Hello, I am a maker of a wide variety of genres. I have worked as a Architectural model maker, designer, tool maker and graphic designer.

To view my online Photo Portfolio of my Architectural model making please go here.

This blog is where I document my personal and commission projects with photos and write ups.

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22 November 2012

Thats no moon. Levitating Death Star.

This is how i made my floating death star

I have always Loved globes and the like, especially the ones that float within a magnetic field. 

I thought it would be fun to change what hangs in the space of the globe so had a think and came up with the thought of making a Death Star replica. 

so i started by getting hold of a floating globe, i got mine on the electronic bay.com.

It was a nice little globe. the base was domed and had some little LEDs in to give it the space/future/star wars feel. 

i do have plans to make the dome at the bottom look a little planety or something.

The globe had a little Equator sticker holding the two halves of the globe. 

The top half of the dome holds the strong magnet that makes it float.

The detail of the globe (the countries and seas etc.) were on a thin plastic layer that seems to have been heat shrunk around the plastic domes. it wasn't glued down, it was only held by the top and bottom metal caps.
I stripped it of by pushing a craft knife in-between the dome and the plastic and it was easy to peel off.

Once i had the covering off i printed some plans of the Death Star from the Internet at the right scale of the globe i had.

I cut out the "eye" of the Death Star and placed it on the dome in the correct place.
Once the "eye" was in place i traced round the "eye". 

I carefully cut the "eye" out of the dome and flipped it round and placed it back into the hole it came from. (the same way the actual Death Star in the movies was done.)

i glued it in place from the inside of the domes. Then I gave it a light sanding to make sure it was flush.

I gave the whole globe a little sand and then a coat of light grey primer.

Its time to give the globe a little test float. changing the weight and distribution could possible change the way the globe floats.

test floats are always a good thing. 

I made a very simple press switch cell battery LED circuit. then i gave it another test float.

I drilled an array of little holes all over both domes from the inside. the reason for this will become apparent soon.

after all the holes had been drilled i started to tape the Death Star up for more painting. I randomised the masking on both domes. I then Taped them together. 

I painted the Death Star a darker grey then removed all the tape to give it some layers of details.

I thought i would look for the biggest ship in the star wars films and i think it was the super star destroyer, the one they released the Lego version of. The Lego one handily had a little data plaque on it that gave a size of 19km long.

In my research i found the size of the first death star to be loads of different sizes, but one number that kept coming up was 160 km in diameter.

So with a size of 160,000,000 mm for the death star and the length 19,000,000 mm for the star destroyer.

the globe i got was around 105 mm long. So  with some quick maths i worked out that it is at a scale of (roughly) 1 : 1,500,000 (it comes out to scale to the size of 106.666667 mm)

so the star destroyer of 19,000,000 at the scale of 1:1,500,000 makes the scaled version come out at 12.666667 mm  so i rounded it up to 13mm and made a little , well tiny, card model of the super star destroyer.  i attached the star destroyer to the death star with a small length of fibre optic strand, i just glued it to the destroyer and drilled a small hole in the death star.

Make sure that the length isn't too long make sure it wont hit the upright of the magnet frame.

I also used some lengths of Fibre optic strands to make the laser firing, (i forgot to take a photo of this stage but you will see it in the final images.) i sanded the fibre optics lengths a little and then stained them with some green ink. i then glued them into the holes in the laser "eye" with the 8 strands converging onto the central one which extends longer than the rest.

Make sure that the laser isn't too long make sure it doesn't hit the magnet frame. (same as the star destroyer.

Once all that is done I was finished. 

Here is a little video of the globe floating and rotating.

Thanks for looking. please leave me a comment or any questions you may have in the comment box below.