Friday, 29 August 2014

New 3.75" Doctor Who Figures Revealed

New production images of upcoming 3.75" figures have been released on Twitter.

Among them are:
The Twelfth Doctor
Two new variants of Amy Pond
Supreme Dalek from Day of the Daleks
Drone and Mutant Scoop Daleks from Power of the Daleks
Dalek Alpha and a gold and silver Dalek from Children of the Revolution
New Series Daleks in classic silver and blue livery and black and silver Supreme livery, strangely entitled Dalek Invasion of Earth

The latter set isn't based on anything televised or in any expanded universe. What makes it even stranger is the fact it has been dubbed Dalek Invasion of Earth. Regardless, they do look very nice and are definitely tempting, especially to someone like me who had no interest in this new line.

Prototype Mutant Scoop Dalek (Mutant will be painted green)

Also within the images are a better glimpse at the classic series remote control K9.

More news as it comes.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Big Chief Studios TARDIS - second teaser

A better look at Big Chief's 1:6 scale TARDIS. It's definitely a new series model, and it's looking lovely!

More info as it comes!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka - Review

Billy and I review something of an anomaly this week, Doctor Who's first fully animated adventure! Celebrating the 40th Anniversary, this story has become the glimpse of a possible future that was never meant to be... But is it actually any good?

NEXT TIME: We answer your questions about Doctor Who!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Big Chief teases a Good Man

In preparation for Peter Capaldi's debut episode as the twelfth Doctor this Saturday, Big Chief have revealed a 1:6 scale twelfth Doctor in post-regeneration outfit.

More info as it comes.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

To Fix a TARDIS - Part Two

Compromise. That's what I've learned from embarking on this project: you must learn to compromise. If you look back to first part of this blog detailing the reconstruction of this TARDIS, you will see that I was full of ideas. Oh how I dreamed of accuracy! Of a 'Pull to Open' door that was fully working and featured a phone! Of windows and frames that were set on the inside rather than the outside, so we could actually have an accurate dip! Glass sign boxes that would illuminate and look wonderful at night! Well none of that is happening.

Piecing it back together again

The first issue we had to tackle was getting the TARDIS back up right, straight and solid. This was done with relative ease. A temporary frame was constructed to hold it all together and then later thick timber and large blocks were added to fix it all in place. The doors were reattached, along with the lock, and it was already beginning to look more like a TARDIS again. 

The 'Police Public Call Box' signs along the top of the roof were buggered. Well two of them were, the other two were okay. The sign above the door needed to be totally removed, unscrewed and reattached. The one left of that was hanging off one end and sagging at the other due to rotten wood. Oh, and there was a massive black spider living in it... In fact we've seen many spiders making their home out of the TARDIS and a lot of them great big buggers too. 

It became clear that trying to cut out the fibreglass to fit acrylic sheets in was a no-no. It was just too much messing around. You'd need to remake the entire housing for it to work, and we didn't want to mess around with that. The original lettering was peeling off, so we had new ones made by a sign manufacturers about five minutes up the road. The base has been painted with black gloss so that it'll look glass-like. The font's not quite the same as what it was, but it's near enough. Along with that a new door sin was made as was a St John Ambulance sign (provided by the helpful folk on the TARDIS Builders forum). These elements will be applied once the TARDIS is painted (Oxford Blue, if you're wondering!). 

We also scrapped the idea of having a working 'Pull to Open' door, simply because of the way the doors were moulded. I don't think our two guys working on it were keen to try and mess around with that, so unfortunately this will remain a facsimile. A new frame for that part has been made, and will be painted and attached at the end. 


The most annoying process has been the windows. New frames were made, dad sanded them down and painted them white, that was fine. Dad even used his newly found internet skills to find a website that would cut acrylic sheets to size. In order to achieve both a frosted and 'pebbled' effect on the acrylic, we bought rolls of plastic sheets that you cut to size and then apply to your acrylic. This was a complete pain in the arse. The bloody stuff doesn't really like sticking. It's not done with adhesive it's achieved by using moisture, which sadly doesn't like to cling on very well. Never the less, we coated one side of each of the eight acrylic sheets in the frosted stuff and then we cut the pebbled sheet into small rectangles that would be place in the bottom corners. Sadly, we couldn't find the exact pebbled effect so we had to compromise. Yes, there's that word again. However, the 'glass' now has a more accurate smooth and pebbled finish that it never used to. So thumbs up for that! 

The next issue was 'how do we fix the frames and the glass?', and the answer has not been a simple one. Originally the windows just 'sat' in the space, glued on to a lip of fibreglass that meant it sat on the outside. In reality the window frames sit on the inside so that you have a dip. As this was my chance to try and make it accurate, I wanted to try for the latter. A variety of options were presented to see how this could be achieved, but at the end of the day neither way would have looked right. It would have looked weird and ugly and I didn't really want that. So this was the next compromise. Now the windows are back on the outside, but this time they're bolted in and fixed with sealant. No wind is blowing them out. Ever.   

Illuminating... A test for fitting interior lights...

The Fibreglass of Doom

I officially loathe fibreglass. This is the final stage that needs to be completed before all the windows can be fixed and before we can get on and paint it. So why haven't we done it? Well living in the UK means that we have pretty shite weather, and rain is no good for using fibreglass. Unfortunately we have now hit a point where my fibreglassing man is not around until September! So here I was thinking we'd have a nice new waterproof TARDIS by the end of the month. Clearly it wasn't meant to be, but hopefully we can get that done as early into September as possible... Hopefully. 

