Introduction: Dr Who Dalek Costume

We're a Whovian family so when my 5 year old came to me and said he wanted to be a dalek for halloween I thought, "Challenge Excepted!" There are a lot of steps to this bit it really only took my husband and I about 2 weeks to complete. You may notice that all the pictures don't line coincide with the steps. That's because we didn't go in order when putting this together- there was a lot of jumping around and back tracking throughout this process! But I am writing this in order, from bottom to top, to try to make it easier for you. Most of the supplies we used were what we had around the house, so please, use your imagination and tweak whatever you need to to make this build more suitable for you!

Step 1: Building the Base

You will need: paneling (or some other light wood, we originally thought of using cardboard)
Foam ( we got 2 sheets of foam insulation from Home Depot)
Plywood for the base
Two pool noodles
26 3" craft plastic Christmas balls (the kind that come apart in halves)
Red and gold spray paint (or whatever color you want your dalek)
Getting Started:
We used for our measurements...
Cut your base out of plywood. We also put in a bench and cut a hole in the floor so our son can have a choice of walking or sitting. (We will be pushing the dalek when he is sitting).
Make your measurements and cuts in the paneling and tape them together with a piece of aluminum tape (don't tape it all the way, you want to have the availability to bend and shape the pieces.) You can also go ahead and put your wheels on the bottom. We put them on after putting the base on and had to tilt it on its side... Whichever way you find easiest to install the wheels...
We then put the pieces on the plywood and shaped it around until everything lined up with the base.
Tape the paneling pieces together from top to bottom and glue along the bottom to the baser with hot glue. We also glued some plywood pieces around in spots to help support the walls. Do not glue where you want your doorway( we did it at the front four panels ) we also put a hinge along the inside of where our door is opening.
We shaped a piece of plywood and glued it it to the front inside panel to help hold it's point with the door constantly opening and closing.
Cut another piece of plywood, the same shape as the base but smaller, to fit just inside the top part of the body. Cut a hole out of the center (we left about a 2" ring along the edge) glue or staple gun into place.
Cut your foam to match the panels and glue them on top of the paneling with spray craft glue (in a spray can)
We then taped the edges with aluminum tape.
Before going further measure where your balls will go and mark them. We went ahead a pre drilled the holes.
At this point we took the pool noodles and split them, on one side, down the middle. Measure (I eyeballed it) the edges and fit them together around the base. The opening that you cut just slides over the plywood edge. When you have all pieces fit together nicely (you'll need to cut at angles to make them come to a point, I used an electric turkey carver) hot glue them together. You don't need to glue them down on the plywood unless you just want that extra security. We didn't and it's holding together just fine.
We then coated the foam with Elmer's glue (3 coats) when it dries you can coat it with Easy cast. This will make the dalek like hard plastic.
You don't need to put Elmer's glue on the noodles but I did put cast on it to keep the spray paint from flaking off.
After it dries you're ready for paint, spray paint the bumpers black. When it dries spray paint the body red (or whatever color dalek you want). Don't worry- you may have some space between the panel and the bumper where the bumper doesn't fit exactly up to the base. This will be taken care of in Final Touches.
With the craft balls, spray paint the inside with gold paint (or color of choosing) lay to the side to dry....
**It is very important that the paint is completely dry before continuing to next step! (You may want to paint the balls before starting your build so they have time to dry~ the afore mentioned building out of order)
When it's dry, take 3" bolt and hot glue the head in the center of the ball.
When these are set you can push bolt through the holes of the body in the holes you made earlier. You may need to push a screwdriver through the holes, opening it a little more, for the difficult holes.

Step 2: Upper Body

What you'll need; particle board
Plunger (we got one from the $1 store)
Paint roller
Tube (plastic or metal)
Rubber (we used tubes from a bicycle tire)
2 wooden eggs (craft store)
2 plastic bed boosts(the plastic feet you put under your bed legs to make your bed set higher off the floor)
Paneling (or a lighter form of wood)
Foam (from the same sheet from the body)
2 handles (we used 2 rods from an old fuse ball table with handles and cut them down to size)
**most of theses supplies are for the arms, feel free to come up with your own idea- this part was a lot of trial and error for us**
We started out by making the arms/weapons. For the plunger; spray paint the plunger if it's not already black. We didn't want to use a the wooden stick so we cut a broom handle, spay painted it gold and put the plunger end on it. For the other arm we took a metal paint roller and took all the metal ends off (we didn't want the plastics ends so we had to totally take it apart). We took the metal pieces and hot glued them to the end of a metal pole, painted gold, we wanted the pole to be hollow~optional~
Take the wooden eggs and drill one side (the point) far enough to fit the handle in, do that with the other side for the arms to go out. Before putting the pieces permanently in, spray paint the eggs black. ~optional; for the paint roller arm you can drill the egg all the way through~
Take the plastic bed feet and cut them in half. The top should have an indention for the bed leg to fit down into; cut this out, making a circle.
(Keep these pieces, you'll. need the circle for the eyestalk)
After hot gluing the pieces into the eggs you can fit them inside of the plastic bed piece. The egg should fit snugly against the circular opening you cut. Take a piece bike tire, cut it to make a flat square and then slice a hole in the center. Fit the rubber over the egg and glue it around the inside of the plastic bed foot. This will help hold up the arms and make it a little natural moving motion. Set aside
Take particle board and cut them to where they are just a little than your bed feet. Cut one square hole into, what will be, the front side of the box. Hot glue the pieces together making a cube (minus the back). Glue the two blocks on top of the body. Cut a circle out of ply wood, this will be the base of the neck. Cut 7 pieces of plywood 'sticks' they will be different lengths. Fit them around the top of the body, two of the sticks will be on top of your cubes. Hot glue the sticks, also hot glue the plywood ring you cut earlier, fitting the sticks accordingly.
As you did with the body, you will also fit paneling and the foam around. Do the same with the top half as you did with bottom with the glue, easy cast and paint.
Optional; because this was bigger than we expected, we had to cut a hole in the front of the upper body so that our son could see out. We hot glued black screen from the inside and spray painted it red.

