Making a 12" diameter sci-fi/fantasy planet

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


red4

Sr Member
3 circles of MDF, 7.25 inches in diameter. Bottommost circle is 1/4" thick; 2 next layers are 2 pieces of 3/4". Top center circle is 4.25 inches in diameter. 1/2" hole drilled through all layers, except the bottom.
Poplar dowel 1/2" wide, 14 inches long. Bottom 2 inches sanded slightly so the dowel will spin freely inside the MDF hole.
2 styrofoam hemispheres with interlocking teeth, 12 inches in diameter. Northern and Southern hemispheres designated. Sharpie marks to ensure alignment once the details starts to get painted on.
1/2" hole drilled into north pole and south pole. Hemispheres connected to form sphere. Poplar dowel inserted, creates good pressure fit, locking hemispheres together. Glue unnecessary.
Assembly inserted into MDF base.
I did all this in 2016. Project has been sitting on a shelf until today.

Rcc7XaZ.jpg

ysuWqlp.jpg

Y4TOFdN.jpg

5QJ1NNU.jpg

us4mLJA.jpg

inESAuH.jpg

tvX27Qo.jpg

1a6784e.jpg

7tqIvRq.jpg

ZXn0g0b.jpg


Started drawing this map in MS Paint roughly 15 years ago. This represents only one side of the planet. There is another file with some territorial borders marked out, which I'm not yet sure will be included on the final globe. The squares represent 1 inch of area on the styrofoam globe.

BFqiHL5.png


I will be painting the globe with Folk Art arylics. I will be using oil-based paint for the MDF base, so it doesn't swell up and ruin the hole for the dowel.

For anyone curious about the PVC frame in the background, it's a collapsible platform specifically to elevate my computer when I'm using fluids, or taking photos. My work space is extremely limited, and I like to watch sitcoms while I work, so the platform allows me to see the computer, while also doubling as a vertical surface to place backdrops for photos (not seen in this post). The vertical PVC posts are not permanently attached.
 
Last edited:

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

red4

Sr Member
Approximately 2.5 episodes of Seinfeld to paint the first coat. It's Folk Art 2428 Castaway; a nice aquatic blue. It's a bit darker than I intended, so the next 2 coats will be a lighter shade. I want the foam cells to disappear a bit more, so I may have to do a lot of coats.

yzGsL1I.jpg
 

kruleworld

Well-Known Member
interesting project. i wonder if the paint will ever fill the foam or will you have to treat it with modpodge or something?
 

red4

Sr Member
interesting project. i wonder if the paint will ever fill the foam or will you have to treat it with modpodge or something?

Mod Podge would have been a smart idea. The first coat of paint gives me confidence that 3 or 4 more coats should make the cells disappear to my satisfaction; maybe not 100% disappear, but good enough.
 

xeno

Sr Member
I made this a few years ago (ahem 2002), I used Tamiya putty to make the landmasses, smearing the drying putty on top of each other creates a very good layered texture that can be drybrushed very effectively, and the clouds sprayed and brushed on :)


aarde 2.jpg
 

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

red4

Sr Member
I made this a few years ago (ahem 2002), I used Tamiya putty to make the landmasses, smearing the drying putty on top of each other creates a very good layered texture that can be drybrushed very effectively, and the clouds sprayed and brushed on :)


View attachment 1279337

That's extremely beautiful. Do you have a thread about it, or more pictures? My globe won't be anywhere as detailed as this. It will be a tool I've been intending to make since 2005, so that I can get accurate distances and consistent paths when describing travel in a novel I've been writing since roughly 2000. I might even need to add a coordinate grid. Been taking my sweet time.
 

xeno

Sr Member
It was made as a set of 2 Earths, 1- 500 million years old and 2- 45 million years old


Using the putty the create the landmasses was easy, because of the airdrying putty, when I apply a next layer the previous would smear out and create wonderful textures ;0
 

red4

Sr Member
It was made as a set of 2 Earths, 1- 500 million years old and 2- 45 million years old


Using the putty the create the landmasses was easy, because of the airdrying putty, when I apply a next layer the previous would smear out and create wonderful textures ;0

Very cool. I did not expect Pre-Cambrian Earth.

I'm using a 4" acrylic bauble and Sharpies to brainstorm where to position the landmasses. I initially wanted to use an opaque one, so it would be less visually confusing seeing the lines of the landmasses on the opposite side of the planet; but I couldn't find any opaque ones. First I scribbled the landmasses on the outer surface with a black Sharpie, then I refined the lines from inside the bauble with a red Sharpie; then erased the black lines with rubbing alcohol. While the land placements seen here are not final, at least I figured out how to use the bauble's transparency to my advantage.

j8vMqtq.jpg
 

red4

Sr Member
I dropped one of the hemispheres by trying to handle it from inside while the paint was still wet, and it got a nasty dent. Now I'm trying to fill the dent with paint, as dumb as that may be. I'm going to hot glue some tongue depressors into the inside of the hemispheres to serve as handles. Also, I'm starting to feel like a styrofoam ball is a huge mistake for this project, and I should have just invested in a proper cardboard ball from the start. Or maybe I should strip the paint off, and add some layers of paper mache. This is so annoying.
 
