80’s Tardis

1980’s Tardis Interior

The task I assigned myself the weekend of attending the Bradford Science Festival was to build an 80’s Tardis interior from the days of the 5th Doctor Who Peter Davison and Colin Baker.  

Building the Tardis

This build will mainly be done using 5 mm insulation board but instead of using 10 mm board to mount it on, I am using sheets of cardboard instead  to show people that they can use basic materials found around the home, than having to purchase foam board.

Using a compass to mark the Round Things on two of the foam boards, using a fine point scalpel to cut each circle out.  I took my rotary tool to carefully sand out the bevels and tidy up the edges.  I used an engraver to soften the edges around each hole.

The third wall  3″x 3.5″  rectangle was cut for the monitor, and pairs of cardboard strips where placed either side of the screen.

Each piece of foam where then glued to a piece of cardboard, strips of foam board were cut and shaped into the edges of each of the walls. An A3 piece of 5mm foam board is being used as the base for this diorama. 

Starting to Paint the Interior

With the pieces in place it is now time to paint this build.  Mixing up a light blue/grey and spread it over the entire diorama using a sponge.


Once the this had dried, I used my airbrush to apply the second coat of paint.

Unfortunately the second coat did not dry in time before the close of the festival, I will be finishing this build of over the course of this week.


I was not happy with the shade of grey the last paint job finished at, mixing up a very light shade of grey I repainted the entire model again.

When that had dried and much happier to how it was, I mixed up a light shade of yellow and using my airbrush I painted all of the round things.


I may end up by going over these again using a paint brush and thicker paint.  Using my airbrush and watering the paint down, it has had a bit of a reaction with the cardboard back.  As you can see, you can start to see the corrugated cardboard which is in between the cardboard.  Still when you stand it together with a console and a figure is starting to look like a 80’s Tardis.


For the central console I used 5 mm foam board that you can buy from any art shop, using the a template that I had printed from AFT Downloads 1980’s Tardis interiors.  I cut each upper and lower panel, top and bottom hexagonal panels, a larger hexagonal piece to sit at the core of the console.  Each console panel had their inside corners cut to an angle, making each piece corners fit together and glued together.  With the lower half made, this was glued onto the larger hexagonal piece and sanded down.

I repeated the same process for the top of the console, but before I glued it to the rest of the base.  I marked out each console and monitor that the 1980’s style console had.  When I was researching pictures of this console, I had noticed with this particular console, all the monitors, keyboards, switches were sunk into the console unlike previous versions.  


To achieve this look, I took my exacto knife and carefully sliced each piece, scoring the top, then cutting the sides and base.  With this done, I pushed each part through then using hot glue, I glued the bottom of each sunken panel to the inside.   This section was then glued to the lower part, sanded down to remove any imperfections before moving on.  I cut made the two monitors with card, folding them round to make monitors and then gluing them on to the main console.  I cut a second hexagonal piece, cut a circle out of the middle and then sanded down the sides to fit the central column onto.  


With this done, it was time to make the stand the console sat on, cutting six pieces of black foam, trimming and sanding each of the inner sides.  These were then glued to the bottom hexagonal piece.


I applied the first coat of paint which when it dried, I found it was too dark to which the second coat I made was a lighter grey and when dried it looked how I wanted it to.   With the embedded consoles, I painted each one a dark grey, monitors a combination of black, yellow and blue.  Due to the size of the center console I painted on each button and slider with a combination of red, blue, yellow, silver, gold and white.

For the consoles stand and rim I decided to use the decals from AFT Downloads  80’s Tardis, since I had made it to the same scale as their’s and didn’t want to make it any thicker than what it is by adding a layer of card or foam board.    The control column is made from a clear toothpick container and decal from the AFT Downloads


With the console finished I went back to the round things and using my airbrush, went over the insides with a light yellow to soften the already well rings.


Finishing Touches

I had been looking at the “round things” and the yellow wasn’t working for me.  I decided to grey them out, then applied a lemon yellow to them, when that had dried a white coat was then added.  To  keep the center console in place, I cut down a toilet roll and glued it onto the floor to which the console will sit over.

I trimmed the base to size that fits the shape of the walls, three borders were cut and stuck to edges to hold the walls in place because I have made this diorama to collapse and painted the edges black.  I used a decal for the monitor which now completes my latest diorama.


