of the previous one a bit like brick work.
20150815_213900 small.jpg20150815_194710.jpg

This picture simply shows how cutting a part with the "grain" the wrong way can make for a weak part.

20150815_194518 small.jpg

Its things like this that can make cardboard building so time consuming. Each ring took 12 segments so 36 times of measuring, cutting and gluing.

20150819_202838 small.jpg

A quick test fit was required, just to check. This shows two partially finished rings which both required the last layer attaching.

I then went back to the shoulders. I think I flit back and forwards from parts simply to break things up. I often get fed up if something becomes repetitive so by going on to something else for a while really helps.

It was easy to make some "poor mans bendy mdf" by scoring the back of some card with a pen.

20150829_141158 small.jpg

I made a paper template for each portion of shoulder cladding which was in quarters. The section from the front to the left side and then another section from there to the back. It was simply a case of flipping the template when I drew the other sides parts.

20150829_150029 Small.jpg20150829_171618 Small.jpg


Wow, this is already looking great. It's a good idea to make it out of cardboard. I actually made two Daleks as standys. I cut plywood in the shape of a dalek and painted the picture on the plywood. They look kind of cool in pictures. Your idea is much better. I wish I'd thought of it. Great work!


Mar 20, 2016, 10:08 pm #3 Last Edit: Mar 20, 2016, 10:28 pm by Mark
Now I had neck rings I needed some support struts. One of the reasons I decided on a NSD build rather than a classic style was simply because I knew I wouldn't be able to make the shoulder slats using cardboard as they would be way to flimsy. Well the same applies to the neck struts and happily the NSD has really chunky ones.

Making these was a pain, and made me wish I was using wood as I would simply have had to cut and measure eight bits but as I had to construct the parts separately I ended up having to measure and cut 32 parts just to make 8 neck struts.  ::)

IMG_20160210_142521 small.jpg

Marking out the position for the struts on the neck rings was super easy with my cutting edge neck-ring-strut-calculating-device

IMG_20160203_161641 small.jpg

More to come but not tonight, this is where we stand so far.

They came together quite well and the next picture shows a test fitting without actually being glued or taped.

IMG_20160305_163112 small.jpgIMG_20160305_163217 small.jpg


13drwho, I missed your reply because I was fighting to post the last bit (stupidly I was trying to use pictures that hadnt been sized correctly!). Thanks for the kind words.

You should post a picture of your  handiwork.

I'm only using cardboard because I have no tools, or woodworking skills. Plus cardboard is loads cheaper than fibreglass or wood. Well almost free I guess.


Mar 21, 2016, 04:46 am #5 Last Edit: Mar 21, 2016, 04:47 am by galacticprobe
You're using some clever ideas on this build, Mark: the two-glue method, scoring things to make your own bendy "sheets" for curves. It's amazing! I'm glad you're posting these here (even though Daleks do creep me out). Your monstrosity is coming along beautifully, but, jeez! That's a frackload of measuring and marking and cutting you have to do before even getting to the gluing stage. Your hands must be aching by the time you decide to call it quits for the day!

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


Hi Mark.

Glad you are putting your work over here on TARDIS builders too.

It looks incredible & the amount of work you have put into it is amazing!

Incredible stuff- keep up the good work!



Thanks guys. Its always nice to get a little encouragement.

There are definitely downsides to using cardboard however I am planning on making as much as I can without using other materials, and I do get an immense sense of achievement from having measured, cut and then glued a part all by hand.

That said, if I had a laser cutter and a 3D printer, I would certainly use them lots! ;D


This looks AMAZING so far, Mark! I don't think I'd have the patience to attempt this. Will you be using paper mace to protect the cardboard once it's complete?
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Thanks 14th, coming from "The Cardboard King" that's quite a compliment!

I'll firstly be giving each part a light layer of filler, then sanding before moving onto the paper mache.

I'll have the neck section, the shoulders (minus slats) and possibly his eye made so that I have three parts on the go. One drying while the next is paper mached and so on.


You're welcome, Mark. :) Sounds like you have a plan. I'll be looking forward to future updates. ;D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Mar 23, 2016, 08:14 pm #11 Last Edit: Mar 23, 2016, 08:17 pm by Mark
Got most of the spacers attached ready for the cladding that will give it that distinctive NSD shoulder profile where the shoulder slats will attach.


This was really easy and straightforward, almost a pleasure!

I also got some of the spacers attached ready to make up the lower overhang band of the shoulders. I did this slightly different to the other spacers.


I then had to figure out where the gun boxes would go before I could fully complete the spacers which meant I had to build some actual gun boxes.

I initially forgot to add the little recessed part on the outer sides but this was luckily a quick and easy fix. The top picture makes it look as though the boxes don't line up properly but they do, more or less.

IMG_20160320_201612 small.jpg
IMG_20160323_164444 small.jpg

Lastly I decided to start the eye. I should have gone out and parted with some cash by buying some appropriate thickness of mounting board or artist's card but I didn't so I ended up with this.

IMG_20160323_145130 small.jpg

To be fair, I'm actually quite happy with it so far. It does mean I have more filling and sanding to do later on but still.

Thanks for popping by.


The whole thing is looking really good.
You are a master of cardboard!
The eye must have taken ages to cut all those rings! I know cardboard is really fiddly to cut nicely & cutting circles is really difficult, so great job!
I'm starting on my eye tomorrow. (It will give me something to do while my rings & dome are drying) so we'll have to compare eyes!

All the best,



Thanks Russell although more of a slave of the cardboard  ;D

Including working out the radii of the circles from the plans, marking out each ring and then finally cutting, it took close to an hour.

I do have a circle cutting device but I think its designed more for paper or really thin card because it really struggled.

"Looking" forward to "seeing" your eye  ;D


Mar 24, 2016, 05:24 am #14 Last Edit: Mar 24, 2016, 05:25 am by galacticprobe
Serious cardboard workage going on there! Very impressive! I'm speechless! (Hard to believe, I know, but it happens every now and again. ;))

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