Beach balls are too small. I need bigger spheres.
September 1, 2009 6:34 AM   Subscribe

GiantSphereFilter: Help needed creating a 4 foot wide tennis ball. Details inside

A friend of mine was hired to make props for a tv show in New York. The next one he has to make is a 4 foot wide tennis ball. He has been looking all over New York and the internet for four foot spheres to use as armature. It is trickier than you would think.

Here are some armature ideas that haven't worked so far:
- Yoga Balls - seem to max out at about 3 feet in diamater.
- Beach balls - Even when advertised as huge, have been too small when inflated.
- Hoberman Spheres, tents and umbrellas - too tricky to build on

My friend is good at this sort of thing, and may just build the sphere out of rings of pink industrial foam, but I thought the hive mind might have some good ideas for easier ways.
posted by abirae to Grab Bag (9 answers total)
Is 3.2 feet close enough? Earth Balls.
posted by rokusan at 6:39 AM on September 1, 2009

Better: Four and six-foot bladders, cheap. Earth Ball Bladders. You cover them with sewn canvas or any material. Use stretchy material and you'll get a nice integrated look.
posted by rokusan at 6:40 AM on September 1, 2009

Maybe a weather balloon? Item #3060568 on that page has an "inflated diameter" of 3.9 feet and a "burst diameter" of 8.9 feet, so that's in the ballpark. And the page says you can paint the balloons with watercolors or latex paint.
posted by letourneau at 7:16 AM on September 1, 2009

Giant beach balls? 48 inches in diameter. Some more.
posted by suedehead at 9:42 AM on September 1, 2009

How about this one?.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:47 AM on September 1, 2009

Or, try searching for Cage Balls.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:50 AM on September 1, 2009

A foam extruding company can make one in a snap. With, like, lasers and everything.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2009

Maybe hula hoops (whole or dismembered) for an armature.
posted by janell at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2009

I'm with DarlingBri, foam is your best bet, it will look the best and be lightweight.
posted by toni_jean at 1:19 PM on September 29, 2009

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