Final Pictures


July 2018

Bradford Science Festival Weekend


Friday set up

Having arrived at the Science Museum earlier today, I was taken to the room where I would holding my workshops for the next couple of days.




After I finished setting up, I went for a wonder around the museum and look what I came across.

1st Day

It’s been a fantastic first day at the Science Festival, met loads of lovely people who were very interested in my work. Before the event started I was able to explore parts that I had missed the day before and came across Davros and his Dalek horde.



By mid morning I was half way through my 80’s Tardis build, I had hoped by the lunchtime I would be able to start painting it.  Unfortunately that had not happened, the build had taken longer than I had hoped.

2nd Day

The 2nd and final day of the Bradford Science Festival. It went so fast but enjoyed every moment of it, even down to getting my arm painted!

My Tardis diorama, I was able to finish the build and complete the base coats of the walls and floor. Unfortunately by the time the paint had dried, the festival was coming to close at the museum. I will be finishing it off in my own time next week.

You can follow the rest of this diorama completion by clicking this link


Thank you to all staff, I’ve had a wonderful time and everyone was very friendly and helpful.


I have dedicated my Dalek Lair diorama to the museum as apart of the Doctor Who theme of the festival.  I have been told it is going to used in the animation activities for schools.

The 1st Doctors Tardis interior

The 1st Doctors Tardis interior

With the science festival now days away, I wanted to mock a simple Dr Who diorama which I will be doing workshops based on.   The images where courtesy  of AFT Downloads, their diorama decals are free to download and print out.

I printed out the 1st Doctor’s Tardis interior, stuck the walls onto A4 card, stuck two pieces of card together for the floor.  Cut out the monitor, light box and Tardis console.  Folded them to make their shapes and here are the results, I have added a contact lens container and placed it upside down on top of the console as an added extra.  








As you can see a quick and easy Dr Who diorama but I recommend using a laser printer or you will go through a lot of ink.

I tweaked the back wall a bit because I was not happy with it.  I took a second print out of the wall, cut out supports, cutting out strips of 5 mm foam board.  The foam board was stuck onto the was and the cut out supports were the stuck onto the foam board.  The monitor was glued into place on the wall, another light box was cut out and fitted to the other side of the wall.

The Cybermen

The Cybermen

After the completion of my last diorama The Lair of the Daleks, I wanted to do another Dr Who based diorama.  For this piece I wanted to re-create the scene in “The Age of Steel”, where the Cyber Controller (Lumic) makes his first appearance as the Cyber Controller.

This is going to be a simple two piece diorama, consisting of a back wall, an alcove and floor.  Where the main focus will be on the Cyber Controller in his chair.

Two lengths of 10 mm insulation board were cut, one to be used as the back while the other would be the first layer of the base.  A piece of 6 mm foam board card was cut and glued to the 10 mm foam board base.  A semicircle was cut out of the 10 mm base like in the episode.

In the back wall a rear door was cut and four strips of foam board were cut and glued to the rear wall.  Using the black 6 mm foam board, a black ‘C’ was carved, a small semicircle, a long thin rectangle and a couple smaller rectangles were cut and glued onto the back wall as light fittings, door hinges and as a logo.

Instead of creating the back entrance corridor where Lumic makes his debut entrance as the Cyber Controller, I turned it into a alcove to represent this.  Four small pipes where added to roof of the alcove as well.

With this being a quick little build I wanted to add a couple of LEDs to the back wall as the same as the episode.

With build work completed, it is time to start painting this diorama.  An acrylic mix of black/white/Burnt Umber, watered down with water was sponged across the entire set.  When this dried, another coat was applied.


Once this had dried, a coat of silver was applied to the ‘C’, the door lock, the floor of the alcove and the four pipes within.  I took my airbrush with a yellow/brown mix and weathered the entire piece.


Taking a piece of bolsa wood, I shaped it into what I wanted, sanded it down then painted light grey.  Dry brushed it with silver and a little black, cut a couple slots on the base for it to slot into.

With the hand rail in place, this piece is now completed.

