Wednesday 17 March 2021

Custom Figure: 'The Mutation of Time' Red Dalek

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If there's one thing I've quickly learned during my time on the internet, it's that everyone loves a red Dalek. Those evil pepper pots may come in all different colours, but it's the red ones that always seem to particularly attract Doctor Who fans. So while we're still enjoying this renaissance of classic Dalek figures being readily available via the recent B&M Store exclusive releases, it's a good opportunity to add a few more to my collection. This time around it's The Mutation of Time red Dalek - a particularly popular variant amongst fans but one that has remained absent from my collection until now.

Doctor Who 'The Mutation of Time'

The Mutation of Time is the 1989 Target novelisation of the second half of The Daleks' Master Plan, written by John Peel (who would later go on to write War of the Daleks and Legacy of the Daleks - both fantastic books from the wilderness years well worth checking out). Both the cover and the story itself make reference to a red Dalek which did not appear in the television of the story, that was placed in charge of the time machine sent to Kembel. This particular variant of red Dalek has also been subject to a fair bit of merchandise over the years too, with Product Enterprise notably producing toys of it in a number of different scales. With the majority of The Daleks' Master Plan still missing the novelisation remains particularly popular amongst Doctor Who fans, and as a result so does this red Dalek.

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My Mutation of Time red Dalek was made using a History of the Daleks #4 silver Dalek as a base. The flamethrower arm was swapped out for a plunger, and the dome swapped with an older 60s Dalek figure that had the spherical lamps (not essential, but a better match to the book cover). After a spray of light grey Tamiya primer the Dalek was spray painted using Tamiya TS-36 fluorescent red and then the hemispheres hand-painted with Citadel Lorthern blue. Finally, the dome lamps were hand painted using a basic Revell gloss white.

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One of the most important things for me when making this custom was finding a shade of red different from my Brotherhood of the Daleks red Dalek. That custom used a much darker shade that I didn't feel would fit quite as well. After researching everything Tamiya had to offer online (unfortunately due to the current UK lockdown rules I couldn't actually go to a model shop and look at paint properly), I settled on flourescent red. Now that was an interesting colour to apply. The can itself looks orange, the paint comes out of the can looking orange and it isn't until it properly dries/cures that you get the vibrant red you see in these pictures. It's also a bit harder to apply evenly than other paints, which led to a few areas on the paint job which aren't as smoothed out as I would like, but still look perfectly fine. It was the perfect shade to use for this particular custom since I've always loved the bright, almost cartoon-like colour scheme the Mutation of Time red Dalek has. It also goes well with the lighter grey chest section the newer History of the Daleks variants have, which I decided to keep on this custom (despite the one on the book clearly having a darker grey chest) both for the sake of ease and to better match with the Master Plan Supreme Dalek. 

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The Mutation of Time Dalek is one of the most popular red Dalek variants outside of the movies and while it isn't one of my personal favourites, I'm surprised it's taken this long to add it to my collection. But I'm really pleased with how it's turned out, and the colour choices have really helped it stand out all the more from my Brotherhood Dalek. As the History of the Daleks sets approaches a departure from the 1960s it's been nice to fill some gaps in my collection through 60s Daleks being so cheap and plentiful. I don't have quite as many custom plans for 70s Daleks, but there are still quite a few that I'm looking forward to tackling when the time comes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always good to see a piece of work done with love and care
From another Dalek lover