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Creating Bessie

Started by cdngoose, Nov 11, 2017, 04:57 pm

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That was considered and if I were in the UK that would be the perfect option, however I am in Canada and though we have some of the " biggest" fans of Who over here many of these huge fans have no idea of what Bessie is as they have never seen Doctor Who prior to 2005! ( yes I know but they are big fans nonetheless) so I have to have a background that dictates Doctor Who immediately.



What about the Torchwood hub aka Cardiff Bay? I know it hasn't featured in Doctor Who since way back but could be good and high red photos should be in abundance.

Or perhaps the entrance to the Black Archive aka The Tower of London?

Not really sure what location shouts out Doctor Who now that you've mentioned it.


I'm pretty literal so my 3 ideas are UNIT HQ, which I found a pretty decent photo for: , the garage/workshop from "Inferno", and The Doctor's lab at UNIT (circa "The Three Doctors", with the TARDIS in the corner).  I couldn't find any pictures of those that I liked.  Of the two, I think the UNIT lab would be better--the TARDIS instantly gives you a frame of reference.  The "Inferno" lab is more "the console is the only part of the control room we were able to get presentable for color TV--and only just barely--so let's just stick it in a garage and pretend it works for space-time travel by itself."  
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Nov 20, 2017, 04:58 am #18 Last Edit: Nov 20, 2017, 05:22 am by galacticprobe
Going on Other Steve's (Volpone) suggestion for a UNIT HQ backdrop, rather than trying to get a high-res image of the one in the link Steve posted above, why not use that image as a reference for the UNIT HQ sign? You can make the sign easily enough (or have a friend help you make one). Then find a suitable HQ-looking building, stand the sign on the road with the building behind it, and take your own high-res photo for printing onto that backdrop screen.

It's another variant on the idea. And honestly, like Mark said (taking into account that none of these people you mention have seen any Classic Series episodes), there are really no New Series backdrops that shout out "Doctor Who!" and would also fit Bessie since she hasn't been seen in the New Series... yet.

The suggestions I think are the best so far are (in no particular order, with a few more ideas thrown in):

-the 3rd Doctor's garage workshop from "Inferno" - which should have a photo of it with just the console in it;
-a large, fancy red brick building set back from the road a ways, with the UNIT HQ sign set on the road so it looks like a cleaner version of the image in Steve's link;
-the 3rd Doctor's UNIT lab with the TARDIS in the corner (a la "The Three Doctors"... though not really sure how you'd explain Bessie getting inside the building, let alone into the lab);
-a publicity photo from "The Five Doctors" (yes, this will only show the actors, but they'd be instantly recognizable, the image would be sharper than a screen grab, and Bessie would fit right in);
-a high-res photo of the Torchwood Hub building front, where the TARDIS parked to refuel before she acquired her own, new Eye of Harmony, and what we saw quite often as an establishing shot in 'Torchwood' Series 1 & 2 (again even though Bessie hasn't been seen in any post-2005 'Who'-related series yet).

And those are the only other ones I can think of at the moment. But here are some images to help with the UNIT sign if you decide to go that route:

The full image from Steve's link above to give you some idea of the style of house you'd be looking for. Opening it in a new tab or window should show it full size;

A cropped image of the UNIT HQ sign so that part is manageable to work with...

...and a variant on the UNIT HQ sign with the Brigadier's name (and small MoD crest at the top center) on it (sorry, it's the largest image of that one I could find).

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


Jan 14, 2018, 05:41 pm #19 Last Edit: Jan 14, 2018, 10:45 pm by cdngoose
One of my searches over the last few months has been for the original hubcap! I did not want to make one from pictures as I knew it would not be correct, this is simply from the way I approach building as opposed to other views. It took forever but I finally sourced an original unused hubcap that a chap had as a spare from the factory. I was correct I would never have made a similar hubcap, I don't think I have ever seen anything this fragile on a car before. I will have Lisa clean up the edges and prepare it for use as a plug for a fibreglass mould. Though I believe I will be making the new hubcaps out of carbon fibre so I have some strength in something so thin. I may also look at making a master plug so I can build an accommodating vacuum forming machine and make a series of hubcaps out of abs plastic. These things are really thin!
Also the Spitfire frame is now in the heated shop and time for measurements and layouts for the new frame pieces and controls placement.


