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New, New TardisBuilders!

Mike Verta's s18 TY-J

Started by mverta, Nov 14, 2018, 12:03 am

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I think it's also worth bearing in mind that not everyone is targeting verisimilitude... For a lot of us - probably most - the Tardis is a magical dream thing that we want to realise. It's an alien time vessel. The actual TV props were not particularly unearthly, but in our imagination they were. So, many of us want to build something that looks like an alien time vessel in disguise. Machine generated fonts and straight edges are thus sometimes the things to aspire to, rather than matching the unevenly made artefacts of television production. My first build was like that: deliberately idealised, and built heavy so it didn't sound hollow when you stepped into it. It's supposed to look slightly unreal. For my later builds I've focused more on matching the actual props as they were, though I'm well aware that it's practically an unreachable goal - at least for me.
But variety is the spice of life and brings interesting and different things and people to the forum, so we celebrate the diversity of our objectives.
I'm always interested in the road less travelled, so this build your doing here is fascinating...


I'm soooo enjoying this.

I've know Mike for many years and he's a stickler for detail and for bringing his best or nothing at all. His R2-D2s, both virtual and real, can attest to that.

I'm enjoying the level of expertise and mania he's bringing to the Tardis. The altered Brachacki holds a dear place in my heart since it dominated my childhood but the TYJ, particularly in its early years, is a thing of beauty.

Looking forward to the CNC'd video.



Jan 21, 2019, 08:26 pm #47 Last Edit: Jan 21, 2019, 08:51 pm by mverta
My brain goes: "People watch the show, love the TARDIS so much they want to build it, and then build one that doesn't possess the things that made them love it in the first place. This seems especially odd after they've spent months and months researching and looking at references, and comparing measurements, and building - like they're really trying to capture the original look. And then use a...font?"

But you're 100% correct: All of this is totally fine and nobody's business. It is something people like me will never understand.  But so what?  I can't imagine anything less important to the world than my opinion of somebody else's wooden box.  I mean, please.  It's your box, build it exactly the way you like it and screw anybody who's got a problem with it, I say.  :)

Speaking of obsessing - the s18 "Yale" lock is not branded "Yale."


Quote from: mverta on Jan 21, 2019, 08:26 pmSpeaking of obsessing - the s18 "Yale" lock is not branded "Yale."
ive always put that down to advertising... ;)


Quote from: mverta on Jan 21, 2019, 08:26 pm
Speaking of obsessing - the s18 "Yale" lock is not branded "Yale."

I'm really gratified to hear this.  As I never liked the idea that the TARDIS lock has a brand name anywhere.  Always preferred the idea that it's a plain (alien) 'depiction' of a cylinder lock.  That said, I'm pretty sure even the TYJs have sported actual Yale locks at various times. But I'm really pleased to hear that it also, at times, did not.

Re: quirks and authenticity.  I think the pursuit of that can be a bit of a wild goose chase (at least for mere mortals).  In the CG field, the objective is of course to make something that isn't real, appear to be so, and to merge as seamlessly as possible with other things that are real.  But in physical TARDIS building - it's all real, practical, tangible stuff.  Wood, nails, glue.  And whether one likes it or not... it will be kind of wonky and uneven in places.  To try and deliberately introduce wonk of a particular kind in particular places is all well and good, but what about all the accidental wonk that will also find it's way in?  And then you have to weigh up the fact that the original BBC builders didn't deliberately make it crook (at least I don't think it was deliberate).  So why would we?  They didn't put away their levels and t-squares.  Why would we? They were trying to build it to a decent spec, but obviously within pretty tight time constraints, so there's a degree of haste about their manufacture.  We builders, by contrast, have pretty much all the time in the world... and can take the necessary time and trouble to eliminate irregularity as best we can.  But nevertheless, irregularities will creep in - and not necessarily exactly where it did on the BBC boxes.  I think introducing certain unmistakable 'cues' (and texture) is one thing, but beyond that... it's a journey into madness, and one you can never actually reach the end of... In the CG environment it's all deliberate.  But in the real world half of it is accident (happy accidents and not-so-happy)

Is there not a whiff of irony about championing irregularity and real-ness (disparaging fonts and uniformity), and then generating one's product using computer files and CNC, lest anything be... off.

I am obviously playing 'devil's advocate' here - in the interests of debate.



Jan 21, 2019, 10:28 pm #50 Last Edit: Jan 22, 2019, 04:04 am by Theta Sigma
Quote from: typeforte on Jan 21, 2019, 09:45 pmTo try and deliberately introduce wonk of a particular kind in particular places is all well and good, but what about all the accidental wonk that will also find it's way in?

YAY!  Even better, and yes you're right, some will creep in; don't fight it!

