Dalek Building 101
Posted February 8, 2014on:
I’ve been teasing everyone for about three weeks now that I learned how to build a Dalek. Welllll, I didn’t so much learn how to build one as I sat and listened to two guys talk about how they had built one. It was a panel at Legendary Confusion, a fan run scifi and fantasy convention held in the Detroit area. This con typically has a lot of Doctor Who themed programming, and let me tell you, there’s just something surreal watching a 5th Doctor climb inside a Dalek and drive it around, being chased by a posse of giggling children, most of whom are dressed as Doctor Who characters.
let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Saturday evening was a panel called Dalek!!!, by Alex Drummer and Kevin McCloud. it was basically their adventures in Dalek Building 101. Here’s what they had to say:
In the 1970s, the BBC provided plans for building a Dalek, which were intended for high school shop classes. The details plans are now online (I didn’t write down the exact website, but a quick google search found this, this, and this), along with a huge community of dedicated builders with tips on everything from eyestalks to electronics. As part of their presentation, they showed slides of the Dalek in different stages of being built.
This Dalek, which has been to multiple local conventions in the great lakes area, was built as part of a grant. Inside the base is a wheelchair base, so you can literally ride around inside the Dalek. It comes apart in three pieces: the skirt, the shoulders and the collar.
The arm and gun are mounted on foam balls so they can easily be rotated and manipulated from inside. All in all, it cost about $800, and other than the wheelchair base the majority of the bits and pieces came from JoAnn fabrics and Home Depot.
During the panel he took the Dalek apart and then at the end everyone was allowed to go up and see the pieces up close. In fact, it had to be taken apart, because the base is 2″ wider than a normal door frame. Then we carried the pieces out into the hall, put it back together, he climbed inside and drove it around followed by a giggling, shrieking posse of children, many of whom had come right from Masquerade and were still dressed in their Doctor Who themed costumes.