Thursday, September 1, 2011

Solar System in Felt

Hooray, the kit I have been working on for what seems like years but is only months is finally up! Its the most difficult kit I have put together so far, and the most work intensive.

The main difficulty was trying to find a way to make all the planets to scale. Most models I've seen are only roughly to scale. The scale varies so hugely between them all, from just a couple of millimetres to 12 centimetres diameter. (That's a fraction of an inch to 5 inches for you imperial types.)
I had to resort to polystyrene balls for Jupiter and Saturn in the end. Much as I dislike polystyrene, I couldn't find a viable alternative. (Although the kit is available without the polystyrene - you can use tightly wound balls of wool instead...) I tried to remind myself that its about as bad as drinking three cups of tea in the canteen of Tallaght Hospital (only because that's the last place I got given polystyrene cups) but the joy of the kit lasts an awful lot longer.
Anyway, I enjoyed making this kit most of any of them so far, perhaps because I learned so much from it. I've included notes on each planet - its composition, what makes it the colour it is, the shape of its orbit and so on. And I chose to represent the planets in true colour - at least in the sense of being in the colours we would see it in, so the colours look duller than you might remember from enhanced photographs.
Anyway, you can read more about it here and buy it too if you like!
I found it a very difficult kit to price, as there is a huge amount of labour in putting it together. I have included all the different coloured fleece in paper bags labeled for each planet to avoid confusion - this took a lot of time, weighing out and packing up to four colours for each planet. And I used the best quality materials I could find...which also pushed the price up.
So, it is 30 euro...which feels like a lot to me, but to be honest is probably too low a I hate pricing!

Anyway, its up on Etsy for anyone interested, hooray!

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