Sunday 5 April 2015

Custom Figure: "Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday" Dalek

Over the last few months I've been getting reacquainted with Big Finish's fantastic range of Doctor Who audio adventures, and among the ones that have particularly caught my attention are their adaptations of the mostly-forgotten stage shows. This trilogy of audiences revives 1965's The Curse of the Daleks, 1974's Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday and 1989's Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure for a whole new audience, allowing them to experience something that only those who attended the shows themselves have previously been able to. I especially enjoyed both Seven Keys to Doomsday and The Ultimate Adventure, and was instantly curious as to how the Daleks looked when they appeared on stage. One quick image search later, and I'd found my next batch of custom Dalek projects.

I have a lot of favourite Dalek colour schemes, but I have to say these ones have very quickly shot up into my personal top ten (even though I haven't actually thought up a full top ten). Although kind of similar to the ones seen in Death to the Daleks, these take things to a whole new level with the black domes, stainless steel silver finish and thick movie-style bumpers. They must have looked great on stage, because they'd probably have looked fantastic in the actual show as well.

The Dalek was constructed using an Emperor's Guard Dalek from the second Dalek Collector's Set, with the base swapped for the Saucer's Pilot's. One thing that I always suspected but didn't actually try until now is that the top part of the Invasion of Earth Dalek's base can be removed, leaving only the thick bottom part (which the body can still slot onto perfectly). The upside to this is that it now the custom can be accurate in that regard, the downside being that now I need go get my hands on a bunch more of these so I can finally crank out some movie Daleks.

The figure needed to be disassembled and the mesh section cut off in order to paint the chest section black, but if you cut the section cleanly with a hobby knife it can be superglued back together at the end and no-one would be any the wiser.

To start off I removed the neck mesh sections and spray painted them silver, using a can of Humbrol Acrylic spray. The black areas (chest section and hemispheres - the dome and base were already black) were all handpainted using Citadel paint (which as usual I swear by) I did also use a little bit of metallic red for the dome lights, which was a bottle of MP paint that I picked up on eBay a few years ago. Finally to finish things off I have the whole Dalek a topcoat spray with Humbrol gloss spray, in the hopes that it might somewhat replicate the shiny finish of the real thing. The end result isn't quite the same, but the toy is still shinier than all of my other Daleks so I guess that works too.

And voila! Since I don't have a custom Trevor Martin (who played an alternate fourth Doctor in the play) Doctor figure to pit it against, here he is battling John Hurt's War Doctor. It wasn't a particularly complex custom to do, but the end result looks spectacular so if you're looking for an interesting Dalek variant to add to your collection I do recommend giving this a go. I also recommend checking out Big Finish's audio adaptation, which is surprisingly great! Definitely my favourite of the three stage plays based on what I've heard.

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