honorarydoctor (honorarydoctor) wrote,

  • Location:
  • Mood:

Chameleon Circuit: The TVM TARDIS Console Restoration Log Pt. V

Hey Gang,

So onward to Part V of the TARDIS Console restoration. So we're picking things up another week after Pt. IV. Today the main goal was to mount/wire up the Rotor lights, mock up the Beriylium Atomic Clock chip, get the Doctor's tools cosmetically finished, finish replacing the halogens with LEDS, secure all the internal light fixtures and mount the sound speaker.

More Pics and info

So today we jumped right into the fun of some props and gizmos for the Doctor's tool bag which was nearly complete. I took a bunch of doodads we had ready to go and blinged them up a but with some plastic inlays, nuts, bolts, and other odds and ends to make them more spacey and Doctory.

Finished decking out found items as Doctor's tools and gizmos

The coolest thing was seeing Paul's work on recreating the magnetic Clamp that Grace clocks the Doctor with! It looked awesome and the little gold dial actually turns.

Magnetic clamp!

A lot of work- but I'd say we did pretty well getting close to what was used on screen!

Original TARDIS Tool kit


Our toolkit replica almost ready for action

Paul then worked on hot gluing in all the Jewel light covers/hoods into place as many of them were loose and one or two needed cutting down to accomodate the larger LEDs.

Jewel light

our work and tool table

Brian then got to wrk finishing the LED/Halogen light Bulb swap outs, and really working at refixing all the lights down with some new brackets in spots and a nifty metal plating Paul whipped up to really lock them in position and prevent any shifting when the console would be transported.

more wiring

gadget making stuff

Then I set to task recreating the Berylium Atomic Clock Chip. Using ref screengrabs and Brian's idea of jury rigging it out of a micro cassette, I basically stripped the stickers, had the holes drilled into the case, glued a brass backing on the underside, then carefully superglued on various circuitry looking bits that came from a set of metal manufacturer's cards, added to more strips of brass striping for the 'cross hairs' with punched holes for the lights, slapped it and glued it all in and bob's your uncle the TARDIS can leave San Francisco again. I finished it off by hot gluing the lights into place after feeding the wires through the rubber mount cap Brian provided.

Making the chip

Finished beryliium chip

Brian's pre connected flashing lights worked great- only on a simple 9 volt battery.

Wired up for lights

Back of the chip were the light wires go through

During the interim before we met up again, Paul had worke dout a neat solution to the Rotor placement so it would sit higher for the bottom inner plate to be seen and allow more light to get inside - adding some sections of 2X4's and a wood disc underneath to lift it about 4-5 inches higher up within the base.

New Lift for the Rotor base to bring it up within the console

Then we got busy hot gluing the wired up Rotor base LED light sin place now that we had the quantity we needed.

Mounted lower rotor lights

Clearing out more dust!

The base of the Console needed some work on reattaching the half-spheres as well as a bit of a touch up. This would wait until our final day though.

The 'iron' rotor base would need some love and work to bring it back to shape

Brian fits in the remaining LEDs

Paul also fixed a couple of the transistor panels back in place with hot glue when the screw looked a bit stripped if not the original screws themselves.

Gluing a panel back on with silicon

Team TARDIS at work

Black toggle switches on the Star Panel now fully wired up for sounds and lights

Scanner lights

TARDIs in flux

Paul's custom Metal plate fixes in trickier lights

Brian also replaced the missing radial dial turn knob which helped a lot!

radial dial knob replaced

Most important on our save list was the sound issue. After spending a couple of days mulling over back up options, Paul decided to try his luck with the Ride Tones people. His people's skills served him well here as he did NOT take no for an answer and finally got through to Irma Joeveer, the head of Customer Service Department. He explained the situation and realizing the importance of the cause, Irma gladly agreed to help reformat the sound for us to use on a new drive, of which we had a couple of spares thank goodness. So we sat down and took the time to re-select our sounds making a few minor corrections from the first time around to keep it TARDIS and TVM centric. We made our choices and sent them off to Irma who promised a speedy turnaround. Crisis averted!

Meanwhile brian printed a list of the new sounds so he knew where each would now go on the switches which were still wired and ready to go.

Revised sounds list

Ride Tones drive - to be replaced!

Mounted relay box

Some tricky areas we ran into was mounting the internal fans to keep the console cool. After adding a lot of wires and relays for the remote the main spot we had left to add one of the fans was slightly blocked by the wood of one of the electronics hang-down flaps. So... we cut a section out of it to make the fan fit! We hated to cut into the original but it had to be done to serve the long term future of the prop. Besides no one would ever see this on the outside.

