Home > Dalek Project > Base Construction
Modified:22:17, 22 October 2013

The base was made from 18mm plywood cut from an 8' x 4' sheet. I originally aquired plans from the internet for sizes but after making the panelled sides, discovered that the plans were way off and abandoned them, using photos and screenshots from TV programmes - more on that later on.

Cutting the base, creating a frame and making the motor supports:
The cut base with motor supports in place and slots for wheels to protrude through. These were later widened to ease pumping up tyres. Supports were glued and screwed with 10x65mm screws. Angled wooden supports also glued to the motor supports. Dry fit with motors in place. Later on the front and back vertical struts were removed for the relay panel and jockey wheel.
Fitting Jockey Wheel, Motors and Relay Panel:
There are many accessory circuits:
  • Head and stalk control
  • Control for 160 LEDs on the base
  • Audio amplifiers
  • RF receiver
  • Voice and digital recording modules.

Details on these sections are contained on the Dalek Index page

The housing for the jockey wheel (cheers Royston) was cut from offcuts of 18mm ply. A full turning radius circle had to be cut into the base. Beginning the wiring of the relay panel. This holds motor drive and direction control and switches supplies to various accessories.
Making Domes:
The domes were vacuum formed around a mould made from MDF glued together and turned on a centre-lathe. Reducing plates were used to save on polystyrene when vacuum forming. Sheet size was 150x150 x1.5mm and dome 100mm diameter. A stack of formed domes prior to trimming and drilling fixing holes. The transparent covering was left on the domes until completion.
Fitting Domes and Base Panels:
It was at this point it was realised that the side panels were too small for 2 rows of domes - and the plans for the body shape I had been following were binned!

So Dalek boffs out there - yes I know the side panels have 4 domes missing either side - saves any problems copyright issues!

The panels were made from 9mm MDF. They were individually cut and shaped to fit around the base. Later secured with screws and lots of gripfill to join the panel sides. The panels were marked out for the position of the domes. A hole cutter was used to create holes.
The waste on the vacuum formed domes was trimmed off leaving a rim of about 10mm. Fixing holes were then drilled for 9mm screws. A friend popped in to give a hand, fixing the domes into place on the rear of the panel. The rear panel is removeable so that acces to the relay panel can be gained. It has dowelled pegs at the bottom locating into holes and screwed at the top.
Drilling LED Holes and Wiring:

This part was done after the base had been sprayed with white primer - which later became grey primer since gold needs grey. In fact it was a bit of an after thought - to add 160 LEDs (80 red/green and 80 red/blue) around the base - I was into mood lights and had been developing a Mood Light project for year 9. It's on the site.

The result is that when its dark, the Dalek looks as if its hovering with pulsating colour changing light coming from underneath. It does look good.

The 5mm LED holes were drilled with an extended drill bit - a steel rod braised onto the end of the bit - quite a challenge. This was to avoid hitting the domes. LEDs holes were countersunk with 8mm drill to a depth of 13mm so the LEDs just protrude through the base. Wire ends were bent outwards to ease soldering. LEDs were placed alternately - red/green and red/blue. Each LED has 3 wires and a loom of wires were connected to them.
Here the red/green LEDs are being connected. A total of 6 wires zig-zag around the LEDs to form a ring. Solid core wire was used to help the wires keep shape. Testing the LEDs proved to produce a great deal of colour. Each LED is at least 5000mcd. There are a total of 320 LED chips, resulting in 1,600,000 mcd!! The controller can be seen below the LEDs which pulses and phases the colours. The 4 sliders to the left allow manual colour selection. More on the controller design elsewhere.
Left: Ant on a test drive!

Right: A view of the underside after completed - dreaded flat tyre which also led to the slots for the wheels being enlarged - as you can see, the margins are tight. Also note the addition of a 12" sub that is driven by a 50W amplifier.

Written and Constructed by Phil Townshend 2009
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