Mark’s B9 Robot Resources

The Robot's Brain Lenses
Brain with lenses

The robot's brain has two openings in the front corners shaped like a cat's eye. Although it's hard to see in most photos, these openings had a pair of lenses in them which can be duplicated by molding the pieces out of clear plastic.

Lens forms First I made a mold of the lens by sculpting one out of modeling compound. After baking this piece, I pressed it into another block of modeling compound to create the form.

Next, I used my trusty Mattel Vac-U-Form machine to heat a sheet of plastic and make a mold for the lens. Because the suction wasn't sufficient to make a mold with enough detail, I pressed the plastic into the form by hand using the positive form.

Vac-U-Form Lens Mold
Pouring the resin The next step is to mix and pour the two-part plastic into the molds and wait for it to cure. This can take several days depending on the product you use, so make sure not to remove it until the lens has fully cured. I used Everlasting Elegance, a two-part product used to simulate water in floral arrangements.

click to enlarge

Made with Everlasting Elegance

This is how the lens looks when it's removed from the mold. The edges can be trimmed with a utility knife to fit the brain. A dab of glue holds it in place.

The top photo shows a lens cast in a clear finish. Using clear plastic for a mold gives this look.

The bottom photo shows a lens made with a frosted finish, molded from styrene. I spray it with a clear coat to make it translucent. This is the lens pictured in the brain below.

For both lenses, I recommend backing with a piece of mylar to diffuse the light and mask any imperfections.

The photo below shows the finished lenses in position. The main part of the brain is lined with translucent mylar.
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The finished lenses in position