Monday 6 April 2015

Custom Figure: "Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure" Dalek

While putting together my custom Seven Keys to Doomsday Dalek I also worked on another project based on a stage show variant. This time it was from 1989's Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure, which starred saw Third Doctor Jon Pertwee return to the title role for the first stint before things were later handed over to Sixth Doctor Colin Baker. The stage show featured a rocky alliance between the Daleks and the Cybermen, along with a band of mercenaries led by 80s Cyberleader actor David Banks. It also featured songs, which certainly is something (although not quite as bad as I expected when listening to the audio adaptation). With the budget smaller than the more ambitious Seven Keys to Doomsday the Daleks went through a slight redesign to make them more manageable for the stage, along with a new colour scheme that just begged for a custom to be made.

These Daleks had a slightly different shape, along with a thicker base than the TV versions (though not quite as thick as the movie ones). The dome lights were larger, the eyestalk had no discs surrounding it and the vertical slats were omitted in favour of the two horizontal bands ala the ones that appeared in the original two serials. Through searching images of the play I can see that two different colour variants were produced for the show - the silver and blue one that you see above as well as a black and silver variant. Being a lover of silver/blue Daleks (the Doctor Who & The Daleks movie drones being among my absolute favourite), this was the version I chose to base my custom on.

Naturally rather than build an entirely new shape from scratch, my custom is simply the standard Dalek design with the matching paint job. In the pictures you'll see that my custom still has it's eyestalk discs, mainly because I didn't realise they had been removed until the time of writing. I'll probably go back and change this now to make things extra accurate.

The Dalek was built using a 5" Saucer Pilot Dalek from the Dalek Collectors Set #2 boxset, with the base from a 5" Emperor Guard Dalek (also part of the set). The Dalek had to be completely disassembled, not only to spray paint the body silver but also to remove the energy disc which is attached to the back of all Dalek Invasion of Earth Daleks. As a result there is a small hole on the very back of the Dalek, which I chose not to fill in with anything. There's something about it that makes it look more like a prop from a play, which is rather fitting all things considered.

The silver was done using a Humbol silver spray paint, while the blue was all handpainted with Citadel "Caledor Sky" blue. The orange headlights is a mix of their red and yellow paints, which I don't have a specific ratio for (I just mixed the two until I got a shade I liked). Finally the finished toy was given a topcoat using Humbrol Matte spray. At first it was to just give it a different finish to the Seven Keys to Doomsday Dalek, but the end result looks great on it. Really makes it feel like a miniature prop rather than an evil space alien.

And there you have it! Two stage show Daleks added to the collection! I'm a little disappointed that The Curse of the Daleks didn't have it's own Dalek variant so that I could have all three represented, but since The Ultimate Adventure had the black version as well maybe one day I'll tackle that one instead. In the meantime, thanks for checking out this custom and again - be sure to check out Big Finish's great audio adaptation of The Ultimate Adventure. While sadly it can only be experienced with Colin Baker in the title role, the altered script has some great references to Jon's Doctor. It's a chance to check out a mostly forgotten bit of Who history, and that alone should make it worth it for any fan.

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