Introduction: Space Ship From Cardboard and Foam Camping Mats

About: I love to create. I started as a professional photographer and my interests have led to sculpture.

please read through the whole instructable before you begin and if you want I will sell full size cutouts of the superstructure just contact me through this website.  I had fun designing and building it, I hope you will too. Also keep in mind this particular ship is 3 feet long and 3 feet wide, its biggg!

Step 1: Making the Seat Sized for a Drawing Doll

O.k. you will need an electric knife(to cut the foam camping mat clean), a razor blade or utility knife, scissors copius amounts of hot glue, pens a cutting mat helps and of course cardboard, and a hot glue gun. What I don't have on this site is all the measurements( I create as I go) but at the end of this instructable I will leave my blog address where you can contact me to get plans.
  The seat is just cardboard bent to conform to the doll, then witha hot glue gun I took round window draft stopper(available at home depot) and arranged it the way I liked as I glued it to the chair.Also you will need 3 foam camping mats(I got mine at canadian tire). Total project build was about 100 dollars over time.

Step 2: Doll in Chair

Here you can see the doll in the chair and the beginning of the dash which I made from uhm plastic.

Step 3: Making the Body of the Ship

In thjs step I have fitted the cockpit which is a folded piece of cardboard, the folds are the same width of the chair. Then I held the cockpit against the side of the ship to make a slightly curved cut matching the side of the body

Step 4: Cockpit in Place

This shows you the cutout for the chair and pilot, basically the width of the chair up to the point where his knees are bent.

Step 5: Full Body View

Step 6: Back of Body

this is the back. you cut the top velcroed piece to match the distance to the back of the chair, glue in place. The bottom piece can run the full lenght of the bottom, folded to hinge up and over the top. this is your battery compartment. Don't make these cutouts, I decided to go in a different direction.

Step 7: Side View of Body

guys, don't worry about the intake you see in the bottom of the bottom, again it wasn't inluded in the final model. In this picture you can see the front supports I put in to support the foam. In hindsight these pieces could have been solid instead of looking like a framework.

Step 8: Starting the Framework for the Engines

ow this is the part where you make sure everthing is at a 90 degree angle. Take your time and make sure everthing is glued tight.

Step 9: Front View Starboard Engine

another view of the engine. the back tubes are 3 inches in diameter and the front cone is pipe insulation from home depot.

Step 10: Both Engines

heres a view of the two engines. I have started adding strips to the side of the first engine. DON'T put strips all the way up yet, we are going to add some turbines and lighting.

Step 11: Mockup

Heres a simple mockup. I have added the cockpit which is simply three pieces glued together, again make sure you cut the bottom of the canopy to allow for the curvature of the body.

Step 12: Turbine Computer Fan

here you can see the silver painted computer fan glued to the superstructure. cut four wires long enough to travel to the back of the ship to power the fan and an led.

Step 13: Turbine

turbine is powered by a 6 volt battery bank in the back, just make sure you have 6 volts hooked up to it befor you turn it on or you'll blow the whole thing, which I did.

Step 14: Engine Mounting

In this step I have finished all the wiring, painted the back exhausts and front intake black and figurd out where I want them to sit on the body

Step 15: Engine and Cockpit Mounted

Here are the engines glued in place. The cockpit is mounted using a simple cardboard hinge also

Step 16: Starting the Wings and Gatlin Guns

Heres how the wing goes together. Notice the folded edge,this is how you mounts it to the ship, leave it unglued. You can see the gatlin guns at the top made from half inch dowels and a 2 inch cardboard tube. I carefully drilled out about 2 inches of each dowel for the barrels.

Step 17: Covering the Wing

simply glue the foam to the wing and cut the excess off with an electric knife for a nice finished edge

Step 18: Covering the Body and the Addition of Gun Housings

There is no real trick to applying the foam, put glue as much glue as you can and keep the foam taught as you go. The ship gets as fancy as you want it to.

Step 19: Back of Ship

This shot shows yu where I finally decided to attach the wings on the exhausts and a few fine details, you can add whatever you want

Step 20: Front Cowling

Heres a shot of the cowling detail

Step 21: All the Wings

Here I've added vertical wings, it looked a little unbalanced

Step 22: Burnig and Rivet Detail

O.k. this is where it gets fun, get a small butane torch and don't hod it too close. I like to move in a side to side motion. This is the aging process. I have also added vertical takeoff manifolds just in front of the wing, pure foam. The rivets are just dots of black marker.OPEN A WINDOW FOR VENTILATION!!!!!!

Step 23: Front View Ageing

Again just play with the torch to get it the way you want, you will be covering alot of it with paint.

Step 24: Start Painting

You can see I've spray painted the front of the turbines with a little silver paint. I brushed on silver paint on the exhausts and added some foam blocks to them. The rest of the ship is being painted with acrylic paint from the artstore.

Step 25: Checkerboard Stencil

In the next step you will see the checkerboard strip on the side of the turbines, I made the stencil with edging tape from the home depot and a utility knife

Step 26: Checkerboard

I put the stencil on the ship and painted the white squares, the black squares I painted in by hand

Step 27: The Dash

Here you can see the dash glowing via a 3.3 volt light light I glued in underneath the foam dash

Step 28: Installing Lights and Back Detail

There is a 24 volt system (altogether) powering all the lights and the simulator which yu will see after. I am a terrible electrician so I hope you guys can come up with something better. All of the lights are 3.3 volt run out to D-battery packs from The Source .Glue all the sockets in place and run your wires to the hidden switches(I put rocker switches under the foam at the back just in front of the velcro closure. For the exhoust caps I used clear plastic beer cups and painted the bottom of them blue, they sit in there perfect. You will also noticed more engines I added to the back as an afterthought all built from foam. They are also capped with beer cups.

Step 29: Building the Flight Simulator

Since your giant 3foot by 3foot space ship only weighs in at about 7 pounds we can build a flight simulator to fly it on

Step 30: Flying Th P-38 Thunderhawk

flying in my living room

Step 31: The Finished Product

This kind of gives you anidea of the finished product, picture plans will follow soon for the simulator

Step 32: The Red Dragon

This is the first ship I built. I used one of my sons old four wheel drive rc trucks to make the gatlin guns that really turn, unfortunately I didn't document this one, Sorry