My TARDIS can soon be your TARDIS!on June 16, 2012 at 10:33 am
About a month ago the Doctor Who editor at IDW, Denton Tipton, emailed me about an awesome idea they had for a variant cover. A papercraft TARDIS, and they wanted me to design it!
This was a fun change of pace from my usual coloring duties. It was also a bit daunting because I’ve never attempted anything like this before. The one advantage I had was that I’ve seen a lot of paper TARDIS patterns over the years going back to the one published in “The Doctor Who Technical Manual” from the 80s.
Several of these past paper TARDISes had aspects I liked and aspects I disliked. My plan was to adapt the best aspects of all of them into my paper TARDIS. I liked the detailed 3 dimensional aspects of the old DWTM paper TARDIS, but I always felt that some parts of it were over complicated. That one also required you to make photocopies a some parts as well, which wasn’t an option for me. Some other ones I had seen were simpler but if you took away the printed TARDIS details it looked like a box with a small box on top of it. So I needed a happy medium that would fit on a wrap around cover that didn’t go across the fold of the spine.
After doing my research on past paper TARDISes, I did a few quick sketches to get an idea of what type of pieces I would need, how they would go together and how I would have to lay them out. Then I went into Photoshop and created the shapes and placed the tabs, slots and fold lines. I did this step using the line tool along with the rulers/guides to make sure everything lined up the way they should.
Once I had the basic forms down, I wanted to make sure it would actually work. I printed out all the pieces at actual print size onto some heavier stock, matte printer paper. Then I broke out my hobby knife and a metal ruler and went to town. After cutting out all the pieces and slots and scored the fold lines, I put the whole thing together and it all went according to plan. Soon, I had my assembled prototype that looked great and seemed quite sturdy. Even without any printed details, it looked like a TARDIS.
Since I knew the pieces worked, all I had to do was color it in Photoshop and add those TARDIS details. Normally, when I color the TARDIS in the comics, I don’t add any textures. But in this case I felt it needed some wood grain so that it wasn’t a flat blue. All in all, I think it looks pretty good. The final test will to see how the final printed version looks and if people will actually cut up their comics and build them. I actually hope you all do and when you do, I WANT PICTURES.