TARDIS teased by Big Chief Studios

Big Chief Studios teased a new product in development that looks very much like 1:6 Scale TARDIS. Judging by the square window frames, it's most likely to be of the New Series variety.

More news as it develops.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Doctor Who Magazine The Best of 50 Years Poll - Review

Billy and I take a look at the rather bizarre results in this year's poll, ranking every episode from the last 50 years of Doctor Who. Expect shock horror, disbelief and varying levels of anger and frustration.

NEXT TIME: 'The Scream of the Shalka' Review

Monday, 11 August 2014

Where to next for the 5" range of Doctor Who Figures?

I've been collecting different ranges of figures for over 15 years and never has there been an action figure line that has kept you on the edge of your seat as much as Character Option's 5" scale Doctor Who line. It seems like every few months someone will say something cryptic that would suggest it's lights out for range, and yet some new items will be leaked or released on Forbidden Planet that appears to say there's still some juice in those light bulbs.

The 5" Classic figures have been running on life support for several years. After two full waves at retail, the mini Cyberman wave and a few collector sets, the only thing that has kept us going is Underground Toys and Forbidden Planet's scattered releases of single figures and collector sets. This has gone from almost once a month/every two-three months, to a set or two every quarter. Probably even less than that. Looking at the main 5" inch range, we seem to have been living on variants and re-releases per wave. A sign of the times where the reuse of existing molds and parts are the only viable option to keep the costs down. The figures had gone from £6.99 to £10.99 by the time the series 6 figures were released, and with less desirable characters hitting the shelves people stopped buying and refused to pay the asking price for a repaint of what they already had. According to a recent tweet by Al Dewar, there was a 70% drop in people buying the range before the decision was made to reboot the line in 3.75" scale.

Earlier this year it looked like the bucket could have been well and truly kicked. After the 50th Anniversary saw all 11 Doctors, each with a Dalek, released in 5" scale at Toys R Us, and a variety of classic sets released (or at least intended for release) through Forbidden Planet, things seemed to be on the up! However it all started getting gloomy when news came out that there were no classic figures planned for 2014 and that if we got anything it would be towards the end of the year. Yikes. The planned 11th Doctor in Victorian outfit from The Snowmen and the 2nd Doctor in fur coat from The Five Doctors, complete with diorama background, were axed by the powers that be. It seemed like the nail was being steadily hammered into the coffin.

Something strange happened when John Hurt's War Doctor was announced in the 5" range. This release broke the established rules. This wasn't classic, this was from an episode that just aired and we were told that new series characters would now go straight into the new scale. It was also a 100% newly tooled figure that has only had this one release to date, so unless they re-release him down the line this is going to be something of a first. Bring on July 2014 and another new series figure is announced in the 5" scale, the 11th Doctor in his series 7 outfit with a plethora of accessories and the 12th Doctor's head, which seems to be upscaled from the 3.75" release. Towards the end of that month we're shown a 5" Clara (well, Oswin), which we were told would never happen and lo and behold, the cancelled 11th Doctor in Victorian clothes makes it's way to release as well. We've been been informed that Oswin has been made in such a way that other Clara variants are possible. Oh, and a variant of Ace in her more commonly seen ponytail and rolled up sleeves is due for release as well.

With these recent, and incredibly popular, new releases in mind, does this mean that new series Doctor Who figures are the future of the 5" range with the odd classic figure/set thrown into the mix? It seems odd that Character would be trying to push the smaller scale forward while releasing 5" figures that are far superior in terms of sculpts and detail. However, if a solitary figure with accessories can be as much as £29.99 then that competition is going to be limited. The children, for whom the 3.75" range is marketed to, aren't likely to get their parents spending that sort of money on a toy, so perhaps the competition isn't really there. If the 3.75" sculpts are being upscaled, which certainly appears to be the case with the Capaldi and Clara heads, then perhaps monsters like the Ice Warriors, Zygons and Cybermen will creep their way into the 5" scale? This has been deemed unlikely by Mr Dewar, but then we were told we'd never see Clara, a series 7 11th Doctor and any Classic companions in the 5" scale, so forgive me if I don't take these words as gospel. Collectors would snap those three up at lightning speed, so Underground would be daft not to commission them. If we also keep in mind that the Victorian version of the 11th Doctor was planned as a Toys R Us exclusive for late 2013/early 2014, then perhaps our fur coated 2nd Doctor is just around the corner? I live in hope.

I gave up collecting the new series figures back in 2010, but if these new exclusives means that the classics can continue, then I'm happy to take part. The Time of the Doctor set was a must buy with all it's bells and whistles, and I loved that costume in the show. The last variant of the 11th Doctor I bought was that hideous orange striped version from the Christmas Carol set, so this is long overdue. Clara and any of the monsters are also must haves and I'm sure we'll see a 5" Capaldi... Eventually. I'm still rooting for my classics, and I hope that we still have plenty of goodies to come before it's time to see the end of that line... Even if it means one release per year.

Doctor Who Exclusive - The Time of the Doctor 11th & 12th Figure

Doctor Who Exclusive - Ace from Silver Nemesis Figure

Doctor Who - The Impossible Set 11th Doctor and Clara

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

New images of The Time of the Doctor and The Impossible Set

Forbidden Planet have updated their listings for the upcoming Time of the Doctor and The Impossible Set figures. The images give us a better look at the production figures of both sets.

It is worth noting that The Time of the Doctor set does not include two figures. Only the one body with multiple heads.

Doctor Who Exclusive - The Time of the Doctor 11th & 12th Figure

Doctor Who - The Impossible Set 11th Doctor and Clara