Saturday 29 December 2012

Replica 4th Doctor costumes on eBay

This past year I’ve spent a lot of time working on screen accurate replicas of the Tom Baker season 16 Frock Coat, as well as preparing to make a proper replica of the Romana Pink Frock Coat as seen in Destiny Of The Daleks.

I’m by no means the first or last person to have a go at either of these costumes, and if you cast around there are alternative cheaper options out there.

So I thought it timely to take a look at what can be bought for a more modest budget.

 At first glance these coats look pretty good, but at closer inspection there are a few shortfalls worth noting if you are looking for something more screen accurate.

Ecru brown long trench coat
Having worked on this coat extensively this year, I can immediately see a number of serious shortcomings in the cut of this coat. Some are quite picky, but others are more obvious.

  • One of the outer pockets is missing! The lower left-hand pocket has been omitted
  • The lower pockets have been confused, and large flap-less pockets are added at the back
  • The waistline pocket is too big and crashes the buttons. It should be close, but not that close. The buttons could be moved, and should be in a slight diagonal line, converging at the bottom
  • The piping around the edges of the lapels and pocket flaps are not the right colour. It needs to be a real dark brown (almost black) rather than a mik chocolate colour
  • The buttons on the back are set too far apart, and the back vent is exactly central, where it should overlap and be off centre

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Midnight -
fancy dress competition portraits

As part of the Midnight convention I entered the fancy dress competition.
I wasn’t aiming to win - the fun of taking part was enough.

As part of of the judging, a portrait photographer took all our pictures.

I really liked the picture Marco, the photographer, took of me.
Here the picture, and the rest of the entries.

Portrait ©
I’ve tried to fill in as many names as possible, but I have gaps.
If you are one of the uncredited entries or know who they are -
let me know.
Portraits ©
Tenth Doctor (Cherry Koivula); Tenth Doctor; Tenth Doctor and Rose; Tenth Doctor (Richard Ashton) and Rose (Tors Webster); Dinner Lady Rose (Kirstin Richardson)

Portraits ©
Silence; Cyber Shade (Scott Richard Mason); Ood and Captain Jack; Sycorax (Lydia Matts); Jade (Rhiannon Walker)

Monday 17 December 2012

Midnight - the many shades of cosplay

Midnight, like many conventions, was a great place to catch up with old friends, or meet face to face for the first time with people you know online.

One cosplayer I was pleased to see again was Jimmy Mann, who I had made a shirt for a few years back.

I’ve seen him at a few events now, including LFCC in July and Nor Con in September.

I like his style of cosplaying. Rather than spend months seeking out the right jacket, the right trousers, the right shirt - he blocks in the costume with anything that’s about, adapting and literally butchering where necessary!

That gets him out there cosplaying, before upgrading each garment as the opportunity arrises.

His Fourth Doctor costume is a great example. A stumbling block for the series 12-look is often the knitted diamond-checked cardigan. Jimmy found a plain brown one and PAINTED the design on.

Up close it looks ropy - but in all his photos and from a distance it looks GREAT and has gained many admirers.
Later he’ll upgrade if possible, but for now he has a great costume.

This weekend I caught up with Jimmy again to find he was already doing the new Matt Smith look with purple frock coat - though this isn’t a frock coat (its a coat that used to be his ten coat - now cut to length) and it didn’t start out purple (a quick once round a machine dye put that right). But again it looks great in his photos.

But the one thing I am not a cosplay-nazi. There is nothing wrong with cutting a few corners and getting a quick result, though I freely admit I’m of the opposite end of the spectrum and will research and perfect my patterns and fabrics until I am absolutely satisfied with the result.

My own Fourth Doctor costume, and soon to be seen Sixth are testament to that.
So it’s nice to get the chance to show them off once in a while and get some new photos wearing them.
It just so happened one of the official photographers for the event, Ciaran Brown, was a client of mine who’s shirt has been recognised at random American sic-fi conventions where even Doctor Who isn’t the main fan draw.

So it didn’t take much persuading for him to take a few decent shots on his professional camera, larking about with K-9!

These are my favourite pics from the ones Ciaran took for me.
Thanks to Ciaran Brown for taking the photos and letting me share them through my blog
Thanks also to Thomas Seymour for letting me take the reins of his superb K-9!
The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Sunday 16 December 2012

Midnight - guest group photocall

I attended the Midnight convention this weekend, which marked the first appearance of Billie Piper, alongside David Tennant who has now appeared a few events.

