Sunday 4 April 2021

Custom Figure: "Doctor Who & The Daleks" Blow Torch Dalek

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Doctor Who action figure collectors waited so long for Character Options to produce movie-style Daleks, and just when we all finally accepted it was out of their remit they managed to exploit a loophole and surprise us all. 'The Jungles of Mechanus' set was one of my favourite toy releases of last year, and you can bet that I snapped up plenty to ensure I could work toward painting up a full range of movie Daleks. Among the denizens of Skaro's city is a blow torch Dalek, which appeared in Doctor Who & the Daleks when the TARDIS crew attempted their escape from the Daleks. After locking themselves to await an elevator out of the city, the Daleks summoned this special variant to help cut down the door so that their prisoners could either be recaptured or exterminated.

Movie Blow Torch Dalek

The blow torch Dalek (or "Cutter Dalek" if you'd prefer) is a bit of an oddity amongst the rest of the Dr. Who & the Daleks variants. While the design matches that of the standard blue and silver drones, it sports blue neck rings (as opposed to silver) and its shoulder bands are more of a copper/bronze colour rather than the standard gold. The main difference however is the blow torch arm in place of the plunger/claw, which is a modified Oxyacetylene cutting torch. Blow torch Daleks have appeared several times in Doctor Who over the years, but this definitely feels like one of the more memorable ones - quite likely due to just how heavy duty the blow torch itself looks.

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This is a custom that didn't exactly require a lot of additional painting but did need some additional assistance from sculptors/figure customisers far more talented that I. The blow torch appendage was 3D printed and sold by NDWDesign, who has produced a variety of Dalek parts as well as a number of custom Doctor Who figure heads. The blow torch arrived unpainted and assembled, and was coloured using Tamiya silver spray and then Revell 92 brass for the tip. Body-wise it was only the shoulder bands and neck rings that needed changing, and these were done with Revel 92 brass and Humbrol 222 metallic moonlight blue respectively.

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Naturally being fortunate enough to purchase a 3D printed blow torch appendage was the biggest asset to doing this custom, but other than that it was finding the most suitable blue paint for the neck that proved the hardest part! I've actually had the rest of the Dalek done for about six months now, but have spent the rest of the time scouting around for the perfect blue to match the existing paint job. Eventually I stumbled across Humbrol's metallic moonlight blue after seeing it recommended on a Doctor Who figures Facebook group, but there were still some problems. It appears that Humbrol have now discontinued the spray paint version of the shade, but the pots of it are still available. While I would have liked to have sprayed the rings for more even colouring, the mesh covers most of the rings anyway so what little you can see of them looks brilliant. Besides, I'd have had to bought the pot to hand-paint the vertical bars anyway so if anything it's money saved! While the difference in the shoulder bands isn't that noticeable onscreen (I wouldn't have even known it was there had I not read about it on Dalek 6388), but I do like the added difference it gives this one compared to the standard drones.

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The Jungles of Mechanus sets are now long gone from Character's website and predictably being sold on eBay for a small fortune, so hopefully fans got a steady supply of them in whilst they still good. If not don't despair too much - the TV Dalek Invasion of Earth figures are great for the larger fenders and Custom Dalek Creations on eBay will sort you out with the dome lights etc. The blow torch Dalek is one that requires a little more investment if (like me) you aren't talented enough to craft your own blow torch appendage, but if you can get one than the rest is a very simple paint job that makes a world of difference. I am very slowly working towards completing my Doctor Who & the Daleks collection with the red Dalek and an improved version of the black Dalek, but it seems every time I attempt the black Dalek something goes wrong so it's proving a more lengthy process than I'd have liked. Watch this space, and "DES-TROY, THE THALS!"

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