Quote from: typeforte on Jan 21, 2019, 09:45 pmAnd then you have to weigh up the fact that the original BBC builders didn't deliberately make it crook (at least I don't think it was deliberate).  So why would we?

Because as even a cursory glance at the wonkiness shows, it was a slapdash don't-give-a-hang job, intentionally or not.  It's such a complete mess - we have to deliberately go down that road to hope to match the level of it.  If you look at this render of the TARDIS without the coloring to distract you, you can get a sense for just how wonky it was:


I mean, my God.  We will not get that by accident.  I'm half-convinced they just recycled old, decaying flats for the master.

Quote from: typeforte on Jan 21, 2019, 09:45 pmWe builders, by contrast, have pretty much all the time in the world... and can take the necessary time and trouble to eliminate irregularity as best we can.

Yep, and engineer all the authenticity and interest right. out. of. it.  Same thing behind the decision to make Darth Vader's helmet for the prequels symmetrical, which then, like any face, no longer looks like Darth Vader, except in general sort of way. Try making your own face symmetrical in a photo sometime for how destructive this lack of sensibility is.  I've seen this for years and years at the R2 Builders Club.  Members spend months or years obsessing about fractions of an inch and proportions, and then build something that looks like a plastic Chinese knock-off by somebody who half-remembers the movie.  It's because they set out to "fix" all the things that, you know, would have been done had the original guys had more time and money.. but didn't.  So they end up building a thing that doesn't look like R2 ever did or will.  And happier than pigs in shit about it.  Different strokes.

And everything you say is true - it is sort of funny to be "accurately" putting in mistakes.  But this is why I'm leaving much of it to just whatever happens naturally, and only some of it to very deliberate, controlled fabrication.  The panels are literally more than a quarter of the TARDIS - huge real estate, and they're all the same panel - a panel with largely  unchanging, clearly recognizable landmarks.  The post caps, roof, base, even the posts themselves to some degree changed over time.  But if you go right now and look at Season 19 or 20 references recently posted by warmcanofcoke, you will not be able to miss those telltale panel quirks.  They're clear as day - even in medium shots. Seen them clearly in MKII shots as well. So for me, because they're consistent, and repeatable, I'm repeating them.  The other stuff I'm leaving to chance, with an eye and sensibility to the level of the original.

Now, I have to confess that my approach represents a personal bias because it's literally my job. I've spent a good portion of the last 30 years serving as a sort of "aesthetic policeman" for marquee brands.  I'm one of the guys Disney brought in for the new Avatar theme park to make sure that some new design or object looked like it belonged in the movie, even if it wasn't.  Even with Cameron and Lightstorm overseeing everything, there was a huge gulf between concept and actually building an attraction which can accommodate wheelchairs, not scare the children, etc., and yet somehow feel like you were living the movie.  It's just what I do, and it requires both a 40,000 foot, objective view, and a obsess-about-the-microdetails sensibility to pull off.  I can't turn it off, so apologies.  

But again, I couldn't be more sincere in my belief that these builds should be expressions of joy and represent whatever the builder wants however he/she wants them.  This is not a competition; it's a community.  I would never disparage someone's efforts, even if I totally disagree with their approach.  At least builders are building.  That takes time and effort and money and as such is beyond reproach in my view.  Plus, I can think of no more tragic a hill to be king of than Mount Most-Accurate TARDIS.

I appreciate all the views and posts, truly!


This is currently one of my favourite threads.

Fascinating to read everyone's opinions on the the "accuracy" debate.

I have to say, Mike, your job sounds amazing!! ;D




Here's just a bit more on this stuff:


"Accuracy" is a part of the reason I'm choosing to replicate one of the boxes that Lymerence posted. Also because I love the general look and shape of it, but because I know I'll never be able to replicate the props with the amount of accuracy I'd be happy with. So I can....not play around with Lym's box, but build it to look like the render but with the irregularities that'll naturally creep in as I construct it. Plus I can add my own little touches, like a St. John badge or something small like that.


I think that's great.  I did a little CG mash-up of R2 and Iron Man years ago, and some guy actually went and built a real one.  It was so wild to see, but so cool.  So sure, why not build one you've seen here?


I suppose every builder knows this feeling.  Full CNC video coming soon.


OMG!!! Fantastic :-)

Very much looking forward to the full video  :)

Angelus Lupus

Nice! I also love the piano arrangement of the theme tune, where's it from?
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


That would be me, actually. :)

Angelus Lupus

Well, aren't you an unfairly multi-talented marvel!  >:( :P (insert mock-outrage, overly-dramatic indignation, and genuine jealousy)
But seriously, it's a beautiful version, I'd love to hear the full theme in that style!
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.