Friday, March 21, 2014

The Australian Costumers Guild SA Quiz Night

The final hurrah for Merrick and Toddi, our final SA ACG Quiz Night went off, bigger an better than ever in November 2013. Every year features a specific theme, and what a better theme for 2013 than 50 Years of our favourite doctor (wait..what?)

Donning 5 and 7 costumes once more, and with the help of our good friend and photographer Eman as 10, we quizzed our way through 8 rounds of general knowledge and geeky trivia. Of course it's not a Whovian event with the TARDIS.

You may recall the awful video I made of the sound chip device. That same device has an input audio jack, so I can actually play whatever I like through the TARDIS speaker system, not just Tardis-y noise.

Here's a video of classic 80s Public Enemy rocking it from the box.

Here's a small range of the Who related costumes on show that night. A small portion of the 150+ through the door.

Photo courtesy of David Ruwoldt. Video by Ben Todd.

A little catching up

The TARDIS blog has been a little quiet lately, since the creation of the Facebook Page. You can check out Where's the TARDIS on Facebook.

The last outing posted was Oz Comic Con in 2012, a massive event that was ridiculously popular, beating out both Armageddon and Supanova conventions for sheer volume of people. I guess the benefit of a clever and controversial name tie-in (see the article here) coupled with some heavy radio TV and print advertising.

They certainly demonstrated there was a demand, as for their second year they scored William Shatner and Richard Dean Anderson as guests. To top that, this year they have Benedict Cumberbatch! Current massive stars who are continually employed doing conventions is almost unheard of in Australia.

Anyway, here's a few photos of some events the TARDIS has appeared at in the past couple of years.

In 2013 The TARDIS was hired for The inaugural Preachr's Podcast Live! event as part for the Fringe Festival. Featuring Benjamin Maio McKay and Melbourne comedian Rob Lloyd, it was a popular show with a sellout crowd. Seen here is Ben, my usual TARDIS transportation assistant in his awesome 7th Doctor Outfit.

With such a great response that we went back in 2014 for double the shows!

You can see the full crew here as our favourite doctors. Well, apart from Rob who dresses like 10 given the resemblance rather than the appreciation.

A few weeks following the Fringe event, and sporting a new coat of paint, The TARDIS appeared once again for Oz Comic Con 2013. Again it was hugely popular convention, however multiple outings were staring to take it's toll on the old phone box. It suffered some significant door damage in transport and the warpage factor (see previous) still reared it's head with the doors no longer lining up. To fix this I installed two strips of angle iron reinforcement down the sides of both doors which greatly improved the alignment.

Local cosplayer Jen appears with the TARDIS at Oz Comic Con 2013.

Following yet another super-successful event, the TARDIS weathered a pretty rough Winter as far as Adelaide goes. It does live outside but has a roof over it, yet this doesn't stop the sides receiving a drenching in heavy downpours.  As such, rot had set it when it was dismantled again in late 2013 for the Australian Costumers Guild Quiz Night. More on that later...

Photos by Ben Todd, myself and Catherine Scholz

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Oz Comic Con

The inaugural Oz Comic Con hit Adelaide last weekend and the TARDIS was asked to attend. Well actually it was offered by the Australian Costumers Guild in kind for some stall space. I think we got the better end of the deal as the stall space we scored (4 bays) costs well over  a grand.

The TARDIS had prime position next to the photo booth just like at Armageddon and was used as the backdrop for literally thousands of photos. This year I installed the sound and light device as built last year for the ACG Ball and this time I had it set up so it be activated by remote control.

Special thanks to Eman once again for the excellent photos. You can check out lots of his excellent events photos on his FB page.
The TARDIS came home with many lipstick marks on it.The thing got some action that weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

RiAus Fringe Event

In late January one of the folks from RiAus, or Royal Institution of Australia contacted me about their upcoming Fringe Festival event and wanted to see if they could secure the use of the TARDIS for a weekend. After a bit of to-and-fro we locked down an install on the Friday and take down the following Monday.

TARDIS set up in the RiAus auditorium
Friday rolled around and naturally it's 39 degrees and extremely hot. The Science Exchange (where RiAus is housed) is not an easy location to get a vehicle and we were pounced on by a parking inspector pretty quickly. We convinced him not to book us unless we were still there upon his return, which fortunately we weren't, having unloaded and backed out in time. I had to park quite a distance away however.

TARDIS install went together pretty well. Some scuffing of the paint work and one tiny broken piece of MDF and it was up. Apparently the host of the show is an avid Who fan and doesn't know that it's coming. It should be a good night!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Accurate light and the Australian Costumers Guild Ball

In an earlier post I mentioned I ran out of time and money to locate, and obtain a more accurate lantern for the top. Suffice to say, before the TARDIS's next public outing I wanted to rectify this. After trawling Ebay for weeks I finally found a suitable lantern. It's made of acrylic, and is a modern copy of the correct fresnelled marine lens (the originals were made of glass). Cost a pretty penny, but alas I wanted accuracy dammit! Especially now there was a spiffy light that actually worked.

