Introduction: How to Make a Star for the Christmas Tree

We are making a death star to enter the Greenfield School competition to make a model that is inspired by your favourite film. We're also going to place the star on top of the Christmas tree, once the tree is up

We made the model out of paper mache that was shaped round a balloon and then painted to look like a death star.

Step 1: Make a Paper Mache Ball

Blow up a small balloon, we blew it up to about 155mm wide because we only wanted a small model.

We took masking tape and tore it up into small bits and stuck them onto the balloon, making sure we covered the whole balloon with tape.

Then we tore up lots of strips of paper and stuck them onto the balloon using a mixture of PVA glue and water. We covered the whole balloon again and left it to dry overnight. Once the model was completely dry we put a second layer of paper mache over the balloon to make it stronger.

Once the paper mache was dry we tried to pop the balloon using a pin, but it didn't work. The balloon was stuck to the inside of the paper mache because of the sticky masking tape. So cut the model in half and tried to scrape the balloon out of the middle.

This still didn't work very well so if you want to make your own model we suggest not using masking tape on the first layer.

Step 2: Making the Death Star Round

When we cut the ball in half the two sides were oval shapes because of the shrinking balloon. We had to make the middle stronger and round. We decided to add cardboard circles to the middle to help it keep its shape.

We had to calculate how wide the circles should be. So we drew round the two halves to see the oval shapes that we had. We measured the ovals at their wide points and their thin points and the averaged the length. We calculated this to be 155 mm.

Once we knew what size our circles should be we decided to cut the cardboard circles on the laser cutter. We drew one circle on the computer and copied it 3 times. We put a second hole in the middle of the disks to make it easier to hold when in place. The laser cut all 3 circles and we glued them together in a stack.

Step 3: Shaping the Death Star

We placed a roll of tape up against the ball and we drew round the inside of the roll to show us where to cut the dent into the death star. We cut it out with a craft knife, we flipped the part over and used more tape to stick the part back into the hole. We added more paper mache to secure it into place.

We inserted the cardboard disk into one of the hemisphere and used a pair of scissors to trim the edge perfectly flat.

We put masking tape around the edge of the 3 disks and used a black marker pen to colour it in.

We test assembled the Death Star with the stack of disks to see if it fit together correctly before painting it.

Step 4: Finishing the Death Star With Paint

We painted the death star with a mix of black and white paint to make a grey colour, we added some silver metallic paint to give it a sparkly metal look. For the first coat we covered it all in grey, it dried a bit streaky which made it look like the panels on the death star, so we went over it again to make sure all the streaks were vertical.

We put masking tape on parts to cover them with our next layer of paint. We added more black to the paint to make it darker. We used a stubby paintbrush and we wiped most of the paint off on a tissue before painting to get even more streaky paint.

We flicked white paint over the death star to make it look like there were lights all over it.

We used a pencil to draw all of the details on the dish.

Once we have the model back from the school competition we are going to cut a hole in the bottom of the death star so it can be placed on top of our Christmas tree.

We wish you all a very Merry Rogue One Christmas.