Tuesday 3 January 2023

Custom Figure: "Big Finish" Dalek

Custom 'Big Finish' Dalek 01

Despite there being some great History of the Daleks sets released in 2022, all of which have PLENTY of potential for custom fodder, I didn't quite get as many customs produced as I had hoped. Blame the scarcity of seeing them in B&M Stores (I rarely saw enough sets on shelves to buy spares for customs) or just a lack of time and funds, but productivity was definitely at a low. That said, at the end of the year I started on a pretty simple project that would hopefully kickstart a more productive 2023. So without further ado I present my first Doctor Who custom figure for the year, hailing from a place which (second only to the TV21 Dalek comics) has always been one of my favourite places to scour for inspiration - the ever-growing audio adventures of Big Finish.

Eaglemoss Doctor Who Big Finish Set 02Master of the Daleks

The "Big Finish" Dalek is based on a figurine that was released by Eaglemoss in the second of their Big Finish-themed sets for the Doctor Who Figurine collection. The set contained the Dark Eyes version of the Eighth Doctor, companion Liv Chenka and a repaint of the 'Death Zone' Dalek from The Five Doctors in a gunmetal grey with blue hemispheres colour scheme. Based on the inclusion of the Eighth Doctor and Liv it's fair to assume that the Dalek also hails from Dark Eyes, however picking out the cover that matches this variant is a little tricky. Looking through them all presumably it's based on the cover of Master of the Daleks from Dark Eyes 4, but at the same time it could be argued that those are just normal silver Daleks in darker lightning (if you think you've seen this variant on any other cover please let me know - there are a lot to go through!). Either way since there was a figurine made of it, it seemed like fair game for a custom figure.

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This extremely simple custom was done using a standard grey/black Dalek from the recent History of the Daleks Set 11 (review coming soon!), based on Genesis of the Daleks. The figure which has the oval on the gun box was used to make it as accurate to the original figurine as possible, even though the Daleks on Master of the Daleks don't have it. From there all that was done was that the hemispheres were hand-painted blue using Citadel Enchanted Blue (now available as 'Caledor Sky' - this was an old pot I had lying around). While the Figurine Collection version has the half-cut mesh like the 'Death Zone' Dalek, I opted to leave that as it is for a neater finish. 

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As simple as this variant may be, it definitely struck a chord with me. Combining the gunmetal grey body of the 70s Daleks with the dark blue hemispheres of the Daleks from the late 60s might seem like sacrilege to some, but the end result here shows that it weirdly works. Perhaps not quite as effectively as the standard silver/blue or grey/black looks, but encompassing the two into one is like some mad stroke of genius. I also like the idea of this being the "Big Finish" Dalek too - whilst I've always liked how their covers use Daleks from across Doctor Who's timeline the idea of them having their own unique drone colour scheme for periods that are (for the most part) uniquely theirs (such as the Eighth Doctor's adventures) is really cool.

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Simple but effective, the Big Finish Dalek was exactly what I needed to revive my interest in Dalek customs. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go back later this year and pick up a few extras from Planet of the Daleks and Death to the Daleks to do some of the ones I have planned but missed out on (getting a Weetabix Dalek done by the end of the year is a personal goal), but for now this is a great little drone to go alongside my Dark Eyes Eighth Doctor and Dalek Time Controller.

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