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Early Design Dalek Model


Some while ago I said I would post up my scratch build model dalek project. So here it is. Its the early concept design, one of the first ideas for a Dalek that was never taken up.

I first started this last year on the dalek building forum that I'm on, and its ongoing, with quite a bit done already. I'm hoping to finish it in the coming spring or early summer; what's that saying about famous last words! :lol:

I've always quite liked this design. I particularly like the cluster of five neck rings, and the hemi arrangement is unique. It actually reminds me of a chess piece.

The dome top was made by using a cheap push wall light, as it was approximately the correct size. I kept the top and discarded the rest. The bottom lip was cut off, then it was sanded down on wet and dry 400 paper to level off the bottom edge.

It was then divided into six segments, these being scribe marked. The top of the dome was cut out, and a circle of plasticard was glued in place. 0.75mm plasticard strips were glued to this to form the six raised panels, with a groove between each one. These were then sanded down, and filled.

I made the bottom part of the dome section from four bits of circular plasticard, with three supports holding them together.

0.75mm plasticard was used to clad this piece, once two holes had been cut either side for the mounts for the side domes to go on. The side mounts are collars from cheap soap dispensers from Morrisons. Small strips of plasticard were cut and glued to thin bits of plasticard, and these were glued front and back on the bottom dome section.

Holes were drilled in the top dome for the six croquet hoops, then it was glued to the bottom section, filled in places with milliput, primed with custard and sanded. This still has to be finished, but not too far to go.

More to follow shortly.



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A bit more of what's been done so far. I made the neck pivot out of 1 and ¾ mm plasticard circles, an idea I borrowed from Mechmaster on the PDF. The ¾ mm circles were cut smaller than the 1mm ones, and placed in between them. These were then brush painted with matt black humbrol, then glued together onto a piece of brass tubing, this will allow the dome to rotate.

The 1mm circles each had a small rectangular piece left in place, and on gluing, were lined up, with some ¾ mm card rectangles placed in between. This extrusion is to mount the eye on later. On my first attempt, I completely forgot about doing it; how daft can you get! :lol:
A 4mm counter sunk machine screw was glued to a small bit of card, then onto the front extrusion, so the eye will just slide on.

The eye itself was made from a part from a soap dispenser, cut to size, and with small bits of alloy mesh glued on. It was then filled and shaped with milliput, spun on a drill, then primed. A small bit of brass tube was glued inside, along with a card circle with a small gem glued onto it. This will give the eye a bit of sparkle, or life.

The lens was carved from the blue top of a shampoo bottle, and the bezel was from an old pen I had laying around. Its not glued together yet, and I may change or modify things before I do.

The neck rings were made by cutting out circles of 2 and 1mm card. The centres were marked with a compass, then cut out. They were then glued together, and the steps were built up with milliput and sanded down. They were then primed and filled with custard, and rubbed down with wet and dry. There's still a bit more to do on these, but they're almost there.

More in the not too distant.


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It was indeed. I must admit a soft spot for this design. Mr Cusick seemed to have had a good idea of concepts and the way things would look, even though this design was never used.

Even at this stage he new where he was heading with it.

I think it would have worked in the context of the original story set in the city on skaro. That's why I wanted to realize it as a model, and bring life to an otherwise flat drawing; to raise it from the paper.



It was indeed. I must admit a soft spot for this design. Mr Cusick seemed to have had a good idea of concepts and the way things would look, even though this design was never used.

Even at this stage he new where he was heading with it.

I think it would have worked in the context of the original story set in the city on skaro. That's why I wanted to realize it as a model, and bring life to an otherwise flat drawing; to raise it from the paper.


I've always wondered what would the Daleks have looked like had the original designer allocated to the programme stayed on - a fellow by the name of Ridley Scott.


Deputy Commander
Staff member
... a fellow by the name of Ridley Scott.
Never heard of him! :roll: :lol:

I've attached a couple of images I created back in 2005, one from "Dead Planet" ...

... the other from "Daleks Invasion Of Earth":

They're both fairly crude chop-jobs using MS Paint, but it sort of gives an idea of "what might have been"!

