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Hey Gang,

So onward to Part IV of the TARDIS Console restoration. So we're picking things up a week after Pt. III. Today the main goal was to finish wiring up the remote control, mount the wires/relay box inside the console, get the Doctor's bag cosmetically finished, decide on our Rotor lighting options, replace as many of the key 'hot spots' of halogens with new LED lights and trouble shoot any other small areas we could fix.

More Pics and info

So when we first got together Paul and I were pretty blown away by the work Brian had done on replicating various gadgets and tools for the Doctor's bag made or modified or simply found from various spare parts, toy sonics, and model kit parts. (and while there is a toy Co Master's Laser Screwdriver and Smiith Sonic in this mix, I promise the metal McGann era sonic WILL be in this bag too!)

Original TARDIS Tool kit

Doctor's Tools recreated from Spare parts by Brian

While we were off to a great start here the one key tool we still looked to re-create was the Magnetic clamp Grace clocks the Doctor with toward the end of the movie. We'd get back to this one on the following week!

Tools reference guide

The Smith Sonic will make a cameo appearance from the future in the bag

Brian then showed off his centerpiece of the gadgets: A wired up CO Tennant Sonic which now acts as a sonic remote for the Sonic Sound effect and Blue light on the console. This was pretty fun to switch on and I know throughout the day we were all taking turns on this.

Co Sonic now wired to be a functional remote control

See the new remote Sonic in action here:


Brian also busted out the new sets of LED lights we'd be placing into the Console that day. Three different levels of power, 1 for the smaller jewel lights, another for the radial dials and the strongest for the largest lights such as the Green oval light or largest radial center dial.

The new brighter LEDs

Halogen vs LED

He had already pre-cut a nice hole in the bottom large enough to accomodate all the wires and electronics which would fit over the pre-cut hole that was put into the base back in Part II of this blog.

Hole cut for wires to passthrough and mount the electronics.

Brian had recommended the use of some of the larger small CPPU fans which we would place inside the console and at 1 or two of the lower gratings to help keep air circulation and keep the console cool as the heat it produces with the lights was one of our chief concerns to solve.

Making sure the mini fans will mount nicely under the grating

To make our lives and backs easier we finally got smart from here out and started rigging up benches from plastic crates and wood planks so we could lay beneath this prop and concentrate on the bulb replacement work.

Our new under TARDIS work bench to lay on for easy/comfort access

Essentially I would help brian replace certain halogen bulbs for the new LEDs and he would also focus on finishing the wiring up of all the black toggle functions to our nifty remote control.

The remote control which will handle all sounds and lights

Brian's checklist to get done on this weekend.

We also checked over some of the minute details such as deciding on a set of screws to use in remaking the white toggle switches for size and shape. Once we found one we liked we set 14 aside, making a note to add a little sculpty to take away the philips indentations.

Checking Screw sizing for the white toggle switches. With a bit of sculpty will work fine.

Paul then brought out some tan suede leather and dark brown faux leather he picked up at Jo-Ann's on sale to begin the process of cosmetically finishing up the Doctor's bag to make it ready for tool mounting.

Starting to outfit the Doctor's Bag

Prepping leather wrap for the cosmetics of the Doctor's Bag

While Paul was working on the bag, I readied up a few more spare relays for the remote.

Prepping extra relays

Brian goes crazy on wiring!

Paul's experience doing FX and props (and our recent Morbius monster!) helped him greatly on the bag project. A lot of the tools we used on our creature such as barge and spray glue were coming in mighty handy again right now.

Prepping the interior suede leather for the open bag 'lids'

Barge and spray gluing the leather on the bag

Placing LEDs into place- LEDS on right and old halogens on left under a radial dial.

Halogen powered Radial Dial.

Brian finished the wiring on the remote, and replaced some of the bulbs on the star panel while I started on replacing some of bulbs the radial panel. The New LEDS generally looked great as we were often testing them once a new set was in place! The one hitch though was some of them didn't like staying in the sockets as much as their halogen brothers so often we had to tie them in a little or use some silicon or hot glue to help hold them in place.

Brian re-enacts the end of the TVM

Wiring wiring wiring

Showing off the Brake light & sound function here:


Scanner Screen Handle- detail and up close

One of he details that got seen to was for Paul to swap out for the lamp light simply to a newer bulb and more importantly, secured in better with better screws and washers as it had been a tad loose before.

Lamp Light- replaced and re-enforced to be more solid

While we were busy working on the bulbs and wiring, Paul had finished the Doctor's Bag! It looked BEAUTIFUL! He had finished off the edges and added vintage clasps and a handle from a vintage 16mm film carrying case given to Brain by his friend Ari Bayzid (from Starcarcentral with the JP jeep) and it really looked the part now.

Finished Bag!

Original bag!

Clasps from a vintage medical bag

Interior bag- only requires tool mounting

Even the interior was looking quite fab. Paul was already mocking up the straps for the tools using spare suede material wrapped around some inexpensive 1/2" white cotton trim.

Suede wrapped white cotton trim will be used for the tool straps.

While Paul worked on tool mounting to the bag we got back to the work of LED bulb swap outs.


