HYDE FUNDRAISERS create replica characters from DR WHO, STAR WARS etc to raise funds for BBC Children In Need and other charities.

 

Whenever we organise one of our events we infrequently get questioned about some of the props and costumes that we create. This usually ends up with something along the lines of "Those are great, where do I buy them ?" Although some items are actual bought props or masks most of the Fundraisers characters have been made by the team and used exclusively at events we organise or attend. We recieve many enquiries about selling our items but we are sorry to disappoint - We do not sell these costumes or props. One of the ethics set up originally was that anything we created for the group would be just for the purpose of fundraising and our own enjoyment. With this in mind we initially approached the BBC and various copyright holders to confirm our intention and consequently we recieved gracious consent and support of our organisation. So we have a duty to honour that agreement and it has been the effective way we have worked in fundraisers for over 15 years that has earned that respect. We are just as committed as the copyright holders to protect branding and image, it's all part of the professional way we operate.

Some of the group have always been interested in making props and costumes. Through the years we have improved our techniques from starting off with tape and cardboard to latex and fibreglass. It is a credit to some of those in the group who have developed their skills in making masks and costumes that people appreciate at the events. Doctor Who Characters.... Our main source of costume when we first began Fundraisers was through Nigel Peever in Crewe. Nigel had a great talent at creating both masks and costumes which we used in Fundraisers and for his amateur film projects. His Cybermen joined us on pub crawls and town centre collections along with other creations such as Scaroth and a Sea Devil. He created some really excellent Timelord Collars, Skull caps and Robes for THE TRIAL OF DAVROS. Traffic Warden John Ashton from Openshaw had created his own Davros and Dalek which we first used in Hyde for one of our Children In Need Collections ! Andy Loring created an R2D2 which he had ready for the Ashton Sci-Fi event as he explains... I put in quite a bit of research on recreating the little guy. At first the project seemed too daunting, but having been surrounded by Star Wars characters on several occasions, I decided that an appearance by the little Astromech Droid would be just excellent at fundraising events. It would be a great addition to the Hyde Fundraisers' arsenal of attractions and simply had to be done! With a brace of Daleks in various stages of build already swamping the house, I expected Lynn to do her fruit at the very idea of starting a new project. Well, I was wrong. Whilst I um-ed and ah-ed at the projected problems with the build, she was really keen on the idea. I had plenty of doubts about how I was going to do this bit or that bit, but all in all, come new year 2003, I had enough ideas in my head to make a start. Many of the components I used were shipped from the USA, Australia & Canada, so it was costly , especially postal charges, it was worth it if it ! The idea of scratch-building major components went out the window early on for reasons of accuracy, build-time and strength. For example, I would hate to spend weeks or months building the outer legs from wood, just to have the notoriously narrow ankles collapse under the weight ... & my ability to work with metal is virtually non-existent. But this is to be a working droid, as were my Daleks - so he's got to be up to a little rough and tumble from the public and from riding in my trailer! As a result, Artoo is being constructed largely from aluminium. For more details about the R2D2 construction visit Andy's website - http://www.kernow24.plus.com/r2dome.htm. Phil Robinson added to our arsenal of creatures with his creations for TRIAL OF DAVROS including Exillon's, Ogron's, Draconoian's and the Davros mask itself created from a head cast of Terry Molloy himself. Phil's last contributions have had him tackling our first Ood masks and that of Dalek Sec Hybrid.

