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. 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. Classic Daleks are cool, and custom Classic Daleks are even cooler. But vandalising rare and beloved Classic Dalek action figures that could have otherwise become the favourite toy of a young Doctor Who fan certainly isn’t cool. Thankfully, the universe aligned in such a way that B&M had a sale on dozens of unsold Dalek Collector’s Set #2 packs in the early 2010s and as such eBay bundles are flooded with broken Classic Dalek toys.
Because there are so many of these figures, and because they sell so cheap, it is easy to amass a collection of many in a short amount of time and eventually you will have enough eyestalks, plungers and gunsticks to have one or two intact Classic Daleks, with many more sporting missing parts and some having no appendages at all. These are the ones that are best used for Asylum customising, however, sometimes intact Classic Daleks are used for the Asylum as well = after all, due to the nature of the props used, many of the Classic Daleks seen in Asylum of the Daleks are intact.
Part II of this Classic Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover my collection of custom Classic Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear insane and damaged, sourced from a variety of different eras of the show’s history.
Custom Damaged Genesis-era Dalek
Though they were a common sight in Dalek stories in the Seventies and early Eighties, the generic grey Genesis-era Dalek was a rare sight in the Asylum. As such, there are only a few in the collection, and this is one of only a handful that are intact. This Dalek was customised to appear as if it had seen great conflict, I gave the figure several washes in different shades of grey in order to give it a layered, weathered look. Several of the spheres have been damaged with a hacksaw, and in several places the hacksaw also chipped the sides, adding to the damaged effect. The overall paint job on this Dalek is darker than that of standard Genesis-era Daleks, this is due to the fact that Citadel paints were used to emulate the colour scheme.
A relic of a Dalek conflict from early in its history, this damaged soldier was recovered from one of the first worlds the Daleks ever conquered. Though it usually sits catatonic with other Daleks in the upper chambers, this Dalek has been known to prowl around the corridors at night, muttering to itself about extermination…
Custom Damaged Imperial Dalek
One of my favourite designs of Dalek of all time is the white and gold Imperial Dalek. Remembrance of the Daleks was the first episode of Doctor Who that I remember seeing, and as such this striking colour scheme has been ingrained in my mind since my love of Doctor Who began. Unfortunately, the opportunity to do custom Imperial Daleks is few and far between – as some fans may have already noted, this is not an Imperial Dalek figure, it is in fact a regular Dalek figure painted white and gold, and the ear lights have been replaced with larger plastic computer parts – the severed ends of two capacitors – that have been painted gold. True Imperial Daleks have fewer slats and a distinctive triangular protrusion on the front that I was unable to replicate on this figure. As such, this Dalek represents a transitional period between the Necros Daleks and the standard Imperial Daleks.
One of Davros’ early soldiers from the Dalek Civil War, this Imperial Dalek is caught up in constant firefights in the Asylum with what remains of the Renegade faction. Although the Imperial numbers dwindle, several other Daleks have pledged themselves to the cause, meaning the fighting is likely to continue for many more millennia.
Custom Modified New Skaro Dalek
This distinctive design of Dalek is seen briefly in the Series 9 episode The Witch’s Familiar, during a section that was actually filmed using models. The scene depicts three Daleks in a corridor on Skaro, but one in particular is distinctive as it appears to be a standard 60s Classic Dalek but with a New Series Dalek base. The Dalek in question was actually a remote controlled toy that was used for the model shot, hence the differences – though this isn’t the first time that the production team used remote control Daleks for model shots. This Dalek was customised to resemble the Dalek from that scene, using a Classic Series Dalek but with a New Series base. To add to the Asylum effect, I decided to give this Dalek wires that circle its casing and have embedded themselves where the manipulator arm should be. The gunstick is also restrained, giving the impression that this Dalek is immensely trigger-happy. The entire model was also given a black wash with Citadel paint.
Even among the inmates of the Asylum, there are some Daleks that are too insane to be let loose. This Dalek was sent to the Asylum for the Dalek equivalent of a homicide, and has been trying to destroy Daleks ever since. The mechanisms that were put into place to restrain this Dalek are failing, however, and eventually it will resume its killing spree.
Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series showcasing the updated version of my Dalek Asylum custom figure collection. 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 II of the Destroyed New Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover Time War Daleks in my collection that have been modified to resemble the twisted, malformed remains of destroyed inmates in the Dalek Asylum. Dalek mutants are fun to make, but if they’re used too often then they lose their impact. If every destroyed Dalek had an intricate mutant inside, the mutant wouldn’t be special anymore. However, it’s also important to find the middle ground between too many mutants and too few, as it would make sense in the lore of the Dalek Asylum that Dalek mutants would be a common sight. As such, Dalek mutant feature somewhat prominently in this showcase.