Last edited:

red4

Sr Member
The paint-filled scar. Multiple fingernail marks to test the hardness over several hours. It was disappointingly soft, but I was able to rake it into the shape of a mountain, and then compress the mountain down into the dent, presumably increasing the density of the paint. The blue seen here is 3 coats of Folk Art 6459 Ocean View; and a 4th coat was applied after the pictures were taken. The foam cells really are not disappearing at all, so I've given up on that delusion. Anyway, I added another glob of paint to the scar, and I'm going to let it cure for about 2 days, to see if it hardens to a point where I can sand it to shape.

fNrPMsP.jpg


There are 3 cylinders protruding from inside each hemisphere, making the ideal spots from which to glue the aforementioned tongue depressors. Both hemispheres received identical handles. I've tested them, and they're working exactly as intended. Something interesting to note is that the manufacturer's circle that appears to be the interior center of the hemisphere is not the true mathematical center. The hole that I've drilled is. Both hemispheres look this way.

JrKki0W.jpg
 
Last edited:

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

red4

Sr Member
I cleaned all the paint off with isopropyl alcohol, then applied 3 coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat. The 3rd coat has now cured for 8 hours, and it's still just as soft as the original 4 coats of Folk Art paint were. And it's so thin that the foam cells are still the main texture. Mod Podge Hard Coat is a huge disappointment. I'm going to try something suggested by a YouTuber, which is to mix acrylic paint into the Mod Podge. He didn't say this would increase the hardness; but he said it was so the coats are more visible, allowing you to check the coverage. I don't really need to check the coverage, since I was vigilant about the wet shine as it cured, so I knew where I had already applied the stuff. The reason I'm going to try it anyway is to see how it affects the hardness.
 

PB Props

New Member
I made a globe a year or two ago out of a styrofoam ball and covered it in household spackle that I textured for the land and sea masses, then painted it up. The piece was extremely tough, very durable and survived being taken to school by my daughter where it was rough handled by her classmates. When we got it back, there wasn't a mark on it - not even a scuff or a dent.

Globe_school project.jpg


Forgive the roughness of this piece, but it was done in an afternoon (a last minute request, so to speak) and had to be made to look like it was put together by my daughter for a science project. But you get the idea.

EDIT: I just remembered, I used the same spackle technique on another foam build, this time a Star Wars play set for my son.

WIP_10_Surface Break Down.jpg


Gallery_09.jpg


One day, I'll finish it off for him with various plant on details and proper weathering.
 
Last edited:

red4

Sr Member
I made a globe a year or two ago out of a styrofoam ball and covered it in household spackle that I textured for the land and sea masses, then painted it up. The piece was extremely tough, very durable and survived being taken to school by my daughter where it was rough handled by her classmates. When we got it back, there wasn't a mark on it - not even a scuff or a dent.

View attachment 1283261

Forgive the roughness of this piece, but it was done in an afternoon (a last minute request, so to speak) and had to be made to look like it was put together by my daughter for a science project. But you get the idea.

EDIT: I just remembered, I used the same spackle technique on another foam build, this time a Star Wars play set for my son.

View attachment 1283269

View attachment 1283271

One day, I'll finish it off for him with various plant on details and proper weathering.

Those look amazing, and I've considered plasters, but I'm very hesitant to use anything that will potentially produce gypsum dust if it cracks. I'm considering something like paper mache, but with carpenter's glue.
 

PB Props

New Member
Those look amazing, and I've considered plasters, but I'm very hesitant to use anything that will potentially produce gypsum dust if it cracks. I'm considering something like paper mache, but with carpenter's glue.
If it's any consolation, I have pieces like this that are nearly 25 years old and I've never had it even remotely crack, let alone crumble. I don't know if US spackle is any different from our UK household filler, but I think they'd be the same more or less. You could mix carpenter's glue or PVA as a binder, I've done that before when adding grit to the spackle, so I suppose that it can give you extra peace of mind.

Failing that, try an acrylic render, Jesmonite (developed for the housing industry, but adopted by the film industry for scenics and model work) is a great one, it goes on like spackle, but is for all intents and purposes a plastic.
 

red4

Sr Member
If it's any consolation, I have pieces like this that are nearly 25 years old and I've never had it even remotely crack, let alone crumble. I don't know if US spackle is any different from our UK household filler, but I think they'd be the same more or less. You could mix carpenter's glue or PVA as a binder, I've done that before when adding grit to the spackle, so I suppose that it can give you extra peace of mind.

Failing that, try an acrylic render, Jesmonite (developed for the housing industry, but adopted by the film industry for scenics and model work) is a great one, it goes on like spackle, but is for all intents and purposes a plastic.

I personally haven't used spackle in over 15 years. I may have to buy a small tub of it, like 10 or 15 ounces, and do some drop tests with a smaller styrofoam ball.
 

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

red4

Sr Member
*long sigh* Mod Podge is really useless for hiding the foam cells. I applied something like 4 coats, and they were still showing. So I sanded it down very carefully with 240 grit sandpaper until the bare foam was slightly exposed. This should have presumably equalized the level of the Mod Podge between the cells, and the top surface of the cells. So I applied 2 new coats of Mod Podge, and the *#()*_)#(@) cells are still showing.

Spackle may be the answer, but I won't spend the money until I have to; and since this is just a personal project, there's no urgency.
 

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

Top