LED spotlights being placed under some of the jewel lights on the console

For the jewel lights the halogens were quite small and the LEDs in comparison were enormous so this usually required some re thinking on the mounting straps - either by re shaping them or replacing them altogether with new one to better fit and lock them down.

Original small halogens for the jewel lights

While checking over more of the console we discovered how bright those halogens had been! When we checked the 'gold grating' light we found the reflector had been melted!

Powerful Halogens - Melted light cover for the gold grated light which needs replacing.

So we promplty got some spare material at lunch and replaced this as well as changing the bulb to one of the LEDS. Good as new.

Grated light replaced with LED, custom hood glued in and re-fixed

By the white toggle switch panel, we decided to add via hot glue/silicon some plastic PVC couplings as mini-hoods to help with light brightness as well as removing the bits of wood in-between to allow room for these as structurally they weren't serving much purpose. We kept the original halogens here since the LEDs would have been too large for this section.

Removing some of the interior bits of wood from the underside of the white toggle switch panel

Hot gluing in some PVC plastic mini hoods to make the lights brighter.

While I finished up work on the white toggle switches, Paul was making great headway on finishing the mounting of the top tools of the Bag with the mocked strps, spray glue and carefully hidden screws.

Mounting and strapping in the top tools

While finishing up, we kept thinking about where all he remote relays would collectively sit to easily mount into the console. We had a wood box nearby that was our temp box but we ultimately knew this would be impractical size wise.

Potential Remote control relay box

Soldering connections

We checked around on the underside and found the perfect spot to the lower right on the star panel to mount the relays in place without getting in the way of anything else.

Paul checks the right area to mount the relay box.

Meanwhile, Brian was still checking the function of the LED lights which were really kicking up the brightness on this thing! One thing we noticed was that in certain spots such as one of the small radial dials and a couple of the jewel lights, the console expected to feed more power to the sockets and the LEDS taking far less just didn't turn on! Brian had to have a re-think on this issue but to play it safe we temporarily replaced these problem areas back to halogens until the following week.

Checking that the new LED lights work

Also one of the white toggle lights kept being persnickity. Luckily it was one of the ones that was easy to unglue the PVC 'hood' for a bit and check out so Brian got this fixed.

Brian Troubleshoots a bulb that refuses to turn on

Toward the end of the day though disaster struck the project! After many times turning the console on and off during the day to check out the function of the lights, at some point the power strip had sent a surge which in turn ended up frying the Ride Tones drive which held our Sound Effects! We now had a silent TARDIS console! Now pa of the issue here is that the drive and code for the files was proprietary to Ride Tones and they discontinued this product with little to no support back in October. It was a bleak cloud to end the day under as most of the alternatives to get the sound up and running again were too time or cost intensive for what we had left. I'll explain how we got out of this predicament in the next entry!

Ride Tones Drive

Meanwhile, we had two main things to finish up. Mount the relay box and decide on rotor lighting. So having pretty much finished the doctor's bag, Paul found the perfect box to house all the relays which was a perfect fit for the spot they'd picked.

Paul works on finishing the remote control relay box.

It took a little finangling, with Paul belt sanding a couple of the connections slightly to make the fit work... but it all came together nicely in the end.

Belt Sanding down a couple of the connections to ensure best fit

After some fidgeting with a screwdriver Paul and brian got the relays secured and mounted. The Remote Control function was finished! Brian double checked it and all connections were in working order. A major item checked off the list.

Paul mounts the remote relay box inside

Finally, we turned to the Time Rotor. Brian had brought along a couple of lighting options which we tried out to light the base. We looked into lighting it directly from beneath and even into trying to side mount the lights to give a better light source into the column.

LED Lights for the rotor

Checking where the lights will go on the rotor

We also looked at throwing various blue gels onto it to give it a blue cast but ultimately this ended up cutting the power of the lights down and the trade off was too great.

Trying the lights on the rotor.

Testing various lighting ideas for the rotor with and without gels

We finally decided on using some powerful LED lights which already had a terrific blue cast as the underside lights. Brian only had two of these but he made a note to order a few more in so they could be mounted onto the bottom under the hollow rods and interspersed evenly on the underside.

The LEDs prove much brighter- and blue!

For the top, we got a little creative as we didn't want to deal with trying to hide and snake a wire from the bottom where all the power came from, up to the top. So We opted for some powerful but small cheap flashlights (almost mini-maglights LEDS) which we would mount individually on each of the rods. These would be held in place by more of the small PVC couplings I'd used on the white toggle switch board with hot glue. The only hitch was we knew we'd have to change these out daily if not twice a day. We made a note to load up on AAA batteries and pick up another 7 flashlights for the top. At least this lighting issue was now solved!

Test holds up well in the dark.

With that settled, we called it a day. Another full TARDIS weekend accomplished!



Paul Salamoff is a twenty-plus year veteran of the film industry. He has found success as a Writer, Producer, Film Executive, Comic Book Creator, Author, and originally as a Special F/X Make-Up Artist.

