Friday, 19 March 2021

Custom Figure: 'The Curse of Fatal Death' Black Dalek

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 01

The recent B&M Doctor Who figure releases have been an absolute godsend for Dalek customisers like me who don’t want to spend inflated eBay prices on potential projects, and after allowing me to bolster my TV21 collection with the History of the Daleks releases Character Options have come through once again with their recent reissue of the Imperial Dalek figure. A highly sought after figure that hasn’t seen release since 2010, the opportunity to get one at an affordable price has finally allowed me to do one of my dream projects - the Black Dalek from The Curse of Fatal Death! Never heard of this wonderful bit of Doctor Who comedy from the wilderness years? Read on to find out more!

'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 01'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 02

The Curse of Fatal Death is a 1999 Comic Relief Doctor Who special written by Steven Moffat. It starred Rowan Atkinson (as well as Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley) as the Doctor, Julia Sawalha as his companion Emma and Jonathan Pryce as the Master. In it the Master attempts to lure the soon to retire and settle down Doctor into a “vengeance of deadly revenge”, eventually roping the Daleks into his scheme by promising them a Zectronic energy beam. The special featured a number of different Daleks variants, many of which were based on the narrower Imperial Dalek design. There were classic-styled silver and blue Daleks, light grey Daleks, dark grey Daleks and the black and gold leader Dalek. Though the body can be immediately identified as that of an Imperial Dalek, this black Dalek had the dome lights and appendages of a standard Dalek. The gun stick however was a completely new design.

Growing up with Doctor Who in the wilderness years was an interesting time, since I was totally in love with the show yet there was barely any new material for it coming out other than novelisations (this was long before the time of Big Finish). There was the TV movie in 1996, and then The Curse of Fatal Death three years later. It’s no exaggeration to say that The Curse of Fatal Death is one of my all-time favourite pieces of Doctor Who media, and I maintain that it’s the best thing Steven Moffat has written for the show. It’s a loving tribute to Doctor Who that’s both hilarious and has absolutely spot-on casting. Knowing that the show would come back in full force shortly afterwards has made many of lines resonate all the more since.

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 02

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 03Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 04Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 05Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 06

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 07Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 08Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 09Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 10

This custom was made using an Imperial Dalek (from the recent Coal Hill School set) as the base, with a number of different swapped out parts. The dome is from the silver Dalek in the History of the Daleks #4 set, whilst the appendages (and accompanying ball joints) are from another 60s Dalek. The 60s bell jar lamps on the dome aren’t 100% accurate to the onscreen version, however I feel the fact they’re taller make them a much better fit than the moulding Character Options did for the 70s/80s Daleks (not to mention they’re more expensive to come by). Likewise the gun stick isn’t completely accurate either, but the original 60s model is the closest thing to the weird unique one this Dalek had in the special. After a coat of Tamiya light grey primer, the body, base and neck grills were spray painted using Citadel chaos black (perfect for that matte finish and applies like a dream), whilst the gold was all done using Tamiya paints. The neck rings were spray painted gold, but everything else was hand painted. The eyestalk is also hand painted, using Citadel chaos black for the eyepiece, Revell white for the iris, Tamiya gold for the eyestalk and then a silver Gundam marker for the cylinder at the end. Finally the dome lamps were painted using Revell luminous orange. While not an especially hard custom to do, it did feel a lot more involved than my usual ones due to the number of part swaps and amount of hand painting required.

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 11

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 12Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 13Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 14Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 15

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 16Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 17Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 18Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 19

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 20Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 21Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 22

Black and gold Daleks are particularly special to me as my first ever Dalek toy was a black and gold Dapol Dalek (its been battered, beaten and repaired more times than I’d care to count but it’s still alive and kicking), and the Curse black Dalek is almost exactly the same as that figure. It’s quite strange seeing Imperial Dalek elements like the hexagonal chest piece alongside standard dome lamps and a conventional plunger, but it just makes this Dalek all the more unique. If I had more time and skill I’d have liked the file down the mesh on both the neck grills and shoulders for an even more screen-accurate look, but the finished product looks great as it is so I’m not too bothered about it. This is the first custom I’ve done in a good while that hasn’t been centred around a 60s Daleks so it was a nice change of pace!

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 23

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 24Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 25Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 26

Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 27Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 28Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 29Custom 'The Curse of Fatal Death" Black Dalek 30

This has been a custom I’ve wanted to do for years so I’m over the moon to finally add it to my collection. The Curse of Fatal Death is a particularly special piece of Doctor Who media to me. I’ve rewatched it countless times, and it was a lot of fun to revisit it in preparation for doing this custom. In fact it’s made me want to go and do the other (less weird but still wonderful) variants that appear in the special as well, which is something I’d never thought of before. To have this custom ready to go on show for Comic Relief 2021 was a wonderful bit of coincidental timing. Please take some time to read up on the fantastic work Comic Relief do around the world and consider donating if you are able.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome! I may just need to go rewatch The Curse of Fatal Death now. I was SHOOK to find out Moffat wrote it!

Alex said...

Haha, I was shocked when I found out as well!