This project started when I found my old Star Trek TOS playmates figures. I gave them to my eight year old son who had become a fan of the old show. He began building simple cardboard play pieces. Inspired by the clean wooden design of some of his other toys I set out to design and create a modular play set that he could use to assemble various rooms aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. I wanted a set that could break down and store easily. I tried to use scrap materials where I could. The bridge was the biggest challenge so I started there.


- Pine 2x4

- Pine 2x6

- 1/2 inch MDF

- 1/8 inch PVC sheet

- Flexstone texture spray

- Filler putty

- SEM High Build Primer

- Apoxie Sculpt

- RTV silicone

- Model Cast Urethane resin

- Behr Latex Paint

- Photoprint paper

- Polyacrylic spray

The Bridge:

After doing research I found some existing blue prints of the bridge. I scaled everything to match the size of the figures. I came to realize that the playmates figures are not exactly human proportion. A friend who is a toy nut informed me that the Playmates figures are in the proportion of children. Makes sense for toys I guess. So I had to make some adjustments while keeping as accurate as possible.

Step 1: Cutting Build Stock

I began by breaking the angles of the control consoles into three basic profile shapes. I then ripped the profiles on the table saw. This gave me the stock to build the consoles with.


Step 2: The Deck

Making the deck floor started with slotting a strip of 1/2 MDF plywood and cutting the “pie” pieces. Getting these angles right was critical. The slots would be used for registration of the different pieces. Eventually I filled the slots with inserts and filler to make smaller registration key slots.

Step 3: Consoles

Using the floor pieces as guides for the angles I cut and stacked the shapes to make the console perimeter. This proved to be very difficult because the upper consoles pitch forward. I found the easiest way to get everything in alignment was to glue the three layers together and trim the final angle on the table saw. On the bottom of each section I attached tabs for registration in the floor slots.

Step 4: Captain's Chair

Then I created the captain’s chair, and command console. These were basic wood construction. I cut block sizes and ripped thing pieces to make the seat parts. Everything was held together with a screw so it could swivel.

Step 5: Main View Screen

I then made the elevator and view screen. The viewscreen was built with interchangeable screen panels. I printed different images and glued them to the different wood inserts. I left a few blank so my son could create his own viewscreen images.

Step 6: Check Alignments

Everything seems to be lined up. Ready for finishing.

Step 7: Filler and Texture

I did a pass on everything with filler. Then used Fleckstone on the floor. The original set was carpet so it gave it a nice texture when painted over.

Step 8: Railings

I then used pieces of plastic1/8th inch PVC sheet to make the removable rails. They registered into the key slots in the deck which held them in place. I used spray paint for the black supports and red rails

Step 9: Primer

Everything then got a coating of SEM high build primer. The parts we then sanded and recoated to try to minimize some of the grain.

Step 10: Chairs

I used styrene to make a crew chair. I added padding to the captains chair and crew chairs with Apoxie putty. The bridge has multiple stations so I needed a lot of chairs so I poured a silicone mold of the master crew chair .

Step 11: Casting Multiples

I then cast multiples from urethane resin. I then painted the blue area and added printed details to the back. Everything then got a clear coat to lock it all in.

Step 12: Paint

With all of the parts sanded and primered they were ready for base colors. The details were going to be printed graphics so the painting required a minimum of masking.

Step 13: Client Review

Once everything was dry it was then time for a test assembly by an eager client.

Step 14: Graphics

After doing research, fortunately there was quite a bit out there, I then laid out graphics in Photoshop. This took a lot longer than I thought it would. I printed them on photo paper. I found that the gloss paper held the color the best when clear coated.

Step 15: Placing Details

I cut the detail pieces out from the prints and glued them onto the painted forms. Thats when the whole thing really came together. After some testing I found that Elmers white glue secured the best and didn’t alter the print. Finally I sprayed the parts with clear Polyacylic to seal the piece. I used gloss to give it toy like finish.

Step 16: Assembly

Then we assembled the pieces. Using the slots, the pieces all dropped into place.

Step 17: Finally

Once it was all assembled it really looked like the bridge. The little fudges I made to accommodate the weird figure proportions were hardly noticeable.

