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Polar Lights Spindrift Teardrop Dome

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  • Member since
    July 2005
  • From: The Berkshires/Western Massachusetts
Polar Lights Spindrift Teardrop Dome
Posted by pittsfieldpete on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:29 PM

I'd like to replace the clear round dome supplied with the Polar Lights 1/64 Land of the Giants Spindrift kit with a more accurate teardrop-shaped dome. A company called "Just An Illusion" has a correct dome listed on their website, but they don't seem to be available any longer. 

If anyone who reads this post knows of any other sources for aftermarket domes and other details for the Spindrift, will you please advise?

I'd be willing to try my luck with making my own dome by making a wooden form and using softened clear plastic, but I don't own or have access to a vacuum forming machine. I've read about a method where a piece of softened plastic is simply pulled down over a form, allowed to cool, then trimmed to size. Has anyone else ever used this technique successfully?

Thanks, Pete

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:45 PM

Yes, you can heat press sheet plastic using simple tools and materials:

The top plywood sheet has a small cutout shaped similarly to the plunge form, but a little wider all around for clearance.  The bottom plywood sheet is open like a picture frame to allow the plastic sheet that gets sandwiched in between to be heated.  You then prop up your plunge form in a vice or similar, then lower the plywood/heated plastic sandwich over the plunge form.  Practice makes perfetc.

You could also try making your own vac former.  A friend had built this for me - a bread pan with lots of drilled holes, a scrap piece of wood, and a sawed off vacuum cleaner fitting.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    July 2005
  • From: The Berkshires/Western Massachusetts
Posted by pittsfieldpete on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:15 AM

Wow! Thanks very much for all of your kind assistance. The bread pan vacuum former is fantastic. I have a full size drill press that should make drilling all of the holes in a uniform pattern quite easy. 


You've been very generous with your help. Thanks again. 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:59 AM

No problem!  But go get a circuit board instead of drilling all those holes.  Glue it to a shallow box that is deep enough to take a vac attachment.  If you use a spare crevise attachment, insert the cut down flattened tip into the box side.  Add spacers as needed to support the circuit board from underneath.

But for your Spindrift astrodome, the plunge mold will also work.

Good luck!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 6:42 AM

Hi;

      I graduated to the circuit board a long time ago. It works great in my Mattel "Vac-U-Form". Also for the limited space I can do slightly larger parts.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Boston
Posted by mach71 on Thursday, October 1, 2020 1:44 PM

I bought this years ago:

http://www.widgetworksunlimited.com/12_x12_Hobby_Vacuum_Former_p/vf-12x12-vac_former.htm

 

Sadly it shows out of stock. It works very well. You have to supply a vacuum and heat the plastic.

I've made many things with it.

 

If you just want the dome, send Gil at JAI an email. With it for sale (pre-order) again at Cult TV Man, and lots of interest on other forums for his dome, I'm guessing he will be putting it in production again very soon.

 

Mark

 

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