The way I see it there are two very distinct tracks to follow: the main hall events, with interviews and Q&A sessions; or the photoshoots and autographs.
It’s very much an either or situation, as the queuing needed to get your photos and autographs was prohibitive to seeing much of the main hall events, and all this despite having a gold pass for the weekend.

Saturday morning was the better of the two days, as I pretty effortlessly got my photocalls with monster playing cast members Barnaby Edwards (lead Dalek operator); Dan Starkey (who has played almost every lead Sontaran in the new series); and Annette Badland (notable for being a Slitheen in series one and now a supporting role in Wizards vs Aliens).

This was followed by the Torchwood stars Eve Myles and Gareth David Lloyd.

Both groups were happy to play along with my high jinx with jelly babies, though Gareth was the only one reluctant to join in. Eve soon put that right.

I wore my Ten outfit for the David and Billie photo, so donned my Fourth Doctor costume for these other shots.

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bonhams auction - 12th December 2012

It’s nearly December, and that means yet another Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale.

As usual Doctor Who gets a look in, with a range of eras represented, including a stunningly colourful poster for the second Peter Cushing Dalek film, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD.

But the main items on offer cover the now finished spin-off series, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures. Since both these series had the bulk of their runs alongside the Tennant era, I have listed them in my Coat blog.

Here is the only item from the Tom Baker era.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:

Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era
Lot 144
Doctor Who/Tom Baker: The Robots of Death, 1977 An S.V.7 costume, comprising: a jacket, with quilted silver lamé sleeves, and plain cotton body, inscribed in black ink inside 'Miles Fothergill' ; a pair of three quarter length quilted silver lamé trousers, inscribed 'M.F.', together with a helmet, believed to be latter of coloured fibreglass, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity
Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000
Sold for £2,500

Ex. Bonhams, BBC Doctor Who Auction, May 1991.
Miles Fothergill played S.V.7 in the episode and appeared as various characters in a number of Doctor Who stories.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Original 4th Doctor items - on eBay!

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a small flurry of original Doctor Who Props and costumes for sale on eBay. It’s been like a mini Bonhams auction!

Here’s what’s been on offer for Fourth Doctor fans.

Robots Of Death
Robot Mask

This prop may well have been used as a ‘stunt’ mask in the classic 1977 Doctor Who story Robots of Death but I have been able to confirm this. I believe it was made to be blown up during the course of the story but, whatever its origins, it is a magnificent display piece in excellent condition. It is made from thick fibreglass and has been primed then sprayed green, although this hasn’t been finished off and the back section remains grey.

Androids Of Tara (and Battlefield)
Knight’s Helmet

This is a Knight’s Helmet from the classic 1978 Doctor Who story, Androids of Tara. It was later brought out of mothballs and utilised in the 1989 Sylvester McCoy tale Battlefield. This is two props for the price of one folks! It’s made of fibreglass with a leather chin strap, bolted visor and horsehair detail. It has aged remarkably well, with no scuffs or scratches except some faint track marks where the visor has been lifted up and down. Don’t miss this chance to own an authentic piece of Doctor Who history!

Ancient and Worshipful Law of Gallifrey Book

This is an original prop from the legendary uncompleted Doctor Who adventure, Shada from 1979. It is the infamous Ancient and Worshipful Law of Gallifrey, the book around which the entire story revolves. This really is a unique piece of Doctor Who folklore – not only is in pivotal to the story, it is from a story which has achieved cult status owing to it never being finished!
The prop is a perfect bound leather book filled with cartridge paper pages. Most are blank but a section at the front and a dozen or so in the centre contain Gallifreyan text. This gives the illusion that every page is written on when the book is flicked through on camera.

In response to several people asking about the authenticity of this item, I acquired it from the private collection of Ian Levine, Doctor Who Programme Consultant in the 80s and 90s, who acquired it from the Production Office.

There were also eBay listings
relating to other Doctors

Monday 17 September 2012

Fourth Doctor Cuff boots

One part of my Tom Baker Costume that’s been gathering compliments are my boots!

A lot of people commented on they at NorCon a couple of weeks back, and several readers have remarked on them to me as well.

They are closely based on a pair of boots occasionally worn by Tom Baker during season 16 and 17.

There aren’t that many good shots showing them, as photographs are often cropped off, of the scarf covers the boots.

The two shots I used as reference were from The Armageddon Factor (see right) and Destiny Of The Daleks (see below).

