Friday, January 6, 2012

1967 Tomb Cybermat build...

The Cybermat made its return recently in the episode Closing Time and with that it reminded me that for the longest time I've wanted one of the classic versions, specifically the 1967 story 'Tomb of the Cybermen' version.

1967 Cybermat from Tomb of the Cybermen

Screen capture of 1967 Cybermat from Tomb of the Cybermen

I remember seeing them when I was a child (in a repeat) and wanting one of my own, and being that Im currently waiting for parts to start my K9 build I decided to keep me busy I would start a small budget build.

First I did a little research, searching the internet I found that years ago there was a kit sold through the Dr Who magazine, so thinking I might be able to find such a thing, I scoured the internet in search for this kit, maybe eBay would have something, what about the Dr Who Prop builders sites? even found the Cyberman builders forums and yet still no sign of this elusive vacuum mouded kit. So back to square one.  I did manage to find the assembly instructions, and decided to use this as more reference images.

So now it was left for me to search the supermarkets and local stores for something that might resemble the size and shape of the Cybermat, estimating the overall size to be roughly 25/30cm long, I set to work and to be totally honest it didnt take me to long to find something I figured might actually be perfect....

A small scoop from my local Dollar store, I marked out where I wanted to make the first cuts and set to work...

Also marking where the eye holes would be I drilled some sockets, making them smaller than the 1" wooden balls I bought for the eyes.

Wooden balls from Micheals craft store $2.99

I simply hot glued two of the wooden balls into the sockets and it holds them great, I then used painters caulk to build up the sockets.

Now I had to work out how to make the tail, I went through a number of different ideas but the final and I think not only easiest but also cost effective was to use a sheet of plastic, this particular sheet was a place mat from Halloween which again cost $1 so far I spent less than $5 on this and already I can see this project taking shape.

Cutting the plastic in 4 different sizes and scoring the lines to help create sharper edges. These can all fit within each and when I bolt them together with will still allow for a little tail swooshing when my final piece is complete.

Once all the parts were ready I went ahead a primed everything...

Tail segment measurements

Once the primer was dry I sprayed everything silver...

 You'll also notice I added some antenna to the head piece and drilled holes in the tail pieces,

I then screwed it all together, and using felt I cut the 'feelers' which I then hot glued to the head unit.

Being that this is a budget build I think it looks pretty cool.  I do intend to get a small RC car and make this thing move.  So with the patterns on the eyes I feel that this baby is done, not necessarily a replica but certainly it has the look of a Cybermat and personally I love it.
1967 'Tomb of the Cybermen', Cybermat built by Paul Bradford

In order to motorise the Cybermat I searched for different small RC car, however the smallest I found that could fit inside the head piece was an infrared car and it simply wouldnt have been powerful enough to move the creature.  So I ended up using one of my RC battle Daleks, I simply took out the motor, keeping the skirt base connected to the wheels I found it to be near perfect size. 

Now not only did I add the motor to the underneath of the Cybermat but also changed the colour of the felt to match more closely to that of the original Tomb of the Cybermen version...

Check out this video I put together...


  1. Nice build of a cybermat. I have an original kit, still in mint condition and was trying to find out a bit more about it. E.g. Who made it, when it was released, etc. There is no info in the kit at all. Any info you have would be a great help.

    1. Mark could you send me a photo of the kit, I suspet I know which one it is but to be sure if you dont mind shooting a picture to my email address that would be great