Tough Customs: Davros


I have been planning on making this Davros minimate ever since I started making Doctor Who customs several months ago. My biggest obstacle was the base, which I did not want to sink hours into sculpting or recreating with other materials. However, in the UK you can buy 2.5″ Daleks that are motorized and even talk when you move them. I held off using these for Davros, since they were very expensive to import at $20 each. After months of patient waiting, I was able to get a small lot of Daleks on ebay for about $10 each after shipping. At this price point, I could afford to make one into Davros.


I started by removing the screws in the base using a miniature screwdriver, and then removing the batteries from inside the base. I was going to be cutting into the middle of the Dalek, and I did not want to cut into these batteries. Safety first!


I used a special attachment for my Dremel called an EZ Lock, which makes changing cutting accessories a fast and easy process. I used a 1 ½” metal cutting wheel to saw the Dalek in half. I pulled out all of the extra wires by hand.


The picture above shows the base after I trimmed off any excess material and wires. I also sanded the top with a low grit sandpaper to remove and small pieces of plastic, and to level the surface. Then I used a higher grit sandpaper to smooth it out slightly.


To make the chair and controls, I started by cutting up an old health care card. It was easy to cut and bend, but was also much more rigid than the minimate packaging plastic that I usually use. For the levers and buttons, I used the test tubes that came in the BSG Razor box set and cut them into pieces.


In the image above you can see the final painted chair. The additional control details were drawn with an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie. I realized that the original spheres around the outside were silver, instead of gold like on the Dalek I was using. So I had to repaint each one by hand. But that is still better than trying to sculpt them!


Davros himself started with a basic minimate body with a face and chest decal, as seen above. The decals were designed in Adobe Illustrator. His skin has a yellowish tint, so I repainted the original flesh-colored head after I applied the decals.


The wire cage around his head is mostly made from cut up twisty ties. I attached them together with super glue. Even though the twisties were already silver colored, I repainted them with Citadel’s silver paint, which made them look less like twisties and more like the real wire cage. The balls at the corners, and also Davros’ mechanical eye, are sculpted from Apoxie Sculpt.

I am still not finished with this figure. Davros’ left arm is supposed to hang limp in his chair, but that was not possible with the standard minimate articulation. Rad from Minimate Multiverse suggested that I measure how much of Davros’ arm would be below the top of the chair, and to simply remove that area and make it look like his arm continued into the dark part of the chair. I loved this idea and I will be implementing it soon.

I hope that you enjoyed this peek into the creation of a custom minimate.

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4 Responses

  1. Rad says:

    Woo I’m famous. 😀

    Seriously though Luke, I enjoyed reading this article. I still intend to show your stuff off on the SFX forum as I think they’ll really appreciate your work.
    In future if you need any Dr Who stuff drop me a line. I’m happy to look for stuff and supply it at cost.

  2. jjay says:

    Great davros custom, one thing davros only has one, all te way back to genesis of the daleks. The dapol figure from the eighties had to hands and is very well known blunder

  3. cdubya says:

    I love it, great work Luke!! The only suggestion I’d make other than tucking his arm in the chair (perhaps boring a hole to accommodate the arm) would be to use a clawish-hand like the GB Taxi Ghost has(I can’t recall which ‘mates used this part previously, but they may be easier to track-down for parts)to complete the effect. Inspiring stuff!

  4. Shamrock says:

    Sweet! Makes me wish the Dr. Who ‘mates would happen even more.
    One thing though, isn’t one of his hands Mechanical? Or was that just in his most recent appearance? With way, could be done easily with an Endoskeleton hand.