Slate Mcleod

Shawcraft would have changed the design anyway...I'm fairly certain Bill Roberts influenced the design of the early Dalek considerably because of constraints actually making the first props. Certainly he had something to do with adjusting the dimensions.
As we know, the original Cusick drawings don't exist...just the ones drawn afterwards !


Thanks for those images Phil; crude maybe, but good none the less. :thumbup:

@Slate Mcleod, thats correct. Its known that Bill Roberts had quite a lot of influence on the design; so to did the BBC's budget constraints.


Here's a few more detailed pictures of the construction of the eye and neck pivot. I've taken these from my diary on the PDF, because for some reason I'd deleted them from my files! :lol:


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More of what's been done. Next up was the skirt section.

I cut out two discs of 2mm plasticard, and four supports, and another disc to reinforce the base disc. This was cut into four segments, and was glued in place between the supports. Additional pieces and triangular bits were added top and bottom to strengthen it all up and make it more rigid.

It was then templating in card. I decided to do this in two parts, so added some additional plastic 5x2mm angle to each side of two of the opposite supports, to allow more room for the fitting of the cladding. I messed around with the card templates until they were correct, and then transferred to the styrene.

I initially used 0.75mm styrene, but discovered later that mistakes, due to the polystyrene glue that I used, had run, causing some melting on the inside.:lol: Rubbing it down to flatten it would have gone right through. So recently I've just removed the thinner styrene, and re-clad the skirt in 1mm. Joins were filled with super glue, then sanded down, and now its ready for some custard.

I'm almost up to date with where I am, so more soon.



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Thanks for the kind words Dalroi. Uncle Joe, nice to see you on here with your usual speak your mind attitude. :thumbup: :lol:

Another update, then this will be up to date.

For the hoops that go on the dome, I made up a basic bender. I used 2.3mm brass tube and 1mm steel wire. I pushed the wire through the tube before I shaped each piece, and this helped prevent them from kinking.

For the small dome that sits on the main dome, I used a small acrylic dome, and painted the inside yellow. I then cut two discs, one slightly bigger in diameter than the other, the smaller one to fit inside the dome. These were then glued together, and a small hole drilled, and the dome glued to this.

I cut bits of ¾ mm thick plasticard, 2mm wide by 7mm long and glued these vertically to the slight protruding base around the dome. I then cut and added a plasticard ring over the top to finish it. I used JB weld epoxy resin for this, as super glue can fog clear plastics. I then gave it a scim of JB weld all around, then when set, I sanded it down with wet and dry, and filled any small pits with milliput. This now awaits final painting.


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The build is now up to date. I've been quite busy on the model over the last few months, so reasonable progress. The main body section was next on the list, and from my point of view the biggest challenge. I cut two circles from 2mm styrene to form the cone shape. Smaller circles were cut out and glued in place to make reinforcing rings.

I made up three supporting T-sections, to create a central core, to hold the top and bottom discs in place, and to eventually be cut out. The idea being to create a strut less section, due to the staggered hemi design. These were centred, and the supports glued in place, and beefed up with epoxy resin.

I glued a small T section in place, because I would need this to glue the cladding onto at the start and finish. It was then clad in 1mm styrene. I used elastic bands to hold it all together, and left it overnight to set.

It was then trimmed off, and the join seam filled with epoxy, then rubbed down. Near the join seam, I noticed some slight inward curve, on both sides, so I made up some epoxy resin, and using a small cheap plastic ruler, applied the resin, moving the ruler up and down, like a plasterers feather edge. This filled most of the indentations and was smoothed down. It was then sprayed with custard.

The positioning of the hemis had been an issue that I wasn't sure of how to tackle, and frankly was giving me nightmares. However, common sense prevailed. I drew a circle onto a piece of card, just slightly bigger than the bottom diameter of the body cone, and divided this into twelve segments. Lines were drawn through all the segments, going beyond the circle.

The centre was cut out, the same diameter as the top of the cone. The body section was then placed on the circle, with the smaller disc placed on top of the body, and all segments lined up. These were marked up, then joined.

I cut out 1 inch circles from some shiny white card, then these were placed on the body, held with a small blob of blue tack, and adjusted on the lines, from top and bottom. The in between hemi positions were adjusted by eye. Once happy that all looked good, I drilled through the centres of the card with a 1mm bit.

I used a 1 inch fine hole saw, to cut out the holes. I admit this was one job I wasn't looking forward to, and was having kittens about it; so beforehand I made up a test piece to practice on. This proved worth while, so the job on the final piece went well. A big feeling of relief washed over me!:lol:

The holes just now need careful trimming to remove melted plastic and burrs.

For the hemis, I used ping pong balls. I made up a gauge from styrene by cutting a hole; then holding this over a ball, marked around in pencil, then cut with the razor saw; and finally trimmed off with the craft knife.
These still have to be fine finished with wet & dry paper, but more on that later.

Onto the mid section. After some mucking around on paper, common sense dictated that I follow the tapered upwards shape of the dalek; with the lower diameter larger than the top, and retaining a curve.

One thing I discovered while playing with my compass cutter, was if I unscrewed the adjustment nut, and turned the pin holding body around, it gave me about an extra half inch or so of radius cut.
Very useful, so I used it to make the mid section.

I set the cutter up to the sketch, and cut a series of circles. The centres were drilled to accept 4mm threaded rod. Each circle was then placed onto the rod, and scrap pieces of 2mm card strips were glued around, 3mm in from the edge. I had some small diameter scrap 2mm thick circles, each one of these were drilled, and one placed over the middle and glued. The next circle went over this, and the procedure repeated, until the section was complete.

I filled the spaces in between the discs with small bits of rolled milliput. It was then placed on the drill stand and spun until the correct shape, then a coat of custard, and sanded down. Additional discs were cut, from 1 and 2 mm card, glued together, and the edges rounded off to form the top and bottom of the section as in the original sketch. These will be glued in place later.

More soon.



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I forgot to post my recent update on this forum! :lol:

A bit more progress. I built the base section next, and that completes most of the major sections, leaving just a few odds and ends. I cut out four discs, supports were added on two of them, the other discs were glued onto these. They were then covered with 1mm styrene.

Strips of styrene were then cut, starting from wide, and going down to narrow, by gradients of about ½ mill. These were glued in place, to bulk out the basic shape. I made up formers from styrene, transferred from a sketch, to decide the shape, and these were used to finally shape the epoxy resin to the required designed.

A disc was clamped and held in place to guide the formers for an even shape all round. It was then a lot of smoothing off to a good finish; followed by quite a few coats of custard to fill any small holes; and small pin holes there were plenty of!

Then it was a question of making the sections fit together, using a variety of discs. They're not glued in place yet, as more priming is required along with painting.

I also trimmed the holes in the main body, and tidied things up here. The mid section discs were glued in place, and milliput filled in the small gaps.

Its all coming together now quite well, a bit more custard in places, then it'll be ready for the grey stuff.



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After a lot more filling, priming and rubbing down, all the main components are now in grey primer, and ready for the top coat colours....more or less.:lol:

The hemis have now been finely finished on a piece of 400 wet & dry.

I made up the piece that goes beneath the neck rings. It was done in much the same way as the rings, only in 1mm styrene, glued together and filled with epoxy resin. A disc was made, and this was glued onto it. It still requires quite a bit of filling in places, and is the only part not in grey primer.

I've started on the arm. This was made from a section of ally tube that I had kicking around, and was cut to length. For the 'bullet' shaped end; I put the dimensions on paper, drew a central line, then sketched the approximate shape I wanted. I then drew lines at intervals, and used this as a guide to set up the compass cutter.

I cut five small discs from 0.75mm plasticard, and opened them up to 4mm. They were then placed one at a time on some 4mm threaded rod, with 3mm blocks glued in between each. The top and final one was a 4mm washer.

The gaps were then filled with milliput, and it was then spun on the drill and sanded back to final shape using various grades of wet and dry. A few coats of custard later, and I'm pleased with how its looking.

It's all taking longer than I thought; which just goes to show how much I underestimated this project. :O :lol:


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That's some lovely craftsmanship there, displaying a real love for the subject matter. Ingenious solution to the problem of the hemis as well - well done. Really interested to see how this turns out: being a fan of the RTD and Moffat Doctor Whos, and less so the earlier years, I don't have as good a picture in my head of what the earlier Daleks looked like.

I've a feeling I'll be better educated by the time you've finished. Thanks for sharing,

Kindest regards