Introduction: Space Shuttle Atlantis Cardboard Model (With Detachable Cardboard Stand)

The Atlantis is the unsung underdog of the space shuttle fleet. Why is it important you may ask, It was the last flight to go into space with astronauts.The Space Shuttle program was the fourth human spaceflight program carried out by NASA,which accomplished routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1985 to 2011.The Atlantis served the world well for more than 25 years.I have always been fascinated by the design and characteristics of this shuttle/low earth orbiter.

Anyways,lets get to making a tribute model of this aesthetic technological wonder!


We wont need any fancy stuff to build this model.

1. Cardboards(gee,who would've thought of that!)

2.Glue Gun

3.Glue Sticks for glue gun ( i went to replenish my stocks and noticed they had two types of glue sticks one that looks bluish transparent and the other is mostly opaque. If you have the option, use the clear one as it gives better results)

4.Surgical Tape (otherwise known as micropore tape)

5. Acrylic Paint (White)

6.Paint Brush



9.NT Cutter Utility knife ( mostly optional, but it makes things way easier )

10.Black Permanent Marker

Step 1: Deciding

You sure wanna make it? :3

If you do,then lets move on.

Make sure you got all the supplies around

Step 2: Designing


I tried to keep the design as original as possible. If you want to, then you can print the designs and paste them straight into cardboard. If you don't have that option available then draw as specified.

The base structure is flat and includes the wings, so be as careful as possible while drawing it.Draw the design on paper and paste it onto the cardboard, it makes life easier.

1. Draw a 7 Inch by 6 Inch T shaped cross . Use the protractor( geoooometryyyy ) to maintain a 90 degree angle.

2. The middle portion of 3.2 cm(1.6 cm on each side from the middle line) is for the main body. { please pay attention that some of the measurements are in cm and some others are in inch. i felt it was easier to calculate small portions using cm.}

3.To draw the wings, draw 6cm lines from each side of the middle body portion.Use the information's provided on the images to draw the smaller curves and lines of the wings. draw the side parts of the body and the Tail (draw them separately),use the information's from picture as well.The top of the Side body parts and endings of the tail contains some extra portions,which serially will be the Roof and the Base for the tail to attach.

Step 3: Cutting and Attaching

Once you are done drawing the pieces on the cardboard,cut out the pieces cleanly.(make sure to cut out two mirror pieces each for the body AND the tail)

Use the glue gun to attach the pieces on the base you made.

Attach the side body parts first.(a simple technique to make the front curves easily,you can use a pen and roll it on the parts where it needs to be bent,keeps the bends clean)

then,Attach the extra portions of the side parts,which makes the roof.And finally attach the tail where it needs to be.

cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard according to the ending of the shuttle structure.Make 3 cylindrical rolls and attach them on that rectangular cut out,these are the booster's.

make 2 rectangular boxes (as shown on the last three pictures) for the boosters on both side of the tail.

When you're done joining all the cut-out's,use the Tape to cover the whole thing.

Step 4: Painting

When you're done with all the above steps,start painting the shuttle.

Paint the whole shuttle with white acrylic paint,let it dry.

Once dried,Use the Black permanent marker to Draw the nose,windows,flaps,lines on the wings,other details and the Logo's.

Step 5: The Detachable Stand (OPTIONAL)

To make the stand,you're gonna need a piece of cork sheet and 2 magnets.

I made the stand all-triangular (because,WHY NOT!)

Cut the cork sheet in a triangular shape according to the provided dimension (excluding the side skirts)

then cut a piece of Cardboard (with the side skirts) and attach it on the cork-sheet cutout.

[TIP:Use the NT cutter to slightly cut a line on the part where you want to fold the cardboard]

cut out the triangular pillars and the rectangular cardboard piece,attach them together,cover them with tape and paint.

once dried,attach one magnet beneath the rectangular piece and another on the bottom of the Shuttle.

For that galactic effect on the base, Soak a toothbrush in dilute white color and spray it with your fingers. It is preferred to add colors that go well with the theme. ( a bit of yellowish-green and violet does the job )

Step 6: Optional 2:LIGHTS

You can add LED lights if you want. I pushed one LED through a small hole in the middle and then secured it with tape. Add a 470 Ohm resistor to the LED to prevent burning out. You can add as many LEDs as you please, but remember the voltage specs of your LEDs. If you use AA batteries, use 2 of them in series without the resistor.

Cardboard Speed Challenge

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