Skully: 1970's Dalek
Skully, based in Daytona Beach Florida, started this Dalek in May 2006 and completed it in June 2009. Taking such a long time to build a Dalek is not unusual, indeed there are Daleks on the Project Dalek Forum that were started around the same time that are still underway. Real-life often gets in the way of projects and sometimes other factors, such as finance or health issues can also cause delays.
There are many unfinished projects on the Project Dalek Forum, some of which will no doubt see completion, in the next few years. We're really pleased that Skully came back to this Dalek and to the Forum, to share his updates with us. That's why we're sharing them with everyone, here on the main website.
How it was done...
A power chair frame was modified to fit inside the confines of a Dalek skirt. The frame and base are pictured here before the addition of the skeleton designed to support the skirt. The only other addition required on the chair base at this point is a set of rails to attach the skeleton and the seat. Steel struts were run up to the top of the skirt to tie the top into the skeleton.
Skully calculated that for him to fit in the Dalek and see out, the seat would need to be between 15 inches and 18 inches off the ground. That gave him quite a bit of room to work with so he decided he would go for comfort. He used the back seat from a 94 Trans Am! He built a frame off to the powered base and attached the seat to that. The seat was mounted at a height of 18 inches.
This photo shows the framework for the skirt. Skully says that he really should have used a smaller chair. The drive wheels come very close to the sides. There is about an 8th of an inch of clearance, but at this stage, it looks like will everything fit. From here, the next step is to make the latches that will hold the side panels in place. Then the skirt can be removed from the motor base before the panels are added.
The panels were added, the edges straight and crisp. Skully still had to attach the rest of the bumper and drill holes for the hemispheres. The bumper is due to be wrapped in 1 1/4 inch wide aluminium angle stock. Skully had to remove the material from the wood bumper so that the angle stock would fit up flush against the skirt panels. A little putty work and priming were still needed to finish up the bumper.
Following help and advice from other Project Dalek members, Skully built this contraption to mark the positions of the hemisphere mounting holes. This can be tricky because each horizontal row needs to be at the same height, so measuring up or down the panel does not work. After marking, the hemisphere mounting holes were drilled and a few hemispheres were test mounted.
This photo shows a mock-up of the gun box and shoulder skin. This kind of card template work is the best way of making sure everything fits together and looks the way it should, before committing to more expensive (and difficult to cut) materials. On the final skinned item, three quarter inch spacers were used between the shoulders and the collars.