by Jack Theakston
Note: Due to the fact that my scanner is broken, it will be hard to explain some of the concepts, but I'm sure I will get around those with the pictures I have gathered so far. As soon as I get my scanner fixed, I will put up better photos.
In January 1999, I decided to build the SOL in my spare time. I think I came as close as the real one as far as the main construction goes. I remind you, these may not be the actual instructions as Best Brains uses, but I'm sure they're pretty close. These instructions are for the three-and-a-half foot model, but they can be modified to make whatever size you deem necessary(go ahead, be a maverick and make the 8 foot model! See if I care!).

Things you'll need:
Five of six sheets of foam core
Hot glue or some really fast setting glue
Scissors and optionally an X-Acto™ or similar brand knife
A ruler or T-Square(a real big one preferably)
A Protractor
1" or 1 1/2" inch standard PVC piping
A 1 or 1 1/2" T connector(Depending on what size you choose
Testors™ or Krylon™ Gray Primer Paint
Duct tape
A hollow plastic ball large about 1 1/2" or 2" big
Model kits of your choice and a little toy satellite dish

The SOL looks complicated from outside, but the construction is very easy one you get the hang of it. It's construction is basically four soccer balls made of hexagons and pentagons hooked up by two decks and a pipe.
You will need to cut with the foam core:

-58 Hexagons that are 2" on each side(but cut a couple more in case one gets messed up)

-44 Pentagons that are 2" on each side(Same thing goes for these)

-12 Elongated rectangles measuring 22" by 2"

Step One: "It's like paper clip chains, once you start at them, you can't stop"-Joel, 101-The Crawling Eye

Now that you've traced and cut out hexagons and pentagons, you can start attaching them. I preferably would suggest hot glue, but any kind of quick-dry foam glue or putty will do. As stated before, the ship's main rooms have a distinct soccer-ball appearance. If you have the "Amazing Colossal Episode Guide" turn to the main page with the two page spread of the SOL and text on it(that would be the first page, I believe.) If you don't have the episode guide, here is a screen grab from Season 1 that I have traced over for your convenience(fig. 1).

Notice the pattern? In case you haven't, It is one pentagon with five hexagons in a fixed angle to form a dome like structure. Now that you start to do this, you will see a pattern:


There is always two hexagons in between the pentagons.

Soon, you will have the main construction. Do not complete the whole globe! follow these instructions closely so that you will not mess up!:

From the top(which should be a pentagon, glue this pattern:


This is as far as the construction should go down to. When you reach the bottom, you will notice that there is still several hexes that will have to go in, but can't because they will go past your limit. Take one of the hexagon pieces and cut them in half from one corner to the other. Notice before you glue the two sections together that the bottom has now taken on a pentagon shape? The SOL's floors seem to be pentagon shaped as well on the show. Before you do anything else, line the joints with duct tape.

Make another soccer-ball construction just like the first and place them face to face in an exact mirror image so that the half-hexagons match each other and the pentagons meet only at the tip. If this is not clear, and I don't blame you, since pictures do tell a thousand words, here is a poor, but quick explanation summed up in a 5x5(fig 2):

Repeat the procedure for the other side and build two more structures and connect them.


Now that you have the two "Sections", cut out the rectangles and glue or tape them together into a hexagon-shaped tube. Since you still have 6 rectangles left over, make another tube. Now, look for a spot on one of the soccer ball constructions right above one of the cut in half hexagons. This section should be a hexagon. Remove it with a knife or by hand. Then, insert on of the tubes only about a half inch into the open area, and then fix it in place by gluing it. Just as if it were a mirror, do the same to the bottom construction.
Now would be a good time to prepare the PVC tube of the center. Cut the PVC into two parts:

-16 inches
-2 inches

Now connect the PVC with the "T" connector and glue into place. Glue the Ball onto the piece that is jutting outward and let set.

Now, take a knife or drill and cut a circular shape big enough to fit the PVC into one of the sections where the hexagon is split. This should be in between the two hexagon tubes. Now, remove the proper hexagons and drill the hole where the other side of the PVC goes, connect it, glue it, and VIOLA! The main construction is finished!

Take a look at some pictures from BBI!
Above pictures is the real SOL model from BBI. Now all you have to do is decorate your satellite with whatever parts you have lying around that look good. If you are going to build the pre season-7 ship, keep in mind it does nothave as many pieces on it as the latest version. Connect the satellite dish right over the manipulator arms(the T connector with the ball). Now take out that gray primer and spray away! I like to use Testors™ Gray primer because it has that bluish tone the ship seems to have. If you are doing the Joel-era ship, remember to put the Gizmonic logo on the rear and front pentagons as seen in figure 1. If you do not have the Gizmonic "G", you can find it at, Joel's official web site. Please keep in mind that if you are going to sell your SOL model with the Gizmonic logo on it, you have to talk to Joel about it first since he has trademarked it. If you do get into trouble though, please do not hold me responsible for your own actions (even though I have heard Joel is very nice about it and will pretty much let it slip)! The only problem left is to find something to do with it! I'll leave that up to you, but personally, mine is hanging over my workshop as sort of a knick-knack that I always get a kick out of seeing. Impress your friends and please, send me photo's and more tips, and things that I missed!

You can contact me at

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