Page 1 of 115 1234561151 ... LastLast
Subscribe
  1. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 1, 2008, 10:08 PM - Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #1

    All right ladies and gents, hold on to you butts because HERE WE GO! (I say that lovingly - you're greatest bunch of hooligans and scallywags I know!)

    This past Friday I picked up the two acrylic domes to begin building the Death Star.

    So...

    After many years and various threads, NO MORE TALK! It's being built!

    However, I anticipate this to be a six to twelve month project. I suspect the physical construction should take a month or less, but the masking and painting will be considerably longer. Then the lights... Good god!

    For the record, this is a personal build project intended solely for my personal collection. It is not a commission, nor can I, or will I repeat this project on a commission basis.



    [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana]
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    Last edited by PHArchivist; Jan 2, 2011 at 8:35 PM.
  2. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 1, 2008, 10:17 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #2

    First order of buisness...

    I'm nearly certain I miscalculated the dish. I was advised that the current replica may be 23cm which is a bit over 9". I'm afraid it looks too big, and should be in the 7.5" to 8" range. What do you think?

    I'm not terribly concerned about the incorrect hole. I can use the cut dome as the lower hemisphere, and orient the hole in the back. It will vent heat (if the lamp generates heat), and will provide access to replace the lamp.

    Though I am a little nervous about cutting a new hole... Thoughts?




    Last edited by PHArchivist; Nov 2, 2008 at 12:56 AM.
  3. glim999 is offline glim999
    Nov 1, 2008, 10:35 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #3

    Yeah, gotta say the the hole looks a bit too big. Not terribly so but it is noticable.
  4. Shat happens RPF Premium Member robn1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Woodbridge, VA
    Messages
    2,844
    Nov 2, 2008, 12:05 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #4

    It does look a bit big, but that could be the perspective of the photo.
    You should rule that out before making any alterations.

    Try taking another pic of the domes, back up as far as you can
    and zoom in. Get the perspective as flat as you can.

    Rob
  5. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 2, 2008, 12:58 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #5

    robn1 said: View Post
    It does look a bit big, but that could be the perspective of the photo.
    You should rule that out before making any alterations.

    Try taking another pic of the domes, back up as far as you can
    and zoom in. Get the perspective as flat as you can.

    Rob
    Quite valid point. I was farther away in the shot taken at he museum, than the shot taken in my own shop.
  6. AT-AT Luvah's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2003
    From
    Chicago, IL (Orland Park)
    Messages
    1,289
    Nov 2, 2008, 1:51 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #6

    Daunting project, my man. But I'm psyched to watch the journey. Looks like a promising start. Dish cut does look a tad large, but I am certainly no expert on the dimensions of the Death Star. Pure empirical observation on my part.

    I will be watching this project with great interest.

    Hector
  7. ralphee is offline ralphee
    Nov 2, 2008, 5:38 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #7

    About time , seriously, you have researched this sooo much Rob, its really made me grin your kicking off what i know will be a killer build, you lucky so and so!
    As for the hole, it looks about right in the first pic, then a tad off the the others, so yeah id say a perspective issue?
    Im gonna love watching this take shape!

    lee
  8. RPF Premium Member
    Member Since
    Jun 2008
    Messages
    204
    Nov 2, 2008, 5:40 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #8

    If in doubt about the size why not cut out some discs of paper of different radii and tape them in the right place, then take a series of photos to compare with your shot of the prop (overlay them in photoshop!); not very scientific but sometimes the eye is more accurate than the ruler!!!!
  9. Share-Ometer Level 10 RPF Premium Member Guy Cowen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2006
    From
    Manchester, UK
    Messages
    3,357
    Nov 2, 2008, 6:01 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #9

    Its great to see this starting Rob.
  10. Member Since
    Jun 2008
    From
    Northern England,UK
    Messages
    653
    Nov 2, 2008, 6:27 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #10

    Good luck with this, particularly the lighting side. My SD is giving me alot of food for thought, so this build should be really great to watch. Good start though, those spheres look about right.
  11. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 2, 2008, 7:53 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #11

    Thanks guys - yeah this is going to be a long, somewhat challenging build. But as Lee pointed out, there has been much preparation, talk, research - now I'm psyched to be actually doing it!

    Consensus is the hole is too big. The idea of doing paper cut-outs I think would work fine. The current hole is 9 1/8. I think just about 8" will be fine. I'm concerned about cutting the acrylic; don't want to crack it. I think I'll go at it with a drill bit in my Dremel, and drill a series of holes along the circumference, then "cut along the doted line".

