Jun 19, 2024, 10:23 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Inspired by the console

Started by sincitym, May 12, 2018, 04:23 am

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I am in the process of opening an escape room.  In one of the meetings with my partners, we were discussing themes and decided that we should have something that was based on space, aliens, or UFOs in some way.  Originally, I wanted something that was alien-based, but with the look of a 1950s military bunker in one of the rooms.  Specifically, I wanted a console with all the 1950s era switches and buttons and lights.

We added in our future location manager to the conversation and, after getting off on a tangent, she mentioned she was a big fan of Dr. Who and asked if there was any way we could incorporate something similar to the TARDIS console.  I have to admit, I hadn't watched much of Dr. Who through the years, so when she showed me what the TARDIS control room console looked like, I immediately chimed in with, "That's the exact look that we could use for when the players are inside the alien ship."  So now, I'm in the process of building a console that's very much inspired by the concept of the TARDIS control room console. 

We're already pretty close to finishing the build itself, then start on the trim, adding little hidden compartments, lights, switches, all that.  And, ultimately, the paint. 

Just wanted to show some of the process as this forum has been a GREAT help along the way so far, so thank you for just existing.  It's been extremely helpful for our goals.  :)

The first thing that I think might be helpful to those looking to build their own is to look for free plans to build a hexagon shaped poker table.  This will get you the pedestal and tabletop, at the very least.  I found a link to a poker table like that, used 3/4 birch plywood for everything below the tabletop itself for strength and durability.  Then I started using 1/2 plywood for everything above, as it's lighter (obviously) and will provide more flexibility when I start adding the components to each panel this coming week.

In this image, you can see the first test hexagon against the wall.  I screwed up the cut and had to re-do it.  The good tabletop cut is on the table.  And the initial pedestal can be seen.

Initial pedestal.  The box next to it was built to attach to the underside of the tabletop, making disassembly easier.  To assemble, we just slide that box into the pedestal.  Again, it's mainly because we know we'll be moving the console through narrow doors.

The panels.  Each side on the outside is 24".  I don't have a table saw, so I had to cut using a regular circular saw. 


When I cut the initial panels, I had these triangular pieces left.  We're going to incorporate them into a puzzle. 

The outside trim, cut out.  I also don't have a miter saw, so I chose to use a protractor and the circular saw as well as I could, opting to fill in the gaps with all-purpose putty where needed. 

The outside trim added for the tabletop. 

I used the router tool with a flush bit to cut off the excess wood seen earlier. 

The middle is just going to be a hexagon "cap" as the engine on the actual console would prove to be too far beyond what we're doing.  As you can see here, I took 5 1/2" bits of strip plywood to hold the consoles at an angle.  I'm going to be adding a "lip" to the outside trim.  Coupled with the cap that will be placed on it, each panel will be "locked" in place. 

You can see where I used putty on the corners of the trim that were less-than-ideal and then sanded it down.  I'm going to apply another layer this weekend, then it should be ready for the next layer.  Also, I wanted to see how everything looked with the panels all in place. 

To give some dimension to the sides, I used the router for each panel, and this is where the build is currently at. 

So far, I've spent about 20 total hours on this particular build.  This weekend, we're working on completing the pedestal as a group (figuring out what puzzle-related images to add, what color paint, etc).  Next week, I'll post some more images after I figure out what to do to fill in the gaps between panels (that will make it look "alien"), as well as show whatever parts on each panel I've added. 

Hope the images help others, and if you have any questions about the build, I'd love to talk about it!


Again, thanks to all for everything you've contributed here.  It's been a great source of information as well as inspiration. 


Thanks for the kind words.  I'm glad this board gave you some ideas and I hope your build will give others some ideas.  On that note, since this is an actual build, I'm going to move it to the Console Build Diary page.  :)
"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.