Monday 7 November 2016

Custom Figure: Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Dalek Drone

If there’s one thing I regret as a Doctor Who figure collector it’s not grabbing duplicates of the Dalek Collectors’ Sets while they were going cheap. There are a huge variety of variants (ranging from the obscure to the really obscure) left untouched by Character Options, and these days finding the exact versions needed for parts swaps can be a difficult task. However thanks to Forbidden Planet selling The Chase set at a huge discount, I now have three new figures to work with. The first is a pretty simple custom, but one that’s been missing from my collection for the longest time – a movie-style Dalek from the Peter Cushing films produced in the 1960s. More specifically, a drone type Dalek from the second of these films, Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

A feature-length remake of the second Dalek story, Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. sees Doctor Who, his granddaughter Susan, niece Louise and police constable Tom Campbell (played by Bernard Cribbins) land in the year 2150 A.D. with Earth under Dalek occupation. The Daleks are led by gold “supreme”, with a black Dalek in charge of mining operations and a red variant as the saucer commander. Standard Daleks are silver and blue, much like their TV counterparts at the time but with an enlarged fender and dome lights. As was the cast with both movies, some Daleks are fitted with a claw rather than the standard plunger.

There are seven different movie Dalek variants in total that I’d like to make one day (three from Doctor Who & The Daleks and four from Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), but for my first I thought I’d do the easiest of them. All that was required for the main body was a standard Chase Dalek (the Power and Evil variants would suffice too) and a extended fender taken from a Daleks Invasion of Earth variant. The fender from the Planet of the Daleks’ Supreme also works, but those models are a bit harder to come by. Using the Invasion of Earth variant also requires removing the top skirt piece from the base, which (despite being stiff) can be pried away from the larger section.

The larger dome lights were a little trickier. I’ve seen customs on the web use anything from painted cylinders to conical LEGO pieces, but before I’d even started I knew I wanted to try using LEDs. Getting the right size and shape took a number of different attempts, but what I eventually settled on was two 10mm cylinder LEDs glued together vertically to get the right height and width. The shape isn’t 100% movie accurate, but does the job well enough. The clear LEDs were then painted using Humbrol metallic blue paint, which actually turned out as more of a translucent blue.

As I say since this was a first attempt at movie Dalek I wanted to keep things simple, so this particular Dalek is stuck with a plunger rather than having a fancy claw appendage. If I’m able to make more in the future this is something that will need to be addressed (since some of the higher ranking Daleks have claws), but for now this is perfectly fine. 

A simple custom, but one that makes a huge difference once you’ve made all the little changes needed. I’m extremely happy with how this turned out, and hope I can gather the parts to make the rest of the movie Daleks in the near future.


Lucas said...

What are your thoughts on the Peter Cushing movies?

Alex said...

I actually like them a lot. They're pretty lousy as Doctor Who films, but as Dalek films they're really enjoyable. The bugger budget, colours and designs really work well for them :)

Ed said...

They look great. I know this has been up for 8 years, but do you know where I can find the LEDs that you used in the dome lights. Were they called 10mm clear "cylinder LEDs"? I did a quick search on Amazon and couldn't find any. Perhaps, I need to order them from Mouser or an electronic specialty store. 10mm seems a bit big, but maybe not for cylinder style LEDs (never saw any before). Regardless, I want to get what you got because they seem to be the same size.

Did you install a battery so they would light up? There is room in the bottom of the base (will mount in small fenders or the large (movie version) fenders) to mount a CR2032 battery holder that has a micro switch on it. So just turn the Dalek upside down, slide the switch, and the LEDs light up at will (or you can turn them off).

This is a very nice Custom Dalek. You did a great job! Thanks for sharing!