An Adventure in just about Time and not enough Space – Episode Six

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48 hours till deadline
Two days before the whole thing is supposed to be in studio for filming some photos are finally e-mailed of the parts supplied by the contact at Rolls Royce.

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Time for Plan C then.
Out with the hole cutter again and it need to be set to it’s maximum size because a few bits as possible can go on this panel as they’re now need to fill up space on Panel 6 as the phone idea has been dropped. I’ve asked the producer to have some Gallifrey style concentric circles printed up onto acetate for the navigation panel, but given that there’s little chance he’ll complete the request and certainly not get it to me soon enough, while I’m using the hole cutter I wonder if I can abuse it to do some engraving onto Perspex for me..? Takes two attempts and buckets of sweat as I get closer to doing the final circle in anticipation of causing it to crack but I get there eventually.

So we’ve got a McGann shelf, a Hartnell panel, a Smith panel, a Baker-T-ish panel and a Recall Indicator ala Davison. If I add some broken line detailing to my door control box it’s reminiscent of his era too. I guess I can cheat it and say the scanner animation I’ve done in After Effects is an Eccleston\Tennant nod and every flick switch is a tip of the hat to Pertwee so everything except the later Eighties console is represented in some small way, which is slightly fitting given the purpose of the film.

The weather hasn’t really improved and there’s been near constant rain so another slight problem is that I’m not really sure where all this is going to go to sit while it dries, certainly not outdoors on the lawn. In the end nobody gets a shower or come and go by the front door for the next two days as the bathroom floor and hallway are covered with bits of wood being painted and drying. At least there’s still the garden hut where the spray painting of the controls can all be done.

An Adventure in just about Time and not enough Space – Episode Five

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5 Days till deadline

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Going round the console I tackle a panel to make any additional bits required beyond those which were purchased. A wooden ball from the Art Store painted red will be the top of the door control with some dowel (left over from my Invasion Cyberman arm and leg rod build) for lever. By reusing the wooden circles cut out for the controls I can make a box for the lever too.

For the second panel I only have to trim some frosted plastic to shape and size to sit over the lights I plan to put in the centre to diffuse them. On the third, I have some pipe brass fittings to make a heavy-duty lever which can be masterfully thrown in the style of Peter Capaldi during his 50th anniversary cameo and the fourth panel is going to have those Rolls Royce parts if they ever turn up or the 11b console homage as mentioned.

For the fifth panel, my Hartnell Power side, I use the hole cutter on the styrene sheet to cut the circles to surround the half ping-pong balls. This goes quite well except that every second or third the blades seem to bite into the material at the end leaving a little “v” chunk out of the inner and outer circumference. Can’t really figure out why it happens to prevent it regardless of how many I cut. Again I can use previously cut wooden circles to make lever boxes. The original filming version had some decent knobs which I think were the caps from some sort of plastic water barrel and one of them looks not too far off the original dematerialization lever with some small wooden balls again for the Booster lever caps.

The sixth panel remains stubbornly empty both on the promise of those Rolls Royce parts freeing up the proposed switches and things from Panel 4(A) and the possibility that a telephone will need to be mounted on the console for one of the scenes.  I’m told that “a big switch-y thing” has been provided by them with other parts coming on Wednesday.  You know, “48 hours till deadline Wednesday” and that’s not even saying I’ll have them in hand.  Still all those unique machined aluminium parts are going to be worth the headaches, right..?

An Adventure in just about Time and not enough Space – Episode Four

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6 Days till deadline
With five days left to go the wood is returned cut into trapezoids I begin to cut out the holes in the panels for the various controls.

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It’s painfully slow going with my domestic cordless drill which is little more than a glorified electric screwdriver and the battery charge is lasting about 30 minutes for every five hours of charging. Once again I prevail on family to borrow a heavier duty drill (with multiple battery packs, praise Harry) enabling me to power through them (as well as accidentally cutting an extra hole by mistake) and let my other half begin painting them.

My preference here is to use a light grey, but the pedestal is already white and although I anticipate that it would cause less flare from the overhead studio lights, what do I know, I’m not the film and TV production graduate.