Another prominent theme in this showcase is Daleks destroyed by infighting in the Asylum. This will come up often in the ‘lore’ sections of these Dalek custom figure showcases, but in reality the backstories of these Daleks are completely made up by me. Some of them are created to resemble Daleks that are seen in the Asylum in Asylum of the Daleks, but at this point I have more Daleks in my collection than are seen on-screen in that episode. Nonetheless, an explanation has to be given for the number of destroyed Daleks in the Asylum, and Dalek infighting seems to be a logical reason. After all, not only is the Asylum supposed to be populated with insane Daleks, but the Daleks inside are sourced from all points throughout Dalek history, and we know from previous Doctor Who TV episodes and Big Finish audios that Daleks are not always a cohesive Empire. Infighting is a common occurrence between particular Dalek sub-factions.
As such, infighting within the Asylum is a prominent theme across the customs collection. Many of the destroyed Daleks are of the Time War variety, the most common type of Dalek in the Asylum, and likely the most insane due to the horrific nature of the Time War itself. Some of these Daleks, although destroyed, house mutants that are seemingly very much alive, and plotting revenge…
Destroyed Dalek with Mutant
The first custom showcases a Dalek mutant that I created using computer wires, paper, wood glue, hot glue, plastic parts and cardboard. The eye is a dried dot of glue painted over, and the brain was created using wood glue and paper squashed together and traced with lines. The entire mutant was painted green apart from the brain, which is painted purple, and the eye which has silver, blue and green paint. The top of the casing itself was cut off using a hacksack, and the top half of the casing was further cut up and glued back onto the bottom half to form the base in which the mutant sits. The broken eyestalk was created using a piece of a pen held in place with hot glue, and the entire casing was painted bronze and then given a black wash to give it a grimy finish.
A victim of a vicious firefight within the Asylum, this Dalek mutant is determined to survive despite the critical damage done to its casing. Manoeuvring the damaged pieces into protective armour, the mutant emerges from the shell, determined to claim another Dalek casing for its own.
Headless Destroyed Time War Dalek
This custom is a prime example of the ‘basic’ Asylum customs that are numerous in the collection, as although it would be fun for each and every Dalek to feature elaborate alterations or additions, one has to consider the collection when it is viewed as a whole. In the TV story Asylum of the Daleks, many of the Daleks seen feature only minor alterations, and the few that are seen destroyed have very simple damage effects applied to them, usually taking advantage of the modular construction of the Dalek props as has been customary during production of Doctor Who for many years. As such, the destroyed Daleks seen are often missing anything from the head to the entire top section, and this Dalek was created to exemplify this. The insides were created using cardboard, plastic and hot glue, then painted with black Citadel paint. The entire model was then given a black wash, particularly around the top and the spheres on the skirt.
Some Daleks in the Asylum are unfortunate enough to be a victim of ‘friendly fire’ – this Dalek was part of a band of more lucid Dalek inmates who were attempting to find a way out of the facility before they encountered a group of insane Dalek scavengers. In the resulting firefight, this Dalek was accidentally hit by blaster fire from its allies, and the dome of its casing was blasted apart. The mutant inside later died, and this casing stands waiting for an opportunistic Dalek mutant to claim it.
Blasted Time War Dalek
Not all destroyed Dalek customs have to involve significant damage to the casing, after all if every destroyed Dalek figure was similar then there would be nothing exciting about the more interesting ones. This kind of destroyed Dalek custom is very easy to make, all that was done to this Dalek (which was already missing the eyestalk and gunstick when I received it) was a few cuts into the casing with a hacksaw and a black wash with watered-down Citadel paint. Strangely enough, though included in the concept art, there are few Daleks seen in the Asylum with their eyestalks missing, and the few that are tend to be Paradigm Daleks, of all things. However, given the nature of the Time War and the fact that the eyestalk is a known weakness of the Daleks, it seems strange that there are not more eye-less Daleks in the Asylum.
Having been blinded in a battle during the Time War, this Dalek was admitted to the Asylum for its battle-scarred state – the mutant inside had lost the ability to control its casing, blind or not. Regardless, this Dalek now spins and crashes around indiscriminately, screaming perpetually as it lives out its days in the Asylum.
Ambushed Time War Dalek
This custom was originally supposed to be a destroyed Dalek Thay figure, but damage to the back part of the model as well as a more suitable candidate becoming available meant that this custom was condemned to the Asylum. The bronze finish was created by spray-painting the figure black and then using a dry brush and a light application of bronze Citadel paint to complete the look. The top half of the Dalek was torn off using a hacksaw, and the gooey flesh inside was created using tissue, wood glue and green paint. The entire model was then given a black wash and light applications of grey paint to finish it off.
Ambushed by an opposing faction of scavengers and left to rot, this Time War-era Dalek casing stands as a grisly warning to any who dare entire the territory of the Dalek Splicers, a nasty faction who steal the parts from other Daleks to sustain themselves. This unfortunate victim lost several panels as well as the entire upper half of its casing in seconds.
