EXterminate!! Meet the ‘Dalek man’ of Laceby

You don’t have to be a fan of the sci-fi phenomenon Doctor Who to know that when you see a Dalek heading in your direction, you need to run for your life.

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But those living in the village of Laceby, 15 miles outside of Louth, are well used to seeing The Doctor’s nemesis cruising around their streets, as they are well accustomed to the antics of Rob Phillips, aka ‘the Dalek man’ as he is known.

“I’m very well known in the village of Laceby,” he said, “If you go up to anyone in Laceby and ask who is the bloke with the Daleks, they automatically say it’s me!”

Rob, 57, has been a Doctor Who fan since he was little and 10 years ago, he decided he just wanted to build one of his own.

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But as he was not living anywhere with suitable space at the time, he waited until he moved to Laceby where not only does he have space in his garage, but he also has a workshop he can work from as well as his wife, who owns her own courier business.

He also has a trailer that he can transport them around on.

But how does one even begin to create one of the most feared villains in TV and film history?

“I’ve done a lot of research into what goes into making of Daleks,” Rob said, “There are plenty of Dalek forums out there are which have lots of plans that you can easily download on how to make Dalek from the ground up – they’re excellent and very informative.

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“There are loads of build diaries on project Dalek that can be read, see how others have built theirs and what problems they encountered and how they resolved them. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to research and read as much as possible before you start. But they are a helpful bunch and will always answer questions.”

There are many different ways to build a Dalek and many different materials in which the build them, including MDF, fibreglass and wood.

One of his Daleks is even fitted with a water gun, which can spray unsuspecting victims up to 30 feet away.

Rob build his from the ground up so that way he has a base to build from, and are based around made from either mobility scooters or wheelchairs to make them fully mobile and easy to manoeuvre once the driver is inside.

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“I usually start from the bottom up which is the fender made from plywood, then onto the skirt made from MDF, then the shoulders – again from MDF – or fibreglass,” Rob explained.

“The neck is wood and plastic, and, finally, the dome is also made from fibreglass.”

These Daleks can take between three months to a year to build and cost £3,000 and £4,000 – and unfortunately Rob’s wife does not share his passion for Dalek building.

Rob said: “My wife Paula isn’t into it at all, when I was building the first one I didn’t tell her how much it would cost and it cost more than £3,500 to build and she wasn’t happy at all – when someone offered to buy one from me, she kept telling me to sell it so we could get our money back!”

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Recently, his Dalek collectors’ group The Sons of Skaro held a fundraiser for the Sussex Air Ambulance and raffled one of the Daleks for £3,500 which Rob said was very rewarding.

Two years ago, the group decided to try and break a world record for the most amount of life-size Daleks all together in one place.

The current record stands at 95 and there were 45 actual life-sized, motorised Daleks and also 54 others dressed as Daleks.

Rob said the rules are flexible on what the Dalek costumes look like, as long as they are life-like and also life-sized.

“We missed breaking the world record by eight as we had 87 actual Daleks,” Rob said, “It was awesome and so much fun.”

The group is now going to attempt to break this record once again in October at The Gathering, a Doctor Who-themed charity event at The Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, in aid of Children in Need.

Currently, Rob estimates there are around 2,000 Daleks just like his in the UK and more abroad, and he has already attracted the attention of several Doctor Who actors including Dalek actor Terry Malloy as well as former Doctor Tom Baker.

The Sons of Skaro group attends Doctor Who cosplay events all over the country and Rob remembers one incident in particular when they attended a show in Hull and there was a wedding just down the corridor in the conference centre and they wanted to get into their Daleks and go and attend the wedding. But unfortunately security did not allow them to do this.

Another one of Rob’s Daleks which has the most sentimental value is a green one with a World War II theme, which was created after the Doctor Who television episode which was set in World War II aired.

As his father-in-law, who sadly died before it was finished, was fascinated by the World War II era, this green fatigue-painted Dalek is dedicated to his memory.

Rob’s famous Daleks have even made appearances at Laceby Church, as every year the church does a fundraising fete and he always takes his Dalek along, much to the delight of the village children – and some adults!

l To find out more about Rob and his Daleks and the Sons of Skaro, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SonsofSkaro/