Friday, April 19, 2013

TARDIS Build Update - Part 7

This post is more of a dilemma than an update. I do of course have updates to share, but I'm actually writing this post because I need some feedback, validation, confirmation or disagreement.

And it's all regarding the lantern base. I call it the "Chimney", when I'm in a foul mood.

As I have mentioned in my blog and videos numerous times, I am closely following the build of master craftsman (and honorary member of the BBC Woodshop) Philip Wise. According to Philip, his Chimney is 5.5" wide. Or maybe it was 5". I forget. Doesn't really matter, because I disagree with both of those measurements.

First, allow me to present the following three photos. Each of them are from different time periods in the shooting of the show. One is a screen grab. What I've attempted to do with photoshop is copy the base of the chimney, then paste it a number of times into the photo and lined it up with the upper rectangle of the roof, which is a known measurement.

AND YES, I understand that photos distort things. I understand what parrallax is. I understand what foreshortening is. I understand how camera lenses work. Blah blah blah I'm not new at this.

Which is why I have done this same experiment with three separate photos. The screen grab is the most convincing. not only because it's a great angle, but also because it's a VERY different angle than the other two shots.

So again, I realize that the lantern base is farther away from the camera lens than the edge of the roof. I get that. But even with that being the case, even if we assume that there is non trivial parrallax in effect, it still wouldn't jibe that the chimney is anything other than roughly 6.5".

The other piece of compelling evidence I have, which I can't really show right now because I don't have screen grabs or photos, is a comparison of the lantern Ewan owns to the one seen in an episode of "Pond Life" that was shown on youtube.

For reference, here's the episode I'm talking about that has some really great shots of the lantern and the base:

Ewan and I noticed that the latch on the one in Pond Life matches the latch on his. TO MY EYE, it does not match the latch on other builds I have seen. The details of the lantern in Pond Life also match details on Ewan's lantern.

The kicker is that the diameter at the base of Ewan's lantern is slightly larger than six inches, which would make a chimney base of approximately 6.5" spot on to the screen grabs and publicity stills I've seen.

The bummer is that the style of lantern used in the Smith tardis come in a WIDE variety of sizes and shapes. Tons of them, in fact. In fact, a ridiculous amount of them. A perplexing amount. A "make my eyes hurt from looking at so many different versions of it" amount. But I believe Ewan's find to be the closest match yet, and the fact that it supports my size theory makes me like it even more.

I do want to give a shout out to a blog that helped me in this dilemma. If you have a moment and want to read some more information, please check out this link.

And for goodness sake, don't forget to watch our latest video. This time, it's a FAQ!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking to my blog and I hope that you found it useful.

If you need any further information, the best thing to do is simply ask me and I'll try to help where I can.

Just so you know, the "chimney" as you call it ("lamp base" is the term I use) is 17cm wide... or 6 3/4" in Latin. Well, this measurement is for the Matt Smith box.

It was smaller on the previous models as used by Eccleston and Tennant, but only slightly. 5" or 5.5" is bollox though! Far too small, so whoever told you this is mistaken, I'm sorry to say.

Good luck with your build - I'm a veteran of several myself and I have to say, when you get to adding the paint and weathering, you can't help but smile to yourself.

(This is the third time that I've tried to leave a comment, let's see if it works this time.)

Jeff said...

Watch out! The lamp was replaced with a thinner version during series 6, not quite sure if when then built the new prop the roof was altered slightly to compensate!

MattMunson said...

Purple, thanks for posting your comment. Glad you found my blog :D Yours was immensely helpful, and I really appreciate the attention to detail. Great stuff.

Jeff, in our second FAQ video (still to be released at the time of this writing) we discuss the lantern and how we chose which one to copy. If you look at the pics in this blog post, the screen grab from my computer is from a very recent episode, and to my eyes still shows as roughly 6.5" wide. But who knows. There may very well be a phase of the TARDIS's life where it has a different lantern.