Damaged Mutant Reveal Dalek
The final Dalek in this instalment is one that I am particularly proud of, a damaged Dalek casing that reveals the mutant festering within. This custom came together quite by accident, as after the top half was cut off using a hacksaw and several of the spheres removed, the damaged insides were originally planned to be painted black like some of the other customs in the collection, thus simulating an ashen remains effect. However, the shape of the plastic, tissue and glue insides that I put together, when dry, resembled a claw attached to a tiny creature. As there is precedent for Dalek mutants possessing claws, as seen in Remembrance of the Daleks, it was as if this custom was meant to be. The mutant was painted Citadel paints and Sharpee pens for an added gloss effect, and the entire figure was given several coats of black wash.
Not all the damaged Daleks in the Asylum are inert – several contain very much living specimens of pure Dalek hatred. These mutants will stop at nothing to hijack a new casing and continue their killing sprees. However, this mutant appears to be different. Either due to insanity or as a result of some maniacal plan, this mutant spends its days sat in the ruins of its barely-mobile casing, using a mutated, malformed claw to create indecipherable scratch markings on whatever surface it comes across. As it moves throughout the Asylum, other Daleks seem to avoid it – as if they are terrified of it.
Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new blog posts showcasing my collection of custom Dalek Asylum inmates, including custom Classic 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. Classic Daleks are awesome, especially when they are acknowledged by and appear in the New Series of Doctor Who. Asylum of the Daleks was supposed to be the one and only heyday of Classic Series Daleks in the New Series, but the disappointing lack of appearances coupled with issues on-set with many of the props led to a distinct lack of Classic Dalek action in that story. This need not apply to the Asylum customs collection, however, as over the years I have acquired many broken Classic Dalek figures and putting them to use in the Asylum has been a very rewarding experience. There is something exciting about customising Classic Dalek figures – even though the figures themselves aren’t radically different from the New Series Daleks in terms of design, they are fairly different in construction, particularly the finer points of how the neck section is put together, and this coupled with the obvious draw of Classic Daleks themselves to a Dalek fan makes these customs very fun to make.
Part II 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 destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Classic Series Daleks can be hard to come by, especially in dry spells between figure releases. Right now the best way to get them cheap is by scouring eBay, although the selection is sparse. Many of these destroyed Daleks were made using broken Classic Series Dalek figures that I acquired as part of a bundle.
Custom Destroyed Blue Skaro Dalek
Although they never appeared in the Asylum itself, it can be assumed that this style of Dalek, seen in the Series 9 opening two-parter The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar, appeared in the Asylum as a cyan version of the Dead Planet Daleks, also seen in Series 9, appear in the Asylum so it makes sense that this version would too. The figure itself started out life as an Emperor’s Guard figure from The Evil of the Daleks, though it has since been heavily modified beyond recognition – the head was removed, and I filled the inside of the neck with cardboard, hot glue and tissue paper, and the base of the shoulder section has been repainted cyan to give it the distinctive look of the Series 9 Classic Series Daleks. Finally, I removed several of the spheres and gave the figure a black wash with several specific details done several times over with black Citadel paint.
Even the most trusted court of Davros are not immune to the sentence of exile to the Asylum, should they demonstrate non-Dalek tendencies. This Dalek was once a member of Davros’ personal guard on Skaro, but was sent to the Asylum for demonstrating genuine care for its creater , going so far as to call Davros “Father.”
Custom Destroyed Earth Invasion Dalek
It is often a challenge to come up with new ideas of things to do with the Dalek Saucer Pilot from the Classic Dalek Collectors Set #2, especially when you get one that is already damaged. One might assume that simply removing the base and making it a classic Dead Planet Dalek custom is a logical solution, although I like to keep the number of Dead Planet Daleks in the Asylum to a minimum in order to preserve the sense of realism. As such, several ‘Earth Invasion’ Daleks are present in the Asylum, such as this one which sports a cyan and silver colour scheme on the shoulder section similar to those seen in the Series 9 two-part Dalek story set on Skaro, yet this Dalek still features the bulky base characteristic of all Invasion-era Daleks.
This damaged Dalek lieutenant has been festering in the Asylum since the Dalek invasion of Earth, and was critically damaged due to Human resistance and thus sent to the darkest depths of the prison planet for repairs. The promised repairs never came, however, as automated drones were far too busy repairing the facility itself. The mutant inside this Dalek casing waits and contemplates revenge…
Custom Destroyed Renegade Dalek
For all its bombastic battles and exploding Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks features very few instances of destroyed Renegade Daleks. Aside from the destroyed Dalek at Totter’s Lane and a Renegade Dalek that takes a hit in Ratcliffe’s Junkyard and stands idle as a result, there are few visible Rengade casualties that aren’t simply reduced to ash by the Special Weapons Dalek. As such, I was able to go all out for this custom, creating a destroyed grey Dalek that takes inspiration from how destroyed Daleks of the era look but also adding a flair of my own. Believe it or not, this figure started out life as a gold Dalek Supreme from Day of the Daleks, painted to resemble a Renegade Dalek. The top half was cut off with a hacksaw, and the remains of the upper neck section were used to create the new top half which I held together with hot glue and tissue paper. The insides were painted a dull green to represent the dead Dalek mutant and the entire figure was given a black wash.
