Introduction: How to Make a Model Tie FIghter for Less Than $15

After a long thought we decided to make a model Tie Fighter. A tie fighter is a transportation vehicle from the movie Star Wars. We were thinking of things to do relating to wings. So we just decided to do the Tie Fighter. The Tie Fighter is a flying vehicle that is used for combat and to go places. It is shown in the movies and the TV series. The tie fighter is really easy to make because it uses things from home. We used cardboard, plastic cups, bottle caps, paint, and balsa wood. We are making the wings out of cardboard and the rest out of plastic cups and bottle caps. We are painting the tie fighter to make the tie fighter look good. We also used a motor and LED's. The LED's are used for lighting the Tie Fighter and act as lasers. At the end, it will look like the Tie Fighter.

Step 1: Gather Materials

In this step you are going to need to gather the materials. There are 2 parts to building the Tie Fighter. There is the circuit part and the actual Tie Fighter.

For the circuit you will need:

  • (5) 5mm LED's
  • A 9v battery
  • A breadboard (Size does not matter)
  • Wires
  • A battery conector
  • Resistors
  • A SPST switch
  • Slodering Iron
  • Solder

For the Tie Fighter you will need:

  • 4 Large Pieces of carboard
  • 2 Small Plastic cups
  • Electrical Type
  • 2 Applesauce pouch caps
  • Black, white, and red paint
  • 1/4 inch by balsa wood
  • News paper
  • Hot glue
  • Exacto knife
  • Self Healing Cutting Mat
  • Protractor
  • A ruler
  • Miter Box
  • Xacto mitre saw

Step 2: Building the Circuit

When building the circuits, you have to incorporate 6 LED's. This step might be tricky but, following certain steps will make it much easier. Also, when building the circuit you should make sure there is a resistor for every LED. If there is not a resistor for a LED then, the LED will get burnt. When adding a switch, make sure that it will control the LED's. If help is needed, look at the photo above.

Step 3: Cutting the Cardboard

When cutting the cardboard, your safety should come first. Before cutting the pieces of cardboard, make sure there is a self healing cutting mat under it so you do not cut anything under the cardboard. Take the piece of cardboard and make a circle that has a diameter of 5. A compass will come in handy in making a perfect circle. Cut carefully so that you have a nice circle. Then once having a circle, use a ruler to cut the edges of the circle to make a hexagon. If help is needed, look above at the photos. Using the 4 pieces of cardboard you should make 4 hexagons

Step 4: Cutting the Balsa Wood and Gluing the Balsa Wood

After making your 4 hexagons, you have to start cutting the 1/4 balsa wood. You have to get long pieces of balsa wood so that you have enough because you need 4 pieces. Using the miter box, cut the balsa wood into 4 5 inch pieces. Make sure when cutting, that you cut in one direction so that the wood staying smooth. If needed you can sand the pieces to make them smoother. After cutting you should have 4 pieces. Once cutting the 1/4 balsa wood, it is time to start gluing. The balsa wood has to stick to the cardboard very tightly, so using hot glue would be the best idea. Finding the longest sides of the hexagon is where you should put the ends of the balsa wood. You have to make sure that the wood pieces do not over lap and make and bump in the center. In order to prevent this you must cut on of the pieces of balsa wood in half and glue each piece to the other glues on balsa wood. If any confusions, look above at the photos.

Step 5: Painting the Wings and Balsa Wood

Once you finish cutting out the balsa wood for each wing, you should then use the hot glue and glue the pieces to the cardboard. Once you finish that we have to paint both sides of the wings with black, and the balsa wood with gray. If you do not have gray paint, remeber, you can mix white and black paint. When painting be careful not to paint the black on the blasa wood, because it will not come off easily it. You should put at least 2 coats for both the balsa wood and also the cardboard, after you finish that use a pencil and draw horizontal lines. You should end up with something that looks like this (look at images above).

Step 6: Painting the Apple Sauce Cups

Get your 2 apple sauce cups and take all of the apple sacue out, you can eat it or throw it away it doesn't matter. Once you throw it away, rince your cups with water and then dry them with a paper towel. After that, grab your paint and start painting with black on the apple sauce cups. You should recoat this multiple times becuase plastic is hard to paint with. You do not have to paint the inside of the cups since no one is going to see it. Once you finish gluing, you have to start painting the applesauce pouch caps. Mixing a little bit of black paint with more white paint, should give a nice color fo gray. Make sure you paint the top and side of the cap, not the bottom! It is imortant that you don't paint the bottom because you will be attching it to the wing.

Step 7: Gluing the Pieces Together

Grab one of your black painted apple sauce cups, grab one of the applesauce pouch cap and one of the wings. Make sure your applesauce cap is right side up. Use hot glue to glue all of these materials together becuase, it keeps the pieces in place. Make sure the applesauce cap and the cup are in the center of the wing in order to do that use a ruler and measure each side then find the middle of the wing. Once you find that center glue the cap and the cup to the wing.

Step 8: Soldering

After gluing all the pieces together, you must start soldering. Because the tie fighter is smaller you cannot fit a breadboard into the project. To solder you have to make a series circuit. This means that there is on resistor needed for the whole circuitry. In order to solder you need a solder, soldering iron and wire. You must start by tinning the iron which means touching the iron the to the tip of the solder. Then touch the part that you need to solder and place the tip and the iron together. Do this for each side of the LED. (Picture is very helpful)

Step 9: Putting the LED's and the Switch

Once you finish soldering you circuit, you must start installing the circuit in the tie fighter. You first though have to cut holes into the cups to fit the LED's into. We used a hand saw to cut three holes on each cup. We then Put the LED's in one by one. It is easier if you hot glue the outside when inserting the LED's. The hot glue secure the LED and does not let it come out. Once you done with the LED's you have to insert the switch. Make a little square box to fit the switch in. Once you do that glue the switch in.

Step 10: Finished!

Once you finish adding the LED's and switch, you are ready to glue the 2 wings together. You should apply hot glue on one side and connect the other side to it (Side=Wings). We used a thin dowel to spread the glue around and take out some excess glue. To really make sure that it is glued, you should use paper clips to clamp the sides together while waiting for the tie fighter to dry. After that you are finally done!

Step 11: Video of the Tie Fighter Working