The problem with creating planets, is that if you haven’t done it before, you may not get it right the first time…
or the second or the third 🙁

The steampunk room for Violetta (my Pullip EOS) needs an old style globe of earth, with copper and steampunk-like adornments, while wondering the interwebs I saw this tutorial (the site is in French, so will need to translate if required) and uses a 4cm diameter ping pong (table tennis)).  Because I am working in 1:6th (1/6th or Playscale) a 4cm diameter ball would equate to 24cm.  I did a search online and found a wonderful globe for sale at Australian Geographic (with a tall wooden stand, that I thought would suit the room), it had a diameter of 30cm.

My brain gears (sticking with the steampunk theme ;)) whirred a bit and figured I needed a ball with a 5cm diameter. They have loads in every craft and art store known to man, not that I am ever quite sure what they would be used for – I may look it up in a bit!  I bought two, thinking (very optimistically in hindsight) that I would use one to practise on and the other for my final product.

I searched the web for images that could be printed out flat and used for creating a spherical globe. I ended up learning a little bit too much about map projections and that I didn’t not want to build a planetary icosahedron (it would have pointy bits… I want a ball.. yeah?) and that what I needed was an interrupted sinusoidal gore map. Whatever… Q, get to the planet creation? 😀

Then I thought I was being quite clever using the original image from here thank you Mitchell Charity, whoever you are.  I resize my pic so that it had a circumference of (those gears started clicking again, but I used a website calculator… in case you care it’s Π*2R or Π*D where R= radius and D=diameter). That is the width of my image needed to be the diameter, I changed the colouring significantly and eventually got to a point where I printed it out and went to sit down and cut out my interrupted sinusoidal map.

Attempt #1: I assumed the ball would be accurate, instead my 5mm(2inch) diameter balls were either mislabelled or in the wrong box in the store (or something like that)  They were in fact (luckily I had also bought a circle cutter which I could use as a caliper – is it caliper or calipers?) 6.5mm in diameter.

Attempt#2: I made the height the same as the width not recognising that the vertical bits only had to wrap from pole to pole on the globe, not right around it like the equator did…  I went back and adjusted the height of the image.

Attempt#3: Things were looking up and the cut out (by the way not a trivial exercise cutting the thing out each time!) map wrapped around the globe… half way through I realised that the glue was actually dissolving the polystyrene…. So it looked a bit like a moon rather than a sphere with only 2d topography.

Attempt#4: Looking even better this time…. but for the life of me, didn’t get why this happened. (now on to the second ball)

Creating Planets Attempty # 4

Creating Planets Attempty # 4

Attempt #5:  A little less like Attempt#4 and a little more like it should work, but still not totally covered how it should have been.

The Good Side of Attempt #5
The Good Side of Attempt #5

Attempt#6: Is actually visible in the photo above, slightly recoloured and resized (again!) the printer jammed and printed out half on the page (under the plate above – that is a little sauce/butter dish by the way) and half on another page. So… moving on

Yay... planetary goodness shown after clear glaze had been applied

Yay... planetary goodness shown after clear glaze had been applied

Attempt #7: Actually things still didn’t cover the ball like I thought it should and there were teeny gaps as seen above in Northen Queensland in Australia, and also the top had more significant gaps.  I ended up using though, Attempt#6 – the same colour but printed on two pages, to mend bits of Attempt#7.  I was slightly happier after the clear glaze was applied and then ok after varnishing.
6.5cm diameter globe for 1:6 Playscale Room-box - after varnishing
6.5cm diameter globe for 1:6 Playscale Room-box – after varnishing

Next steps will include a copper axis spinny thing (feel free to let me know what the real term is) that will be made out of real interwebs cable provided by my all time favourite cable guy. Some gears (probably the ones that stopped working in my brain whilst doing this), and a wooden stand, that may or may not be a tall one as discussed.

I was going to go on to tell you about my block I sewed for my March Swap partner (it had 144 pieces!) and also about a dress I made for my dolly Li Mei and apothecary bottles and butterfly specimens and even my awesome new camera… but I think this is enough for one day Don’t you?

Good Night, Wherever you are!