Though the war itself is long over, Imperial Daleks and Renegade Daleks still fight to the death in the depths of the Asylum. As other insane Daleks cheer them on, the last remnants of a long-forgotten conflict eradicate each other – leaving grim relics like this one to rot in the corridors of the Asylum forevermore.
Custom Destroyed Necros Dalek Mutant
Every once in a while it is fun to go all-out for a destroyed Dalek custom – after all, each one should look unique, and this one in particular was designed with uniqueness in mind. Not only is it one of the few Necros Daleks in the Asylum collection, but this custom also features a distinctive custom Dalek mutant that I made using hot glue, tissue paper, the tentacles from a 12″ Dalek Sec Hybrid figure and plastic wires from an old computer. The figure itself has an interesting history – I bought it pre-customised as part of a damaged and broken Dalek figure eBay lot, and then later discovered that it had appeared on a custom figure showcase video on Youtube, though since then the paint had begun to flake off. I repainted the custom in the Necros colouration and added the mutant on top, as well as several pieces of classic Dalek neck grille around the mutant to complete the effect.
It is unknown if Davros was ever aware of the Dalek Asylum, though several of the Daleks that languish here are the results of his failed experiments. This particular Dalek was captured with Davros by the Dalek Supreme Council and was cast into the Asylum due to their disgust. After its distinctive casing took irreparable damage, the mutant inside attempts to free itself from its casing to find a new home…
Remember to Like and Share for more content like this!
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…
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.
Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new custom figure showcase posts presenting the updated version of my Dalek customs collection. 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 Destroyed 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 destroyed or damaged beyond repair. One of the most common problems a long-time Dalek custom creator will encounter is an abundance of New Series Daleks that are missing their eyestalks, gunsticks and manipulator arms, mostly due to the fact these have a tendency to be lost, broken or taken to be sold on as spare parts in their own right. As a result, New Series Daleks appear often, and more often than not they are missing at least one of their appendages, if not more.
However, creating destroyed Dalek customs is always a viable option, and this presents itself as the most viable option for three important reasons. First, destroyed Dalek customs are relatively easy to make, and therefore they do not take up anywhere near as much time as a complete repaint or a delicate custom build requires. Secondly, making destroyed Daleks is a good way of disposing of broken or otherwise useless Daleks, which are a common sight among Dalek seller lots. Lastly, destroyed Daleks are a common sight not only in the Asylum but across Doctor Who media, so there is a lot of inspiration to draw from.
Nonetheless, without further ado, let’s begin the showcase with the first destroyed Time War Dalek Asylum inmate:
Headless Destroyed Time War Dalek
This simple custom was created using a standard bronze Dalek as the base, with the appendages removed. The incision to the top half of the Dalek was achieved using a hacksaw, and the inside is stuffed with papier-mâché painted over with black watercolours. Speaking of paint, the lower half of the Dalek was treated with a black wash which was concentrated nearer the top, giving the impression that the Dalek was destroyed by an explosion.
Destroyed Dalek casings like this were common within the Asylum, as the bronze Time War era Daleks made up the majority of the Asylum’s residents, and therefore made up the majority of the casualties of the constant infighting within the Asylum.
Obliterated Time War Dalek
This custom was created in a similar manner to the previous, with the top half being cut away using a hacksaw and the inside being filled with papier-mâché and painted over using black paint. This custom also features missing spheres, which were removed using a smaller hacksaw and smoothed off using sandpaper. Like the previous custom, this Dalek was treated with a light black wash to add a grime effect.
Some Daleks that were condemned to the Asylum found their stay there short-lived. This is certainly true of this Time War soldier, who was destroyed mere months after arriving. The remains of this Dalek now serve as one of many of the Asylum’s grim relics.
Old Destroyed Time War Dalek
This custom was created using a slightly more complex method than the previous two, as the inner workings of this Dalek were put together using scrap pieces of computer wire and hot glue. The outer casing had been previously treated with several layers of black spray paint, and was then dry-brushed with bronze paint to give it the weathered effect before the top was cut off with a hacksaw. The final custom was then given a black wash to add a consistent layer of grime.
Due to the temporally unstable nature of the Dalek race, certain residents of the Asylum were far, far older than others. This Time War era Dalek appears to have been in the Asylum for centuries, having been destroyed at some point by other Daleks in what must have been a fierce explosion.