    My goal for today is to build the beginning of the armature, cut the necessary holes (new super laser hole, and a hole at the south pole for the support rod), and get the lower hemisphere mounted in place

    Later on down the line, I'll need to manage the upper hemi - getting that in place will be a bigger challenge, as it needs to ride at a very specific height, and the edges must be parallel. Easy in concept; not so easy when you really think about it.

    What do you all think about the overall shape of my ball of death? We all know its ovoid, and not perfectly sphereical. The domes are 16 5/8" from equator to pole (no 18" as a true sphere would be at 36" in diameter). These images show the ovoid shape better. I'm happy with the results, but frankly, were I to do it again, I think I'd go 16 1/4". The original really is a football!



    Last edited by PHArchivist; Nov 2, 2008 at 11:00 PM.
  12. Member Since
    Jun 2008
    From
    Northern England,UK
    Messages
    653
    Nov 2, 2008, 9:58 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #12

    If you were going to fill in the hole a bit to reduce the size I would cut out a large circle from sheet of plasticard . I'd then cut an inner circle out of that to support the dish in place when you've established its size (so in effect you have a ring just below the surface like an iris for the inside of the DS).This would leave a slight lip between the dish and the rest of the DS that you could infill with either another ring of plastic cut from the plastic (or many cut strips)or an infill with something like epoxy sculpt for strength. You then need to re enforce it with thicker strips on the inside for support anyway but it would be pretty stable. Be warned about drilling or cutting acrylic- I tried it once when trying to build shelves and kept cracking it! its very difficult to work.
    You might find building a cubic skeleton out of a 1/2 " ( or larger) hardwood helpfull to add rigidity to the upper and lower spheres.It would then be easy to slip inside to do wiring and may allow you to remove the upper sphere from time to time .It would not be a perfect cube obviously because of the DS shape but it would then allow you to build alot of internal supports for fibre optics and wiring off of it , which will be complicated enough anyway.
    Last edited by CutThumb; Nov 2, 2008 at 10:13 AM.
  13. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 2, 2008, 10:32 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #13

    My first thought on the super laser hole was exactly that - affix a ring on the backside to allow a "ledge" to add filer to.

    However, my concern is that this technique is more complicated, and introduces considerbly larger margins of error. Also, to be truly accurate, any and all filler materials would need to be clear enough to allow light transmission.

    Last edited by PHArchivist; Nov 2, 2008 at 10:36 AM.
  14. BrianM's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2001
    From
    The OC
    Messages
    692
    Nov 2, 2008, 11:10 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #14

    This may sound like a silly question but did the guys who cut the whole keep the cut out piece? Maybe it's sitting on there cut off shelf?

    The only thing harder to cut/drill than acrylic, is acrylic that has been tempered by heat forming.

    Part one of my advice is make what you have work. It would be fairly easy to slush plaster on the inside of the dome and make a bunch of vacumeformed plugs you could drill cut test and break till you got it right. Then glue it in place. Even if you have to use filler you can always drill tiny holes to let the light out.

    Part two: Attach the top dome to the bottom one THEN add the central pole. Use spacers to get it perfectly even all the way around. Glue firmly with plex glue not super glue. This way if you a little off of top dead center with the pole nobody will notice.

    Part Three: I've found the safest way to cut large hole in plex domes is with a soldering iron. I know it sounds weird but buy a cheep iron from radio shack and do it in a very well ventilated area. It slow but never a crack using this method.

    Best of luck
    BrianM
  15. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 2, 2008, 11:42 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #15

    BrianM said: View Post

    Part Three: I've found the safest way to cut large hole in plex domes is with a soldering iron. I know it sounds weird but buy a cheep iron from radio shack and do it in a very well ventilated area. It slow but never a crack using this method.
    Now that is what the RPF is all about - sharing skills and concepts. I'd not thought of that, and the logic makes perfect sense.
    Last edited by PHArchivist; Nov 2, 2008 at 10:58 PM.
  16. Universal Greeblie RPF Premium Member Jedifyfe's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2004
    From
    Los Angeles
    Messages
    8,567
    Nov 2, 2008, 12:10 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #16

    Hey Rob,
    The shape looks REALLY spot on! I do agree with the consensus about the hole but again, that may be due to the photograph. Can't wait to see the progress

    Brad
  17. Member Since
    Dec 2001
    From
    Denmark
    Messages
    279
    Nov 2, 2008, 1:31 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #17

    As far I remember, when I made the Dish for Guz, it was pretty much 23 cm wide, though it's been some years ago now since I made it. But Guz told it was a great fit. The dish does not sit flush with the edge of the domes, it does stick a bit out. There are some OK reference in the "from SW to Indy" book as far as I remember.

