And now, Scary-Crayon presents...
Genesis of the Homemade Daleks (Part 1)
by: Wes

Davros, creator of the Daleks.Created in the laboratory of the mad Kaled scientist, Davros, the Daleks were designed to destroy all sentient opposition and become the supreme beings of the universe. The weaknesses that plague most intelligent species -- uncertainty, pain, compassion, pity -- were genetically bred out of their constitution, leaving them little more than bubbling lumps of hate in stylish robotic shells. They swept forth from their home planet of Skaro, mastering the nuances of war and the complexities of time travel and destroying innumerable lives and manifold civilizations across countless ages and infinite galaxies in their single-minded mission to eliminate all other species for their inevitable failure to correspond to the Dalek ideal. They do not view themselves as murderers: to their superior alien minds, the only form of life that matters is Dalek life. No, Doctor, the Daleks are not murderers. This is not murder. It is... extermination.

Given that chilling introduction, you may be intrigued. Daleks do indeed seem quite menacing, but also extremely awesome -- especially given their less-than-fearsome appearances. If you like toys, you may find yourself desiring a tiny Dalek figure to add to your collection. And when you log onto eBay and various other science fiction collectible sites in the hopes of ordering one online, you may cringe in terror when you discover that all but the very cheapest Dalek figurines will cost you upwards of $40 to own -- pretty steep for a single toy. Some Dalek prices reach into the triple-digits. And if you're looking to have a small Dalek army? Forget about it.

The Daleks!You will be exterminated.

So admittedly, this project grew out of my desire to make little Daleks without paying a fortune for them. In the course of my various web searches, I've come across a number of ways you might go about creating an action figure-scale Dalek -- one of which will be presented in part two -- but this is probably the least involved and most fun of the methods we'll explore. There are some fairly involved methods that allow you to come up with really professional-looking Daleks by modifying the full-size plans (oddly enough, there are far more sites devoted to the construction of full-size Daleks than their miniature counterparts) and/or doing lots of painting and whatnot (see here, here, and here), but these are expensive and time consuming. Maybe I'm just lazy and cheap, but unless you're really interested in tackling a hardware project along these lines, I dare say you'd be better off buying a Dalek instead. (And if you go that route, you may want to consider purchasing one of these handmade Daleks -- they're unique and fairly cool-looking, even if they lack the remote control and speech functionality of their official counterparts. You can request your own color schemes!) There are also methods that allow you to come up with even cheaper Daleks than the one detailed here, some of which I have admittedly borrowed from in devising this project. So before undertaking a given project -- assuming you're even interested in making tiny Daleks! -- I advise you to look over them to determine just which one you want to try. Or you may want to try an amalgam of them! I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with. :)

Cheap Dalek-making materials!

That said, let's get on with this crafts project. Looking at the materials above, you'll notice that most if not all of them are either already lying around your house and/or can be purchased on the cheap at your local discount stores. The golf tees, which I took from the Dalek-making project found here, were $1 for a 50-pack at Dollar Tree. During that same trip, I was also able to snag a six-pack of electrical tape (three rolls of black, three rolls of red; the color you use will directly and appropriately affect the color of your Dalek), the tube of adhesive glue (works on metal -- this is important), the barely-visible package of colored foam sheets, and a 40-piece container of nuts and bolts for the same singular price. I already had the duct tape, scissors, and chenille stems (pipe cleaners) on hand, but you can find those at dollar stores as well.

The badminton shuttlecocks/birdies, however, were a bit pricer, costing $1.50 for six at Five Below. You may even have to pay upwards of $2 and $3 for the brass fasteners and/or thumbtacks, depending upon whether you can find them at a dollar store or have to venture to an office supply shop. A hole puncher (not pictured) may also be needed. Fortunately, that's about as expensive as these materials get, and the bulk nature of the supplies means that you can make several Daleks with the materials needed for a single project. Heaven forbid you're a parent with one or more kids (why ever would you be reading this site?!), but this would probably be a fun way to entertain your little monster(s) for a spell. Also, as noted throughout the project, various materials can be substituted at various points -- so it's important that you read the whole way through before starting on a given course of action. You may want to use one of my other suggestions instead, or you may have one of your own that's way cooler than anything seen here. At Scary-Crayon, we encourage creativity. :)

All you need to make a Dalek eyestalk.EYE CAN SEE YOU!!!

My step one entails the creation of the Dalek eyestalk, mostly because it involves gluing. If you do this first, the glue will be pretty dry by the time you get around to placing the eyestalk on the otherwise completed Dalek at the end. Here, you'll need a thumbtack -- just one! -- a bolt (or screw) with a nut screwed around it, and a foam sheet (choose whichever color you want the Dalek's "eye" to be). And the glue, and maybe a hole puncher.

