serial builder

John: 1960s Dalek

Main Photo

John is the Project Dalek administrator and this is his first Dalek build, based on the design from the 1960s.

The build was initially designed to be 'foot-powered', running on casters and featuring a split skirt for ease of transport. A little while after the build was finished it was motorised using 24v wheelchair running gear. This conversion was relatively easy due to the accessibility of the space inside the skirt once it is split. The Dalek is on its second eyestalk and gun, the others being of a similar but subtly different design.

How it was done...

At this point, the dome and neck are 'bare'. The dome has been given a good coating of spray putty to fill up any small defects. Evidence of the filler used around the neck struts is also evident. An eye and dome lights have been temporarily added for reference purposes.

The eye disc assembly was made from Perspex, using a hole saw set. A length of plastic tube (sprayed silver on the inside) was used to make the spacers between the discs. The central rod is made up of two lengths of threaded tube, used in the production of table lamps.

With the eyeball fixed in place, it's time to add the frontage. The iris was made from several layers of Perspex sandwiched together. This fits snugly into the front of the eyeball. A few tiny dabs of PVA glue were used to ensure that it was secure.

All rough edges were removed from the holes in the skirt, both inside and out. The inside of the skirt was primed and then given a coat of white gloss paint. No areas of bare wood were left, this should make the Dalek extremely resistant to damp conditions.

No, this isn't my entry for the Turner Prize, it's a display of exactly how many hemispheres you need to kit out one Dalek. Don't bother counting, I'll tell you, there are fifty-six. Each one of these clear PETG plastic 'bowls' has been lovingly sprayed blue, on the inside.

A little while after completing the Dalek I managed to purchase a secondhand electric wheelchair. This was stripped down and the motors, seat and controls were adapted to fit inside the Dalek's skirt and shoulders. The fact that the skirt could split in half made fitting quite easy.

Click on the following pages for more detailed information...

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