This is an instructable to create the Aether container from the end credits scene from Thor 2 the Dark World.
I have seen a number of 'ibles showing how to make the Tesseract from the Marvel universe and after completing that I wanted to go on and make the remaining infinity stone containers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
I hadn't seen many how to dos to create the Aether apart from some awesome projects 3d printing the whole thing. Not having access to a 3d printer I decided to try and create the Aether from wood i had lying around, "it's just a box after all!" I said to my wife. Family commitments and poor planning meant this has taken longer than expected but i'm happy with the results.
Step 1: Planning
First things first lots of reference pictures which was not as easy as I thought. The first pic was the best I could find from the film stills thats what we are aiming for. The 2nd shows the box with the handles down in the hands of The Collector.
Scaling your Aether depends entirely on you and what you want to create. I wanted 1:1 scale and as close as I could make it to the screen with my skills. To help scale I found the 3rd and 4th images which show the Hot Toys replica of the Aether (1:6 scale) with a helpful ruler in shot. I brought the last image up on my screen and measured the different layers to work out the size of the segments of the Hot Toy and then times these each by 6 to get my 1:1 scaling.
I did map it all out on a piece of paper which I have helpfully lost but I measured the final product and came up with the following dimensions
Total height - 22.5cm
Height of the corner struts - 15cm
Height of the upper and lower borders - 2cm each
Height of handle when placed down - 1cm
Height of the detachable base 0.5cm
Step 2: Materials
I had to buy a number of these bits but there were a few bits lying around from other projects I've been doing.
Length of pine wood 72x1x2cm
length of corniced wood profile shown in picture 60cm (4x15cm segments) I found this in Homebase in the stripwood section
1 piece of cardboard
1 piece of 2mm thin wood
9cm squared piece of 5mm pine
2x 7cm sq peice of 5mm pine
wooden dowel 5mm
gold spray paint (I used Plasticote brilliant metallic gold)
Something for the stone panels. I used slate effect wooden floor tiles from B&Q (sample tiles were a couple of quid)
Red acrylic (Sourced from Ebay)
Light source (currently a tea light but eventually to be replaced by a resin gem)
Step 3: Assembling the Basic Frame
I took the 2x1cm wood and cut it in to 4x 8cm and 4x 10cm lengths, these I stuck together in a square and weighted down with heavy items to hand (note my distinct lack of clamps).
For the struts, in the reference images there are multiple dimples running down the struts on each corner. I measured out equally spaced points along the struts and to create the dimples I pressed a drill bit in to the wood and twizzled it a bit. As you can tell by the explanation I wasn't sure how to create indentations like this so went a bit basic (cutting my fingers up in the process) - any suggestions in the comments on how to better produce these welcome.
To complete the basic frame glue the struts upright between the two square frames you have made.
Step 4: Frame Detailing and Topping
Once I had built the frame of the box I started to add some of the detailing seen in the reference pictures.
The top and bottom of the frame have theses little rectangular segments cut out of them (highlighted in image 1) for these I marked out a few mm of a step and slow scored and cut it out with my Stanley knife.
For the corner embossing I used some scrap cardboard I had and cut out 8 shaped as seen in picture 1. Mine were approximately 2cmx2cm however experiment with yours to see what dimensions work for you.
For the top covering with the crenelations I took a very thin (1-2mm) piece of scrap wood I had and cut out small squares as shown in picture 3. This I stuck on top
Finally detail-wise I wanted to add the little rivets that are on the front of the aether. For these I got some small plastic stick on gems approx 3mm in diameter and stuck these on, the colour didn't really matter as we are going to paint over them. See pic 5 for the ems stuck on. You 32 to cover all the sides.
Step 5: Handles
This was a part of the project I hadn't quite realised I needed to do until I was getting to this stage. On the initial reference image the aether is being held from a handle like a lantern but in the later image in the collector's hands there is no handle and the top is flat. I wanted to make it so that (like in the film) you could have the handles either up or down. The final handles stand 4.5cm when they are upright and the aim is for them to sit flush around the edge when they are down.
To get this effect with wood I glued 2 pieces of 7x7cm wood together and drilled 2 holes either side. Into these I inserted some 4-5mm dowels which would act as the pivot point for the handle. I left a gap between the two to allow the handles to rotate past each other.
In the second photo you can see the handles before I separated them, I found it easier to drill the holes on larger pieces of wood and then cut them to size rather than the other way around.
To make it so the handles pivot past each other and the base you need to round off the corners ( the finished handle can be seen pained in some later steps.
Step 6: Detachable Base and Painting.
I wanted to be able to remove the base so that I could place the light source inside and at a later date be able to store a red resin gem in there. To do this easily I bought some adhesive magnetic strips and placed them across the base, trimming them as needed.
Once this was done we were almost ready to paint. Some of the edges I had left from sawing were quite rough, even after sanding, so I went over all of these areas with some white wood filler to which left a smooth edge once sanded.
Once I was happy with the finish I applied a plain white primer coat then went over it with the gold paint. I did try a few paints out as I wanted a slightly darker, antique-y gold colour and the first few I tried were very yellow. The last pic shows the individual components all painted up.
Step 7: Stone Panels and Red Acrlyic
I only have the one picture of this step completed as it is fairly self explanatory.
The main consideration for this step is what you want your stone pieces to look like. I bought some stick on black marble vinyl but there wasn't any texture to it the finish was a bit on the shiny side so I went for the stone effect tile. Whatever you can get your hands on and you like the look of will work just as well.
I measured the area between each strut on the four faces of the container (as I was hand glueing there was some discrepancy between width on each face so measuring is worth it for a tight fit) and cut out 8 panels from the sample tile. I glued in the 4 top panels first to allow me to reach in to position the acrylic and bottom panels.
I cut out small section of red acrylic (approx 1.6-1.9cm) in width to fit in the gap between the tiles. I glued this in then proceeded to insert and the glue the bottom row of tiles in to place.
Hopefully the finished article should look something like the picture.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
To completely finish things off I covered the whole thing with a thin layer of clear sealant as I have found that this spray paint can be a bit fragile. Generally handling it throughout the build process also aged the surface before the sealant which was good.
The lighting in my living room is a little bit brighter than that in the collector's pad but I think it generally looks quite good especially in low light (hides so many sins) with a tea light for illmination.
The only extra I might do in the future is to frost the inside of the acrylic to dull the light source on the inside.
I hope you liked this instructable and that if you are interested in making the Aether this has given you some good idea. First instructable too so any constructive criticisms welcome.