Large 3D Model of Uranus — Part 2

This is the second article of a two part series to learn how to build a 3D Hemisphere model of Uranus.  In the first article, we used paper mache to create the form and surface texture of the planet.  In this article, I will show you how to build the support frame that will allow you to hang the model on a wall.  

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Materials Needed for this Project

Removing the Form

We start with the dried paper mache still on the yoga ball form.  It is time to cut it off.  We will start by cutting the layer of cling wrap below the paper mache.  If you can get the dried planet off at this point, great!  However, you will probably find that you need to cut small slits up the bottom edge of the planet.  This will help you gently ease the paper mache planet off of the yoga ball.  

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Build a Frame

Now we have a model of Uranus that mostly holds its round shape, but it needs a little hold to keep it round and stable.  To work with the model, we will use the very useful, oversized aluminum mixing bowl to hold the planet steady (and round).  There is still a layer of cling wrap inside the model which I chose to keep to help maintain the structure of the planet.  

Fold over the rough edge of the paper mache to form a clean and consistent edge all the way around.  

Measure the diameter of the panet.  This will be the diameter of the PVC frame that will make up the interior support for the planet.  For my planet, the diameter is about 25 inches.  The cross tee on the inside has a 1 inch gap and each tee on the end of the arm has a 1/2″ gap.  So, PVC pipe will be 11.5 inches.  I fit the wire such that it touched the outermost edge of the tee fitting and became more or less a circle.  

Connect the Frame to the Planet

Now it’s time to attach the planet to the frame.  Place the wire circle under the folded edge of the paper mache.  Do your best to make the wire hit the midpoint of the sphere evenly all the way around.  We don’t want a lopsided planet.  

Staple the fold over the wire so that a small pocket is created and the wire passes throught the pocket.  Work your way around the circumference of the planet.  You might need to cut a slit at each of the pvc arms.  As you work, make sure that the wire stays between the folded edge and the staple.  Picture a curtain rod passing through the pocket of a curtian.  

Finish it Off and Hang it Up!

All that is left is to hang it up!  Tie a loop of fishing line on one of the PVC joints.  Use that loop to hang the planet on the wall.  Don’t forget…Uranus is unique because it’s axis is tilted and it rotates on it’s side.  so, the stripes should go up and down!

Thanks for building with me!  Check back soon to see how to build the next planet in our solar system!

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