Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new blog posts showcasing my collection of custom Dalek Asylum inmates, including Classic Daleks in the Asylum, which were among the most anticipated inclusion in the TV story Asylum of the Daleks and yet were tragically underused, mostly due to the inconvenience of the locally sourced props compared to BBC-built New Series Daleks. Thanks to the plethora of Classic Dalek figures out there, however, the Asylum Project is filled with 60s, 70s and 80s Daleks. 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 Classic Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover my collection of custom Classic Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear damaged, insane or deranged, sourced from several distinct episodes of the Classic Series – The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Day of the Daleks and Genesis of the Daleks, three of the finest Dalek episodes in Classic Who’s repertoire. Many of these customs are created using figures from the old reliable Dalek Collectors Set #2, of which I had many thanks to B&M’s sales several years ago. It is the fond hope of many Dalek custom hobbyists that the next set of B&M exclusive Doctor Who figure sets feature Daleks of any of the various classic designs, as these are a great source of material for customising and B&M tend to sell the sets at very low prices, sometimes as low as £10 for three classic Daleks.
Before getting into the custom figures, let us address the elephant in the room – is it moral to damage classic Dalek figures? It depends on the context. Many of the more badly damaged classic Daleks in my Asylum collection were sold to me with varying degrees of pre-existing damage, some of which was beyond repair. A few particular examples come from a former Dalek hobbyist who, having attempted a rather crude method of burning his Dalek figures to simulate battle damage, gave up on the prospect when the results appeared lacklustre and the badly damaged Daleks were since sold to me. As such, I salvaged what I could from the previous work and the results are presented here for evaluation.
Custom Damaged Earth Invasion Dalek
This custom was one of my earliest Classic Dalek customs, though it still stands the test of time after just a few slight modifications over the years. Unfortunately, it is missing the sucker cup from the end of its manipulator arm, though this could just be interpreted as part of the damage caused by its time in the Asylum. This custom started out its life as a Saucer Pilot from The Dalek Invasion of Earth, so only a few repaints were needed to the dome, panels on the skirt and the front part of the gunboxes to make it resemble the standard drone Dalek from the same story. The gritty weathering effect was done using a very scratchy old model paintbrush that is ideal for dry-brushing. This model is a near-intact figure with hardly any physical damage to the casing, as was common with Classic Daleks in Asylum of the Daleks.
One of just a handful of survivors of the Dalek Invasion of Earth in the 22nd century, this former warrior sits idle in the bowels of the Asylum, contemplating the Dalek defeat on Earth at the hands of the Doctor. This Dalek’s catatonic state, combined with its older design, has meant that it has been largely undisturbed for thousands of years. Should the Doctor ever visit the Asylum, however, things would change…
Custom Damaged Classic Supreme Dalek
Since the Day of the Daleks Supreme is so common, one would think that this would be a recurring design among the Daleks in the Asylum. However, since no Gold Daleks are seen in the Asylum in the TV story, it would be incongruous to have more than one feature in the collection. As such, many of the Gold Daleks that I receive are repainted grey and act as stand-ins for drone Daleks of the Third and Fourth Doctor eras. However, there had to be at least one Gold Dalek in the Asylum – after all, we know from Frontier in Space that more than one Gold Dalek existed, as this rank was a commander below that of the true Supreme Dalek. The paint job on this Dalek was simple, as it just required a wash with few additions, though I did put particular focus on trying to make the skirt and shoulder sections look grubby and grimy. This Dalek also features the Asylum stamp that is seen on some residents of the Asylum, which I drew on with thin lines of red paint.
After falling through time and landing on a planet in Dalek-occupied space, this Supreme Dalek was quickly found and admitted to the Asylum for clear insanity – it had claimed it once commanded Earth in a timeline in which the Dalek invasion succeeded, though could provide no evidence to the Dalek council and, in its manic state, it was deemed inside and condemned to the Asylum forever. However, this has not stopped the former Supreme Dalek from amassing a small band of followers and taking over a small section of chambers and corridors to call his own kingdom.
Custom Battered Genesis-era Dalek
This Dalek is one of the previous mentioned examples of a badly damaged classic Dalek figure falling into my hands, with the work of a previous customiser clearly evident. To make one thing perfectly clear – I do not approve of burning Dalek figures. Not only are the emission from burning plastic bad for the environment (not to mention the noses of everyone in a 5 mile radius) but the effects don’t even look good. When plastic burns, it tends to bubble, and this spoils any effort at making the Daleks look like they are made of metal. Having said that, there are very specific instances in which the burning effect is salvageable, and I believe that I have done a fair job of it here. This Dalek is designed to represent a Genesis of the Daleks-era warrior that has been hit with some kind of radioactive projectile and scorched with devastating fire. As such, the mild bubbling effect that can still be seen (the parts that I was unable to fill in with glue and black paint) are somewhat justified. This figure also features a fake eyestalk, which I created using parts of a pen, hot glue and the ball joint of another Dalek’s gunbox.
A relic of the Dalek’s earliest bid for conquest, this Dalek is one of the oldest specimens in the whole Asylum, scarred from the final hours of the Thousand-Year War on Skaro. The damage to its casing was caused by a shell from a Thal mortar, which scored a direct hit on the Dalek’s casing. Though damaged, this Dalek is miraculously still alive, though all it tends to do these days is scream.