Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new blog posts intended to showcase my collection of customised Dalek Asylum inmates, including Classic Daleks in the Asylum. 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. One of the most difficult aspects of managing the Asylum Project as an art installation first and a Dalek collection second is resisting the temptation to just make every Dalek a classic Dalek – after all, fans were disappointed with the under-use of the props in the original episode. However, the primary purpose of the Asylum Project is to expand on the concepts introduced in Asylum of the Daleks but in a way that pays tribute to the look and atmosphere of the Asylum in an authentic way. As such, Classic Daleks had to be kept to a minimum, and after a lot of deliberation and planning it was finally decided which ones would be included in the collection as complete figures.
Classic Daleks are certainly fun to customise, but unfortunately, they don’t appear that often, so I had to improvise with many of my Classic Daleks, many of which are repaints of Dalek figures from the Classic Dalek Collectors Set #2. Part III of the Classic Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover the final group of intact Classic Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear damaged, insane or deranged.
Custom Modified 1960s Guard Dalek
This custom is based off the ‘accidental’ Dead Planet Dalek Guard from the Series 9 episode The Witch’s Familiar – due to a prop mix-up on set, a Dead Planet Dalek can briefly be seen sporting a black dome in this story, which went on to create an entirely new subclass of Dalek by extension. Unlike the traditional Emperor’s Guard Daleks, this new design lacks the slats and sports the same cyan shoulder colour scheme as the newer Dead Planet Daleks from the same episode. I created this custom using a Saucer Pilot from The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and I decided to keep the chunky base to give this figure a distinct character separate from my other customs inspired by Series 9. I had to completely repaint the skirt and shoulder sections of this Dalek, and the entire figure was later given a black wash. The eystalk is fake, made using the remains of a jet lighter and held in place with hot glue.
Formerly a guard on the rebuilt Dalek City on Skaro, this drone was condemned to the Asylum for insanity after it witnessed the destruction of the City at the hands of the Doctor. Ironically, it was one of the few survivors of the cataclysm, but a chance encounter with the renegade Time Lady Missy changed the fate of this unfortunate Dalek forever.
Custom Damaged Renegade Dalek Inmate
Despite being one of the most prominent designs of Dalek throughout the 1980s, the Grey Renegade Dalek was sadly one of the most underused props in the original Asylum of the Daleks. As such, I took extra care making this custom stand out among the rest – not only is it sporting a prominent Asylum stamp on the dome, but this custom also features a green streak effect to give the impression that this Dalek was in combat in a jungle, forest or swamp before being transported to the Asylum. The figure originally started out as a Gold Dalek from Day of the Daleks, and it took several coats of grey Citadel paint to fully cover the gold beneath. The detailing was also done by Citadel paints both black and silver, and the figure was given a black wash with particular focus on the base of the skirt, to give a combat-worn appearance to this Dalek. Unfortunately, due to motion of the ball-jointed gunstick and manipulator arm, gold can still be seen beneath. However, with just a few touch-ups this could be made to resemble rust.
Though the Dalek Civil War ultimately ended in a stalemate, with both factions practically destroying each other, minor skirmishes between Imperial and Renedage Daleks still continue in the Asylum to this day, despite their dwindling numbers. Asylum systems have been overrun with damage reports, and it was eventually decided that Imperial and Renegade Daleks should be quarantined from each other – though this was only a temporary measure.
Custom Damaged Opening Skaro Dalek
This custom required a fair bit of reworking of the original Dead Planet Dalek design to accomodate for its most impactful feature – a mutant reveal. I achieved this by analysing how the standard mutant reveal Daleks keep their front panel in place whilst still allowing for it to be removed, and I was able to use sandpaper to whittle away the upper and lower tabs of the front panel until it could be slid into place easily. I created a housing for the mutant inside the Dalek using broken-up pieces of CD, and this creates an interesting effect that seems very 60s in its design, although I will likely make modifications to this in the future. The mutant itself was made using the head of a Dalek Sec Hybrid figure, albeit with the lower half removed and replaced with a mass of hot glue and wires to simulate tentacles. The mutant has a glossy green finish so that it reflects off the CD housing, and the entire figure was given a black wash to add a layer of grime. There are also fragments of green across this custom which is mostly hot glue that was left to dry and then coloured in with green marker pen.
Daleks that were built in the new City on Skaro resembled their distant ancestors in terms of appearance, but their casings were enhanced with all the features of modern Dalek soldiers, including modern optics, shield technology and increased power reserves. However, these enhancements didn’t stop this Dalek from going insane and being condemned to the Asylum for treason – exactly what crime this Dalek committed is unknown.