As well as the control surfaces the McGann shelves and the facing for them have also been cut to size and shape. There’s not much to do to these other than cut a hole in the centre of each facing strip where a Seal of Rassilon decal will sit, so I zoom through those too and leave them to be painted.

An Adventure in just about Time and not enough Space – Episode Three

I’ve attached the diagram I drew up on 22nd February from the pictures we’d taken during the first filming session, showing the layout and where parts were in relation to each other.  Hopefully this’ll make it easier to follow the changes I’m proposing to make.

Panel original

(The objects on it aren’t to scale although the panel sizes are, so you could print it, cut it out and pose your figures next to it if you like! I suggest a Smartie tube for the base…)

I’ve also dug out my e-mail from the same day outlining the changes I was proposing to make:

“Just generally where you previously had that red prismatic tape on a couple of the panels, I was going to cut out and put coloured LED strips below.

Similarly, where you had the clear plastic caps (like on panels 3 and 5) I was going to swap them out for half ping pong balls, with lights underneath like the Hartnell console.

I’ve got clips for the top of each panel to clip the Sonics into.

Finally those silver port hole things I was going to keep in place at the top of panel 1 and 6 but again, stick some light disk underneath.

More specifically:
Panel 1, my only changes were to add a big round red door control lever and some chicken head switches.

For Panel 2 I was going to cut some Perspex to create a Gallifrey recall indicator and place that over the existing push light you have there for illumination.

As mention on Panel 3 I was going to replace the tape with LEDs. Rather have two of those in parallel though I have a panel of six toggle switches from a Lancaster Bomber. This is also the panel I was intending to build a chunky Capaldi-cameo lever with a little bit of an homage to the railing from the Tennant console room thrown in.

Panel 4, I had nothing particularly in mind, but again I have a bomb control console from the Lancaster which has twelve or so toggle switches.

Panel 5, obviously has the six ball lights. I was going to make a set of five red and yellow ball levers, the larger power booster control and stick a couple of the dials to essentially recreate the look of the original console panel you were going for with your own layout.

Panel six, I liked pretty much the way it was and hadn’t planned to change other than the lights in the port holes and the strip of LEDs. For a kick off it looks a bit like a mouth and eyes so maybe other than a row of toggle switches where the gold tape I wasn’t doing much.

Which leaves ten or so rocker switches and a bunch of chicken head knobs out of the parts I had which could be dotted about to fill space. All these bit’s I’m talking about are already in hand so it’s not like there’s any additional cost outlay by the way.

So having said all that, because of the rain today I haven’t done any work on the panels themselves, other than cutting the to size, although not to shape, so whatever you’d prefer it’s not like I’ve started drilling any holes in anything yet!

Ideally the hexagon would be of a larger size because if we cut some more wood to make a “table top” the trick is going to be attaching it to what’s there already. The McGann console only had the wire sockets and the adding machine keypad on that section in terms of additional controls as I recall so it wouldn’t be like we then need to fill up that space. Also those extension panels would require a bit of support and I have this really cool new hole cutter that I’m itching to try out that could replicate the braces under the panels from the TV Movie. Since we don’t have any wall roundels it’d be a neat little homage.”

aits

9 Days till deadline
I’m slightly concerned that I have panels four and six with not much on them.

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I’m hesitant to commit to cutting or drilling into anything yet because the production has apparently been promised some parts from a contact within the local Rolls Royce factory. Visions of CNC machined metal fittings, like the control levers on the Millennium Falcon, dance through my head, but seriously they’re cutting it a bit fine.

My Plan B was to use the keys from the Burroughs machine, but it’s a bit of history (and still in working condition in fact) and I have reservations about hacking it to bits for this purpose.

I note that there’s not a lot of light at that side of the console and the panel will sit front of camera to the left fairly visible during the whole shoot, so I need something impressive, with lights inside. And you know… it’s also adjacent to my Hartnell original console homage panel…
What about something from the latest console? What about the big circular navigation thingy as a Plan… uhh… “B2″? “C”..?