Retro-Fitting A Dalek II
How to Turn the Product Enterprises’ “Death to the Daleks” Talking Dalek
Into a Authentic Looking “Death to the Daleks” Dalek
No will dispute that Product Enterprises has produced some of the best Dalek toys to come out of England since the 1960s. Unfortunately their most recent releases have left fans of their work somewhat disappointed, especially as two new additions to their popular Talking Dalek line are just repaints of previously released material. This is especially true for their “Death to the Daleks” Talking Dalek, which is no more than their first issue Silver Dalek with black skirt balls. Missing from the model is the distinctive black mid section that was so outstanding in the episode. However once again, with but a few alterations, one can easily convert the toy to a more accurate version of the “Death to the Daleks” machine. And all one needs is a little time, a modeling knife, some masking tape, flat black acrylic paint, and a little patience.
. The first step in retro fitting the Dalek is to mask off the lower mid section band. This can easily be done by cutting or tearing the masking tape into small pieces and applying them over the lower band. This will leave the upper shoulder band and shoulder slats exposed. You will also need to apply two small pieces of tape to the arm socket boxes, as these were silver on the original props. Do not worry about masking around the part of the front arm sockets, as you will approach this section after the majority of the mid section is finished. Note, if you are using a good stiff brush and are steady handed then it is not necessary to mask off the individual shoulder slats. You will however need to paint around them.
. Using the brush and very little paint, slowly start at the back and begin painting around the shoulder slats. Use light small strokes to cover the grill, paying special attention to fill every crevasse. It is not necessary to mask off the lower head ring as you will be painting under it. The masking tape will protect the lower mid section band, and any paint that spills over will be removed with the modeling knife later. You will need to give this two coats so as to completely cover the original silver paint.
. Once you have completed the majority of the mid section and allowed it to dry remove the masking tape. Using the modeling knife (or your fingernail), lightly remove any excess paint that may have spilled onto the lower band or the mid section slats. The acrylic paint should scrape off easily so you will not need to use a lot of pressure. Now you will turn your attention to the front of the model. The “Death to the Daleks” props had the boxes which house the manipulator are and the gun stick painted silver to match the rest of the body (see above). To achieve this, simply masks off the two boxes and paint around them remembering not to paint the front shoulder slats. Once again you will use the modeling knife to remove any excess paint. The space between the top of the boxes and the lower section of the grill is very small, so it will not be necessary to paint between them.
. The final step in converting the model is to change the color of the gun stick. The normal gun stick was painted black in the episode but the hard shot guns which the daleks replaced their normal gun stick with were silver. However these “guns” were of a completely different design than those of the original, and unless you are very steady with the modeling knife (something of which I am not), it is not suggested that you try a cut off the excess plastic to make the gun stick resemble the ones from the program.
The whole operation should take no more than a hour (not counting paint drying times), and when completed, although it is not perfect, you will have a highly detailed version of the “Death to the Daleks” Dalek machine.
Article © 2003 John Rocco Roberto/Visagraph Films International.