Ah the dome. Fibreglass is generally the material of choice here, but I
don't like fibreglass, and I wanted to make my own, so I
experimented with other materials, to see if I could find something that's at
least acceptable, even if it's not perfect.
A failed dome made from Fast Mache
I pulled it too soon..
Better looking Fast Mache dome,
with spackle over it for smoothing.
A papier mache dome spackled and read for sanding.
Finished temporary dome,
spackled and painted. Too lumpy!
I found a better sanding technique for the lower edge
- keep the dome still and move the sand paper.
A comparison shot of the three currently painted domes.
In the above shot you can see my moon city. Top right is
the dome plug. The inverted domes are the negative molds that I've been
working from. The dome at the bottom is my current best effort, but
1/2" too small, hence the new dome plug on the left.
I've tried several materials:
- conventional paper mache with newspaper and diluted wood-glue
- Fast Mache - a powdered wood pulp with glue to which you just add water.
- Woodglue and shop rags. I think this might have
worked, but I didn't get enough turtle wax and vaseline into the mold
and it stuck badly.
- Water putty. This stuff sets hard and doesn't shrink
but is brittle. I couldn't get this out of the mould without it breaking - it was nowhere near hard enough.
The stalk is made in the pretty much conventional way, with threaded rod and
short sections of PVC pipe to hold the acrylic disks in place. The back of
the stalk is a section of tapered chair leg. The pivot is MDF.
The first eyeball I made was cut from MDF layers glued
together and attached to a hemisphere. It was not very good, and would
have needed quite a bit of finish work.
The second eyeball was made using a votive candle holder
- essentially a small bubble-blown glass bowl.
I drilled a hole in the base very slowly with a masonry bit and painted it black. So now the dalek has a glass eye!
The board behind the stalk above left is the former I used for making the dome molds.
The eyestalk mounting is also fairly conventional