Step 3: Neck

What you'll need;
Wooden cylinder stick
Red spray paint
Black screen - we changed our mind from the screen to black foam matting (that you line the bottom of cabinets with.)
Hot glue
We originally tried to build this with foam but it got top heavy and started to lean so we scrapped it and used plywood...
Cut 3 rings out of plywood, sand the edges to make smooth and remove any uneven cuts.
Cut 4 sticks of plywood to the length of the neck (how tall you want it)
Glue the rings, evenly spaced, to the sticks. We wanted to be able to make the head turn so we didn't glue it to the body. Instead we glued a wooden dowel to base of the upper body and at the bottom of the neck so that it fits down into the body.
Spray paint the pieces and let dry.
Glue the screen on the inside of the neck. Cut off access screening.

Step 4: The Head

You'll need;
Styrofoam dome- we used a 12in but needed an 18in (we bought the dome before we found the website)
A plastic tube (we used a broom handle)
A keychain flashlight (twist to turn on) $1store
~I don't remember what it's called but for the eyestalk we walked the plumbing aisle of Home Depot and found a piece for the toilet that looked perfect! (Sorry can't remember)
2 yard solar charged lights (Walmart)
A handle (we used a handle from an old fuse ball table)
A piece of bike tire tube
The eyestalk was difficult.... We glued the head of the flashlight inside of the toilet piece- on larger end, don't glue entire flashlight you need to be able to twist it.
Remember the piece I told you to keep from the bed foot? Well if you drill a hole in the center of it and glue it, smooth side down, over the opening of the toilet piece (flashlight shining through hole) then you have a neat looking eyestalk...
Cut 3 circles from the plexiglass, 2 the same size one a little larger. Then drill a hole in the center, big enough to slide onto plastic tube. Slide them onto the tube, small, large, small. Evenly spacing and towards the front. Glue them in place.
Tape the plexiglass so you don't get paint on them and spray paint the pole gold.
After it dries you can slide the plumber piece on the end, do not glue this down because you need to be able to twist the light on. Set aside
Take the dome and cut a rectangle out of the front for the eyestalk and two circles in the top on either side for the light sensors.
We didn't think the dome was big enough so we took about, 3 in width, of the foam and glued it around the base of the dome.
*Note* If you use the foam sheet you can gently press it against the edge of a table and form it.(kind of like when your trying to straighten out a dollar bill)
Brush on the 3 coats of glue and easy cast. Then paint red and set aside.
Cut the stakes for the yard lights to fit the holes (so they're not sticking down into the dome)
We glued the lights into the stakes so they wouldn't fall out. Glue the stakes into the holes of the dome.
I don't know how to really describe how to attach the eyestalk into the dome- it was slit of guessing when we put it together. We cut 2 circular pieces of plywood and glued them together.
On the round side, drill a hole for the eyestalk to fit in. Drill another hole on the opposite side for the handle to fit in. Spray paint black and glue in handle.
Screw in two scrap pieces of plywood on either side of the spray painted rounded pieces, this will make it into a spindle so that the eyestalk move up and down. Glue the scrap pieces down into the dome- not the wheel. You may need to glue two more pieces of wood for support- see picture
Take a piece of bike tire tube, cut a square and a slit for the tube to fit in. Place the eyestalk through the bike tire slit and glue into the spindle hole. Glue the rubber to the inside of the helmet. This will keep people from seeing in the hole and add a little spring.
You can now glue the head to the top ring of the neck.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

We're almost done!!
What you'll need:
A sheet of metal
Rubber tire tube
Gold paint
Primer spray paint
Alright we're nearing the end now, it's time to just finish it up and add some detail!
Cut metal strips to place around the upper body- be prepared to bend it to form it around the curves.
Spray it with primer and then with gold- let dry.
After completely dry hot glue pieces in place
We cut the tire tube in half and glued it around the top edge if the lower body. I also sprayed it with a clear coat to make it shine.
We also glued the tubing at the bottom to form up against the pool tubes ~see I told you not to worry about the gap of wood at the base.
Spray with clear coat
Place the head on and you've got yourself a Dalek!
**Extras** We wanted to put in a small air tank but ours wasn't small enough so we got a can of compressed air (to clean keyboards) and our son can spray air through the tube of the paint roller wand- he can EX-TERM-INATE!
We also put in speakers and I hooked up my iPod and play March of the Daleks while he rolls around (downloadable on iTunes for .99)
It really adds to the character and it's great to see people's reaction!
Halloween Costume Contest

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Halloween Costume Contest