The Making of a Dalek


In 2013, the Doctor Who Society of Canada went for the Guinness record for the most Daleks in one place - and I made a Dalek to participate. The gun is made from an extendable mop pole, with metal wire from paint rollers. The eye stalk is made from LEDs inside a special round Coke bottle over a PVC pipe. The eyestalk disks were cut from mdf board. The plunger is made from the same extendable mop pole, and a mini-plunger. The top blinker lights are made from LEDs inside the plastic housing from solar lighting garden stakes. The head is made of a salad bowl with arrow rods, duct tape rings and screen mesh.


I wasn't going for screen accurate size, instead wanted the smallest thing I could both fit in, and could fit into my sedan. To make that possible, I made something I could disassemble easily. The skirt was made of duct tape over cardboard, which is both cheap and fast to create with/modify as you go, as well as very light and fairly durable. The duct tape acts as a hinge on each piece of the skirt so it can fold up and fit in the back seat. The balls are from the dollar store and cut in half and glued on. The base also separates from/attaches to the skirt using velcro tabs. It's actually two piece (as those were materials I had on hand) but could be made in one piece. It has L brackets to form the support for a duct tape skirt of its own and to give the main skirt something to brace against/secure to. The body (also made of duct tape over cardboard) rests on the main skirt with just enough overlap so it sits securely (or can be separated if I want to get out). The head is attached to the body by a lazy susan bearing. After 4 years, the duct tape carboard started to buckle, so I've since remade the skirt out of mdf board. It's a little taller now and a lot heavier, but should be more durable. I'm still using tape though - this time aluminum tape - though the hinges are piano hinges now. The head and body will be upgraded as well.


I also made a voice changer for the Dalek. It's based on the standard ring modulator, with a pre-amp after the electret microphone for the Input, a frequency generator (modified to produce about 30KHz tone) for the Carrier, and another amp before the speaker on the Output. It also has a sound detection circuit (same one I use in my cyberman) also tied to the Output (where the electret should be) to trigger the lights at the top of the Dalek's head.

All images, except where source identified otherwise, copyright Rob Emery, 2013-2017


Back to Rob Emery > Costumes