First, cut out a small foam circle, slightly smaller than the size of the bolt's head, to use as the Dalek's eye. If you have a hole puncher, you can also use it to punch a hole in the corner of the foam and use that instead. You'll have to remember to empty the thing beforehand, and it may take a bit of work to get the foam piece out -- so if you're doing this with kids, make sure you're around to assist them! You can also try cutting a larger circle from the foam and using that instead of the nut on the bolt eyestalk, but I think the nut has a certain charm. :)

Assuming you agree, the bolt with the nut around it is going to be your Dalek's eyestalk. The thumbtack is going to be how you attach it, though you could also ostensibly glue it directly to the Dalek's face. That'll be more difficult, though, so I recommend simply glueing the bolt to the head of the thumbtack as pictured above. If you're using a screw, you can skip this part and simply screw it into the Dalek's face when the time comes -- especially seeing as how glueing a pointy screw to the head of a thumbtack would be pretty much impossible. After you've done this, glue the smaller circle to the head of the bolt. And despite my rambling instructions, that's pretty much all you need to do here! Set the eyestalk aside to dry.

Awww!Armed for extermination.

Now, it's on to the body. Take a shuttlecock and two golf tees and try them on for size. Depending upon how cutesy you want your Dalek to be, you may only want to use one straight across -- see the first image above -- but a more involved Dalek will need one for the plunger arm and one for the gun, each facing opposite ways as necessary. Note that I've also used a piece of duct tape to help secure the skewers and keep them from sliding too low. Well, it also serves that function. I'd actually used it because I'd cut out several pieces from the shuttlecock in an effort to make the shape of the body somewhat more angular and Dalek-like, but seeing as how this is pretty much futile I don't recommend wasting your time with it. It's a 3" Dalek made from a shuttlecock; slight design changes are to be expected. :) You may also want to wrap the ends of the tees with tape, as this will provide for a better fit with the grooves in the shuttlecock skeleton. And finally, placing a dollop of glue on the internal point at which the tees touch will further help to secure them in place.

A shuttlecock covered in tape.Love me -- I have Dalek bumps!

And then, avoiding the golf tee arms, you just cover the thing in black or red (or whatever other colors they make, if you can find them) electrical tape. Entirely. That's the essence of what this Dalek is, folks: a shuttlecock covered in electrical tape. Fun. Following that step, you take your brass fasteners or thumbtacks and add the Dalek bumps, which, at least in the former case, is by far the most tedious and irritating part of making tiny Daleks. In fact, it's so irritating that you might have better luck buying a piece of gold foil paper, breaking out the hole puncher again, punching enough holes to cover your Dalek, and gluing them on afterwards. If you choose to use the brass fasteners, however, you're going to have to poke a whole hell of a lot of holes in the Dalek (which is easier said than done), force the brass fastener ends through the holes (which is easier said than done), and then reach inside and open them up like so to make sure that they stay anchored in place (which, again, is easier said than done, but this part isn't terribly frustrating). Don't see the problem? A REGULAR, FULL-SIZED DALEK HAS 56 OF THESE FREAKING BUMPS. Luckily, you probably won't be able to fit that many on your shuttlecock -- mine's only got 24 -- but even that small number was sufficient for a heaping helping of frustration. Thumbtacks go in easier and don't require any additional securing, though you may be able to fit even less of them on your Dalek. Considering the tediousness of this step, that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're making Daleks with children, this is probably the point at which they'll start crying.

Almost done!EXTERMINATE!!!

Assuming you make it past the previous step, you're almost done! First, if you want to dress up your Dalek's midsection and neck, break out those pipe cleaners and go wild with any colors you want. Pipe cleaners do admittedly give the thing something of a cheap Christmas ornament feel, though, so you're welcome to use anything else you can find, from copper wire to aluminum foil to more tape to your own drawn-on pattern. Gluing paperclips around the torso in lieu of the traditional slats would probably make for an interesting look. :) And then, as the final step before you add the eyestalk (remember that?), add the dome lights. Now, admittedly my way is kind of unsatisfying, and there are likely better ways of going about this, but I cut the ends from a brass fastener with a particularly tarnished head, taped them to the Dalek's head with duct tape, and then covered them with electrical tape again. You could also do this way back during the initial tape-covering stage, but I didn't even think about it until this point. At any rate, instead of these, you might want to try map pins, googly eyes (again, as used here; I don't particularly like the googly eye look so I'd probably try painting them with white out or something), or something else. As seen below, I even used push pins for one of my Daleks. If you happen to have any on hand, certain Lego pieces would also work great for this part. Once you're done, just stick the pointy end of the eyestalk into your Dalek's face and voila -- he's ready and primed for EXTERMINATION!

TV DaleksBootleg shuttlecock Daleks

Okay, so your finished product won't look exactly like a TV Dalek from "Doctor Who". It'll look a little more like certain iterations of the comic book Daleks -- especially depending upon how you arrange the Dalek bumps -- but even then, your Dalek will likely have a little bootleg charm all its own. Your Dalek will be unique. And it should be, because you made it! Pat yourself on the back and be proud, for you have now joined the ranks of such geniuses like Davros and Frankenstein and created your own little bundle of terror to subjugate the galaxy and/or drown darling little girls! Ah, but why stop there? Remember, there are other ways of making Daleks -- some of which may be even better, depending upon your goals! Join us next time (edit: RIGHT NOW!), then, as we continue our adventures in Dalek-making with Genesis of the Homemade Daleks: Part 2!!!

Return to the main page!
Copyright © 2003-2024 Scary-Crayon. All rights reserved.