Final Pictures



Bradford Science Festival 2018

Bradford Science Festival 2018

I have been asked to exhibit my work and hold workshops on how to build diorama’s based around the theme of Dr Who, to which I am very excited about.  I have always been a fan of Dr Who since I was a small boy watching the adventures of Tom Baker’s Dr and K-9 travelling through time and space.

21 – 22 JULY, 11.00 – 17.00

Battling robots, monster hunting, Timelord tech, space travel, splashy experiments and a supersonic car… Bradford Science Festival is back!

This year’s festival will celebrate the wonder of engineering. At the National Science and Media Museum, across City Park and at The Broadway Bradford we’ll be offering activities, demos and games for all the family to get involved in—plus some amazing special guests including Richard’s Creative Workshop!

Peek inside, be inspired, get hands-on and have a go!


Click here to catch up on the weekends festivities

The Lair of the Daleks

The Lair of the Daleks

The weekend of 21st-22nd July, I have been asked to attend the Bradford Science Festival at the National Science and Media Museum https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/bradford-science-festival.  There I will be holding workshops on how to construct diorama’s based on the theme of Dr Who.

To prepare myself for the event I have decided to build a Dr Who diorama to take to the event.  With this prebuilt diorama I will be basing my workshops on how to construct this piece.

This diorama is scaled to the Dr Who’s 5.5″ figure range, which will have enough room to fill with Daleks, the Dr’s Tardis and the Dr.


I have cut a square base of 62″, cut two further pieces of foam board for back wall, standing at 15″ x 62″.  Across the back the wall I have constructed a raised platform for the Daleks roll across, I have also marked out an exit along that wall.





The left wall at present, I have cut out another entrance which I will build upon.  The idea is I will build out the wall making a walk way above and it will be a tunnel entrance.  I have marked the floor with how far I think it will come out.




 Building up the left side, creating the basic structure for the left entrance tunnel which will also ave a walkway above it.  Cutting a length of 10 mm foam board which will be the new entrance running from the side of the black walkway to the end of the floor, cutting two side panel for stability and a top piece to act as the walkway.  With the top piece I have added two notches which (when I cut the holes)  will slot into the side the wall.








I have placed two lengths in the corner to see what get an idea about placing a corner tower with a balcony, to which a Dalek can sit and over look the room.

I have placed magnetic strips to the base of each of the two walls and to the corresponding edges of the base piece, this is to make this diorama flat pack able.  I then cut three strips of 6mm foam board which I have used to create the tunnel for the left hand entrance.





Two corresponding  wholes where cut into the left wall which match up with the notches of the walkway, another piece of 6mm foam board was cut and placed onto the walkway to strengthen that section under the weight of the figures placed on it.

I cut a notch out of the walkway along the back wall for the left hand tunnel section to fit in.  The rear door way was also cut out along with two 6mm door frames for both entrances into the diorama.  Two long 10mm pieces of foam board where cut to create the central tower between each walkway, with a door cut out leading onto each level.








The Tower

With the all the main pieces cut, it was time to start developing and shaping them.  I started with the central tower, taking a compass and marking a quarter circle to the top corner.  I cut out the circles, sanding the them down and when combined together the tower now has a domed top.  Taking my carving tools I marked out paneling on either side, glued on the door frames, glued both pieces together.  A strip of magnetic tape was fixed to the edge of the tower and the another strip glued to the corresponding wall of the diorama. 





The Back Wall

The walkway which runs the length of the back wall was glued into place and the back wall had panels and a couple of Dalek style consoles etched onto it.





The Walkway

I wanted to have a couple of windows that run the length of the walkway.  I started to etch into the 10mm foam, three windows but when I had finished I was not happy with the way they looked.  I wanted the windows to standout because I will be placing images of space into them therefore to accomplish what I had in mind, I cut a piece of 6mm foam and used it to build up the three windows.




 A strip of 10mm foam board was cut into the shape of a hand rail, using a piece of sand paper I rounded the front edges.




 Finally I cut 3 pieces of 6mm foam board were cut placed on the front walkway extension to look like supports for the walk way.  Then paneling and consoles where etched into the front. 





A couple of pieces of foam pieces where stuck  together and cut into a hexagon and markings etched onto it.  It was glued onto a plinth, where a hole was cut into the  base for plinth to stand in.




