Sunday 24 November 2013

Genesis of the (Cardboard) Daleks

As anyone who spends any time on this blog will have realised, I am a nerd.  I'm also a colossal Dr Who fan, and have been since watching a rerun of "Genesis of the Daleks" when I was very young.  

With this weekend having marked the 50th Anniversary Special of the show, it seemed fitting to do a project which was a nod to Dr Who in some way.  And with us needing an activity for Scouts/Beavers at our group, I decided to return to something I remember making when I was very young, which are Daleks made from disposable cups and drinking straws.

This time things would be a little more advanced, with the Daleks (or non-specific-science-fiction-robots, if you're a BBC Lawyer who has stumbled onto this blog and is feeling like suing) being kits for the young people to assemble up and decorate in the meetings.

The prototype, along with the bits which make up into the Dalek, and my remote-control Dalek for inspiration.  The basic kit Dalek consists of a disposable Espresso cup (written-off stock from deep in the stores at work), corrugated card, cut-down lengths of cardboard tube, the top from an egg box, a straw, a length of wood from a stirrer, some pins, an elastic band, and some stickers.  Very Blue Peter.

OK so its not Genesis of the Daleks, but then I'm on an even lower budget than the BBC were in the 80's.  I realised the Beavers wouldn't be able to handle the making of the kits, so I part-pre-assembled a load, with them just having to glue the top to the bases, and poke the guns and arms into place.  The cups had to be covered in strips of adhesive labels (bought cheaply from Poundland; honestly, where would my projects be without that store?) after spraying them with white paint didn't work.

The Daleks seemed to go down very well with the Scouts and Beavers, and with a couple of spare kits and the example one I'd done knocking around, I decided to muck around with doing a picture.  I haven't had chance to do this sort of shoot for a bit, and this seemed a good opportunity.

The ultimate form of the Dalek kits- guns modified with paperclips, and pins glued onto the arms as the suckers.

The set for the shoot- really, really improvised.  A few spare barricade bits from the Britannia project, a serving slate, and buildings from a candlestick, two wooden pencil holders, and the grill tray from a scrapped coffee machine.

What a difference some weird lighting makes- done using Christmas Tree lights, a pair of battery LED torches, and a red-tinted emergency light.

Finally, I couldn't resist trying the same set with a couple of toy Daleks, bought broken from a Charity Shop as donors for another project.  

Overall, a nice, quick little project which went down well with the recipients, and it was nice to be able to tie something in with the anniversary of a program I really like.

Next up, hopefully some big developments with the Thunderbolt project… with luck, will be shooting the final pics mid-week.

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