Ancient Destroyed Time War Dalek
This custom was created by shearing off the top half of the Dalek with a hacksaw and filling the lower half using compacted tissue paper layered over with glue. As with the previous custom, before any alterations were made to this Dalek, it was spray painted black and dry-brushed with bronze paint to give it a weathered effect. Black paint was also concentrated on the destroyed remains of the upper half, and the base.
Even in it’s earliest years, the Asylum was host to several factions of infighting Daleks, including some from the Time War who had been thrown back in time. This unfortunate specimen was one of the first Time War Daleks to enter the Asylum, and was also one of the first to die there.
Destroyed Asylum Spider Host Dalek
And saving the most interesting custom until last, this one requires some explaining. In the Doctor Who episode Asylum of the Daleks, from which the entire idea of the Dalek Asylum originated, many of the Daleks in the Asylum appear to be covered in cobwebs. This made it clear to me that there must be some kind of spider-like creature living in the Asylum in order for these webs to have appeared. It would seem logical that such a creature would use the Daleks themselves either for food or as a means of facilitating reproduction, and this custom was designed to represent that by posing the idea that a Dalek is actually the creature responsible for the webs, albeit one that has mutated and adapted to have such a function. It’s former casing is now filled with disgusting spider eggs made using globs of hot glue, as the deranged spider-like form (a mutant taken from the Genesis of the Daleks set) guards its spawn.
In the darkness of the Asylum, a horrific creature stirs. It is shunned and hated by the Daleks in the Asylum, for this creature was once itself a Dalek. Having betrayed all that the Daleks stand for by merging with a native life form and mutating, a former Dalek Commander, now an insane mutated husk of its former self, guards its malformed spider eggs as it spins its webs throughout the caverns of its prison.
Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new posts including galleries showcasing my collection of custom Dalek Asylum 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 Classic Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover my collection of custom Classic Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear destroyed or damaged beyond repair. Although they appear more rarely than the 2005 New Series design, Classic Daleks are still a staple of a Dalek custom creator’s regular inventory. Thanks to the release of numerous Classic Dalek Collector’s Sets back in the mid 2010s, particularly the prominent B&M re-release of the Dalek Collector’s Set #2, Classic Dalek figures are a common sight in Dalek lots and bundles for sale. The most common varieties are the three Daleks features in the second collectors set – the Dalek Saucer Pilot from 1964’s The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Black-domed Emperor’s Guard from 1967’s The Evil of the Daleks, and the gold Supreme Dalek from the 1972 story Day of the Daleks.
Despite their relatively rarity, finding broken classic Daleks is unfortunately a common occurrence. There is one silver lining to this, however, in that broken Classic Daleks make the perfect base for destroyed Classic Daleks, particularly since they are rare. It has to be noted that almost all of the destroyed Classic Dalek customs seen in this showcase use broken figures as their base models, no intact rare Classic Daleks were harmed in the making of these customs. I was particularly lucky in that, thanks to proximity to the local B&M, I was able to acquire a large number of the Dalek Collector’s Set #2, as will become apparent as these blog posts continue. Without further ado, let’s get into the showcase:
Custom Destroyed Skaro Dalek Asylum Inmate
This custom was made using a heavily modified Saucer Pilot from the previously mentioned Dalek Collector’s Set #2. All that was required to make this Dalek from The Dalek Invasion of Earth resembled a Dalek from The Dead Planet was the removal of the bulky base and a light repaint. The dome was painted silver and the rest of the Dalek model was given a silver coat to ensure uniformity. Following this, the spheres were painted cyan and the custom was painted with a black wash to give it a grimy look.
Undoubtedly the more prominent residents of the Asylum are the older Daleks that reside there – though many are destroyed or catatonic, old Daleks litter the Asylum’s halls, and were the area not so dangerous many Dalek historians would have a field day in the facility. This particular Dalek dates back all the way to the Doctor’s first encounter with them on Skaro, though it has been rotting in the Asylum for thousands of years.
Custom Destroyed Imperial Dalek
One of the benefits of having a wide range of Dalek models present in the second Collector’s Set is the array of opportunities that are presented. Due to the fact that the BBC repainted many Dalek props in the Classic era, many Daleks share the same base model, with only the colour schemes telling them apart. As such it is possible to completely rework a Dalek figure for a completely new purpose with just a few coats of paint. This custom perfectly illustrates this process, as this Imperial Dalek custom was once a Day of the Daleks Supreme. With the head removed, the base replaced and sporting an off-white and gold colour scheme, this custom really looks the part. The innards were made using pieces of plastic held together with hot glue and painted over with black, silver and green, and the entire custom was given a black wash to add the Asylum feel.
A casualty of one of the old Dalek Civil Wars, this former Imperial soldier now languishes in the Asylum after suffering severe damage to its casing. The current status of the mutant inside is unknown, as the Asylum medical computers are not programmed to operate on the slightly unorthodox Imperial Dalek biology.