Completed Build

With all the pieces built and markings etched into them the build of this diorama is completed and now ready to be painted.




Starting to paint

With the building work completed it was time to start painting this, I first gave all the walls a coat of black paint.  I have learnt from working with this type of insulation board that you can not use ordinary spray paints to cover vast areas, you need to use watered down acrylic paint or in this case a can of chalkboard spray paint.  I find this type of black spray paint, it doesn’t dissolve the foam board as a can of Humbrol acrylic spray does.  Once the walls and walkway were sprayed, I used a white spray paint to coat the floor.




Once this had dried I mixed up a very light grey acrylic diluted with water, then taking a sponge I went over all the areas I required it on.




Then taking my airbrush where I had mixed up a orange/green/silver mix, I sprayed over the recently grey painted area’s.  With the base coated completed I can now start building upon this.




After leaving it over night to dry, I placed it back together to get an idea on how that nights work looked and where to take it from there.







With the base coat dry, I began painting random wall panels using a combination of silver, gold, light and Gun Metal grey.  While they were drying I airbrushed the console, the walkway and windows with a rose gold. 





The edges around the walkway were airbrushed silver along with the frame work for the walkway, the doors and a light coat around the windows.  The front of the console was given a coat of gold and then dry brushed with black.








Taking a step back, I realised that there were areas where you could still the blue of the foam board.  I painted the back of the tower, the side of the walkway which I had left black and walls the tower covered using a combination of grey acrylic with water and applied it to the areas using a sponge.  Once that was done I gave the floor a second coat.





 Leaving those to dry, I turned my attention back to the walls and walkway, touching up the areas needed, painting the Daleks consoles, circles and monitors.  The front of the walkway I gave a second coat of silver, this time bring it round to the side, painting the newly marked out panels which I had missed.  All the doors got a second coat of silver and the windows by the walkway I have painted them black for now, with the plan of applying space imagery decals to them.








All that is left to do is paint the back of the walls black, apply the decals and weather this diorama.





I was looking at this diorama and something just didn’t look right about it.  It was the floor, to me it did not match flat against the everything.  After watching a LOT of Doctor Who recently to get inspiration for this project, you will notice (especially with the recent series’s)  that everything is metallic and shiny.  With that in mind I decided to not to weather this build except for the air vents, then using my  airbrush I gave the floor a coat of rose gold to bring it in line with the rest of the structure.





At first I was uncertain of it until the paint dried and Daleks where placed within.  You will see further down with what I mean!

While the floor was drying I then set to painting the backs of both the walls, with this being a single sided diorama, the backs of the walls were painted with a watered down solution of black acrylic paint.  This stops the blue foam bleed through when light is been shown from the back.  To help applying the paint I used a sponge to spread the paint evenly across the surfaces.






With the painting now completed I can now start adding accessories within to set the scene.  I have a broken Dalek figure which I am going to customise to make it look like Dalek Caan from the episode “Journey’s End”

You will see from the pictures below the updated floor and the Dalek in question I will be using.




Customizing a Dalek

As I stated above I want to customize a broken Dalek into Dalek Caan from “Journey’s End” episode.

Using my rotary took to cut the Daleks helmet off. I then cut the middle out of the grill section and glued the grill section back on top of the Dalek. Using the rotary tool to slice the removable front section in half, sanded it down and glued the sections to the front of the body as they do in the TV series.








Using hot glue and a toothpick to make the tendrils surrounding the Dalek’s mutant form. I used the toothpick to manipulate the hot glue around the body.

The pedestal Caan sits on is made from insulation foam board. With four extra parts cut to stand at each corner and made to look like vents. Painted with a dark metallic gold paint.





A bronze chain purchased from GreenStuff world was used to wrap over Caan and glued into place at each corner of the pedestal. Cables were with then fitted into the Dalek head, running down its body and fitted into the four vent posts.

The finished piece

With my custom Dalek Caan finished, the decals of outer space placed in the windows and the decals in the two small monitors, I think this diorama is now complete and ready for next weekends Bradford Science Festival.








Final Pictures





I have dedicated my Dalek Lair diorama to the museum as apart of the Doctor Who theme of the festival. I have been told it is going to used in the animation activities for schools, I’m very excited to hear this.