Onion Domes, Part One

Finally made it up to the local branch of Micheal’s craft store after work Wednesday to hunt down material for the two domes of the Russian church. I had planned on using 1″ wooden spheres, but the shelves of random wooden shapes were fairly well picked over and they had no wooden spheres of that size at all.

They did have 1″ wide turned wooden shapes advertised as “decorative rod ends”, though, and I realized they’d make much more interesting onion domes than the simple spheres I’d been planning on.

When I got them home I drilled holes in the top and inserted lengths of wire. One useful thing about turned wood shapes, it’s usually fairly easy to find the centre point, as the lathe tools always leave small ring impressions on the wood. The wire got superglued in, then I used a twist of tinfoil to form the core of the uppermost section of the onion shape. Terracotta Milliput is cheap, sure, but tinfoil is even cheaper!

After that I mixed a small batch of terracotta Milliput and worked it around the wire and foil. I used a 1″ circle I’d cut out of styrene as a rough guide to keep the upward concave curve consistent, and smoothed things down with a wet fingertip. I didn’t fuss with the surface finishing much, a bit of wet sanding after the milliput is dry and another thin layer of putty will finish everything off nicely in due course.

So, behold the domes of the Church of St. Boris the Intoxicated, with the putty still setting on them!

The onion domes take shape. Click for slightly larger, see text for details!

Aside from the domes, the roofs are finished structurally, all shingles and trim in place. I still have to finish the trim around the door and windows, then it’s off to painting.

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