Bill Dirk
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Ah the dome. Well John Darley says you have to use fibreglass to do this right. I think he's probably right. But I don't like fibreglass, and I want to make my own, so I'm continuing some experiments with other materials, to see if I can find something that's at least acceptable, even if it's not perfect.

A failed dome made from Fast Mache. 
I pulled it too soon.

Better looking Fast Mache dome, 
with spackle over it for smoothing.

A paper mache dome spackled and read for sanding.

Finished temporary dome, 
spackled and painted. Too lumpy!

I found a better sanding technique for the lower edge - keep the dome still and move the sand paper.

A comparison shot of the three currently painted domes.

In the above shot you can see my moon city. Top right is the dome plug. The inverted domes are the negative molds that I've been working from. The dome at the bottom is my current best effort, but 1/2" too small, hence the new dome plug on the left.

I've tried several materials: 

conventional paper mache with newspaper and diluted woodglue
Fast Mache - a powdered wood pulp with glue to which you just add water.
Woodglue and shop rags. I think this might have worked, but I didn't get enough turtle wax and vaseline into the mold and it stuck badly.
Water putty. This stuff sets hard and doesn't shrink but is brittle. I'll report back when I know whether this is really going to work.


The stalk is made in the pretty much conventional way, with threaded rod and short sections of PVC pipe to hold the acrylic disks in place. The back of the stalk is a section of tapered chair leg. The pivot is MDF.

The first eyeball I made was cut from MDF layers glued together and attached to a hemisphere. It was not very good, and would have needed quite a bit of finish work.


The second eyeball was made using a votive candle holder - essentially a small bubble blown glass bowl. I drilled a hole in the base very slowly with a masonry bit and painted it black. So now the dalek has a glass eye!

The eyestalk mounting is also fairly conventional:

The board behind the stalk above left is the former I used for making the dome molds.


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