Monday 3 March 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Reshape TV21 Comics Golden Emperor Dalek Model Kit

The Reshape TV21 Golden Emperor Dalek

This is a project that I've been on and off with for about six months now, but only really found the time to finish it this weekend. If you've been reading this blog, you'll know by now that I'm a massive fan of the TV21 Dalek comics from the 1960s (during the height of 'Dalekmania'). Their origin may be completely different, but seeing the Daleks in a Doctor-less strip created a really rich history for them that made the race so much more than the ruthless villains we see on TV. Leading them was the Golden Emperor, a unique Dalek with a smaller skirt section, giant spherical head and seven dome lights adorning it.

I knew I needed to have one, but a good looking custom is something I've always felt beyond my current skills and the chance of Character Options ever producing one is probably zero. Then I came across this garage kit from Reshape and Comet Minatures (who have sadly since closed down and re-opened as internet store Timeless Hobbies). The asking price was a little high (it has gone up slightly since I purchased it) and the set was recommend for experienced model builders, but with it being my dream Dalek I knew I had to have it.

Well, that sure is a box isn't it?

Proof that you should never judge a book by its cover, the box for this model kit isn't really much at all. In fact, it's just a bog standard cardboard box with a computer printed label slapped on the side. However its a garage kit so you shouldn't really be expecting some sort of amazing mass-produced packaging, and it's what's on the inside that really counts...

How to build your very own Dalek Emperor!

Inside are all the parts required to make your very own Golden Emperor based in the original illustrations by Richard Jennings in the comic strips (later strips were illustrated by Ron Turner, and the Emperor received a fair few cosmetic changes). The resin parts included in the kit are the base, skirt section, mid-section and the head (split into two parts). The hemispheres, appendages, eyestalk and dome lights are all made from injection plastic, and in the case of the appendages/eyestalk split into numerous parts that need to be assembled.

Also included in the set are a variety of additional parts, some of which come from Comet's other Dalek model kits. There is also a standard Dalek base and alternate claw arm appendage. The Emperor Dalek also comes with two different sets of headlights - smaller TV-esque ones or larger movie Dalek-like ones.

Instructions are also included, but they are very basic and so you really need to get your head around the kit yourself. Should you find yourself stuck, the Project Dalek forum has a build walkthrough that came in big help to me (you will need to join the site to look).

The Emperor has arrived

The box warns that this kit is not recommended for people aged 11 and under, which is pretty telling of the amount of work you have to do with it. The resin parts need washing, the plastic parts need to be removed from sprues and/or sanded, parts need to be assembled/glued together and eventually the whole thing needs painting. It's a lot of work, and should explain why it's taken me so long to finish (well, moving also took up a lot of that time). While I managed pretty well with the general assembly of the kit, the gunstick parts were simply too small for me and ended up breaking while I was putting the thing together. Thankfully I had a spare gun from a Character Options Dalek at hand and while it's a lot smaller, it still does the job well enough.

The paints I used for the kit were as follows:

Base - Tamiya TS black spray
Body - Plastikote gold metallic spray
Plunger/eyestalk - Uni silver paint marker
Eyestalk discs - Humbrol metallic blue paint
Lights - Citadel Mythril silver and Mephison red paint

The first Dalek leaderMade of Flidor gold, quartz and Arkellis flower sap

This kit isn't a toy in the slightest, but that doesn't mean it is completely static. The head section is with a pivot at the bottom so that it can be turned a full 360 degrees, while the eyestalk is capable of up and down motion. More experienced modellers could probably easily come up with a way of fixing the eyestalk to the head and retaining the movement, however I couldn't figure out a way yet and so the stalk is just neatly slotted into the hole I made for it.

YOU WILL OBEYCommanding the Daleks

Of course being a model kit it isn't to scale with the Character Options Daleks in the slightest, but you know that actually kind of works for me. I like the idea of the Emperor Dalek being considerably larger and if you can get behind the same mindset the figures actually look great alongside their (one true) emperor.

Challenge by ZegThe comic Dalek army grows

Like I mentioned earlier this isn't a toy, nor is it really something that should be attempted by beginner model builders. It's quite expensive, and therefore needs a lot of work put into it to make it look good or else you risk wasting your money. However the kit itself is utterly fantastic, and without a doubt the pride of my entire 100+ Dalek collection. Finally my Daleks have their true leader, and I don't think anything outside a real toy version of it (which probably wouldn't look half as good) can top it. If you are a fan of the design/comics and have the skills to tackle this project, then I can't recommend the kit enough. Just be sure to buy it before it goes up in price again or even disappears for good!


liminalD said...

Looks fantastic! The smaller gun actually kinda suits it, too :)

It looks really good with your custom Zeg and black Dalek too... I'm super jealous :)

Unknown said...

Hi I just got one of these! The hole for the eyeststalk isn't formed at all. What did you use to bore it out, it looks like yours didn't have any kind of hole either based on the photo of your kit pre-assembly. Cheers.

Alex said...

Hi there! Yes the eyestalk slot wasn't formed at all on mine either. I had to drill a sizeable hole into the centre of it then file it out using a rounded file. Was a lot of work and probably quite crude in the grand scheme of things, but I wasn't used to doing anything as extensive as that before.