1/6 scale Lost In Space First Season Space Suit

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

jazzman412000

New Member
I'm attempting to build a 1/6 scale Lost In Space original series space suit. Has anyone on the forum done this, or attempted to do this? Since the helmet itself is spherical, I am using a clear, plastic christmas ornament to make the helmet (the kind that has two halves that fit together so that you can put tinsel inside). The problem I am having is trying to get the correct shape transfered to the surface of the sphere to cut out for the face opening. I've gone through about 10 spheres so far with no good results. What's the best way to transfer a two-dimensional shape onto a curved surface? Any help or ideas will be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Jazzman
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

rbeach84

Sr Member
What method(s) have your tried so far? Should be straight forward to plot the boundaries of the opening using standard drafting / lofting techniques (aka 'paper & pencil') using top & side views mapped off the front projection. In fact, all that is needed is one half since the opening is symmetrical right to left. Imagine a sphere next to a vertical plane. If the shape of the opening is "drawn" onto the vertical plane, then horizontal lines can be drawn connecting the points of that 2D outline to the surface of the sphere. Marking out a grid on the sphere using strips of tape, running between the "poles", will also help. Looking at images on the Web, I expect the originals were fabbed from fiberglass from molds, perhaps with off-the-shelf visors & hardware. Once you have the surface points 'mapped', connect the dots, mask a pattern with tape, then remove and transfer to heavy paper so you can cut multiple masks if needed. Since the spheres are in halves, you have a ready-made 'equator' plane already established.

R/ Robert
 

jazzman412000

New Member
Thanks for reply, Robert! The only method that I had come up with involved printing out the frontal photo of the helmet in 1/6 scale and cutting a small sponge into the size and shape of the face opening. Since the sphere halves are clear plastic, I thought I would position the shaped sponge onto the back side of the half-sphere and push it into the convex side. I thought the sponge would conform to the curve without deforming too much, and then I could outline the shape of the sponge from the front. However, it didn't quite workout the way I hoped.

I can can picture in my mind the procedure that you outlined, but how would I carry a point from the vertical surface to the sphere, and make sure that the two points are perfectly in line with one another? Msybe you can clarify?

Thanks,
Jazzman
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

niart17

Active Member
If you happen to have access to an old overhead projector that would work. Print out the frontal shot of the helmet that you want on to a transparency and then project that on to your helmet. It will have to be really securely held in place but then you can take a marker and trace out the shape. You'll likely have to go back and clean up your lines a taped straightedge from any shakiness, but that should at least get you the proportions and guidelines to work with. Now finding an old overhead projector can be the challenge. I happened to run across one at our church they let me borrow. Good luck!

Bill
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
Bill's idea is an analog method for the drafting technique I was proposing. But essentially, if you draw out a matching half-circle the same size (diameter) as your sphere part with the 'seam' oriented vertically then draw an offset line parallel to the 'seam' line & the same 'height' as the bubble (this represents the 'edge' side view of the flat projection plane.) Then draw a 90 degree line that connects to the top of the vertical plane line and then draw another 1/2 circle that is offset the same distance as the original. You'll end up with two half circles that are rotated 90 degrees from each other and facing the vertical & horizontal reference lines. This is the basic setup to map the opening.

Now, if possible using a copy of the image showing the frontal aspect of the helmet & faceplate that is a matching size (diameter) as your bubble, overlay it with a regular grid of squares. This will provide a reference coordinate system that you can then "map" onto the vertical and horizontal lines of your drawing. Basically, your "1/2 circle" drawing gives you a top and side view of the '2D image' so you can mark the width and height of the faceplate opening. Just mark the reference lines with points then draw horizontal and vertical lines from those points to the 1/2 circles that represent the side and top views of the bubble. Then you can measure the point of the intersection with the circles from the 'seam' line, or simply lay the bubble half on the drawing and mark the lengths along the bubble edge to use to directly transfer to the other bubble half. I'd recommend marking the faceplate half with an X & Y axis so you can transfer the points accurately. This is easily done by drawing a full circle with both a vertical and horizontal lines through the center point, 90 degrees apart, then using the intersections to transfer to the faceplate bubble half's edge. Then just "connect the dots" with thin strips of tape.

Measuring the map points from your image is just a matter of taking the distance at the center of the faceplate opening between the top (and bottom) edge of the helmet to the top (and bottom) of the opening. This distance is marked onto the reference lines. Then repeat for the side points. The result is the 'boundaries' of the opening.

Doing the corners is a little trickier. On the picture, you have to mark a line connecting opposite corners and then measure the angle between that line and the vertical lines of your grid. This same angle then is used to angle off from your drawing's vertical reference line (could be connected to the bottom endpoint since the top one is already used for the top view. Then it is just again drawing another 1/2 circle offset the same distance as the other reference lines followed by the same mapping procedure.

If the opening is symmetrical about both axes, then you only need a mask (template) for one of the four quadrants which then can just be flipped about for the other three.

I know this seems complex, but its just in the explaining, not in the 'doing'. Main point is, if you 'project' the front view onto a flat plane, you get the image (picture) you are working from. To map this 'projection' back onto the 3D surface of the sphere just requires taking the image's points in any one plane (for example, the 'side view' is really a vertical slice on a plane parallel to the plane of the paper...and so forth) and connecting them back to the sphere's cross section in that same plane. By rotating the cross-sectional plane, you can develop enough points to map the correct shape of the opening. This is easily done in this case because the bubble is a regular sphere and hence of the same cross section at any point that passes through it's center point. So long as you have a drafting triangle and a compass, you should be able to do it very accurately. If you have drawing software on the computer, even more so.

Mastering this draftsman's technique gives you a useful tool for other applications were you have an image (i.e., 2D) of something that is of a 3D surface not completely parallel to the image plane (as in 'flat'.) For example, I wish the artists at Microscale who created the B-26 bomber nose art on one of their decal sheets had used it to remove the 'distortion' in the images they used for reference instead of just 'tracing' the image!

Regards, Robert
 
Last edited:

jazzman412000

New Member
I think its finally starting to sink in. Thank you for taking the time to write out such a long and detailed explanation. You are truly and a gentleman and a scholar!
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top