Making room for an internal fan

Mounted fan

Meanwhile we painted up some of the PVC tubes in the back so the top of the rotor would blend in when the flashlights were placed up there.

Painting taller PVC 'hods' for the flashlights so they'll blend on the top

Once all the LEDS wer ein place it came time for a FULL lights testing! The brightness was greatly increased and everything was looking pretty darned good.

Testing the lights!!!!

Then we re-tested the sounds with one of Brian's Herbie the Love Bug drives which was mighty odd having the TARDIS making Herbie noises but at least these switches worked.

Testing lights and sounds

When replacing the white toggle switch panel the new PVS 'hoods' made it slightly too big so more wood hand to be sanded down form the original in order to make it fit now. Again, hard call but very necessary.

Brian files down the wood slightly to fit in the slightly larger light panel

Then Brian continued work wiring up the fans and wires for the Rotor into the console.

Securing connections

Next came mounting the three main fans n the grating underside. But we ran into an issue when we found the grating that needed the fans had a functioning vent on the other side.


Another hard call, but we decided to permanently remove this vent piece. It was only in the way and the Console NEEDED to have proper ventilation with the fans so away it went.

Removing vent

After this it was a fairly simple task to fit the fans and secure them down with brackets and hot glue.

fitting fans

Extra bits of the TARDIS we'll be offering to fans at the con

Once this was done and Paul had secured all the connections on the underside of the Screen and Brake panels, it was finally time to put the first section of TARDIS under flooring back in!

Putting the first under floor panel back in place

folding up the wiring panel to put the flooring back in

Another little task to finish - hot gluing and screwing the telephone plug-in switches back into place as these had been loose before.

Hot gluing & screwing the telephone operator plug-ins back down to secure them

re-securing the panel

Doctor Who The Garage of Props

Center grated light on the Resistor Panel- with new hood and LED light and replaced reflector

Relay wires all numbers should something go wrong for easy troubleshooting

Then came some of the more laborious and tedious tasks. First was mounting the remaining fans.

Mounting the next fan

When going to mount this new section of fans into the base console itself we discovered that while the outer portions were wood... the inside hollow column it was all connected to was in fact a hard plastic resin! That came as a surprise but it was still easy to mount to.

The center core is actually plastic resin, not wood.

After this came the task of mounting the speaker for the sounds and the two lower base 'spill' lights Brian wired up.

Mounting the Speaker

These tasks were challenging because it often meant brian having to lay at odd angles holding lights or speakers in position while Paul would secure them with a screwdriver or power drill from above.

Brian not having fun holding screws and brackets in place while Paul tightens them in from above

Final fans and relays mounted

The hardest thing to mount was the center support disc for the rotor. It was a giant pain to align all of the screws, have them held in place from below and secured in by wingnuts from above ... all aligning exactly right. A lot of strained muscles, curse words and scratched arms resulted but the job finally got done.

Mounting the particleboard support disc - challenging!

Now we were ready for some rotor action. So Brian got the wriring ready with the base LED blue lights.

Brian connects the wires for the underside rotor lights

We then carefully placed the Rotor back in place, but noted it was a bit of a leaning tower of piza.... which was something we'd planned to straighten out on the next meet up.

Rotor on- though slightly crooked- something to correct for the final meet.

Then the rotor lights were permanently fixed on with some silicon.

Premounting the lights for the rotor with silicon

Testing mounted rotor lights

Then we opened up and added all the small mini $ flashlights into place for the top (pre turned on of course!). Again- We made a note to load up on AAA batteries and pick up another 7 flashlights for the top.

Mounting Flashlights for top of the rotor

$1 flashlights to be placed in the top.

And I have to say the result was pretty striking!

Looking smashing in the dark!

The new base lihts looked especially cool with the shadow pattern they create don the floor. It really brought the console to life.

Blue base light

In normal mode, the base light remains blue but in brake mode it turns red and stays there til released!

Red Brake Base light - only when the brake is activated!

We gave it another full light test in standard and cascade mode and it was looking pretty spectacular!

Brian Pilots the TARDIS

LED Lights in full glory

Still nicely bright in room light

Another day accomplished- we wer enow close to finishing up!

TARDIS Team tired but happy with an accomplished day of work done!



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! Putting the bottom 'floors' back in, replacing missing switches, mounting power strips, cleaning/painting the cosmetics and locking down the rotor in the final Part VI!

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, mounting brackets, and even some of the actual console wood that once lit/housed this prop that have now been replaced with LED lights! Limited quantity and these will go fast so FYI!

Tags: tardis

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded