My Full Scale Dalek Building Project

This web page documents the building of a full scale Dalek. I became inspired by the recent DVD movie releases of the Dr. Who and the Daleks.  I did some internet surfing and found people all over the planet who had constructed there own Dalek's. I started seriously thinking to take on this project over the Memorial Day weekend (5/27/2002) when I made a visit to the home of a professional Dalek prop builder Steve Gostelow.  I was privileged to see and examine the construction of a full size Dalek that Steve had created. I knew then that I must build one myself. Since I work full time I knew this building project would stretch out over several months. This web page documents and details the progress during my Dalek building project.

The full scale building project plans were obtained free from internet web site of the Dalek Builder Guild. The first 3 weeks of the project were studying the details of the building plans, buying the plywood, cutting and assembling the pieces for the base, skirt and shoulder section. The photo above shows the work progress of the base section (shown here with 6" caster wheels), the skirt section and the shoulder section. The shoulder section is constructed using 1/8" plywood strips, soaked in water overnight to obtain the sharp rounded bends as called out on the plans.

Over the next few weeks the construction work progressed slowly with the making of the neck rings and neck bin. The photo above shows work in progress for the 3 neck rings and the neck bin. The rings were cut from 3/4" plywood using a router with a 45 degree chamfer bit to obtain the correct angle for the neck rings.

By mid July the work on the weapons were completed. The photo above shows work in progress with recent addition of the Dalek's weapons.
 

In the beginning of August 2002 I decided to risk entering my Dalek in the local Toms River Halloween Parade that will take place on Halloween night 10-31-2002. The risk is because the parade route is over one mile long. One must remember that the Dalek is a movie and or TV prop that was built so the Dalek operator inside could move it about by pushing it. So with this in mind, I've added a seat and unicycle wheel to power the Dalek through the long parade route. At this point I knew I needed to modify the drive unit to add some sort of steering capability.
 
 


This is a view looking down at the skirt and base. Please note the seat and unicycle drive wheel that will be used to power the Dalek.


The shoulder section is coming along just fine. I've added a coat of BONDO car body filler to give it strength, smooth out and to cover over the many thin piece wood strips that were wrapped around to create the shoulder section. The shoulder section and weapons box are shown above with a white primer coat of paint.
 


 

This is a photo of the work in progress that was taken in mid August. At the outset of the project I realized that I would have to have help with the making of the fiberglass dome and 56 hemispheres as called out in the building plan. I had placed a Dalek parts order and now was awaiting for the shipment from England. At this point I am having thoughts about removing the unicycle wheel and replacing it with a electric motor driven unit! STAY TUNED.....

On the last week of August my Dalek parts order had finally arrive from England. Special thanks to Shawcraft Robotics, Andy Shaw for the fiberglass Dome, blue plastic colored Hemis and amber colored dome lights. In addition, much appreciated was Andy's expert advice....The Dalek is coming to life....

Work in Progress to date 9-2-02...just 2 months before the Toms River Halloween parade. I've been looking for a used electric wheelchair or electric scooter to motorize the Dalek...

Work in progress as of 9-4-02. This is a photo of the assembled dome section. The dome rotates smoothly atop the neck bin as I used 3 evenly spaced 5/8" captive ball bearings. Dome rotation is approximately 270 degrees and the eye stalk move up and down via a handle inside the dome.  I did made a slight change from the building plans by adding a electric light bulb inside of the eye stalk. The eye stalk is fitted inside with a erie green glowing electric lamp for an added effect. The fiberglass dome is ready now ready for painting. The color scheme of the Dalek is using a Silver Aluminum spray paint for the skirt, neck rings and dome sections.

On 9-7-02 I was lucky enough to find someone selling a used 3 wheel medical electric scooter at the local Rt. 70 Flea Market. I will be removing the unicycle wheel and modifying the skirt and base to accommodate the electric scooter. My Dalek will be motorized for the Toms River Halloween Parade!

Work progress 9-14 photo, the Dalek is showing it's character. I am having a contest to come up with a name for the Dalek....

Work progress as of today 9-15-02, with the help of my good friend and Manchester High School shop instructor Joe Gawlik, we were able to cut down the medical scooter frame and weld the back wheel rod to the frame thus shortening the original frame changing to make in fit inside the skirt
area of the Dalek. 

Another modification was made to allow the mechanical brake to stop the Dalek This photo shows the brake handle.

Work progress to date 9-15-02.


 
 

Here is  a photo of me and the Dalek that was taken by my daughter Becky on 9-30-02. The project is almost complete as the base vinyl skirt has been added to hide the scooter wheels. The aluminum sheet metal belt has been added. Final step will be to add the wire meshing and the aluminum sheet metal slats that comprise the vest.

On 1 October 2002, approximately 4 months after starting the project, the project came to a completion. I had a contest among my family members to come up with a name for the Dalek. The Dalek will henceforth be registered and be known as  Dewey T. Dalek, or just Dewey for short. Here are some completed still and action photo's of the Dewey the Dalek:



 

Footnote:
 On October 31 2001, I entered Dewey the Dalek into the Toms River Halloween Parade for best costume. The motorized mechanical monster operated flawlessly throughout the 1 mile plus parade route (see photo below).  The younger generation onlookers at the parade thought the "robot" was remote controlled.  I am very pleased to announce that Dewey was awarded the trophy shown in this photo.



Here are a few Dalek Video Clips to check out. Click on the clip and it should launch a video mpeg viewer. These are small MPEG videos taken by Larry Garrison of the Dalek on Saturday 23 November 2002:

Dalek Clip 1 Seaside Heights NJ

Dalek Clip 2 Seaside Heights NJ

Dalek Clip 3 Seaside Heights NJ

Dalek Clip 4 Seaside Heights NJ

Dalek Clip 5 Seaside Heights NJ



"Return of the Dalek" movie trailer Video Clip

"Return of the Dalek" movie trailer Web Link

"Return of the Dalek" movie trailer (Real Player 2 meg file)


On 3 May 2003 after obtaining a childs motorized wheelchair, I've decided to build a second motorized Dalek. Click here to view My 2nd Motorized Dalek Build