Step 18: Playtime

The modular nature lead my son to almost immediately create a multi-deck configuration.

Once played with the set could be easily broken down and stored.

He has already asked how soon he will get the rest of the ship.

Step 19:

Step 20:

Step 21:

<p>that is awesome!!!! did you build the whole ship???? or just the bridge???</p>
Thanks. Actually built most of the sets from the show. Still finishing up a few things but here is a shot of another room.
I'd be interested in commissioning you to build one for me. Let me know if you're interested. Thanks and great job! Rick
<p>I'd be open to discussing it however it is quite a bit of work. I learned a lot of what not to do on this project.</p>
<p>Are you still open to doing a commission job on this? <br>thx</p><p>Lee</p>
<p>Sure. I'm open to exploring it. I have still been working on it since this post. </p><p>Send me a direct email at davidw@mnfx.com</p>
<p>Are you still open to doing a commission job on this? <br>thx</p><p>Lee</p>
I was in bad car accident a week ago. Please call me on my cell: 337-371-0375.<br><br>Thanks,<br><br>Rick
<p>Sorry to hear that. Will be in touch.</p>
I'm going to one up you and see if you would be interested in making a the bridge set for the 6&quot; Art Asylum figures. They made Captain Kirk's chair but I'd like the complete bridge set to display the figures at my office.<br><br>My conference room at my office is the briefing room from TOS and I display my Star Trek prop collection at the office too.<br><br>At the 6&quot; size it would be possible to add lighting effects for the consoles and displays.<br><br>Let me know what you think and you can contact me at 337-371-0375 or rickcdalton@outlook.com<br><br>Thanks again and great work!
<p>Rick,</p><p>I tried contacting you. Check your email or contact me at davidw@mnfx.com</p><p>Thanks</p>
Can you can me at 337-371-0375 to discuss the bridge project. I am very interested!!<br><br>Rick Dalton
<p>Great work!</p><p>Where did you get those textures you printed and to glue on the surfaces?</p>
<p>I generated them in photoshop. I pull a lot of reference from the internet. Used screen grabs to get proportions and scales. It was tricky because the screens are always pitched forward or back so foreshortening screwed with them a little. I don't know Illustrator well so I built everything in 300 dpi PSD's for best printing. It took a ton of time.</p>
That explains a lot!!<br>Good job on this one!
<p>This is really amazing, from the first photo and from first look I thought it was a real life size bridge picture! Great work, very very appreciated, thanks for sharing! </p><p>I loved the Star Trek Original Series since I saw them first being 7 years old back in 1981.</p><p>Cheers!</p>
<p>I can't be the only one whose eyes welled up in tears as I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and care that went into this project. The best photo is not one of the fool-the-eye photos that convince me that I'm looking at the actual life-size set. The best photo is of your son on his hands and knees, playing with it. Both you and your son are very, very fortunate to have each other. I know you cherish your time with him.</p>
<p>rowettd, same here - brought a tear to my eye, too. I bet there are quite a few of us out here that feel the same way. What a dad!</p>
<p>Nope. Buckets of happy tears here, too. </p>
<p>Mr. Weiberg, you get the &quot;Father of the Year&quot; award. I am so completely blown away by this. You see, some of us grew up without a father and I was maybe a little older than your son when Star Trek first came on the air. Captain Kirk was one of the fellows I looked up to as a father figure. That your son has a father like you that would create this work of art and masterpiece? You, Sir, brought a tear to my eye today. I hope you print out these comments so years from now your son will have them to know how many other people were so touched by what you created. Very well done and of course, live long and prosper. :) </p>
<p>When I first saw the picture I was like &quot;Wow someone built it lifesize&quot; After reading this I love this, and can't wait to do something like this with my kids. Do you have any more? </p>
<p>Here is an assembly test of the briefing room. The bridge was only one part of the total project. I bit off quite a bit.</p>
<p>...Holy moly. </p>
<p>The bridge set has been built life size in upstate New York and is in use shooting fan Star Trek episodes. George Takei even appeared in one of the productions. See </p><p>http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/ and </p><p>http://trekmovie.com/category/trek-fan-films/ </p>
