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Panel Alignment

Started by Scarfwearer, Jun 07, 2017, 12:52 pm

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Jun 07, 2017, 12:52 pm Last Edit: Jul 03, 2019, 03:17 am by warmcanofcoke
I thought I should lay out my theory about the panel mis-alignment on this prop.

The mis-alignment has been known about for a while:
Essentially the panels on the doors appear to be lower than the panels on the side walls.

Understanding of it is made difficult by a number of things:
1. The reference images for this prop are very sparse and often of very low resolution.
Pictures that are taken from far enough away to avoid gross perspective distortion are of too low resolution to see anything clearly.
2. The prop is asymmetric in many ways, some of which interfere with this issue. In particular, the left post was altered substantially.
3. The side walls are recessed much less than the doors, so construction lines drawn on images don't meet at the corner.

The puzzle with this is that while the bottom rail of the doors is clearly much lower than the bottom rail on the walls, the tops of the window frames appear to be level.
time warrior 4 roof.png

Since we now believe that the doors (and indeed the posts and top signs) of this prop were taken from the white mock-ups built for the Celestial Toymaker story, and the side walls were from the original prop, we can no longer just assume that they had the same geometry.

And, indeed, it looks like they didn't.
Here's my understanding of what's going on:

This is the right-hand front door next to the front half of the right side wall.
I think that unlike the side walls, the horizontal rails on the mock-up doors were all of the same height. So to make up the lost inch, they were distributed evenly. The effect of this is that the door appears to be stretched downward from the top.

I wondered if this would be discernable from the few shots we have of the mockups:

It's barely possible to tell, as the images are so poor, but the two inserts in the picture are the rail above, on the left, and the same rail scaled to be 4" tall rather than 3". It seems at least plausible that the bottom rail on the mockups was 3" - the same as the others.

An obvious apparent problem with this idea is that the 1966 prop apparently re-used the original police telephone sign.
If that was the case, then it should be 1/4" too short for the gap. And from this photo it would appear to be:


However at this early stage it simply wasn't mounted correctly, and rather than having 1/8" all round as it previously had, the sign was resting on the rail below.
Later this was corrected, as seen by overlaying an earlier image:

So, then what was going on?

Here's what I think:


This is the front side of the left wall and the left hand door.

Amazingly, it would appear that the rail above the telephone door was lowered to fill the gap. This sounds contrived, but the evidence is there. The left door window really does appear to be 1/4" taller than the right. The visible window frame shows more frame on the left. This means that the left window is a full half inch taller than the windows on the side walls of the prop.
(Be aware that later in its history the right hand door was apparently lowered 1/4", so then the bottoms of the window frames align rather than the tops).

But what about when the door sign was hung on the right hand door? Surely there would be a gap then?
Well there was:

If you can take your eyes off the gorgeous servo-robot, you will see that the sign wasn't well positioned in this picture either and with the frame 15.25" high in a 15.75" panel, it looks like you could pretty much get your finger into the gap.

Long after this, I thought of cutting the post out of the picture and butting the wall and door together directly to illustrate the effect. I don't regard this as direct evidence because it's so easy to be misled by perspective. But it is at least illustrative.

I also tried this with the original prop, and sure enough, the doors and walls align properly.


tony farrell

Jun 07, 2017, 04:53 pm #1 Last Edit: Jun 07, 2017, 05:37 pm by Tony Farrell
A fascinating read Crispin!

I've been following your build with great interest and this - along with being asked to provide dimensions for the 1966 version of the Tardis for a pal of mine (as well as discussions with Steve W/Fivefingeredstyre) - have prompted me to revisit the dimensions stated in my history of the alterations of the Brachacki prop:

You mention the fact that the tops of the windows still appear to line up but as we look further down the front (and rear) elevation of the prop there is an increasing mismatch in the panel alignment when compared to the side elevations. I agree with you about this increasing mismatch but, have reached a slightly different conclusion:

My starting point is a known dimension - in this case, the diameter of the cylinder lock. In the UK, the standard diameter of a Yale-type cylinder lock is 45 millimeters.

For my starting point, I used this close-up of the lock from "The Android Invasion". I appreciate that the lock, by this stage, has been painted-over and the fact that the prop has been covered in Artex makes determining the exact edges of the panels difficult but, as ever, I tried to be as accurate with my pixel counts as possible.


In this example, the lock is ninety pixels in diameter and the cross-rail is 163 pixels tall. 163/2 = 81.5 millimeters or 3.208". Lets call this 3.2".

As we've seen from this close-up picture from the end of "Power of the Daleks" which Jonathan/Markofrani posted, the bottom cross-rail is considerably less tall than the one above it and there is a small (quadrant-fronted) step immediately below the bottom of the doors.

cross bar.jpg

If we take the height of this step as half-an-inch and allow for a small gap between it and the bottom of the doors (and taking in account your comment about all the cross-rails on the Toy Maker cabinet doors originally being the same size but the bottom one was trimmed when they were fitted to the Tardis) then, we arrive at 3.2" minus 0.5" = 2.7" (less the slight gap) so, 2.6" for the bottom rail.

Using the same starting point as you i.e., that the tops of the windows are all level, this gives the following results:

1966 Tardis Overhead for M.png
1966 Tardis for M.png

(Due to their size, it is best to open the diagrams in a separate tab and use the 'magnifying glass'.)

