I built a Death Star that doubles as a Borg sphere

When I told my friend Ryan that needed something to spice up my writing space (and now permanent home office) he sent me this idea and I fell in love. So, I ordered IKEA PS 2014 14″ globe in silver, followed Lylelo’s process, and now I have Death Star lamp to guide my Imperial thoughts.

And before you ask, yes, I’m bi sci-fi: I love both Star Wars and Star Trek. Therefore, with the interior light set to green, this lamp doubles as a Borg Sphere.

I started by sorting the parts and spray painting the out panels light gray (flat), taking care not to spray the reflective interior on the other side. After masking off “trenches” with light-sticking blue painter’s tape, I carefully attached the weapons array and readied it for the second coat of flat dark gray paint.

After letting the panels dry for two days, I assembled the lamp and began attaching the panels. I kept the plastic on the reflective internal braces to protect them from spray. My hope was to also help protect the reflective side interior of the panels, but that wasn’t 100% effective.

Next, I scaled and printed the weapons array and cut out various “panels” for the second, dark gray coat.

Though I cut more in the picture above, I only used the weapons array on the sphere, as you can see below. Using light-stick blue painter’s tape, I created “trenches” that would mostly resemble the real thing.

Once trenches were complete, I immediately spray painted the flat dark gray color. 

About an hour later, I carefully removed the “trench” tape and sprayed a flat protective clear-coat on top.

Next, I took the Death Star idea one step further and painted the ceiling mount with oil paints to resemble a planet—Alderaan, of course.

Two weeks later, once the oil paint was dry and my planet was done, and I removed the old ceiling light and installed Alderaan and the Death Star.

Death Star Trivia

The “Death Star trench run” in ANH  didn’t take place in the equatorial trench. That easily recognizable massive trench actually houses the hangar bays and is very wide—unlike the narrow trench the Rebels and Luke Skywalker flew through. So, why does everyone thing that’s the trench Luke & company flew through?

  • The Death Star plans shown during the Rebel Alliance presentation were created before the movie model was created. (You’ll noticed the in diagram that the weapons array is centered to the equator, not positioned in the northern hemisphere.) Once the final movie model was created—with the weapons array in the northern hemisphere—they didn’t go back and “fix” the graphics.
  • Your eye easily spots the equatorial trench every time the Death Star is on screen.
  • In the Rebel briefing on Yavin 4, General Dodonna provides the plan of attack and your mind makes assumptions based on hearing the words “fly along this trench.”
  • Most people assume the trench run is flown in the equatorial trench, but it’s actually flown in a north-south trench in the northern hemisphere.