Custom Destroyed Earth Invasion Dalek
This custom was another created using a Dalek Saucer Pilot, though this one has been heavily modified with the top cut off via hacksaw and the manipulator arm removed. The top part of the Dalek has been fitted with a papier-mâché wreckage with part of the neck section grille attached using hot glue. The idea for this custom came from the fact that in early Doctor Who serials dead Daleks would seep green goo as they died. This custom was therefore created to give the impression that the top part of the Dalek was destroyed long ago, and the green goo has long since fossilised. The entire custom was given a grey wash to enhance the sense of long-abandonment. Unlike several other The Dalek Invasion of Earth-themed customs in this series, the base of this Dalek is removable, meaning it can also double as an early The Dead Planet Skaro Dalek.
In the depths of the Asylum, dead Daleks have been rotting for millenia. This particular specimen was put in the Asylum long ago, and survived for years even after the top half of its casing was destroyed by in constant infighting found within the Asylum. However, after long years of dereliction the Dalek mutant within the casing eventually retreated into a hateful hibernation, and its secreted Dalek blood has hardened to form a repulsive biological shell, fused with the remains of its casing.
Custom Destroyed Emperor’s Guard Dalek
This custom was created to represent the early stages of the previous custom’s destruction process – this Dalek has just been destroyed, so the green goo is vibrant and the mutant inside is active. This Dalek is based on the dying Emperor’s Guard Daleks seen in 1967’s The Evil of the Daleks, when rebel Daleks infected with the Human factor invade the throne room of the Dalek Emperor and destroy his casing, killing his guards in the process. The camera lingers on a dying Dalek mutant as a writhes in the remains of its casing. This custom was created using pieces of plastic, metal (particularly old screws) and cardboard held together with hot glue and given numerous repaits. The stubby tentacles are actually the fingers of a 12″ Dalek Sec Hybrid figure, painted the same green as the mutant and held in place with hot glue. The casing was painted using black Citadel paints and a black water-based paint wash. The mutants eye was created using silver paint over a blob of dried glue, which I then drew over using red and blue permanent marker.
A resident of the Asylum’s upper levels, this ferocious Dalek mutant simply refuses to die. Lashing out at all who come near it, the creature plans to leave its damaged casing and acquire a new method of transportation, almost certainly by slaughtering another of its own kind. The creature inside is past caring about Dalek homogeneity, however, as it is quite insane, and willing to do whatever it takes to survive the dark, treacherous depths of the Asylum.
Remember to Like and Share for more content like this!
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.
It has been over a year now since the last major Dalek Asylum Custom Collections Tour on Sacred Icon, and although a small teaser was uploaded several months ago, the customs have changed significantly since then – but as of this month, our preparations are complete, and so now is the time to announce the Asylum Project, a new and updated showcase of over a hundred unique Dalek Asylum custom figures. Together, they form a huge diorama of the Dalek Asylum, with each and every model being meticulously created by hand, renovating old, broken or otherwise unwanted Dalek figures to create a vast art installation.
The Dalek Asylum
As seen in the Series 7 episode Asylum of the Daleks, the Dalek Asylum is a hollowed-out planet filled with vast underground chambers and a honeycomb of interconnecting corridors that the Daleks use as a dumping ground for the most insane amongst their number. Daleks that are so battle-scarred, insane or unhinged that they are unable to function among the Dalek race, but have otherwise done no wrong, are committed to the Dalek Asylum for safekeeping out of a twisted since of respect for the pure hatred that these creatures represent. Once a fully-automated self-repairing facility, the Asylum has decayed over the millennia of abuse to the point that it now exists as little more than a dark recluse for its deranged denizens, as many of its actual repair or rehabilitation facilities have long since been damaged beyond repair.
Either as a result of its unfathomable age or Dalek time-travel meddling, the Asylum contains many examples of Classic Daleks alongside their bronze Time War era brethren, and several factions of Daleks from centuries ago the in their history still fight age-old wars amongst themselves within the deepest parts of the Asylum. Alongside that are factions that have sprung up within the Asylum itself, such as bands of the more insane inmates that upkeep their own casings by hunting the newest inhabitants and ‘recycling’ them, leading many to sport mismatched casings made up of bits and pieces of several types of Dalek. Several of the scientists that were once stationed to study the inmates of the Asylum have since been admitted themselves, and these usually form the brains behind the organised bands of scavenging Splicer Daleks throughout the Asylum.
Arguably the most dangerous part of the Asylum, however, is the ‘intensive care’ ward – a location designed to house nothing less than the most insane Daleks in the Asylum. Many of these are examples of lone survivors of famous Dalek campaigns against the Doctor, and after thousands of years of vain attempts to calm these vicious specimens, the ward now exists as a glorified prison for its occupants – and with good reason. The Daleks that reside here are so murderous in their eternal rage that they have been deliberately containing within separate cages with their weapons removed as a safety precaution to prevent them from killing each other. Should they ever be released among the other inmates of the Asylum, they would surely stir up enough bloodlust among the imprisoned Daleks that they would attempt to escape, a possibility so terrifying that it scares even the Supreme Dalek.
