A while ago I did a couple little paper models of some Futurama characters which were a lot of fun. Recently I've been waiting to see a space shuttle launch with @spacekate and after visiting so many museums and NASA facilities I really wanted a model of a rocket.
The think about models is they are pretty boring unless you build them yourself. After the success of the Futurama figures I thought I would look and see what paper models there are for space. It turns out there are quite a lot. So many that there are whole forums based around it. Kate recently wrote a great overview of some of the choices in paper spacecraft.
Building the Rocket
I wanted to do a kind of build log but I was so excited by actually building the thing that I didn't bother to take any pictures of the process. I will say that it was hard. Some of the pieces are only fractions of a millimeter wide at points. I didn't even think one could cut and fold anything so tiny. As it turns out as long as you have patience and a steady hand those details are not as impossible as it might seem.
One really nice thing that I found out is making models is a great way to learn about how the rockets work. After spending 2 hours making a hydrogen peroxide fill plate, I will forever remember where that is on a Mercury Redstone and that the engines used H2O2 to run the fuel pumps. I learned about the umbilical fairings and the surprisingly low tech straps on the hold down ring under the capsule. I'm beginning to think that this is my favorite rocket. But that will change as soon as I build the next one!
The particular model I built can be found here: http://www.cardinspace.com/content/view/10/8/lang,en/