Born in Natick, MA, he was raised on a healthy diet of sci-fi and horror from the age of five. After high school, he moved to California to attend film school at USC. Salamoff parlayed his obsession for genre filmmaking into a successful run as a professional Special F/X Make-Up Artist. In his years doing FX, he worked on over forty films, ten television series, and numerous commercials.

His Film and TV writing credits include THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING, THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT and ALIEN SIEGE. He was recently hired to write the high-budget SINBAD: ROGUE OF MARS for Morningside Entertainment. He is also author of two non-fiction books: ON THE SET: THE HIDDEN RULES OF MOVIE MAKING ETIQUETTE and THE COMPLETE DVD BOOK: DESIGN, PRODUCTION AND MARKETING.

As a Comic Creator, Salamoff is the writer of a number of Comic Book Series including the wildly popular VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS, ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS BLACK SCORPION, PUPPY POWER: BO OBAMA and LOGAN'S RUN: LAST DAY and LOGAN'S RUN: AFTERMATH both written with William F. Nolan. He is also author of the critically acclaimed graphic novel DISCORD and the upcoming THE CAST OF DOCTOR WHO bio-comic.

In 2005 Salamoff became Vice President of Production for David Lancaster Productions working on WES CRAVEN'S THE BREED and HOLLOW MAN 2. After a successful merge with BOLD Films, he became their Vice President of Production and worked on such films as LEGION, BOBBY and STARSHIP TROOPERS: MARAUDER. After leaving Bold, he accepted the position of President of Production for Rat Bastard Productions working on the festival darling DOWN FOR LIFE.

Having been involved with THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR FILMS for over twelve years, he produced the 22nd, 23rd, 33rd, 34th and 35th Saturn Awards. Salamoff has also produced Video Game TV/Web Development videos and Trailers for G-Net Media. Working on such high-profile projects as THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, BULLETSTORM, MAFIA 2, MASS EFFECT 2, GEARS OF WAR 2, DEAD SPACE and the upcoming RECKONING: KINGDOMS OF AMALUR


Brian Uiga has been building gadgets and props since 1996, when he saw the Dr. Who TV Movie, fell in love with the show, and was compelled over the next four years to build a complete TARDIS toolkit, as well as other props and costumes from the classic era of the series.

Over the last decade, his other prop replica projects have included: a set of the puppet robots from “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, a fully working Herbie, the Love Bug car, a gadget laden James Bond's BMW from "Tomorrow Never Dies", and Horace, the Hate Bug car. These Celebrity Replica cars are kept busy most weekends during the year at charity or police events with a group of TV and Movie cars at www.starcarcentral.com.

Brian is currently working on a "Super Pursuit Mode" Knight Rider KITT car alongside these TARDIS Console repairs. He feels fortunate to be able to restore and add life to he centerpiece prop from the film that inspired him to start tinkering 15 years ago.

When not pursuing his hobby of replica cars and props, Brian has worked as a Special Effects Supervisor and Producer of sketch comedy. He currently works as a mechanical engineer designing precision optical equipment for film post production and restoration. He is a graduate of the UC San Diego with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Bob Mitsch is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in English and Screenwriting. In addition, to having five years experience as a marketing copywriter, he has spent an additional five years working in Television Post Production at a local PBS affiliate, Riot! Santa Monica and Starz Media.

When not pursuing the above, Bob's hobbies include writing, films and costumes. In his youth, he wrote and directed over a dozen student & fan films and also acted in a handful of Los Angeles independent theater productions. Bob dove into the cosplay convention scene over a decade ago with a replica of a childhood favorite - the Greatest American Hero's super suit. A handful of other superhero/science fiction characters followed before Bob tackled the daunting project of putting together costume replicas (and props) for all 11 incarnations of the Doctor, plus several Villians such as the "Revenge" Cyberman and a VOC Robot.

He is the organizer of the Costume Panel Track for the Gallifrey One Convention, Co-Moderator of dw-cosplay on livejournal as well as the writer/host of the 8 part How Who Are You? Dr. Who Marathon segment series for KTEH TV in the fall of 2009. Recently, he was ecstatic to be featured along with his friends in costume on Matt Smith's iphone during the Xmas 2011 Graham Norton Show.

On Matt's iPhone as Hartnell

He has found the cosplay hobby a lot of fun and a rewarding way to meet other fans and new friends. He has been a fan of Dr. Who since he was 6 years old. (And for the record Tom Baker will always be HIS Doctor.)

Thanks for reading! Lighting the rotor, berylium chips, more TARDIS tools, finishing bulb replacements in Part V!

Be sure to see this Prop Feb 17th-19th at the Gallifrey One Convention at the LAX Marriott. You can get your photo taken with this prop in the Fan Room free of charge (though tips are appreciated) Fri & Sat 12-1PM and Sunday 10AM-11AM! Though bear in mind there will be no printout/hard copy photos, you will need to have a digital camera memory card, USB/flash drive to load your photos onto.

Also as a special bonus: for a set donation to the TARDIS restoration fund you can buy one of the screen used halogen light bulbs that once lit this prop that have now been replaced with LED lights! Limited quantity and these will go fast so FYI!





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