My Doctor Who Chess Sets

As some of you may already know, I created two Doctor Who chess sets. I made the first, featuring the tenth Doctor, in 2011. It was sold on Etsy to an American fan. In 2012 I created another set featuring the eleventh Doctor, spending even more time on creating the best possible pieces. That set was based on series 5 and 6.

While I have posted both sets on various places on the web (where they were each separately picked up by several popular blogs), now that I have a blog of my own I want to take the opportunity to put them side by side with a brief explanation of why I chose the characters that I did.

For both sets I had three different considerations when I chose the character for each piece:
1. Story-wise, so simply what would work best for Doctor Who
2. Aesthetics, so what will look nice from an artist’s perspective
3. Practicalities, so whether it is executable in polymer clay and fits proportionally and such.

Without further ado, the sets: (and my apologies for the faulty set up of the Ten set!)

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This set is for sale on Etsy for a price that reflect the sheer number of hours I spent creating it. I would truly love to create a cheap set for everyone who wants one, but the truth is at handcrafting these figures simply takes an awful lot of time! My Etsy Shop

Kings & Queens: Eleven and River are obvious. As the Doctor isn’t the type to wear a crown, I gave him his Fez. The dreamlord was a difficult choice, but seemed like the only real royal menace. The same goes for Madam Kovarian.
Bishops: Amy is always at the Doctor’s side, and I loved the image of little Amelia and her suitcase, so I decided to have them both. The Silence are very tall, so I wanted to place them next to the (taller) king and queen.
Knights: I lost count of how many Rory’s were running around at some point, so I figured they better put their swords and guns to some good use as knights. I liked the aesthetics of the headless monks, so they had to be included.
Rooks: The TARDIS has the exact right shape for rooks and often seems bent on a single straight course, despite where the Doctor is trying to get her to go. The Pandorica has a similar shape and is made of stone, so once I mounted them on a pedestal they seemed good opposites for the Tardis.
Pawns: The good side’s pawns were very difficult. In the end I chose for Dorium’s heads in boxes because I loved the aesthetics of it and the way I could vary the angle of his head in the boxes. In short, as I couldn’t think of better pawns, I decided to go with the funny looking ones 😉 The weeping angels seemed appropriate for the evil side, as they’re usually in the frontline and always hunt in numbers.

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Kings & Queens: Ten is obvious. He’s never put a crown on his head, so I put it at his feet. It was a tough choice between Rose and River, but I chose River because I had a feeling there was something more going on there. Eleven proved there was! However, Rose would have been a good choice, too. The Master doesn’t need an explanation either, I think. For the black queen I simply went with the evilest woman in the series, who happened to be aesthetically very interesting as a bonus!
Bishops: The Ood have been (invisibly) at the Doctor’s side for a long time, it seems only right that they are in this set too. Cyberman simply need to be represented, and as bishops seemed like a good place
Knights: Jack Harkness, that knight in shining armour! I loved pairing him with the Face of Boe as I’ve seen a lot of people first complain that the knights should be the same, and then going: oooooooooh! I loved the true alien look of the Sontarans and Judoon so I figured I might as well create a pair out of them.
Rooks: The TARDIS has the exact right shape for rooks and often seems bent on a single straight course, despite where the Doctor is trying to get her to go. Weeping angels are made of stone and also move in a straight line (right at you), so it was an easy choice for me.
Pawns: The good side’s pawns were very difficult in this set, too. I went with Adipose simply because there were so many of them, and because they were so darn cute! Moreover, they are small so they worked well for the smaller pawns. Daleks prefer to hunt in numbers andwould never want to be anywhere but in the front line, so there they are!

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5 responses to “My Doctor Who Chess Sets

  1. Color me impressed! What talent, and such painstaking detail – I absolutely love the thought you put into the reasons for why each piece goes where! I’m no chess player but these sets would inspire me to learn. Although I would LOVE a set with the 9th Doctor 🙂

  2. Pingback: The TARDIS and other spaceships | The Grand Asylum·

  3. I’m currently knitting a chess set based on my medieval wedding, this has inspired me to do dw next!

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