So an afternoon of work and fitting, it was in. The uprights are the same dowels as before and the 'hat' or dome is actually a cheap plastic exterior light I came across at Stratco which just happened to be a perfect fit. Fresh coat of paint and we're done!

Thus the TARDIS is complete. However as the National Australian Costumers Guild Ball was approaching I was beginning to wonder about how to transport it. The last saga with getting it to Armageddon, I really did not wish to repeat, there had to be an easier way!

And there was... The roof and the sign boxes were already removable, I modified the sign boxes for the side slightly to make them 'slide' into place rather than screw in. With that modification, the side walls could be unscrewed at the corners and slid out. The front and back were unscrewed from the anchor points as single slabs (doors, sign boxes and all). These two are pretty heavy, but manageable. Then the base can be moved, so ultimately it came apart in 8 pieces and could be transported in the family trailer. No more hiring a trailer!

So here it is, complete and in place at the Australian Costumers Guild Ball, where it was a feature for our costume parade skit.

There was several doctors at this year's ball. Thanks again to Eman and to Catherine & David for the pics.

Additional Updates

After sitting under my pergola for some months following the TARDIS' debut at Armageddon Adelaide, I felt the time was nigh to add lighting to the interior and also to create an electronic sound board.

I'd been researching the soundboard idea on the net for some time, looking at a basic wiring video provided on YouTube by a guy in the USA (he's fond of 'soddering' whatever that is...)

Anyway this is his video:

So I was able to identify some of the parts and then order them online myself from The remaining parts I got from the local JayCar electronics here in Adelaide. 

Not quite as neat as this fellow's layout, but I incorporated my own into a black box that is mounted on the back wall of the TARDIS. It has a little more flexibility as there is a permanent line in jack, so I can either use the pre-saved TARDIS sound on the soundboard, or with a standard audio cable I can plug in a laptop, MP3 player, phone or whatever and play sound files through the TARDIS. There's also a permanent mounted powerboard inside to which the interior light is plugged in. So ultimately there are two lights, the lamp on top that lights up with the sound, and the standard interior light, which lights up the windows and the sign boxes. Very effective in low light!

I made a video like the one above of my own soundboard.

So at left is the TARDIS with the interior light on (with flash and without flash) sitting under my modified pergola. My wife was very understanding when I told her we had to add an extra peak to our pergola to accommodate the TARDIS. You may remember earlier posts that mentioned it wouldn't fit with the roof on. The shade cloth on the peak is covered with transparent plastic to keep the rain off. Only when it rains really heavily does the TARDIS get wet and even then only the bottom foot or so gets damp. The bottom has a very thick coating of paint, and realistically it rains that heavy only maybe 10 times a year so it should be okay for some time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Armageddon Expo Adelaide

So the TARDIS had its debut at the first Armageddon Expo to be held in Adelaide. As I hadn't made it as dismantleable (is that a word?) as originally planned, I had to hire a trailer to transport it in almost full form.
But alas I hadn't counted on the fact that my carport roller door only goes 190cms high! The box is several inches taller than that! So we tried to tip it on its side, only to find the carport roof was not tall enough to enable it to even tip over without catching. I was close to accepting defeat until we realised we could push it out onto the backyard and tip it over. At this stage it weighs about 120kg I estimate. So we had to rest is sideways on a sack-truck and push/slide it out onto the trailer on its side. It then rode the entire way on its side in the trailer. At set up, it had encountered almost no damage from the journey thankfully, a little scuffed paint on the base at the back. So with four men at the other end we picked it up off the trailer and wheeled it in on its castors into the convention. The carpark was rough concrete and promptly disintegrated two of the castors. Oh well at least I didn't need the brakes on then.

So here it is , completed and on display at Armageddon Expo Adelaide. It was a massive hit with tonnes of people having their photos taken in front of it. I used it as a change-room and storage for my costumes and other stuff from the Costuming SA stand! People freaked out when I'd pop out of it. Most amusing. Here's Turncoat Studio's video of the con, featuring said Tardis.

Originally it was to be part of our stand, but the organisers essentially commandeered it and placed it near the photo booth and celebrity signing area. I wasn't fussed.

Getting it home was much easier now that we knew how to do it. Next up is to find a correct lens and to re-engineer it so I can dismantle it. I can't be spending over a hundred bucks each time to hire a trailer to take it places and needing another bloke to assist.

Here's some other pics. Emmanuel I hope you don't mind me using them ;)