The Asylum Project aims to capture the the essence of this unique setting by portraying a diverse and eclectic selection of Dalek inmates from a wide variety of points in Dalek history. Almost every type of Dalek is represented here in some form, and one of the joys of using the Dalek Asylum as a template for a custom project is the range of freedoms it provides for Dalek customs. Several examples of the Daleks seen in this collection are totally new designs that incorporate elements of several different Dalek designs, and this is due to the design philosophy for this art installation of broadening the scope of the Dalek Asylum from what we saw on-screen.
The Asylum Project
For those not already aware, my name is Cameron, and I run the Sacred Icon blog, writing blog posts about several science fiction franchises from Star Trek to Transformers. However, a franchise I tend to talk about a lot on this blog is Doctor Who, because it is honestly my all-time favourite series and arguably my favourite thing about Doctor Who it the Daleks themselves. Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with the Daleks, and this has fuelled by passion for creating custom Dalek figures. As so many Dalek figures one can find on eBay and in other places around the internet are damaged, it can often be difficult to come up with new and creative ideas for the huge numbers of broken, incomplete or otherwise unusable Dalek figures that are floating around. However, when the concept of the Dalek Asylum was introduced, this created a goldmine of potential ideas for Dalek customs, and I endeavoured to actualise as many of those ideas as I could in Dalek figure form.
Ironically, though the production team behind Asylum of the Daleks went to the trouble of acquiring lots of Classic Dalek props to use in the episode, the actual variety of ideas we saw on-screen was fairly limited – many of the Daleks appeared merely broken or slightly damaged as opposed to the insane, battle-scarred warriors that they were described as. Even worse, the Classic Daleks were woefully underused, to the point that Moffat felt the need to being Classic Daleks back again just two seasons later to compensate. In fairness, they were working with full-size props and were on a time and budget limit, but nonetheless the customs in my collection involve a more diverse array of Daleks and explore additional concepts to those seen on-screen. As such, not all of the Daleks in the collection are screen-accurate, indeed only a handful are based on specific Daleks from the episode itself. One of the best things about the idea of the Asylum is that the Daleks within are sourced from many different points in Dalek history, including points in their timeline that we, the fanbase, have not seen. As such, making Asylum customs opens the doors for more creative freedom when it comes to colour schemes and general designs. For more information on the Dalek props used in Asylum of the Daleks, check out this comprehensive guide created by the wonderful folks over at Dalek 63:88.
Overall, the process of creating Dalek customs is always relaxing and enjoyable to me, but there is something special about creating customs for the Asylum collection, as each Dalek adds to the collective history of the collection. The Asylum Project is a source of immense personal pride for me, as I have put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that each individual figure is as good as I can make it. The entire project has taught me a lot about model making (particularly on the health and safety side) and I am proud to share my collection of custom Daleks with the world. I hope you enjoy browsing them! For those who are interested, there is the potential for some of these Daleks to be put up for sale at some point in the future. I am considering setting up a Youtube channel to further showcase the figures in video form, rather than static images, so perhaps the figures will go up for sale concurrently with that, when it eventually transpires. For now though, none of these figures are for sale. However, I will be offering tips throughout the figure showcases of how to create your own Dalek customs, and with that in mind I have also written a brief ‘how-to’ guide regarding setting up your own Dalek customs workshop.
Making your own Dalek Customs
For a fan of the Daleks there is perhaps nothing better than creating Dalek Customs, as the availability of cheap broken Dalek figures on sites like eBay coupled with the relative ease of creating a convincing destroyed Dalek has led many fans to having a go at fixing up their own custom Dalek. However, it takes more work that you would initially think to design and build a really good destroyed Dalek, and even more to pull off a perfect repaint of a pristine Dalek figure. Part of what this project is all about is encouraging would-be Dalek Custom creators to make their ideas reality, and if this installation proves anything it is that you can create some amazing things with simple materials from around the house that you would never think to use otherwise. For example, a lot of the Dalek mutants seen throughout the collection were made primarily out of old headphone wires and tissue paper. Upcycling and re-using of old junk plays an important part in customising Daleks, and it is an excellent way to make creative use of computer waste and difficult-to-recycle plastics that would otherwise be sent to rot in landfill.
To create your own Dalek custom, the first thing you will need as a Dalek to base it on. These are usually easy to find – if you have been a fan of the show since your childhood, chances are you have a Dalek figure lying around somewhere – or, if you have children who have recently grown out of their Tennant-era toys, consider bringing a new lease of life to these otherwise abandoned relics. As previously mentioned, sites like eBay are useful for picking up bundles of broken Daleks, and sometimes a huge batch comes along for ridiculously low prices that are really useful for Dalek Custom army-building. Also be sure to check out local car boot sales or charity shops – you never know what you might find, and old action figures are definitely something that pops up a lot in those sorts of places.
