Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new blog posts showcasing my collection of custom Dalek Asylum inmate figures. Several of these Daleks have been showcased on this blog before, however they have all changed greatly since then and new custom Daleks have been added to the collection.
Part I of the New Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover my collection of custom Time War Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear damaged, insane and deranged. These Daleks are some of the oldest in my collection, many of them have been previously featured on the last custom figure showcase on this blog. However, they have all changed somewhat since then, and some have been given completely new roles. An important aspect to consider when customising Daleks, or indeed when creating any form of art, is that sometimes the first attempt doesn’t yield the results that you had hoped for. Some see this as a sign that the idea they had was a bad one, but this isn’t true. Sometimes it takes a few tries before you achieve the results that you hoped for, but the important thing is to know how to better yourself by looking at something you achieved and thinking “How can I improve on this”, and having the willpower to continually try to improve your art and in the process work to better yourself as a person.
The Dalek figures in my collection have been sourced from a variety of places, usually eBay lots or the occasional donation from friends. However, many of these Daleks in this particular showcase are unique in that they are actually my childhood Dalek figures, some being among the first Dalek customs I ever created. Comparing this custom figure showcase with the previous one from years ago will show that many of the Daleks in my collection have been tweaked, repainted or completely redesigned in the interim, and that is part of a continuing endeavour to ensure that each and every Dalek is of top notch quality, and as my skills with customising Daleks improves, so too should the Daleks that I have in my collection.
Custom Damaged Dalek Time War Survivor
Making customs of the Daleks in the Asylum is more free-and-easy than making standard Dalek customs, as any damage or misshapen parts on the custom can be attributed to the nature of it being a Dalek in the Asylum, therefore representing a Dalek that is insane and damaged. However, this particular custom might push the boundaries slightly with the bizarre custom eyestalk that I created for it. This isn’t the only custom eyestalk in the collection, and some are better than others. But all of them are usually made using pieces of biro pen, with the eye itself usually being a ball joint from another Dalek with the hole filled in with glue and painted blue. The casing of this Dalek was spray painted black before being dry-brushed with bronze Citadel paint.
Though many of the Daleks in the Asylum appear dead, many are merely sleeping. By keeping their life support systems in low-power mode, Daleks can not only avoid rampaging factions by staying undetectable to sensors, but they also conserve their own power for if a firefight does eventually become inevitable. Either way, the Daleks sit motionless, waiting to awaken at the first sound of trouble…
Custom Dalek Commander with Damaged Casing
This custom was one of the first drastic Dalek customs that I ever did, and even to this day it holds up quite well. The casing was cut apart using bolt clippers, and the inner workings were constructed from the inside of the model, as the Dalek is separated into two parts split vertically down the middle, meaning you can split the figure in half to work on inside components. The destroyed gunstick was made using wires held together with hot glue, and the eyestalk was made using pieces of biro pen and a piece of white plastic. The figure was originally a Dalek Sec model, and to achieve the metallic weathered effect I dry-brushed the model with silver Citadel paint, which was also used to paint the spheres.
Having had a portion of its casing damaged, this particular Asylum inmate has taken desperate measures to repair itself, though its makeshift replacement casing segment is on the verge of failure. Even without this critical damage, the casing itself is near-useless – the gun has long since been destroyed. The Dalek inside sees this casing merely as a temporary vessel, as it searches continuously for a suitable replacement…
Custom Ancient Damaged Dalek
One of the many quirks of the temporal nature of the Dalek Asylum is that some Daleks can share the exact same design and yet be separated by thousands of years of age. This custom was supposed to represent a Dalek that had sat in the Asylum for millennia, despite being one of the more ‘modern’ Dalek designs. The figure was spray painted black and then dry-brushed using silver Citadel paint, and the damage to the casing was done with a hacksaw. The eyestalk is actually a crude replacement made using a piece of wire and computer cable. Finally, the gun was fabricated from a spare pieces on a Warhammer figure frame, this one in particular was a horn of some Dark Elf marauder.
Thanks to constant damage to the Asylum caused by infighting among the inmates, the planet’s systems are constantly overwhelmed with damage control and can rarely spare time for everyday duties such as basic cleaning. As such, the Asylum has become littered with ancient, long-dead relics of Daleks from all over their history, such as this destroyed husk which has sat in the bowels of the Asylum for over one hundred thousand years.
Custom Damaged Emperor’s Guard Dalek
This is another custom that has been in my collection for a long time, and may well be one of the first Daleks I ever acquired. Although the New Series Emperor’s Guard were only seen briefly in the finale of the first series, their effective, recognisable design quickly became a fan-favourite, particularly due to the fact that we saw similar black-domed guard Daleks in the Classic Series. Despite this, an official 5″ Emperor’s Guard Dalek was never released as part of the Doctor Who toyline at the time, and it wasn’t until years later that we saw an official release of the figure in a two-pack with the Ninth Doctor. As such, several of my early Dalek customs were Emperor’s Guard related, and this one is no exception. The weathering on the outer casing is as much a result of age than of any customising I did, although I have given the figure a grey wash and added flecks of green here and there to give the impression of leaking Dalek blood. The main damage to the front of the figure was done with a blow-torch, a crude and ultimately unfulfilling method of customising a Dalek that I quickly abandoned due to poor results – the plastic has a tendency to bubble, spoiling the metal effect – but on this particular figure the damage is minor. Lastly, the gun was mocked up using a piece of phone charger plug.
Languishing in the Asylum are several former members of the Emperor’s Guard, including this specimen who was confined to the Asylum for dereliction of duty and has done very little since. Though appearing catatonic, it is likely that this Dalek is simply waiting for an opportunity to strike at any unsuspecting passers-by, be they friend or foe.
Custom Damaged Dalek Supreme
Though rare, it is possible to come across Supreme Dalek figures suitable for Asylum customisation, usually as a result of irreparable damage. In the case of this Supreme Dalek, the damage done to the head was present when I received the figure, and although I cut off the left hand strut as seen on the far right image, this was due to the fact that the strut itself was chewed, of all things. This is a common occurence with Dalek customisation, particularly when you are taking the chance to customise an otherwise rare figure due to damage, as you basically have to work with whatever you get. In this case, however, the figure was only superficially damaged and this played into the role of an Asylum custom perfectly. The eyestalk, plunger and gunstick are all fakes, as the real appendages were salvaged for intact, non-Asylum Dalek customs that used the more up-to-date mold (and so needed the exact appendages to fit) and I used various pieces of pens and computer wire parts held together with hot glue to replace them.
Though a rare sight in the Asylum, various Supreme Daleks have been condemned to spend the rest of their days here, despite their high status in Dalek society. Many of the Supreme Daleks in the Asylum are among the planet’s most insane inhabitants, as a Supreme Dalek must reach a significant degree of recognisable insanity before its subordinates will dare attempt to overthrow it. Since the Time War, the recovery of Davros, and the installment of the Dalek Parliament, Supreme Daleks in the Asylum have become a more common sight.