The Dalek Project
I will preface this entry by stating that I have recently become a pretty big Doctor Who fan. With that, comes a lot of energy I have to expend. Mainly the energy it takes to get into a TV show that's been on for 50 years. I find myself having to learn all the back-story, characters, history and make sense of a show about space and time travel... Needless to say, I very much enjoy the show!
Since I have become such a big fan of Doctor Who, I would naturally want to give back to something that has given me so much entertainment by creating something in its honor. But I didn't know what... because 1) it's a TV show and 2) I didn't really have to. Luckily, however, a project came my way to create something Doctor Who related!
A colleague of mine approached me a couple months ago with a project of hers. She is interested in getting in to more elaborately themed party planning. When I say more elaborately, I mean not your typical Elmo or Transformers themed party. These parties will have elaborate props and decorations. Here's where my chance to express my love of Doctor Who comes in. My colleague asked if I could produce a few props for a Doctor Who themed party! The prop that she needed the most at this point and time was a classic Doctor Who villain, a Dalek (Pronounced "dah-lick").
My colleague thankfully didn't need a full scale Dalek which is typically about 5 feet tall. They needed one that was only 2 feet tall. This was obviously going to be a challenging project. Not only do I have to scale down a Dalek, but I have to recreate it with non conventional materials on a low budget. To start, I needed to generate a plan. That plan involved a few things: determining which Dalek to make (as there are dozens of versions), determining what main material to use (I went with foam core, my favorite building material), finding some blue prints to at least give me some guidance, and getting started!
Once I began, the process went pretty steady. The hardest part came towards the start; determining how to create the slats that formed the based of the Dalek. They were at such unique angles that it made things a bit difficult. Thankfully I had some rough blue prints to aid me. The structure slowly took shape.
I encountered my next challenge once I reached the dome. Foam core isn't easily shaped into a dome, so I had to think harder. I went to my local building supply store and found small 1" insulating foam panels! This would allow me to stack them, cut them and sand them into the dome shape I need.
Throughout the whole process I painted pieces here and there, but once the whole structure was built I was able to spray the entire Dalek with the classic Ecru/Gold color it comes in. There were several color options, but since I went with the 2005 version of the Dalek I decided it would be fitting to make it the same color. This color of Dalek is one many fans are familiar with. I then added finishing touches of color and voilà, I had a mini 2' Dalek!
The Dalek I built. More images below.After the Dalek was complete, my colleague picked it up and was thrilled. It was fun working on this project. Though it was very complicated I am proud of what I accomplished! I enjoy complicated, projects like these where I can recreate actual objects, especially fictional objects!
Please check out some photos of the entire process below, or view the gallery here. You can also check out photos from the Doctor Who themed party featuring my Dalek, here. Please feel free to leave any comments and/or questions below! :)
-The Media Buff