How to make a 3D model of a spaceship

Written by dawn marcotte
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How to make a 3D model of a spaceship
Drawing of a Space Shuttle (space shuttle image by patrimonio designs from

Rockets and space travel present several possibilities for creative toys. The space shuttle, rocket ships or UFO models are available at hobby shops or craft stores but you can make a simple 3D model with items from around the home in one afternoon. Determine the type of spacecraft to be made and how large it should be. Decide if it will have any electronic parts such as flashing lights. Cover the workspace with newspaper to make clean up easier when the project is finished. This example is a simple space shuttle that can be modified to a rocket if desired.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper towel roll
  • White paint
  • Styrofoam sheet
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Aluminium foil
  • Glue
  • Red tissue paper
  • Black paint
  • Red paint
  • Blue paint

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  1. 1

    Paint the paper towel roll white for the body of the space shuttle. Draw an equilateral triangle measuring 6 inches on each side on the sheet of styrofoam. Cut out the triangle.

  2. 2

    Cut a strip of aluminium foil half as long as the rocket body. Fold the aluminium in half and wrap the folded strip around the end of the paper towel tube to form a small aluminium tube. Slide the aluminium strip along the rocket body so most of it extends out away from the rocket body. Bend the open end of the aluminium tube together to create a cone. Glue the aluminium cone in place. Cut the tissue paper into strips ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Glue one end of each strip to the inside of the paper roll on the end opposite the aluminium cone.

  3. 3

    Center the paper towel roll on the triangle. Glue the paper towel roll to the triangle. Allow all glue to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Paint additional details on the body and wings of the space ship such as a flag, windows, wing flaps or a door.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use the same basic model to create a larger ship with the cardboard roll from inside wrapping paper or an oatmeal can.

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