Simon Morrell: Attila

Main Photo

Attila took four months to build - and more money than Simon cares to add up.

The Dalek sits atop a home-grown chassis, sporting 2 x 750W motors and is radio-controlled. Two R/C channels are for general movement, another for dome rotation, one for eyestalk elevation and the final channel for operating the iris that sits in front of eight blue LED's.

Attila has been spotted in Albert Square, Manchester city centre helping to promote the Dr Who exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry.

How it was done...

Gun boxes in situ, the shoulder frame was clad with bendy MDF and then small packing pieces were added where the belts were to be built up. More layers of bendy MDF were then applied to create the basic collar shapes.

After lots of filling and priming the Dalek's shoulders were given an overall coat of Arizona Gold. Then the main shoulders were masked off and the lower belt was sprayed in Ford Olympic Gold. Once this dried, a lacquer covering was added to seal it. At this stage, weathering details are yet to be added.

Neck mesh: Holes were drilled in the neck bin mesh itself and small screws put through it. These screws then screwed into the inside edge of each of the neck bin rings. This way, the mesh exactly follows the conical contours of the neck rings and sits nice and snug against them.

The hemispheres were made from 4" balls cut in half with coach bolts added, and secured using plastic solvent and a small plastic disc. As an extra measure, the joint was reinforced from the inside with fibreglass, to help stop them from falling apart.

The chassis was constructed from box-section steel. This allowed for the addition of two lay shafts (fore and aft) with pillow block bearings between them. Simon had to do a bit of an "American Chopper" impression to get the front castor to turn without fouling on the frame.

The eyestalk mechanism was created using a box section steel frame with a motor-driven worm drive and lever mechanism. The motor drives an M8 threaded rod. The threaded rod screws into a captive nut. This pushes/pulls the upper pivot and makes the eyestalk move up and down as the rod spins.


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