The Astro Orbiter is the shiny rocket-ship ride at the entrance of Tomorrowland.
Astro Orbiter is ridiculously complicated and detailed. It is also shiny and metallic, which meant that I'd need to use materials with smooth surfaces. Foamcore wouldn't work well for this.
I made my Astro Orbiter model out of this plastic apple tray, ping pong balls and thin slices from a plastic bucket. I also used a funnel.
Getting rounded plastic shapes like these is easier than it used to be, but slicing that plastic bucket was hazardous. The material was just thick enough that I had to really put some muscle behind cutting it with a utility knife. I had to use some yoga moves to ensure that I was always cutting away from my own body.
I started by spraying the apple tray balls and ping pong balls with silver paint. Then I assembled the plastic strips and shapes with hot glue, starting with a single wooden dowel rising through the funnel base.
It was late at night when I spray painted the Astro Orbiter. The spheres were already silver, so this paint job was to hit the orange curved sections and unpainted foamcore.
I stepped back and took a long look. It looked rad! It was detailed, complicated, shiny, retro, brilliant. I threw my arms into the air. This was awesome. I was two for two. The Jungle Cruise looked great, and the Astro Orbiter looked spectacular.
I was in hyper buildfast mode. In the middle of September I was trying to get in under the wire to enter the HUB television network's halloween costume contest. They were looking for the best costumes in each of the 50 US states, on route to a grand prize of $25,000 for the best costume in the country.
As the end of September approached, I realized I would never, ever be done with any version of this costume by that deadline. But the push had been vital in using my time wisely. I might be building a masterpiece. I was determined to make each attraction fine and finished. There were an awful lot of parts, but my hyper September had ensured that I had a whole other month to get this costume painted and polished.
I liked my chances.
Rockets for the Astro Orbiter. I sculpted these out of air dry clay. They are small.
Mounting the rockets on twelve tiny white Qtip arms.
I'm really feeling good about how many of the tough attractions I have already finished. In particular, Jungle Cruise and Astro Orbiter. They are completely finished, checked off the list.
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