And, lastly, a comparison diagram where I've combined the replacement doors with the side panel which was retained in the 1966 refit (I've used the left-hand side panel as this didn't have the taller of the three steps above it which was used on the right-hand side).

combo for crispin.png

This seems to account for the increasing misalignment of the panels as we look down towards the bottom of the box and matches the evidence of slightly taller cross rails (i.e., 3.2" when compared to the diameter of a Yale lock) and the panels are all still 15.5" tall.

I know that Crispin has said previously that he doesn't 'go for' the cut and thrust of a debate so, I merely offer this as an alternative explanation.  :)



I am indeed reluctant to enter into a debate, but I would invite you to compare the heights of the window openings adjacent to the front left post in the time warrior shot above, and see what you think. If you disagree, I'll leave it there.
It's always possible that the truth is stranger than either of us imagine. :D
This process is extraordinarily difficult, and I'm amazed that we've come as far as we have. And grateful for your good work.

Rassilons Rod

This is marvellous :)
In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.

tony farrell

Jun 08, 2017, 12:01 am #4 Last Edit: Jun 08, 2017, 12:07 am by Tony Farrell
Quote from: Scarfwearer on Jun 07, 2017, 06:28 pm
I am indeed reluctant to enter into a debate, but I would invite you to compare the heights of the window openings adjacent to the front left post in the time warrior shot above, and see what you think. If you disagree, I'll leave it there.

Well, given you're reluctant to enter into a debate, I'm not quite sure how to respond to this point other than to say - with the greatest respect (& that is genuinely meant) - I do disagree. Screen grabs are notoriously difficult - the fact that the resolution isn't the best, the fact that the extremes of the image are 'pulled' outwards, the fact that the camera is rarely completely still, etc, etc.  

Nevertheless, lightening the image reveals the window to which you refer isn't actually straight within the panel 'opening':

time warrior 4 roof light.png

(As with my previous post, the image is best viewed in a separate tab & with the use of the magnifying glass.)

If you then draw lines across the 'true' edges of the panel, it would appear that the front doors' window panels and the side window panels do line up i.e., that they are both 15.5" tall. (Just my interpretation, but then, how do we explain the height of the cross-rail relative to the known diameter of the lock?  :) )

Quote from: Scarfwearer on Jun 07, 2017, 06:28 pm
It's always possible that the truth is stranger than either of us imagine. :D

Well, in the words of Oscar Wilde, "the truth is rarely simple and never pure". There wouldn't be any point in trying to work things like this out if it wasn't a challenge!

Quote from: Scarfwearer on Jun 07, 2017, 06:28 pm
This process is extraordinarily difficult, and I'm amazed that we've come as far as we have. And grateful for your good work.

Agreed and the same words of appreciation back to you!  :)



Well, having spent many weeks of evenings poring over dozens of photos and measuring pixels looking at this single issue all I can say is that I see it differently. Which just underscores the difficulty.
I composed and then deleted three paragraphs of reply, which I think address yours adequately from my point of view, but they would just continue the debate and would be unlikely to change your mind.
I appreciate your replies here, but they haven't changed my mind either. :D
This is why I avoid debates.
Ultimately we can only change our own views.


Just a query, what is meant by 'locating bars', I've heard that used to describe the two apparent planks that go across the bottom of both side elevations at some point between 66' and 67'. I haven't yet included them in my build as I wasn't sure what size they should be (this seemed to be omitted from Tony's plans) and on whether I should include them for the era my model is based on. Were the pieces as pictured here from filming of The Abominable Snowmen present from the refit in 66' or added further along the line?d02-2n-070.jpg

tony farrell

Hi Jamie - the locating bars are on my plans (as they are on Crispin/Scarfwearer's).

They seem to have been fitted in the 1966 refit (as evidenced by the telesnap from the landing sequence from The Highlanders). If you look carefully at The Spearhead from Space, they are still present for the final appearance of the original base.

When we next see the Tardis in the publicity photos from The Terror of the Autons, the Tardis has no base at all. It gains a new base for the studio recording of this story (September 1970) when it also has its roof replaced with a wider version. This new base doesn't have any locating bars. Apart from the addition of hardboard fascia along its front section, the base remains unaltered from September 1970 until the final appearance of the "Altered Brachacki Tardis" at the end of Tom Baker's second season.



Thanks Tony. I was referring more to the lack of measurements for them - at least that I could make out.

tony farrell

They look to be about two inches shorter than the distance between the inside edges of each corner-post.



Sep 18, 2017, 09:34 am #10 Last Edit: Sep 18, 2017, 09:36 am by jamiebate
Sort of relevant, but what's the situation with the bottom of the doors? Was there a strip attached to the floor beneath them when the box was first altered, or was it added later? I ask because in this photo it seems as though there's just a gap there?


Also, further to this, are things the same on the rear doors? I ask because I'm making a second version of my recent 1:8 scale Altered Brachacki and I'm considering having a small letter box slot below the doors cut out as in this photo.

tony farrell

Sep 18, 2017, 11:48 am #11 Last Edit: Sep 18, 2017, 12:09 pm by Tony Farrell
Well, the strip is definitely there in episode six of "The Power of the Daleks" and it's also there in "The Dominators":

Power06 - Mercury Rock Field 1 croppped.jpg


And I think it's there in "The Abominable Snowmen" - it's just in shadow. Here's the relevant section from a much larger version of Jamie's picture:


And since the strip was present in "The Dominators" which was made after "The Abominable Snowmen" and also in "Power" which was made before the Snowmen, it doesn't make much sense to fit it, then remove it and then refit it again later (though stranger things have happened)!  :)