The latest character projects have been related to the New Dr Who series and the first of which began planning after THE CHRISTMAS INVASION was screened. The Sycorax Leader is a traditional monster in many ways, although more sophisticated than traditional enemies, it seemed plausible we could recreate this character. The costume project was undergone by Deena Kearney who worked on replicating the robes and accessories for the character. Bones were created with milliput and Andy Loring created the leaders staff from various odds n ends. We were lucky to obtain a latex copy of Sycorax Sword from a company that had been associated with tv production for additional authenticity. The mask was undertaken by Neil Vickers who created the Leader as a full mask rather than the complex mask worn by the actor onscreen. The end result proved to be very effective and the final element to be completed will be the full warrior head mask that Neil is producing in fibreglass. After Series Two hit the airwaves it was GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE that prompted Ray Phillips to develop the creation of the Clockwork Droid. Ray sculpted the mask and sourced the various components required to produce the period costume required with help from Mick Handy. They also created the droids tool accessory to complete the character. We have also been lucky enough to have a Male Droid mask donated from MFX who created the actual TV masks to add even more authenticity to the character. The next character cam in the shape of the 2006 Christmas Santa's from THE RUNAWAY BRIDE with the actual mask sculpted once again by Neil Vickers. It was also decided to attempt the Scarecrows which featured in the episodes 'Human Nature/Family Of Blood'. Ray Phillips took on the assignment to bring these evil creatures to life for Hyde Fundraisers. Photographs of the initial sculpt were shown to our latest honorary member, Neill Gorton who, although he didn't actually sculpt the originals, saw them develop in the workshop, under the auspices of fellow MFX supremo Rob Mayor. Following Neill's advice a couple of minor changes were made to the sculpt and it was ready for moulding. Surprisingly the hessian scrim that gives the scarecrow's head it's convincing sack like appearance, was added before moulding was done. Although this makes mould preparation and casting slightly more complicated it does save a lot of time when it comes to finishing the masks, which would have been very labour intensive if the scrim had to be added to each individual casting. In addition to explaining in detail the technique for adding the scrim, Neill kindly donated a couple of metres of the scrim used for the originals for us to utilise on our HFR reproductions! The next stage was to produce a two piece mould from the clay sculpt. Shims were made and pushed into the clay where the join was to be made and the clay sealed. The sculpt and shims were then given numerous coats of spray release wax and the mould was created. Once out of the mould, the raw latex masks require a fair degree of finishing with trimming of flash lines, painting of the base colour and dry brushing with a contrasting tone to pick out the detailing of the scrim. The mask is then embellished with the extra hessian, loose fibres and filling bursting from the 'seams'. The final stage is adding the stitching on the eyes, mouth and around the edge seams and adding the final touch, the raggy piece of fabric tied around the neck. " We are certain these scarecrows will send a chill down the spine! The latest Dr Who character is the Judoon which has been the longest character in development since initial discussions back in March 2008 to the first armoured version being completed for September 2009! The armour was created by Neil Vickers once again who had an incredible job of making these impressive costumes by scaling up measurements from the toy figure and building a former to mould onto. Meanwhile it was back in action again for Cheryl Mellor who had the task of making the impressive Judoon Skirts for the characters which was yet another challenge.

Some of our latest projects have included updating our Nemesis Cyberman where it was specially prepped and chromed by Chromespray. They also treated our replica Silver Nemesis Cybergun too ! The end result of the chrome finish was amazing and the refurbished Cyberman held pride of place at our Spaceport display between 2013-2015. Another impressive item at Spaceport was the incredible likeness of Tom Baker which again was created by Phil Robinson. We decided we would theme this version of the Fourth Doctor to his final season and tried to source the varied items of burgandy clothing. We are still not 100% happy with the costume and if you have any tips or contacts to help us truly authenticate this we would love to hear from you. But it is certainly eerie staring into the face of Tom Baker captured from his last year as one of the most popular Doctor Who's!We hope you have found this little glimpse behind the scenes interesting and that you can come to appreciate how much work goes into some the characters and costumes we have at Hyde Fundraisers.

Hyde Fundraisers are grateful to the following for their kind help & support: BBC Television - Roger Hancock Ltd - BBC Worldwide - Ian Grutchley - Edward Russell - Tim Hancock - Richard Hollis - UKG - Experience Design & Management -- this planet earth - Dr Who Production Office - Dizzi Gothic - Embrace Wigan & Leigh - Neill Gorton - MFX Replicas - cardboardcutout.net - The Storage Place