The idea actually started back in 2012, when I first got hooked on Doctor Who. I've always been a sci-fi guy, with my main passion being Star Trek. I never thought I'd find time for another sci-fi franchise to sink my teeth into, but in 2012 I came across Doctor Who on BBC America. Doctor Who was approaching its 50th anniversary, 50 years of backstory to catch up on was a daughtning task, but it helped me enjoy the show more and become a fan. I loved seeing how Doctor Who stories from the past affect today's episodes and I became a huge fan of the 11th Doctor. (Today there are 12ish Doctors who have existed on the show, all the 'same' person, but with a different body (or actor)).
Ever since I became I fan, I was determined to build a TARDIS... The TARDIS is a time machine, and one of the main characters on Doctor Who. I know there's no practical purpose to having a TARDIS, but nevertheless I found fans online that had built their own TARDIS'. I knew I could do it, but I just couldn't justify the cost and time... until 2015.
Stay with me here, each year we host a Halloween party, and each year our Halloween party has a theme. For years now I was determined to have the theme of our 2015 Halloween party be time travel, mainly because in the film Back to the Future II they travel to the year 2015... It's a difficult task creating a party around one film and to have friends (who may not be sci-fi fans or know anything about Back to the Future II) who are expected to dress up as a character from that film. So, I decided to make the theme "Time Travel". A brilliant answer to my problem. Eventually people still struggled to figure out what to dress up as at the party, but that's beside the point :)
Once I nailed down the theme, I was bound and determined to make my TARDIS... and with the help of my loving wife, I made it happen.
I'd been collecting images, YouTube links and design information on how to build a TARDIS for a few years. When the time came to actually build MY TARDIS, I had to draw plans out for myself. A lot of the plans I found were inconsistent and didn't match one another. For one, the TARDIS has changed over the years. With each new Doctor (the main character on Doctor Who that changes from season to season), we get a slightly new TARDIS. Since the 11th Doctor is MY Doctor, I decided to go with building his TARDIS. What makes his TARDIS stand out from the other Doctors is the bright blue color, the 'fresh' paint job and the simplified design.
I drew up my plans on my computer and printed them out. One of the things that helped the most was determining the base size. I found a blog that really helped with this build - the blog established their TARDIS with a base of 5' by 5'. They also laid out a few other measurements that helped me get my TARDIS within the right proportions. Once I was able to determine sizing of everything I went and bought lumber from our local Home Depot. They had a lot of materials that made the job that much easier in the long run. Some of the parts were harder to find, like the right door handle... One of the first materials I bought was the light that goes on top of the TARDIS. I was worried I couldn't find the right one, but Home Depot had what I needed, in one way or another. The glass fixture was a part of a porch light. I took the thing apart and got what I needed.
Not only was this a challenging project but it was an awesome opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Every time I would work in my garage I would have the garage door open, many times to work in the driveway, but often to just enjoy the outdoors. My wife thinks the neighbors started to believe I was a full-time carpenter.
Along the way, this project provided several challenges. One of the more challenging parts of the project included cutting my door panel pieces down to size, from 3/4"x5" to 3/4"x3/4". Several times my circular saw decided it wanted to kick back and shoot the time pieces I was cutting back at me. Had a nice little bruise on my forearm for a few months after.
Another challenge included the biggest part of my project, making a TARDIS that I could take apart and store. In the end, I managed to make my TARDIS something that could be taken apart into 16 pieces! This includes 1 floor piece, 4 posts, 5 door panels (2 on the front side), 4 Police Box signs, 1 roof and 1 roof light. Other pieces could include the lighting I have inside the TARDIS, that I have to plug-in and put in place, but 16 pieces is enough to mention.
The entire project took over most of my evenings and a weekend for 7 days. And that doesn't even include design, prep and supply acquisition.
For the party, I assembled the entire thing in our living room in under an hour. Dissembling it took only 35 minutes! It was a huge focal point of our Time Travel themed Halloween Party and I'm glad it all came together like it did.
There are a couple of items that I'd still like to perfect on my TARDIS, including better Police Box light panels and painting the inside black, but for what I needed it for, the elements I had completed served me well.
I cannot thank my wife enough for her love and support during this project. It's that love that gets me through a lot of things, and enables her to look past the seemingly pointlessness of many of my projects :) As silly as it may sound, creative outlets like this show me how awesome life is. It was quite the investment but well worth the outcome.
Check out some photos below, as well as a small video I put together for fun, showing the TARDIS dematerializing from our living room! And in case you're wondering, YES, the TARDIS is for rent. Contact me if interested! I also hope to sometime post my TARDIS blueprints.
-The Media Buff