The starship Enterprise is arguably the most famous and recognized spaceship in the world, perhaps more so than NASA’s lunar lander.  AMT made the first hobbyist model of it in the late 1960’s and carried it in their catalog for more than 30 years. The quality and accuracy of the kits made by various publishers since varies quite a lot, and there are still a lot of them available over the counter today.

While all these models were being made and sold, though, there was a second entire universe of Enterprise models being made by the  fans themselves.  Today’s article is about Enterprise models you can make, using inexpensive materials which you may already have in your possession.  There are so many, but we chose some of our favorites:

Make an Enterprise model from useless office supplies – this tutorial assumes you have some office supplies lying around, like expended pens or markers, old CD’s, bull-nosed clamp-type paperclips and a little hot glue.
Card modeling is the art of creating table-top models from card stock.  Print out the patterns, carefully cut them out with scissors and/or pen knives as appropriate, score the tabs so that they bend cleanly (being careful not to score too deeply, or you’ll accidentally cut them off!) and patiently assemble with tiny dots of white glue applied with the end of a toothpick.  Like the more traditional plastic model kits, patience is a virtue, and the quality of your model depends on the steadiness of your hand and the self-control it takes to allow the glue to fully dry before proceeding to the next step.  The results can be fabulous, though.  Here’s a model of the Enterprise using this modeling technique that you can print out and build yourself, for free.

  • Instructions
  • Model sheets
  • The display stand for it
This one’s made from electronics components most hobbyists have in their spare parts bins, and it’s tiny, but it still has a light-up navigational deflector and glowing Bussard collectors on the warp nacelles!  If you’re handy with a soldering iron, you can make one of these in a couple of hours.  A magnetic reed switch lets you turn the lights on without having to manhandle the tiny model to throw a more conventional switch.

The internet is full of this stuff if you know what to look for.  Here are some more links to get you started.

Links

  • Obiwan-Papermodeling – pages from a now out-of-print Star Trek Action Props card modeling book with patterns for making hand props and starships from Star Trek
  • Spinflipper.com – the Enterprise model you can made from spare electronics components
  • Paragon19 – this web site has a number of fascinating Star Trek card models you can download and build
  • Instructables – Make an Enterprise model from office supplies and a little hot glue
  • Starship Modeler – the preeminent site on making your own starship models
  • Startrek.com – the ultimate paper model, this will feature preprinted, precut parts with foil stamp details

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