I have previously built a TARDIS model. One of the defining characteristics of the TARDIS is that it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Obviously I can't do that, but in this Instructable I adapt the model to try and make it look bigger on the inside. I'm going to do this by adding some mirrors and LEDs on the inside. This same idea should also work with other TARDIS models.
If you would like to see the Instructable for the TARDIS Model that I'm using, here is the link to that Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-TARDIS-Model/
If you would like to see a video version of this Instructable, you can view that here: https://youtu.be/0v8eq0jQdS0
Here is what I used in this Instructable:
- Sand Paper
- Sanding Block
- 1/16" Drill Bit
- 3/16" Drill Bit
- Utility Knife
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hot Glue Sticks
- Marking Pen
Step 1: Cutting the Aluminum Mirrors
For the mirrors on the inside there are several options, I'll be showing 2 of them starting with a piece of polished aluminum. I measure the place on the panel where I want the mirror. I want to be able to still see through the windows so I measure below those. Then I mark and cut 4 pieces out of the aluminum. After cutting, I file down the edges so they aren't as sharp. This can also be done with sand paper and a sanding block.
Step 2: Mounting the Mirrors to the Sides
I remove the window I added previously, I'll show my replacement later. I turn the side over so that I can use the front for reference. I'll be using thumb tacks to hold the mirrors in place and I want them to be lined up with the thicker parts of the side. I mark out where my options are on the mirror. I decide to try using 2 thumbtacks so I drill a couple 1/16" holes in the mirror. For the next mirror I use the first mirror as a template for drilling the holes. Then using a larger, sharp drill bit I ream out the holes by hand. Now I can mount the mirror onto the inside of the panel.
Step 3: Mounting the Mirrors to the Doors
Doing this with the door will be similar, the main difference will be splitting the mirror into 2 pieces. To help prevent light from leaking out I overlap the mirror for the inner door with the outer door. Once I put the mirrors in place I test the doors to make sure they still open.
Step 4: Adding the LEDs
I put these polished aluminum mirrors on all of the sides. I'm going to put my LEDs only on the left and right sides, not the doors or the back. I figure out how many LEDs I need and cut my LED strip at the proper length. My camera wouldn't focus well enough to see, but since I'm using addressable LEDs there is an arrow showing me the direction of orientation. At each end of the strip I'm soldering on 3 pin connectors, making sure the first LED is getting the connector that will connect to my LED controller. I do this with 4 strips of LEDs, then after I decide how I want the directions to flow I attach them to the sides.
Step 5: Wire Management
Next I test fit the 4 sides onto the base, but as you can see the wires are all over the place inside. I want the bottom wires to go under the base, so I hold each side in place and mark where I need to make a gap in the base for the wires to pass through. After trimming out a groove for the wires, I pass them through the base and make sure everything lines up.
Step 6: Using Plastic Mirrors W/Film
Next I'm going to show another option for the mirrors. Using a piece of plastic, I attach some partially transparent mirror film. I remove the piece of polished aluminum and put this other mirror in it's place. Since this is a bit transparent, I made it tall enough to goto the top of the side, even though it covers the windows. As you can see, I've already pre-drilled the holes for the thumb tacks. I also did the same for the doors, but not the sides with the LEDs.
Step 7: Window Alternative
For these other 2 sides I'm going to cut out a piece of packaging plastic to go over the windows, and attach some of that same partially transparent mirror film to it. Here you can see the difference between the mirror film and the polished aluminum. The aluminum bent a bit when cutting it and the plastic I used for those windows is very thin, so there is some warping where the thumb tacks are. For the other sides with full length plastic, the plastic itself is much thicker and more solid, so there is not much warping at all.
Step 8: Changes to the Light on the Roof
I also made a change to the light. Originally I used clear tubing, but white tubing works better with LEDs. I also used a much shorter piece of tubing with a piece of reflective tape on the top. This seems to work a bit better with the LED that I used. I used a bit of hot glue to hold this LED in place under the light. Now all of the parts are ready to be reassembled.
Step 9: And That's It!
And here it is! Looking through the windows you can see the infinity box effect that I was trying for. Opening the door the effect goes even deeper since it doesn't have to go through the tinted windows. And the light on the top looks awesome! I was thinking that if I had a strip of LEDs go along the floor, that would help the effect. I tried that out and it does look better, but also gets in the was when trying to open the doors. More adjustment may be needed, but it's good for now.
For this size of TARDIS it worked pretty good. I think it would work even better with a full sized TARDIS. And like always, any advice or comments are more than welcome!