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Bessie Speeder Ignition Start-up

Started by davidnagel, Aug 04, 2016, 02:19 pm

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Aug 04, 2016, 02:19 pm Last Edit: Jan 23, 2017, 02:36 am by warmcanofcoke
Are you a mad scientist? Are you looking for a way to get your vehicle over 88 miles per hour?

Then why not try the Bessie Speeder, guaranteed to get your old roadaster over the speed limit around Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire through the toughest mythical medieval invasion!


I swear I saw this on a props website once, and could have been sure it was painted gold by that point - must have made that up! Shame really, as I've since had this on my "to build" list and now completely underwhelmed by what..it.. looks.. like...

I'd say this is little over 3 inches in diameter.
Kind Regards,




Aug 05, 2016, 03:52 pm #1 Last Edit: Aug 05, 2016, 04:52 pm by galacticprobe
I'd say, going by the size of McCoy's fingers at he's holding the gizmo (especially his left hand where you've got a decent look at his index finger), the diameter is closer to 4 inches.

The LEDs look like standard panel-mount types, warm white color (more on that in a few). That ring around the joystick (hmm... sounds like a strange song title) looks like a rubber tire from a car/truck model kit, or one recycled from an old toy vehicle. (Just look at the treads on its edge and the "mounting bead" around the center opening.)

Here's another view of the Booster - no hands and on its own:
Granted it's not the best, but it does give another angle of the thing, and even more makes that ring around the joystick look like a tire from some sort of vehicle. (You can also see there are 7 LEDs on it.)

Looking at all of the images that we have of it so far, the joystick should be easy to scratch build. The hemi could come from one of those ornament shells, which do come in 4-inch diameter sizes (if it is 4 inches). I wonder, what was the size of the Classic Dalek hemis? Could this dome have been made from one of them? If so, then that would give us the size. If the Dalek hemis are larger than 4 inches, then I think that would be pushing it a little as this really doesn't look that large.

The warm white LEDs could be panel mount, or they could be Christmas tree lights - one of those short 10-LED strings where each LED takes about 12 volts to run, which would be great if you plan on plugging this into your car's power port. Just have 7 of the LEDs poking though, and leave the other three hiding inside the dome. (Of course, back in the late 1980s when this story was filmed, those could have been 12-volt panel-mount incandescent indicator lamps, which would give the same look as the warm white LEDs. Then all you'd need are the 7 lamps, plus spares to replace them when they burn out.)

That rim around the bottom of the dome? In the screen grabs it almost looks like the lid of a small can or some such (like from a can of nuts, or a really small can of coffee). It looks clear - or at least translucent like most of those lids - in the grab as well. If one of those could be had that nicely fits one of those 4-inch diameter ornament shells, it would make accessing the internal workings very easy.

The other markings on it look like a very neat paint job, or someone had some fun with pin stripe detailing tape. (Those lines have very crisp edges, and none of them go over that translucent rim around the base. There are also a few "puckers" here and there around the curve, which makes me lean more towards the pin striping tape idea.) The dome itself could have been painted on the inside so as to avoid scratching the paint. The color looks like gunmetal, or a dark silver-grey - almost a Parkerizing color (note the Appearance and use section in the link, as well as the color in some of the images).

As for the inner workings... I'm still scratching my head on that - some sort of multi-contact mechanism that illuminates the lamps/LEDs as the joystick is cranked around, making contact with only one lamp/LED at a time. Not sure I've ever seen something like that before so it could have been some sort of jury-rigged contact switch. (Not to be confused with "jerry-rigged" which is something shoddily built; jury-rigged is something built with whatever is at hand, though at this stage in the Classic Series it could very well have been both.)

Well, that's about all I can squeeze out of this prop at the moment. It would be nice if we could have more screen grabs of this, or more images of it from a display somewhere (not meaning the gold-painted one you found, David, though if you ever stumble across that one again it would be nice to see how this prop was recycled). Any extra images would be helpful, especially if there was one showing the bottom of the base, even from a fleeting scene screen grab.

Great grabs with the two you posted, David! Thanks for sharing. (I'd thought of building one of these when I first saw it all those years ago. Not sure why I never tried when I had the resources available to me. Probably just too busy at the time: still active duty, loads of administrative as well as electronics to deal with, plus kids in school... the list goes on. :P)

Anyway, I hope this helps.

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


I'd say the ridged black ring around the joystick is almost definitely a tyre off a toy truck that's been sliced in half.


Dino, your image is the one I thought I saw - my memory just painted it golden for some reason, which is odd. Maybe I've been mixing m'balls up.
Kind Regards,



mr sheen

One of the first props I even built. It looked terrible. I think I used one of those balls you throw in the washing maching full of conditioner.
I used a joysick with 4 micro-switches on it, each micro-switch wired to a seperate row of bulbs. All powered by a 9v battery.
Waggle the joystick in a circle and the bulbs light in sequence, just like the real one.

Unfortunately....(or more fortunate for me)...it ended up in the bin long ago.


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Nate<br /><br /><br />"The Caves of Androzani": <br />Peri - "I thought you knew everything."<br />The Doctor - "Ahhh, not quite; it's going to worry me until I find out what it is."