Doctor Who: Scratch-built 28mm TARDIS

This post is a day later than intended, but better late than never as they say. Unfortunately I've been dashing in and out of hospital with a bit of a kidney issue since my last post, but all is well now.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to do something to mark the 50th anniversary of the show rather near and dear to me. As some of you have pointed out, it's certainly inspired various bits of fluff and game scenarios of my own. 
Testing the lightbox effect with the windows and signs...

Having stocked up on various bits of plasticard and balsa wood, I thought a scratchbuilt TARDIS would be ideal. And would come in handy if I can ever convince any of my regular gaming comrades to try a Who game on occasion (I already have a Planet of the Giants scenario cooked up so it can be played on an ordinary kitchen/dining room table...).

K-9 guards the entrance whilst the TARDIS is parked next to the Giant Mug of Doom.
The first question was, which TARDIS. As became even more apparent when I got stuck into this project the TARDIS has changed over the years. A lot.

I originally decided I'd go for William Hartnell's TARDIS, the first one. Fortunately I found the TARDIS Builders forum where every possible TARDIS plan you could want may be found.

How I judged the height of the TARDIS...
However, as I progressed I found that trying to recreate the prop to exact 1:56-1:60 scale (well, more or less) just didn't look right. I've heard this from miniature sculpters too. When sculpting anything vaguely human, if done accurately and anatomically relative as it were, it doesn't look right. So I tried to get the feel of the TARDIS rather than a carbon copy.

Almost 50 years of TARDISes, with the actual Police Box on the left.
To this end I also decided on a slight "mash up" of several of the TARDISes (TARDII?) from over the years - which inadvertently seemed fitting to mark the 50th anniversary. However, I did want to keep it vaguely to the "Classic" Who scale. The TARDIS in the new series is massive, although coincidentally this does make it closer in size to the actual Police Box the TARDIS is supposed to be disguised as.

In a similar vein I had planned to paint this with inks or thinned paints to emphasise the wood grain - the prop makers intentionally made the new series' TARDIS prop look wooden. However, the actual Police Box is made of concrete... the Classic prop was never meant to look wooden. So I decided I wouldn't worry too much either way.

Overall it's been a rather enjoyable project, and I've definitely learned a lot from doing it that I can transfer to other projects. And I've become a dab hand with the tweezers if I may say so myself, and feel confident that if I need to enter a tournament of the game Operation, victory would be within my grasp.

I've made various notes and taken photos of the building process, so if anyone would like a Make Your Own Tiny TARDIS Guide, just let me know and I'll put something together and email it to you.

Can't quite manage a time lapse, but here's a mini making of montage....
There's still a little tidying, and the lantern to pop on the top. Then to paint the damned thing (with weathering powders aplenty)...

Doctor Who (with jelly babies) and K-9 from BTD - fantastic miniatures. I sense Pertwee and UNIT will be the next purchase.

Doctor Who Miniatures Game

If you fancy trying a few Doctor Who games of your own, you can't go far wrong with Crooked Dice's Doctor Who Miniatures Game, available for free on their site with a ton of scenarios.

Doctor Who Miniatures
While I know there's the good old Citadel Who miniatures that can still be nabbed on eBay, Black Tree Design do some very nice Who miniatures.


  1. It looks even better in the flesh, everyone. One of those scratch-built models which seems impressive, then when you see its scale you realise it's even smaller and more intricate than you imagined. Very impressive!

    1. Very kind of you sir. Have to say that putting the window dividers/slats in was a bit of a nightmare.

  2. That is absolutely stunning, what a fabulous result and timely too!

    1. Thanks Michael, much appreciated, thought it would be nice to do something to tie in with the anniversary

  3. Excellent work and a fitting tribute.

    1. Thanks very much Peter, very kind of you

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  5. this is amazing I wouldn't mind trying to make one myself

    1. Thanks very much Liam, apologies for the late response. I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, very rewarding indeed. If you want any of my "findings" just let me know


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