There isn't a whole lot to show for WIP on this one because I had given up on it about a year & a half ago. I've since been convinced to finish it and didn't document any of the process after that. But I will show you what I have so you get the jist. I started with a slab of insulation foam, penned in lines for stones. Then, pushed in random stones to give ti variety.
For the observatory tower, I attached Pringels cans to the stone base. A regular size can was too tall, so I glued together 2 snack sized cans.
I wrapped some heavier paper strips around the can to hide the seams & to make it look like they were made out of panels instead of one large tube. Then added dots of PVA glue for rivets. Gathering supplies for the details, I bought a lot on ebay of random gears that I think was supposed to be for remote controlled cars. I also needed a gear track to go all the way around the Pringels can so the top of the tower could rotate. So, I found some corrugated paper meant for scrapbooking and cut a strip off, and wrapped it around the top of the tower.
I cut the main walls for the building from foamcore; the rod attaching the peaks was added to support them. Repeating the process for the foundation, I made a set of stairs to the entrance.
I also made a lightning rod by glueing small bits of plastic rod to different sizes of rubber gaskets and a jewelry jump ring.
The rings were attached to a metal rod with a large bead at the end.
(Not shown is the spring around the rod I attached from the largest ring.) I covered the roof, stairs, and borders on the walls in heavy paper to be sheet metal.
On the back of the building, I put together a silly gear box just for the sake of having an absurd amount of gears in one spot.
The original intention was to have the observatory dome partially open so you could see inside; so I whipped together a telescope using various types of pen parts & casings. The legs & eye piece of plastic rod.
This is where I got to before all hell broke loose:
That dome on the tower had been giving me grief the whole time. I had used a plastic shell that a little toy came in... Well, whatever was in that plastic, my super glue did not want to stick to. Instead of being smart & trying some other kind of adhesive like an epoxy, I just kept using more super glue. I thought that I surely had a sufficient amount on this time so I took the leap and attached it to the tower. While working on another part, the building took a little 1 foot tumble from the arm of my sofa to the cushion of the sofa. Not only did the dome break again, but it peeled off the paint job I had done for the floor of inside & broke a couple other things as well. I got irrationally upset about it, threw it in a corner and ignored it's existence. Fast forward a year & a half of ignoring it -- I was given the opportunity to have a table set up at the largest tournament in the state and sell some of my projects. So, I started looking to my abandoned projects because A) I would get it out of my house and B) they're already half done. That brings us to this:
The rails on the roof were made from rabbit fencing with cocktail skewers on the ends and the ends of clock hands on the corners. A new dome was made, except I kept the plastic shell in tact this time.
Thanks for looking everyone. If you have any questions, just ask. I know this wasn't the most comprehensive walk through ever.


  1. Good job! Lots of pictures and details... it is a great Step by Step.
    A very interesting and inspiring building ;-)
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Smashing model. I really like the stone base.

  3. Steel paring knife
    Amusing marker.
    Good information nowadays.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. just gorgeous.

  5. Fantastic work!

  6. What type of insulation do you use? I tried some but it didn't seem to compress as easily as yours when I was attempting to make stones.