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New, New TardisBuilders!

Flumbledryer's Brachacki Box

Started by flumbledryer, Jun 24, 2018, 10:52 pm

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So then, the diary begins! (I thought about naming this thread "Ben's Big Blue Battered Brachacki Box Build" but for some reason decided against it.)

To prepare myself, I built a box in SketchUp so I could get a good view of the box from all angles and get used to all the details and sizes of various parts.


I matched the model up to that wonderful Marco Polo photo, and I'm pretty pleased. (It's not 100% aligned in the photo as I forgot to save my original file and just matched this up quickly)


And then gave it a lovely bit of Photo Texturing, and used a renderer plugin to get a nice shot.


But anyway, on to the build itself!

I came across an old fresnel lens on ebay which I thought would be ideal for the lantern, and at a fantastic price too as the metal housing was very dented and rusted. It is slightly smaller than the actual one though, and so I have scaled down the lamp housing accordingly so it isn't out of proportion with the lens (I tested this on my SketchUp model to make sure it still looked in keeping with the full scale box).


I also have had my Doorsign printed. I got this done for free from a friend who owns a sign making business, after I helped with his dalek build. I want to get my panels under way before I make the frame, just to be on the safe side. The Topsigns are also on order and will have the ability to be backlit.


That's all for now, hopefully it won't be long before my next post :)

Thanks all!
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


Jun 25, 2018, 04:54 am #1 Last Edit: Jun 25, 2018, 04:54 am by galacticprobe
Looking good so far, Ben! And I see we both had the same idea for the dome on top of the lamp cap: an upturned bowl. I was just looking around for the right sized wooden bowl, but I see a metal one does the trick just fine. (But I have to stick with hunting down a wooden one as I can't talk the wife into parting with any of her mixing bowls.)

The Phone Panel sign looks beautiful, too. Your friend did a magnificent job printing it. I can't wait to see more!

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


Jun 25, 2018, 09:24 am #2 Last Edit: Jun 25, 2018, 09:25 am by russellsuthern
I always love to see the start of a new build diary & you look like you have got off to a great start- keep up the good work!




Nice find on the fresnel lens.  How large is that lens that you scored? 
I want notes, lists and answers by the time I finish this here Juicy-a-Box! WARNING: I am Thirst-ay! And it is Fruit Punch! And it is Delicious!"


The lens itself is near 5" high and 5 1/4" wide at the base.

I'm amazed at how nicely it has cleaned up - it was in a bit of a state when it arrived:


I'm toying with the idea of creating a 2 or 3 part silicone mould so I can make some clearcast resin copies to use when out and about (My TARDIS won't be up anywhere permanently as I intend to do events with it). I don't want to risk breaking my only lens!
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


Jun 26, 2018, 05:56 am #5 Last Edit: Jun 26, 2018, 06:10 am by galacticprobe
Ben, check out parts of these Build Diaries as these members made moulds and cast resin lenses so they didn't jeopardize their main glass lens:


http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=5555.0 (I'm not sure where in this one Matt does the moulding and casting, but he did a magnificent job of it as well. He took a 1/4th mould, and working with that managed to create a 1-piece resin lens that he turned into a 1-piece mould for casting a 1-piece clear resin lens.)

Both diaries also show how they made the "plug" for the inside of the lens so the casting didn't come out as a solid block that would need boring out, which would be a waste of lots of resin.

Hopefully they'll give you some ideas on how to make your mould and casting.

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


Sep 22, 2018, 12:33 pm #6 Last Edit: Sep 22, 2018, 12:36 pm by flumbledryer
So much for "not long until the next post"... Guilty as charged!

Not as much done as I'd like, I've had a few small side projects and repairs to one of my daleks that have been gobbling up my time (and space).

I couldn't resist temptation and painted my lamp assembly. I'm pretty happy with how that has turned out. I've been having a few issues with the topsigns I've ordered, but hopefully my definitive signs will be ready soon.