Second, you will need the arts and crafts materials themselves – depending on what kind of custom you want to make, you might need anything from paints and brushes to glue and cutting tools, but remember that almost anything can be used in a custom figure – what matters is how it is done. For example, hot glue is an excellent means of bonding plastics, and it also doubles as convincing Dalek goo when it dries and is painted over in green. However, you could just as easily use plastic glue or any strong adhesive that you have at home for your custom. Though it is good to have high-quality paints such as the Citadel paints from Games Workshop, most paints work on Dalek plastic and several of the early customs in the Asylum collection use Humbrol paints that date back to the 90s, proving that just about anything is possible.
Be sure to be sensible with the kind of arts and crafts that you are using, as although it might seem like a good idea to go out and buy a hot glue gun to get started on your first custom, if you have no idea how to use it properly, you will inevitably end up with a nasty burn. This metaphorically applies to almost all elements of DIY – enthusiasm for the task is meaningless without the skill to do it properly and, most importantly, precaution is required to get the job done with no injuries. It is therefore best to start small when it comes to your first Dalek custom, and ideally you will want to use materials you have at hand without having to spend any money at all. Buying the equipment necessary to have a flexible arsenal for creating a diverse range of Dalek customs would likely cost upwards of £100 including paints, tools and brushes, so start cheap until you know if you have a flair for DIY.
Next, you will need ideas. This is arguably the most important aspect, as a good idea is what drives the creative process of making the custom, so without a solid idea the project will rapidly lose direction. If you are stuck for ideas, feel free to use any of the figures in these showcases as templates for customs, and if you’re really stuck you can always try re-watching Asylum of the Daleks, and that is not something that you will find is regularly recommended to you. However, as poor as the episode itself is, you can still find some inspiration among the wasted potential. A good way of thinking up a damaged Dalek custom is thinking of interesting ways in which Daleks could be damaged or destroyed, and go from there. Think of ideas like “What would a Dalek that fell down a mineshaft look like?” or “What would a Dalek’s casing look like if it were attacked by a bear?”.
Once you have the Dalek, the appropriate tools and an idea, all you need next is the will to create a custom. Getting to grips with using model-making tools and precise paintbrushes can be tricky at first, but don’t be afraid to start a practice run and find that you have to start again. As any comparison between the two custom collection showcases on this blog will inform you, there is always room for significant improvement. Keep at it and you will soon start to see the results that you want. To that end, I would like to recommend the paints and brushes from the Games Workshops, now rebranded to Warhammer shops in some parts of the UK, whose tools are perfect for this sort of work. The staff are always friendly and will answer any questions you have about model-making. I personally use the Warhammer shops both in Liverpool and Warrington town centers on a regular basis, and I have had nothing but positive experiences there.
Who knew that making Dalek customs helps the environment? But if you think about it, creating Dalek customs is an artistic and creative way of making use of pieces of plastic that would, lets face it, otherwise be filling landfill. Many of the bundles that I buy on eBay or receive as donations are old collections of broken toys, either being put up for sale by the former children who owned them or the parents of children that have grown out of action figures. As such, had they not fallen into the hands of someone who could make use of broken Dalek figures, they would have almost certainly have been thrown away.
However, the eco-friendly nature of this hobby goes further than that – the more elaborate customs make use of a plethora of upcycled computer parts, plastic pieces, wires, electronic parts, old stationary and much more. Even though only a small number of Daleks in the Asylum collection are elaborate customs that required lots of parts, I still need to ask around my friends, in the workplace and even charity shops for old computer parts, wires and otherwise disposable electronic components. Scavenging these parts that would otherwise have ended up in the bin is one small way of helping the planet, and it is nice that this is a great eco-friendly side effect of the hobby that I am passionate about.
The Asylum Project and Sacred Icon
So what’s next for this blog? The answer is simple – Dalek Customs. This project has taken up a large amount of time and so I want to give the customs the attention that they deserve, as such the posts will be numerous and contain in-depth descriptions of how each custom was made as well as a short description of how it might have ended up in the Asylum in-universe to give you an idea of my thought process as I created the customs. Each custom will also have several pictures taken from different angles.
In terms of the blog posts themselves, I have arranged them into categories based on their classification, Classic Series Daleks and New Series Daleks, as well as their condition, destroyed or intact. However, I will be releasing the posts in a varied order, so each posted blog will alternate between intact New Series Daleks, destroyed Classic Series Daleks, destroyed New Series Daleks and intact Classic Series Daleks, as well as any other additional posts in the series. It is also worth mentioning that, although not part of the Asylum Project specifically, there will also be other custom showcase posts at the end that will analyse my other non-Asylum Dalek customs – including my Big Finish Dalek customs.