Home > Dalek Project > Body Section Construction
Modified:22:18, 22 October 2013

The framework for the body section was also made from 18mm plywood - the same sheet. A 3mm birch plywood formed much of the skin with a great deal of work going into the relief detail on the body. It is not eactly the same as Dr Who types but gives a nice balance and does the job!

Body Frame:
Struts were glued and screwed for maximum strenth. The bottom part of the body was cut to match the top of the base. Every part was sized by eye and looking at photos. The body was actually reduced in height after this photo as it looked out of proportion. A shaped guide rail was cut, and screwed into place all the way around to support the birch ply skin and help it keep shape.
Creating Templates For Body Skin:
The shape of the body is very irregular - it transforms from a squashed oval matching the base, to an exact circle for the neck. The skin template was made from taping together thick sugar paper and then wrapping it around the body. Using a knife, the paper was cut to size to form two halves. It was considered to difficult and prone to error to produce the skin in one piece.
The front half template of the body skin laid onto 3mm birch plywood sheet and loosely held into place with cellotape and stick paper glue As the ply was thin, it was easier to cut it with tin snips than cut with a conventional saw. Also resulted in no splintering. The final skin cut out and smoothed read to fit. There is about 5 mm extra around the top edge as this is the easier way to remove excess.
Fitting Birch Ply Body Skin
The start point was on the side strut. The edge was cleaned up and glued into place with a 50kg anvil to keep it flat. When the start point was dry, the body frame was glued and rolled onto the skin. The base edge was trimmed to ensure it sat correctly. The other end was G-clamped fully to ensure it sat flat and did not stick out at all. It kinda worked but had to still be sanded back a little.
Gluing Flexible Strips for Relief Detail
To achieve the relief detail, strips of flexible wood (MDF with slots cut every few mm) were cut to from the edges of the protruding sections. Note the method of marking out an even line around the skin. The strips of flexible MDF were then cut again about 2/3 of the way through in the other direction. This gave a strip of wood that could be shaped in all directions to form around the irregular curves of the base.
All relief sections were edged with the flexible strips. They were glued into place and held with clamps. The boxes for the weapons have already been fitted. They were made from 6 and 9mm MDF. Again the size and shape were based on photos. The skin was cut to allow the to be inserted from the inside of the body and protrude through to the front. Levelling and getting the angle correct against an angled front took some trial and error.
Adding Relief Skin
Left: The skins for the relief parts were made the same way. The glued flexible strip gave a good guide for the knife to follow.

Right: The template for the neck band made from black poster paper.

Left: A second front panel being glued to the boxes to add strength to support the arm and weapon.

Right: A view inside the body showing the inside of the weapon and arm boxes. More gripfill ensured a good join and acted like a tough filler.

The template and cut skin for the space between the weapon and arm boxes.
Fitting the Waistband:
The waist band was made from 5mm birch ply as it protrudes below the body to cover up the screws on the base when in place.

It was glues and screwed into place in sections as it needed to be robust.

As the plywood was 5mm, lap joint were made where pieces met to get as smooth a join as possible.

All edges were filled with car body filler - fantastic stuff for producing gloriously smooth and sharp edges.

Filling and Finishing
Left: The body complete ready for the armour. A lot of time was spent filling any gaps and ensuring clean corners.

Right: Laser cut 6mm MDF detail was added to the boxes. These are screwed into place to enable easy removal. The parts shown are the outer sdection of the moveable ball joints.

Written and Constructed by Phil Townshend 2009
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