Scottish TARDIS

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 8.11.15 (updated 29.06.19)    


How could I not be inspired by Doctor Who? I enjoyed watching the series for many years, and The Doctor’s Wife episode was a lot of fun. And why couldn’t the TARDIS be a man? And Scottish? In the words of the 9th Doctor himself, “Lot’s of planets have a north!”

Clothing Design

Using the X-Kilt documentation as a starting point, I drafted my own kilt pattern. This took me a year to finish, as I kept getting overwhelmed and ignoring it. I think most people, with a bit of courage, could pull it off in a weekend. In the end, it was totally worth it! The magnetic buckles were all purchased on eBay, the chain purchased from Joann Fabrics, the brown sporran from a seller online, and the “Police Box” ribbon was found in an Etsy shop. I used alcohol dyes to match the bright white and purple of the ribbon to the aged cream and blue of the outfit, then added the ribbon to both the flashes and the belt.

Tracing the general pieces off an existing vest, I also created my own waistcoat design. Lengthened, fitted, and then panelled with pockets. I couldn’t quite fit two columns of 4, but figured a total of 6 would still sell the idea. A handkerchief with the police notice printed on it would be a good touch, but I couldn’t find a good source, and didn’t feel like making it myself…guess we all have our limits.

The stockings, boots, and shirt were all items I already owned.

The heart of the TARDIS

This is what, in my opinion, really completes the costume. A brass-coloured lantern with the iconic pillars of light, slowly pulsing in cyan to match the 9th and 10th Doctors’ interior design.

Starting with a round lantern I found on eBay, I matched the colour of the aged brass clothing elements with a combination of metallic spray paints and black acrylic. The core was formed using an RGB LED strip, a cheap LED driver, and a pack of AA batteries (this was before I started using rechargeable lithium polymer batteries as my standard electrical basis, and the AA pack still fit nicely within the lantern core).

By figuring out the correct combination of lantern diameter and LED spacing, I was able to wrap the LED strip in a spiral that created columns of LEDs. Then I just had to diffuse them. After finding thick plastic drinking straws at Meijer, I wrapped each of them in 15 pound monofilament fishing line. Funny thing about clear fishing line; it’s often used by photographers to simulate streaked lens flares by stringing it in front of a lens. Wrapped tightly around a clear tube, it diffuses light linearly quite well, blending the individual LEDs into columns of light. It’s always fun to find creative solutions to problems like this.


I may not have won the company halloween costume contest back in 2015 (am I bitter that Marty McFly won? sure…though at least I lost to another time traveler!), but I did take a prize at the Michigan Renaissance festival on Doctor Who day, and I’ve loved wearing this to multiple cons over the years. The best is when I get to go alongside a friend dressed as an equally gender-bent 11th Doctor!


Moho to Lightwave

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 10.06.08 (updated 10.04.11)    

Convert Moho format phoneme animations to Lightwave channel keyframes for use with lipsync morphs.

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Phoneme Translation

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 6.06.08 (updated 10.04.11)    

Lip Sync utility for converting from Yolo and JLipSync phonetic phoneme sets to Preston Blair or Flash frame numbers.

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Mr. Tumnus the Faun

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 10.05.08 (updated 29.06.19)    


I grew up listening to my dad read C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (and yes, I watched the BBC miniseries many times as a kid). When the live action film was released in 2005, it was the perfect excuse to make a faun costume! Though not intended to replicate the film adaptation of the character, I of course wore the costume to see the movie on opening weekend.


The original set of horns (circa 2005) were made from stiff paper I cut in such a way as to create shaped horns that would curl around my head, a design that landed somewhere between goats and rams. This form was taped up, then wrapped in string dipped in glue to form the ribbed texture, and finally painted with a custom acrylic paint and matte Mod Podge mixture that allowed me to polish some of the high points.

They were glued onto my forehead with super glue. Yes, I lost a lot of hair.

I eventually cut off the base of the horns so they were much shorter (more like 5”) and more manageable, but was never happy with how they turned out. New ones were eventually made out of clay, in a much more subtle 2” length. You can check out the Narnian horn article here.


I was in a full-torso back brace in high school. Not a particularly enjoyable time, to be sure, but there was one positive beyond the spinal corrections: I had left over titanium bars. My dad constructed hooves out of wood and created a foot brace using the titanium pieces. I added industrial velcro straps, gel pads intended for high heels, and of course the fur coverings (attached with more velcro so I could piece things together when dressing, instead of trying to put everything on at once).


These were largely repurposed, using the short tan pants from my Frodo Baggins outfit and a shirt and jacket I designed and made for a short film premiere where I was the lead VFX artist (No Greater Love,). And yes, I was slightly late to the premiere because I was finishing the last few stitches at home!


It was snowing as I drove through the small town of Sweetser, Indiana, anticipating seeing cherished childhood memories of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe translated to the big screen. The white of the snow easily reflected and diffused the light of street lamps, brightly illuminating the otherwise dark night. As I turned onto a side street toward Marion, a police officer pulled me over. “Did you realise you were driving without your headlights turned on?” Oh shoot, I really hadn’t. He was nice about it and let me off with a warning, at which point I started to drive away…only then realising I was wearing fur leggings, had 12” horns glued to my head, and in the seat next to me were giant hooves.

I’ll always wonder what story that police officer shared back at headquarters.


Instrument Collection

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 11.04.07 (updated 17.10.11)    

Details for each instrument in my collection; key, tuning, accuracy, and range. Quick sound samples are also included for each instrument.

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Making Woodwinds

iaian7 » blog » projects   John Einselen, 17.03.07 (updated 27.09.08)    

A short and temporary list of resources regarding the making of wind instruments.

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