I really like the natural forms found in sea creatures. None more than the jellyfish. It’s really cool how they seem to float through the water. I had the idea of a mechanical (rusted of course!) jellyfish floating through the air.

I started with the “body” or the core. I wanted it to feature some kind of thrusters that would move it around.  I came up with this design rather quickly and was pleased with it but I couldn’t find anything in my bits box that made a good dome. I struggled for weeks on what to use for the dome. Then my brother told me “Build it yourself”. But how would I build it?  I decided to make ribs on which I would use putty to build up the form. It was my first attempt at something like this and I was a bit nervous.

To get the shape I wanted I used SketchUp to create a cross section. Then I used the “Follow Me” tool to make it round. Once I was satisfied with the shape I printed the cross section out. The cross sections were then glued to sheet styrene and cut. These were then glued in position on a small round disc.

With the ribs in place, I used bits of packing foam to fill in the gaps.
Milliput was put over this and once dry it was sanded (and sanded some more).

Next came the fun part…details! I love grebbles and small details.

I still need to do the tentacles that will hang from the “body”. I plan on using rolled putty as I can get a more organic look. I will also add details such as panel lines and rivets to the surface of the dome. I added a clear acrylic rod to support the jellyfish and give it the appearance it is floating.

I gained a lot of confidence with this build. I also adopted my new motto: “If I can’t find what I need…BUILD MY OWN”.

Other posts for this project:
Jellyfish Update
Then suddenly, the light went on
Jellyfish Finished!