How to build your own 'Star Trek' spaceships out of paper

All you need is a printer, scissors and a lot of patience.

Models / Images: Jörg Stammen / Cubefold Craft

In Japan, the art of paper modeling is commonplace. Companies like Sankei sell miniature papercraft kits for building everything from cartoon creatures to houses and vehicles. Here in the West, it has started to catch on, as fans use two-dimensional paper to recreate three-dimensional models of their favorite characters, props and even spaceships.

In the Sixties, you might recall, we had rather simple coloring books, sticker books and paper dolls. Now, this has gone to a whole new level. Better yet, fans have created patterns anyone can print up and assemble for free. (We recommend spending for some high quality photo paper, though.)

As fans find new ways to engineer this craft, no subject is left out of the mix. Star Trek, naturally, remains a mainstay of the craze, but just about any classic sci-fi show you can think of has papercraft models available for download. We found Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea submarines and the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space.

The whole movement represents the best of what talented fans can share with others. Perhaps the only drawback is the complex nature of some subject matter. A great deal of patience is needed to complete some of these models.

We hunted down some favorites, if you are so inclined to give it a try. You can print and build:

The Galileo II Shuttle (instructions, template)

USS Enterprise NCC-1701

Kirk and Spock (template)

If these are too challenging, you can always start with a Borg ship. Google around to find more papercraft kits. It's a good way to keep busy while watching Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Red Eye Sci-Fi on MeTV.

An interesting offshoot of the papercraft craze is the flood of commercially available metal versions. Companies like Facinations press these fun little folding kits. Check out their collection of Star Trek: The Original Series vehicles.

Star Trek airs every Saturday at 9PM | 8C on MeTV.

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