Wow, I had no idea that was all there was to the hubcaps, that's amazing!   I LOVE this project.  Jealous and awed in equal parts.


Keep in mind the Moulds for Bessie are older than most people reading this post, in that they have also been used a production set and though they are in far better shape than I expected, they are not without a need for attention before use. First up is I secured the fender mould to a movable platform and cleaned it well with acetone to remove the very old wax that was left on it from last use( likely 35 years ago) and I discovered that there are 3 spots that need attention before I can start waxing for first use. One spot is an air pocket in the top of the fender that needs to be filled and gel coated, next is a separation on an edge that I can just fill with resin, since it has nothing to do with the final fender I can just fill the void to ensure integrity when removing the new fender from the mould. Lastly is the trailing edge of the fender, this looks like a previous repair to the mould, but it is under the gel coat so I can surmise that the mould has been used (possibly from the very first) with this defect and since it is in an area that cannot be viewed it likely didn't need further attention. However that's not me, it would drive me crazy knowing it is there when I could have easily repaired it. So that is the job this week to repair there three spots and preparer the mould for use next weekend. Time willing it would be great to pull all four fenders on the weekend.  IMG_1123.JPGIMG_1124.JPGIMG_1125.JPG

kert gantry

Quote from: kiwidoc on Jan 15, 2018, 01:45 am
Wow, I had no idea that was all there was to the hubcaps, that's amazing!   I LOVE this project.  Jealous and awed in equal parts.

Looking at those hubcaps, it's amazing they lasted as long as they did! There's one missing in Robot (the spare wheel on the back) and a completely new, thicker set from 5 Drs on. Photos I've seen of her from just prior to this, from the early 80s, have no yellow hubcaps at all. For a short while she even had spokes painted onto the bare Ford Popular wheels!


Which is why I need to make the hubcaps a lot stronger, since my Bessie will have an 80hp motor as opposed to the 18hp tv Bessie I'm thinking if I don't do something my car will be throwing hubcaps like Ninja Stars! :-)


After a lengthy cleaning on both parts and a little digging for air bubbles I have filled the imperfections and will let that sit till tomorrow. I have spent the last couple of days doing the same thing on a Dalek and I still have more to do on that. But this should be enough for Bessie's two Moulds. I will too with a gelcoat skin to seal then they will be ready for moulding on the hubcap and actual fenders from that mould!


You have no idea how evious I am at this project :D


Had a little free time, so I decided to start making the mould for the hubcap. It took awhile to finish the sanding and then multiple layers of wax and finally had to put backing on the open spokes and use a hot glue gun to secure it to the table. Once that was done I filled in the gap with modelling clay and finished it off with a spray coat of mould release. As soon as that dries I will add the layer of gelcoat and let sit overnight. Now typically I spray everything but for the hubcaps I am just going to apply with a brush as it was done on the original kit.


Gelcoat applied for the mould, I will let it sit overnight and do the fibreglass work in the morning. Hopefully I will have a serviceable mould ready by Tuesday morning. I will also likely do a hubcap in conjunction with a fender, since I will be spraying the gelcoat for each fender I can just mix a little extra and do the hubcaps at the same time. The gelcoat for all the finished parts has already been tinted the  final colour, which should save me an enormous amount of time in the final finish department.


Fibreglass is all layer out and sections for strengthening the spokes are made to size. I will start with a few layers of 1 oz cloth and then add the weave to the spokes and finish up by adding 2 layers of 2 oz cloth. This will prove to be very thick, but as this will be a mould and not a finished hubcap, the extra strength is required. I also get this feeling that I will be using this mould for more hubcaps than just my car. Total resin used will be 800 ml in three batches.


A lot of work has been done over the last few days! Bessie now has a body and fender completed, hopefully the rest of the body pieces will be done by Sunday. F4C34B4C-5B40-458D-9838-746254EEF5C2.jpegCE35BB4F-8176-461C-8A5F-FCEA125CE320.jpeg25098193-EBF2-419A-BF9B-B9F82A1CE486.jpeg558227F2-E8B9-4B37-9BB3-4C94949D9FE1.jpegB60DFBCD-D1E9-4371-98ED-0B2BE890F97D.jpeg465E8893-E8DB-48F5-94D7-C8887E45109E.jpeg