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panningdroid 1 Faux Molten Lava/Metal Effects

Another day, another awesome project email from Craig Smith. Craig wrote in to share with us some details about the faux molten lava effect he achieved on his recent Mustafarian Panning Droid he showed off at the Celebration IV Star Wars convention. He writes:

A lot of people who saw my lava panning droid at Celebration IV asked me how I did the molten lava cauldron. It was made with a big light reflector for the bottom. Various large diameter PVC pipes were used for the rings, outer wall, inner wall, and small pipe segments in the four notch-outs. Everything was countersunk screwed together and filled over with putty and then painted. The lava was a yellow piece of plexiglass bought from a sign company. After the circle was cut, a heat gun was used to soften areas, and with gloved hands, I pushed a chunk of concrete into it to form 3D effects. Glued in place, the plexi was then spray painted black on the high points, red along that, and the yellow was left in the low areas. Illuminated with a cool fluorescent light from underneath, it gives a very realistic glow effect.

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See all of Craig Smith’s projects covered on MAKE

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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