The doorsign has also been backed and framed. I'll leave it at this stage until I've caught up with the rest of the box.


So, construction of the main box has begun, with the base. This so far consists of four 2"x1" beams planed by hand to 45°, with a 1"x1" glued and screwed underneath. Next will come the supports and ply for the floor, which should be within the next few days. (Though given my last estimate, it's probably best not to hold me to that one), then I should be in a position to start securing things together.

12.jpg 13.jpg

It's been a slow start, but hopefully I should feel a bit more motivated once I have something looking a bit more boxy. Having lots of random pieces scattered around the house makes it feel like I haven't done a lot...
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


Looks great.

It always goes that way, you spend hours on your build, then look around & think, "Is that all I've accomplished?!"

But every little helps & it all comes together in the end!

Looking forward to more updates!




Learning so much about these builds and different techniques of the craftsmanship for them.  The light looks great.  I now see how I could have done better with mine.  Looking forward to seeing how it turns out and the steps along the way.


Sep 27, 2018, 05:15 pm #9 Last Edit: Sep 27, 2018, 05:20 pm by flumbledryer
A little more progress to share with you all today, mostly figuring out the base supports and starting to screw things together.


I have the beams going one way (though they're not yet secure), with fixing blocks along the adjacent edges.

I've left the corners clear for now until we have figured out what we're doing with the castors, as I want this box to be easily movable.


The corners went together better than I expected, but there is still some amount of tidying up that needs to be done a bit later as usual.


I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out, it all seems pretty flat and stable, even though the beams aren't secured yet.

Thanks all for taking a look, It's been bringing back memories of starting my first dalek (also in the kitchen!) back in 2012! :D
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


Oct 22, 2018, 06:32 pm #10 Last Edit: Oct 22, 2018, 07:10 pm by flumbledryer
I've had a while away from this project, going on a trip with friends for a week, but this has always been ticking in the back of my mind, so it feels good to be making some progress again.

So, first up, I've begun work on the corner posts. I've had move away from the plans due to the sizes of wood that were available, but it means that the overall width of the posts is no more than 4mm smaller than as planned, so I'm still pretty happy with them.

If anyone is wondering, the build has migrated across the road to the Village Hall! We live directly opposite, and my mum keeps the keys, so it's a rather handy space to get a project together!



I've also installed the casters on the base and reinforced it underneath. Walking on top feels nice and secure, so at least I won't be falling through any time soon (touch TARDIS wood). I am aware that the base profile on the right side appears a little round, and I will be planing this flat soon.


While I was putting the order in for the wood for the sides, the doors, and the inside edges of the corner posts, I also bought a nightlatch for the doors which should do the job nicely. I plan on doing the extended barrel but the pin is long enough to accommodate this.


For my birthday recently I finally also got an airbrush, so I tested it on a scrap piece of clear acrylic. This gave me an idea for making an acrylic panel for the door sign which will then be weathered, instead of weathering the sign itself. I found a sheet of plastic that my mum was planning on using for a photo frame, and the width of that is the exact length of the height of the sign, so I shall be using that. I should be able to get a good few panes out of that when I need them.


That's all for now, I expect I'll be back for another update pretty soon at this rate. :D Thanks all for looking.
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


Another productive day!

One big order of wood later, and I have enough to finish the corner posts, and work on the frames for the sides and doors. I bought some 3mm ply to use as a backing and also to use as the windows. The 5.5mm ply that was also in stock was incredibly warped, but hopefully this will do the job. I can always add some supports on the back if required.

I have completed two of the corner posts so far (The quadrant for the tops will be added after the top sign boxes have been made). I stopped the quadrant at where it will meet the bottom of the sign box, as I plan on having a right angle to meet the post, rather than have to cut the round out of the top and bottom of the sign box. Once the sign boxes have been made, I will neaten up the top ends of the posts and make a small cap to cover the tops.


