Friday, January 22, 2010

Space Terrain- Planets and Moons

This planet was created by coating a styrofoam ball used in floral arrangements in a PVA/water mix about 3 times. This part takes a long time because you have to wait for the glue to dry. I then attempted to spray the ball a deep orange color, but the ball was still too porous and the paint couldn't hit most of the openings. I ended up brushing it orange instead. In my opinion, it is NEVER worth the time and effort to seal in PVA in order to prime somthing. Just brush prime anything that can be damaged by aerosol and then spray prime. You'll save time and headaches.

I then drybrushed red and light orange bands on the planet. I also drybrushed some clouds onto it. The drybrushing has to be done carefully to get a good blended look and to make sure the coverage is complete as well. I then assembled a large flight stand, painted it black and jammed it into the bottom of the planet. I then pulled the base out, filled the hole with PVA and put the base back in. Finally I sprayed the piece with a sealant.

The moons were made by drilling a hole in a ping pong ball large enough to put a flight stand in. Then just superglue the ball to the stand and prime the whole thing black. Touch the flight stand up if you want to.

The difficult part was trying to get the moons to look like moons without having to paint individual craters on them and such. I blotched various shades of greys and white on the ping pong balls.

I was commissioned by a person years ago on Bartertown to create four more planets a game called "StarBlazers."

Earth and Saturn

These two planets were probably the most challenging due to the fact that the real bodies have a very distinct look to them. These two planets are based on styrofoam floral balls. Earth was basecoated blue, and the continents were painted in with brown. Green was dabbed onto the land masses as well. Ice caps and Antarctica were painted in white, and white was drybrushed over the entire ball to simulate cloud cover.

Saturn was done in a similar fashion, being basecoated yellow and bands of various shades of brown and yellow being drybrushed onto the planet.

Saturn's Rings

This was by far the most challenging part of the project. I wanted to make the rings out of something thin, yet sturdy. I also wanted to minimize cutting on the rings as to keep them as round as possible. I started off with clear plastic, but it did not hold up well and coloring it was quite difficult. A friend of mine suggested using an old record and drybrushing the ridges.

I purchased a couple from Goodwill and tried to drybrush one, but the ridges were too fine. They were also hard to cut and I ended up shattering the first record.

Finally I used a dremel to cut the center out of the record and used the bands on the record to hand paint the rings on. It was very plain, so I mixed a new batch of paint with very fine sand and painted the rings again. I then drybrushed the rings a tan color. It's still not quite what I was looking for, but I think they look good.

Mercury and the Lava Planet

These two planets were based on balls as well, but they were coated in wall filler. Mercury was based on an old cat toy I had lying around. I taped all of the holes in it shut and gave the ball three coates of wall filler, applying each new coat after the last had dried. The ball was sanded fairly smooth once dry and a dremel was used to carve the craters into the surface.

The lava planet is based on a foam floral ball. Wall filler was applied with a brush and some sticks to give the planet a rough, young and seizmically active appearance. Deep cuts were also made into the filler for deep lava flows.

Both planets were base coated black. The lava planet's cuts were then painted red and drybrushed orange, then yellow. Both planets were drybrushed from a dark grey to light grey to white.

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