    I have some pictures of it on my site. "News" - then "more news"
  18. Junk Pilot's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Sydney Australia
    Messages
    685
    Nov 2, 2008, 6:04 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #18

    I go with the concensus in that the hole is slightly oversize but I'd go with it regardless unless you want it absolutely spot on.

    Either way this is going to be a kick ass replica. I have 30cm diameter domes which I am hoping to make so yours will be mine hands down.
  19. this space left blank RPF Premium Member James Kenobi 1138's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2002
    From
    Dallas Texas
    Messages
    6,929
    Nov 2, 2008, 9:16 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #19

    glim999 said: View Post
    Yeah, gotta say the the hole looks a bit too big. Not terribly so but it is noticable.
    Sounds like my Prom night all over again........
  20. Member Since
    Nov 2006
    Messages
    70
    Nov 2, 2008, 11:01 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #20

    Lookin good, PHA. I trust you've seen Lasse Henning's work on this? If not, check it out; http://www.starwarz.com/modelshop/make/deathstar.htm
  21. bluelight's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    From
    caput mundi
    Messages
    116
    Nov 3, 2008, 4:50 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #21

    Hi tried to do some photoshop on your original DS pics.. I overlaid photos and shadowed areas show that your hole (red shadow) should be smtg around 15-25% larger than the original. Knowing that camera distance and angle were different this is just a tentative mesurement.. IMHO it shouldn't be a big deal! I would leave it as is

    cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	overlay.jpg 
Views:	2108 
Size:	28.4 KB 
ID:	9327  
  22. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 3, 2008, 8:17 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #22

    bluelight said: View Post
    Hi tried to do some photoshop on your original DS pics.. I overlaid photos and shadowed areas show that your hole (red shadow) should be smtg around 15-25% larger than the original. Knowing that camera distance and angle were different this is just a tentative mesurement.. IMHO it shouldn't be a big deal! I would leave it as is

    cheers

    That's really helpfull - so the white circle then is the original dish?

    The hole in mine is 9 1/8"

    I experimented with both 8 1/2" and 8" paper cut-out templates, taped to the dome. I didn't get around to posting the images, but the 8" was closest. I think 7 3/4 may even be better.

    I'll do a template at 7 3/4, snap a pic, and post all the images. I will be cutting a new hole for sure, though. Mine is just too big. But it will make a great access hole in the back!
  23. bluelight's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2007
    From
    caput mundi
    Messages
    116
    Nov 3, 2008, 9:23 AM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #23

    PHArchivist said: View Post
    That's really helpfull - so the white circle then is the original dish?
    yessir!


    Looking forward to new pics! and BTW Fantastic Idea using the larger hole for maintenance purposes!

    cheers
  24. PHArchivist's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2001
    From
    Southern California
    Messages
    17,799
    Nov 4, 2008, 9:43 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #24

    Here is an 8" diameter template:



    Last edited by PHArchivist; Nov 4, 2008 at 9:51 PM.
  25. Member Since
    Dec 2001
    Messages
    1,387
    Nov 4, 2008, 10:11 PM - Re: Building The Death Star - PRODUCTION #25

    I don't mean to change subjects,but would the dish size for the "Star Wars" Death Star be the same as the one made for ROTJ?The two are differenmt models and wasn't everything bigger in size?

Similar Threads

  1. Building the Death Star Trash Compactor
    Skaught, Star Wars Costumes and Props
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: Nov 26, 2012, 4:07 PM
  2. Star Wars ANH Question-Charging the Death Star's weapon
    BornKilr, Entertainment and Movie Talk
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: May 29, 2012, 10:27 AM
  3. Building the SS Death Star Turbolaser
    ckwanwoo, Studio Scale Models
    Replies: 82
    Last Post: Jan 28, 2012, 5:50 PM
  4. Building The Death Star - PRE-PRODUCTION
    PHArchivist, Studio Scale Models
    Replies: 76
    Last Post: Oct 31, 2008, 5:49 PM