<p>You are the best kind of dad. :) </p>
<p>You said that the proportions of the Playmates figures were not adult. Could you explain in a little bit more detail what changes you made to the bridge plans to scale it better to the Playmates figures?</p>
<p>Yeah they have weird head and hands and the torso to legs are a little funny. It also varies from figure to figure. It was mainly in the seating I made the adjustments because of the torso length. I also had to adjust console height a little so the legs would fit under. Playmates figures have this annoying leg assembly where there legs spit into this weird position when you try to make them sit. My son does stop motion with the figures so they can't &quot;walk&quot; when he animates. I am working up a hip mod to help him. I will post it here when I solve it.</p>
<p>Cutest. Project. Ever!! And, with such great results!</p>
<p>This project makes you the best dad in the history of ever.</p>
<p>OMG! That is simply amazing. The detail is incredible...</p><p>I'm not a builder myself but i surely would love to get my hands on one of these!!</p><p>If you are interested in taking a commission to build one for me, please let me know and we can discuss price and etc...</p><p>malcolm</p>
<p>I would discuss it. I leaned a lot of do's and don'ts on it.</p>
<p>try to make a full sized one</p>
<p>Yikes! I don't have room for a Playmates size. :-)</p>
If you and your son ever want to visit a full size Bridge and other sets come see us!<br>StarTrekNewVoyages.com We are in upstate NY and run a convention in September. Trekonderoga.com Plus I'm sure a visit could be arranged some other time as well.
<p>Thank you for the offer. My son would love it. Unfortunately we are in Minnesota and don't get out east much. Maybe in the future we may find ourselves in your neck of the woods. You guys have taken on quite a project with your show. I know how much work that can be. </p>
<p>This is amazing! I love the level of detail here! </p>
I can't say anything that's not already been said. Amazing I know there are hundreds of &quot;older&quot; children who'd buy one of those in a heartbeat if it were a retail-able item.
<p>I have seen a lot of Indestructibles... I've written a few... this one is simply <strong>AMAZING</strong>... really! Your attention to detail far surpasses my own...<strong> wow</strong>!</p>
<p>Thanks to everyone for kind comments. He is a great kid and already has me working on more parts of the ship. I love the old show so its fun project for me.</p>
Would you be willing to post detailed dimensions and such? I have wanted to do something like this myself since I was a kid.
<p>Wow. That is so cool. It's great. You're very talented. Do you play Star Trek with your son? You can be some characters and he can be others. It's not embarrassing to get down there and pretend play you're on the USS Enterprise. Thank you for sharing.</p>
<p>did you save the graphics by chance?.. or is that like &quot;secret sauce&quot; kind of thing?...</p><p>Was wondering if we could get a copy of them to make one here??</p>
<p>This is wonderful. I'm surprised Lego doesn't do something like this. You should trade mark this (NOT using the official Star Trek name of course, that would cost you a fortune for the right to use their name, just call it a &quot;space ship model&quot; or something along those lines). At first I couldn't tell if this was scaled for the toys or if this was to be large enough for your son to actually be the captain of the Star Ship Enterprise. This is a fantastic accessory to go along with his action figures (almost as good as my Barbies back in my day, a LONG time ago) but NOW....dad, I think you need to begin construction on a &quot;life size&quot; (within reason) of a model set you can take apart and store of one where HE can sit in the captain's chair and command the &quot;Enterprise&quot;. You could even have a flat screen TV for the monitor so he could tune into the NASA channel or other science channels or best of all, get DVDs of astronomical shows or anything you could get with a lot of star information on it. Now THAT would be cool. </p>
<p>He loves to build also so he took that on himself and built a chair from cardboard. Then enlisted his five year old sister into his crew.</p>
<p>He is an engineering discipline (red shirt) and she is kind of a science discipline (blue?? shirt). Hers is kind of green though so maybe half command discipline (yellow shirt) and half blue mixed together??</p><p>Wow, listen to me speaking Trekkie bobble bobble... LOL</p>
<p>This is so awesome and adorable! You should add this pic to the Instructable. :)</p>

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