Levitating Death Star

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About: Im a model maker who makes film and game props in my spare time. If you like my work please visit my blog it has more work. email me at backwardsprops @ gmail . com (with out the spaces, stops...

I have always loved Globes and especially the electronic floating ones.

The Levitating globes i have seen (and could afford) were OK but i thought it would be cool to do something more with one.

I went through a list of things i could try to make, DeLorean car from back to the future, the moon, a jedi training remote or the death star.

I wanted to do either the jedi remote or the death star, i had seen the remote on-line somewhere so I decided the death star would be the way I would go. 


So this is how i went about doing it.

Step 1: Materials and Tools.

Materials : 

-paint
-glue (plastic solvent, super glue, contact adhesive all work fine.)
-card / paper
-masking tape , different widths.
-Bright white LED
- fibre optic strands (optional)
-micro press button
-wire
-battery
-solder


Oh and the main component the levitating globe.




Tools :

-knives or cutting tool
-sand paper
-twist drill or dremmel, i used a twist drill as its not too powerful.
-tiny drill bits. 0.75 and 0.85 mm are the two i used.
-ruler or straight edge.
-tweezers (things can get quite small)

Step 2: Stripping the Globe.

I took the globe out of the box and took a look at it.

there was a thin bit of tape round the equator which held the two halves together, i peeled it off and popped the globe in half.
inside the halves one had a large magnet in the top and a little cap in the bottom half.

i noticed that the globe covering was actually a thin layer of plastic (heat shrunk on to the ball or something) that could be peeled off. i slid a knife between the plastic hemisphere and the covering and removed all the globe covering from both sides.

Step 3: Making the Laser "eye"

After stripping the globe i started to work on the Laser eye of the death star.

i printed off some death star plans to the scale of the globe i had. (i found the plans on-line)

i cut out the size of the indent of the eye and taped it in place on the top half of the dome.

to make sure it looks right put the halves of the globe back together and take a look at it in comparison with some reference pics.

Trace round the paper on the dome.

now as they did on the real death star from the film, cut out the circle and flip it over and put it back into the hole.

once you have it fitting well glue it in place from the inside.

Step 4: Priming and Test Float.

I gave the globe.... sorry Death Star,  a coat of grey primer and then i test floated the death star to make sure that the modifications i had done didn't effect the way it floats.

Step 5: Lighting.

i made a very simple LED  cell battery push switch circuit by soldering the led to the switch and then i just taped the ends of the wires to the battery.

i then put it in the globe and did a test float again to make sure it can hold the weight.  

Step 6: Drilling Holes for Lights.

I used some thin masking tape to tape radiating lines inside the domes.

these lines are there to make sure i drilled the holes in straight(ish) lines once i had gone round the vertical lines and randomly drilled holes along its sides i drew some rings inside the dome and drilled at random intervals along them to create the city scape of lights. 

Step 7: Painting and Masking.

once all the holes have been drilled to your liking you will need to give the whole outside of the death star a sand to get the burrs from the drilling off the dome.

once you have sanded the burrs of you will need to give it a light coat of light grey to cover up the sanding.

once the light grey is dry its time to mask! 

I just alternated the thickness of the tapes i used and did different patterns in the tape to make the shell of the death star look like the movie.

i taped over some of the holes along side other holes and left some uncovered just to give the death star some variance.

once you have taped it over its time to spray it a slightly darker grey.

then peel off the tape when your darker grey is dry.

If you had more shades of grey paint you could do this masking and spraying technique more times to give the death star more variance and depth, but alas I didn't have any more grey paint.     


don't forget to keep doing test floats, 1) to make sure you are not going over the weight the magnet can handle and 2) just because its cool :)

Step 8: Super Star Destroyer.

I thought it would be cool to add some ships or something to give the death star some scale.

So i thought i would look for the biggest ship in the star wars films and i think it was the super star destroyer, the one they released the lego version of. The lego one handily had a little data plaque on it that gave a size of 19km long.

In my research i found the size of the first death star to be loads of different sizes, but one number that kept coming up was 160 km in diameter.


So with a size of 160,000,000 mm for the death star and the length 19,000,000 mm for the star destroyer.

the globe i got was around 105 mm long. So  with some quick maths i worked out that it is at a scale of (roughly) 1 : 1,500,000 (it comes out to scale to the size of 106.666667 mm)

so the star destroyer of 19,000,000 at the scale of 1:1,500,000 makes the scaled version come out at 12.666667 mm  so i rounded it up to 13mm and made a little , well tiny, card model of the super star destroyer.  i attached the star destroyer to the death star with a small length of fibre optic strand, i just glued it to the destroyer and drilled a small hole in the death star. 

Make sure that the length isn't too long make sure it wont hit the upright of the magnet frame.


I also used some lengths of Fibre optic strands to make the laser firing, (i forgot to take a photo of this stage but you will see it in the final images.) i sanded the fibre optics lengths a little and then stained them with some green ink. i then glued them into the holes in the laser "eye" with the 8 strands converging onto the central one which extends longer than the rest. 

Make sure that the laser isn't too long make sure it doesn't hit the magnet frame. (same as the star destroyer.



Step 9: Thats No Moon!

once you have done all that you can let your death star float around and destroy planets.

i am thinking i might decorate the stand a little, maybe make the base bit look like a planet or something.
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    144 Discussions

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    ChrysN

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! I like the lights shinning out like a cityscape.

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    Jonnie Green

    1 year ago

    I love STAR WARS and I love this!

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    Acticin

    1 year ago

    Can you please give a link to a globe??? thank you! your progect is awsome!!!!

    5 replies
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    backwards lambActicin

    Reply 1 year ago

    As mentioned in the instructables and in the comments. I got the globe on eBay all I know about it is pictured in the photos.

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    backwards lambActicin

    Reply 1 year ago

    It's eBay the price is what ever the price is. That's the nature of eBay.

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    sangh

    1 year ago

    What company is the globe from?

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    thoms_here

    2 years ago

    This is great!

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    Pkranger88

    2 years ago

    That's brilliant! Love it!

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    kweigant

    2 years ago

    Great Idea gave me an idea for something based on the newest movie.

    1 reply
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    Ian Scheelekweigant

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have already created a simple CAD file of the newest death star and it is on thingiverse If that is of any use to you.

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1211965

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    rmontgomery5

    2 years ago

    Also the LED lights aren't very good, did you use super bright LEDs?

    1 reply
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    rmontgomery5

    2 years ago

    What volt battery did you use? Having some weight issues as well with the globe,