I had been struggling for ideas this year, what to make for the annual ornament gift for the Things. Backstory - each year I make a one of a kind ornament gift for the kids. They are beginning to accumulate a nice collection of what I hope will be heirloom ornaments that they enjoy for years to come.
Thing One asked what I was going to make and I told him I had no idea and needed inspiration, so he suggested X-wing Fighters: they could be attacking last year's Death stars, which would be way cooler than the yellow submarine that's currently hanging by a Death Star on the tree. Duh...sold. The design in my head would incorporate a cigar tube (which I have used before for an airplane ornament), parts from old pens, and other odds and ends.
After swearing that this year would be simple, I somehow decided to play with fiber optics...wouldn't it be cool to have lasers shooting out of the guns, etc., etc. This effectively turned a simple model into a somewhat intricate prototype using a number of design techniques, the whole dining room table, spousal patience, and a lot more time that I originally anticipated.
There are a few techniques I have been wanting to try, such as mold-making/casting, Fiber optics, etc., and this project will give me the opportunity to try some new things so I'm excited. Here goes:
Stuff you will need:
- Cigar tube(s)
- Epoxy Cement
- Modeling clay
- Silicone Caulk, Cornstarch
- Bondo filler resin
- Scrap sheet aluminum (for the wings)
- Fiber optics of varying diameter (I used 1mm)
- Pens to disassemble and use the parts. I used old pens from a trade show...you'll need to find 4 alike pens with parts that will serve as engines and other components.
- Hot glue
- Red LED light source (I got mine in a wristband from the dollar store)
- Shop Scissors
- Box Cutter
- small clamps
- Drill press/drill with 1/8" and 1/2" bits
- Paint/ Painters tape
- Soldering Iron/solder and electronic odds and ends from RadioShack. (LEDs, thin wire, small circuit board)