I've also put together one half of a side. The central strip is made of two pieces as this was the easiest way of making up the correct thickness with what the suppliers had in stock. The join in the middle luckily will of course be covered up by the centre divider.

24.jpg 25.jpg

So far everything seems to be lining up nicely with the guidelines I drew on the base over a month ago. The frame for the sides will be dowelled and glued in place. I just mocked this up this evening to make sure everything fits together and lines up, and I am pretty happy with how it is going, so now it's just a case of repeat, repeat, and then get it all stuck together! :)

26.jpg 27.jpg
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


This is looking very nice...

Cutting the quadrant at the signbox makes a lot of sense!

The original prop had top and bottom rails on the walls span the two windows horizontally, and the centre verticals stop at the top of the windows and also sit on the spanning bottom rail. This gives the walls some flex strength. An alternative is to add battens across the back, which I think has been done with the Series 11 prop. For my last build I did neither, and the flexing is not terrible.


I thought it's about time I posted a small update of everything that's happened since my last post.

It's been going a little slow; I'm having to clear everything out of the way pretty much at the end of every day because apparently sometimes people need to use the kitchen. When it's not in the kitchen it's in the village hall which is also in use most evenings, so I'm having to prioritise not being in anyone's way above getting this thing done quickly. We've also all come down with a cold (in my case over 3 weeks ago, but it's still lingering), one family member in hospital for over a week (all fine now) and a bit little of excitement when a prop I helped create back in February finally appeared in the series (James I's mask ;) ) but that's another story!

On to the important stuff!

Making good progress on the sides; I currently have two sides finished, though only one second has the gaps cut in the back ply to act as rebates for the hinges (I was too excited in getting the first side done that I completely forgot to cut these). Before securing the ply in place I also cut out the window frames, and have also finished the frames of one side, just to make sure I was happy with how they look. I'll cut the rest out together.



I have plenty of 3mm ply left over from the backs which I can put to good use. I plan on doubling these up to become the steps beneath each sign box. These will be affixed directly to the top of each side, hence why the edges and middle extend upwards. (See, I do plan ahead, sometimes! ;) )


The side with the hinge rebates done already has been secured to the corresponding corner posts, and I am really happy with how this is going so far. The removable pins in the hinges can sometimes be a little too stiff when assembling/disassembling, which I guess is a good thing, but in mind of setting this thing up at events we may opt to create some more, slightly thinner, with more of a loop on the top to ease in removal. There is a little gap along some sides, though not noticeable at the moment, they might stand out when the box is internally lit, so I may put some narrow quadrant on the sides of the corner posts to cover up these gaps. This could also have the added benefit of being some help to align the sides against when setting the box up.




Two of the corner posts have been secured into the base, this I did by making a 1" thick plate which fits inside the corner post with a threaded insert embedded into it. This is screwed and bonded to the base, and a length of threaded rod passed though. The post then slots onto the rod, slots neatly over the plate and can be bolted in place. I wanted these to still have some give to them to again help with getting the sides in, but they are secure enough so that they won't be falling over and tearing the base up with them any time soon.


Still so go: finish the 3rd side (in progress, the frame has been glued and dowelled, just the backing to go) and remake the 3rd corner post. The wood I initially used for this corner post was badly twisted, so I opted not to continue with it. Last week we got some replacement wood for it free of charge. Once this post is finished I'll decide which of the two remaining is neatest - the neatest of the two will obviously be the one at the front, which isn't already. I'll make a final decision on the window frames when more of the box is together, so I can better judge them - a part of me thinks the look a little on the thin side, in which case I can just get some more slightly thicker ply to make some replacements when I come to do the roof.

It also became apparent that the doorsign will need to be planed down a little to fit. It just about wedges into place, but obviously I want this to hinge open smoothly, but I anticipated this would be the case as of course the frame and panel are the same size.


Till next time!
"This doesn't roll along on wheels, you know!"


This is looking brilliant!
Very exciting to see another Brachacki coming together, and so well...