Adding rings to planets
I have made the rings of each planet available as PDF documents, free to download, correctly sized, ready to be printed.
The documents each come in two versions;
- a version of the rings for printing on regular (opaque) paper,
- and an alternative version for printing onto transparency or sheets of clear printer film, where the density of the rings determine the visibility/opacity of the ring on the transparency.
To create the Saturn rings pictured above - transparent rings - I printed onto clear transparency, used scissors to cut along the outside rim of the rings, then sandwiched the rings between the hemispheres of the planet. You can glue the hemispheres in place, but I chose to instead glue magnets into each hemisphere, so that they would lock tightly together holding the rings in place, but could be easily separated whenever I wanted to switch the transparent rings for opaque rings.
To create opaque rings, the quick and simple way is to print them out and sandwich them as above.
But you can get much better results by printing the rings out twice, onto adhesive (sticker) paper. Then cut them both out, cutting not just around the outer rim, but also cutting out along the inner rim, so that you cut a big hole out of the middle. This way you can stick them onto each side of a sheet of clear plastic (eg the transparency sheet used for transparent rings), creating a double-sided printed set of rings with a clear plastic center, which can be sandwiched between planet hemispheres as above, making the rings appear to float around the planet. (As a final touch, I use a black marker pen to ink in the edge of the paper where the scissors cut to remove the white line of the paper's edge.)
(If you have a sharp eye you might notice that the page dimensions of these documents is slightly smaller than a full page. This is so that it will print correctly regardless of whether you are using "A4" (metric) size paper or "Letter" (American) size paper. Print any of these PDFs full size and they will fit on your region's standard paper and the rings will be perfectly scaled for the scale Solar System planets.)
Opaque rings. Saturn's rings are a printout sitting on top of the acrylic rings that come with the display stand. Uranus and Neptune's rings were printed onto adhesive label and stuck onto clear film so as to appear to be floating/orbiting around their planet.