So where did I get them from?
The same boot makers that make Matt Smith’s footwear!

When I was there collecting some boots for a client, I took the chance to show them the photos above and ask if they could make them for me. The answer was a big yes!

They are custom-made to my foot sizing, and are SO comfortable to wear, I can’t tell you!

The guys did such a great job matching what I showed them, and they seemed to instinctively fill in the details they couldn’t quite make out in the photos.
I wondered if they got the design over the ankle right, but checking a close-up in Destiny Of The Daleks put my mind to rest!

I’m so pleased with these boots – they really make the outfit!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Four Frock Coat - photoshoot

Following my photos of the finished Four Frock Coat, here are some fun pictures of me wearing it!

First, the full outfit – coat, scarf, hat and cuff boots.

Now being pursued by my Dalek (he’s nicknamed Derek by the way).

Now a bit of sonic action . . .

Finally – jelly baby, anyone?

Saturday 15 September 2012

Four Frock Coat - finished!

My trip to NorCon earlier this month gave me the chance to wear my full Fourth Doctor costume for the very first time.

The boots had only been finished a couple of days before-hand, as was the hat.

It drew a lot of complements and I’ve been asked to post some better pictures of it. I took a load of photos, which I’ll post soon, but for now here are some choice shots showing the coat to its best.

Do let me know what you think.

Monday 3 September 2012

Nor Con 2012

Today was the Nor Con (short for Norwich Convention). It’s a small, one-day affair held to raise money for charity.

I stayed overnight with family in the local area so I can get over without too much travelling.
It’s held at the Holiday Inn hotel on the outskirts of Norwich International Airport, reminding me in a way of Gallifrey One which is similarly occupies an airport hotel site. This is much smaller though.

It’s a general science fiction convention, but as with a lot of these gatherings, there’s a strong bias towards Doctor Who, and not being a big mainstream event, it means there is as much emphasis on the classic series as new.

I knew a number of cosplayers attending, and there was a Tenth Doctor, Fourth Doctor, Romana, Seventh Doctor and Sixth Doctor (above).

Later I saw a couple of Fifth Doctors, a Cyberman, another Seventh Doctor as well as a UNIT soldier.

Cosplaying in the UK isn’t as popular as it is in the states, but there was a good contingent in attendance today, including a good range of sci-fi and comic book costumes.

I found a Power Ranger; a cute female Stormtrooper; a chunky Iron Man; both Superman and Supergirl; and something I wasn’t really sure of its source.

Later I found some Ghostbusters; some Batman cosplayers including The Bane; and curiously a Predator Jedi Knight (no, I don’t know why either!)

Friday 29 June 2012

Dacorum College - 50th Anniversary

You may know that once a week I attend college in Hemel Hempstead, where I have been learning hand-tailoring as well as improving my all-round sewing skills.

The college has been going for many years now, and I recently discovered it is celebrating its own 50th anniversary, one year before The Doctor celebrates his.

As part of the look back over the past 50 years, some has put together a series of boards, covering the past five decades.
Each includes some genre series and films, and two of them feature the intrepid Time Lord.

The 1960s
Listed here are: The Avengers, Barbarella, Star Trek, the moon landing, pop art, Berlin wall built, The Monkees, Psycho, Vietnam war protests, Twiggy, The Prisoner, Mods, Rockers, Batman TV show, The Sound Of Music, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kennedy assassination, Charles Manson, Bob Dylan, Woodstock, The Profumo affair, The Graduate, Civil rights movement, Motown, Mary Quant

Saturday 9 June 2012

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Bonhams FLASHBACK: 11th May 1991
Doctor Who - The Auction

Over the past couple of years, as well as keeping up to date with the latest costume auctions, I’ve done my best to track back over the various sales held at Bonhams over the years.

Their online records only go back seven years, but one sale I’ve been wanting to find out about was a dedicated Doctor Who sale from 1991.

This week I managed to pick up a copy of the sale catalogue on eBay, and it makes interesting reading.

The catalogue is a very different beast to what we see now.
There are no photographs of the items on sale, and no estimates are indicated.

It is divided into roughly one episode per page, on which all the lots relating to it are listed. One or two publicity stills from the episode are included, which may or may not show the items being listed!
As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Robots Of Death
The Invasion Of Time
The Androids Of Tara
The Creature From The Pit
The Horns Of Nimon - Full Circle

Click here to download a PDF of the catalogue