Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new custom figure blog showcases for my custom Dalek Asylum inmates collection. Among the most numerous Daleks in the Asylum are New Series Daleks, which makes sense since these were the model of Dalek that fought in the Time War, a devastating conflict unlike anything the Daleks had ever encountered before, which soon had the previously sparse Asylum overrun with new inmates. 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 and insane, with many being driven to insanity as a result of experiences in the Time War. Overall, the effect of the Time War on the Dalek race as a whole has not been truly explored thus far – Davros makes fleeting references to the outcome of the Time War in the Series 9 episode The Witch’s Familiar, but the Daleks learned very little from the ordeal, which is probably in keeping with their character although it makes for some lacklustre post-Time War Dalek stories that have their edge taken away. Asylum of the Daleks could have explored the idea of the patients suffering in the Asylum as a result of the Doctor’s actions, either during previous adventures or during the Time War, and as such that could have opened an avenue for some interesting character development between the Doctor and the Daleks.
Custom Damaged Time War Survivor Dalek
One of the major points that detractors of Asylum of the Daleks bring up is the fact that having a planet filled with Daleks from various points in their history somewhat devalues the ‘last Daleks in the universe’ idea that had been held over almost every episode of the New Series. From the Metaltron to the Cult of Skaro, the Daleks’ desperate attempts to escape extinction defined them for the best part of a decade, and the introduction of the Asylum was seen by many as a slap in the face to recent Dalek lore. However, if one considers the temporal nature of the Dalek race, it is very possible that the Asylum only came into existence post-Time War, as it is seen to feature Paradigm Dalek and could have been created by the New Dalek Paradigm as a means of cleaning up their timeline. As such, this Dalek was created to resemble a Time War survivor that was, unfortunately, condemned to the Asylum by his brethren despite his miraculous accomplishment. The custom was made using a basic Dalek covered in various coats of bronze and gold paint until an effective ‘rusty’ middle ground was reached. The entire figure was then given a black wash and several spheres were removed. The Dalek also features an Asylum stamp, drawn on with red paint.
One of the few Daleks to survive the Battle of Arcadia, and one of the even fewer that survived the Time War itself, this Dalek was trapped on Gallifrey and turned over to the Dalek Asylum when the Time Lords escaped their pocket universe. This survivor now languishes in the Asylum, attacking anything that comes near…
Custom Rory’s Asylum Dalek
This Dalek was created to resemble the specific Dalek that Rory Williams feels the need to inspect in Asylum of the Daleks. Although the scene is atmospheric, and is arguably one of the only legitimately tense scenes in the entire episode, it makes absolutely no sense that Rory, despite apparently understanding the danger, decides to walk straight up to a catatonic Dalek and start messing about with it. He prods it, shines his torch into the dome, and even turns the head (despite just being able to walk around the Dalek) – and hilariously, it is only when he backs into a loud metal screw on the floor in a cartoon trope way that the Dalek actually wakes up. Anyway, this custom is a light modification of the standard bronze Dalek, featuring a light black wash, several missing spheres cut off with a hacksaw, and damage to the gunbox that was done using wire cutters.
A particularly unremarkable former Time War soldier, this Dalek was catatonic in the Asylum for centuries after being condemned there for the Dalek equivalent of slothfulness. This Dalek slept for centuries until it was awakened by the Doctor’s companion, Rory Williams, during his trip to the Asylum. This Dalek attempted to exterminate Rory, but he escaped with help from an unidentified third party.
Custom Awakened Asylum Dalek
Speaking of the Dalek that Rory examines, the same scene contains several previously catatonic New Series Daleks waking up in response to his bizarre antics – this custom is design to represent one of the ‘dusty’ Daleks present in that scene. Several of them have no physical damage, but simply appear grimy or moth-eaten. This custom was created with that idea in mind, and after multiple coats of black wash as well as some extensive dry-brushing, this Dalek resembles those seen in the main chamber in the episode. I specifically used one of the blank eyestalks from the remote control Daleks for this custom, as it represents a Dalek that is usually catatonic.
Daleks that are low on power or less insane than their counterparts in the Asylum will usually band together, massing in huge chambers and sitting in total silence, catatonic. The infighting that ravages the lower levels of the Asylum rarely reaches the outermost levels, so these Daleks are usually left to sleep in peace.
Custom Dalek Commander Asylum Inmate
Creating damaged Asylum customs generates a lot of room for inspiration and creativity, particularly when it comes to Dalek colour schemes. As the Asylum is huge and encompasses Daleks from all point of their c0llective history, it makes sense that there would be Daleks in the Asylum that we have never seen before. This custom is designed to resemble some form of intermediate Dalek commander, higher in rank than standard Daleks but still subordinate to the Dalek Supreme. This custom was created using a standard Dalek Sec figure as the base, and aside from the red repainted spheres and the silver dry-brushing on the casing, very little else has been done to this figure and it is one of the easiest customs to recreate with just a few paints, a brush and a Dalek figure.
Despite once serving as communications chief to the Dalek Emperor himself, this Dalek was eventually admitted to the Asylum for developing an appreciation for music after listening to intercepted Human radio transmissions. Now in the Asylum, the former Dalek commander finds new ways to create new, radical forms of music with an energy blaster and a toilet plunger, said to be among the most eclectic beats in the known Universe.
Custom Opened Dalek Asylum Inmate
Another avenue for creative expression when customising Asylum Daleks is the diverse variety of idea potential, and this was one of the earliest concepts I had for an Asylum custom. The basic idea of this figure is an Asylum Dalek that got bored of its imprisonment and abandoned its casing for better prospects, essentially leaving the shell as a hollowed-out husk. I created this custom by first taking the Dalek figure apart, separating its front panel into two sections with a hacksaw, and re-assembling the Dalek with the front panel removed. To make the inside of the Dalek more convincing, I included the inner framework of a mutant reveal Dalek (with the mutant removed) when rebuilding the Dalek. The front panels were then re-attached using hot glue and pieces of plastic frame from a Warhammer figure set in the same fashion as opened Dalek casings seen in the New Series. The eyestalk is also fake that I made using pieces of pen and plastic from other Daleks. The entire figure was also given a black wash to give the impression that this casing has been abandoned for many years.
Although rare, some Daleks possess the ability to alter their own biology in order to survive in certain environments. These deviants are usually shunned by their own kind, but this casing once belonged to a particularly adaptive specimen that has since abandoned its immobile prison and is now running amok. Its motives remain unclear – perhaps it is simply insane, or maybe it has a plan to escape the Asylum itself for better prospects elsewhere…