Jul 20 2010 12:33pm

Build your own Stubby paper rocket!

Stubby paper model

Yes, you too can have your own Stubby! We asked paper model designer Robert Nava to create a stubby pattern. Simply print, cut, fold, and glue. (Ok, maybe some parts aren’t so simple, but once you pass the needle-nose, you’re golden!) Build one and post the pictures here! We’ll like you better. Extra points if anyone can figure out how to modify it into the HMS Stubbington...or anything at all.

To begin, download the PDF here.
Download the instructions PDF here!

Stubby Paper model

1. jafoca
Cool idea for sure - but for those of us with less experience with papercraft could we get either:

1. some basic instructions


2. some decent (larger) pictures of the finished product

The bigger pieces are pretty clear, but I'm not sure about some of the other areas....
Irene Gallo
2. Irene
Oh noes! We have instructions, I forgot to add them in. Uploading them now. And I'll post bigger pictures in a bit.

I had never done one before and I'll say...it takes a bit of patience. It's not hard but, I definitely needed a chaperone to remind me to take deep breaths.

Good luck!
Irene Gallo
3. Irene
Robert Nava
4. RobertNava
Well it's about time! I've been waiting for this to come out for quite some time. I was even going to email Irene about this today. But, surprise, surprise, I get an email from her. How exciting!

I'm the model designer, Robert Nava. I'm most popular for my Disney papercrafts, which you can see through the link below.

Now that the model is public, I do have a few close-ups shots that I can finally release. Do note, however, that Irene's photo (above) shows an enlarged version. The actual size is only 5.5 inches long, and easily fits in your hand.

Irene is right, that needle-nose piece is the hardest, but the rest is a breeze once you get past it. And, I make the same recommendation that Irene gave: take your time. I cannot stress that enough. If rushed, the uninitiated will get frustrated, and it's going to come out looking bad—assuming that it even gets completed.

I hope that you all enjoy the model, and that you try your hand at others that you may find online. There's a huge selection out there!

Now we just need an HMS Stubbington version . . .
Irene Gallo
5. Irene
Hi Robert. Thanks for stopping by.

Everyone: Check out his site - amazing stuff!
6. jafoca
Thanks for the instructions and large photos!!
YouDont NeedToKnow
7. necrosage2005
If you're interested in making paper models, like this one, I've found http://www.nicebunny.com/ to have quite a few nice ones.

I really like "Stubby," but unfortunately the size for the paper is too big for my printer. I had to set it to a smaller size.
Robert Nava
8. RobertNava
Whoa! You're right! That's not the size it should be. It should be the same size as the instructions, neatly fitting on a single sheet of paper.

I know that Irene enlarged her model for the Tor.com office. Perhaps she accidentally uploaded the wrong file?

Robert Nava
9. RobertNava
One of my favorite websites is a blog called Paper Forest. It showcases all kinds of paper artists and their work (not just papercrafts). I've been featured there on a few occasions.

There are a lot of things that can be made from paper: clothing, furniture, sculpture, toys, games, pop-ups, animation, machines, etcetera. Paper is a pretty awesome medium when you begin to explore what it can do. You can't look at this and say that isn't awesome!
Bridget McGovern
10. BMcGovern
Hey, Robert (and everyone)--we just swapped in the correct file, so it should work on a single sheet. Sorry for the mix-up--I think Irene secretly wanted everyone running around with mondo-sized Stubbies :)
11. Jennifer Montes
This paper model was tough (even though I did it on an 11 x 17 page), but I still managed to prevail:

Joanne Center
12. thegloop
Oh my god, Robert that castle you linked to was absolutely insane!! I've never seen anything like that at that sort of scale before. I really enjoy your work also. I'm totally going to try that Tron cycle before the new movie comes out. I'm a HUGE fan of paper crafts, and I love to expand my skill set. Thanks for the links!
Robert Nava
13. RobertNava

Excellent! If I remember correctly, you guys have a printer capable of printing on large paper (trying to remember Irene's emails). I also noticed that the print quality of Irene's model has a nice finish to it. I can only imagine the top-quality papers and printers that you have access to.

The file is 150DPI, but I design everything at 300dpi (to get the details in). I let Irene know that I can make a 300DPI version, but I don't think that would be viable. The file size would probably reek havoc on the site's bandwidth. Although, the higher DPI would allow greater print quality, and allow folks to enlarge it (take it to FedEx Office, formerly Kinkos) with less detail loss.

Everyone Else:

If anyone is interested in my Disney papercrafts, you can download them here and here. Look for the ones marked "TDE Original;" those are mine. There are also links to other online papercrafts, like Ray Keim's Haunted Mansion models.

If you're interested in how I design paper models, you can either read the text-heavy tutorial (few images), or read the image-heavy tutorial (less text/details). Both are recommended, and are not completely finished.
Robert Nava
14. RobertNava
Just to shift the conversation back to the Stubby model . . .

Designing Stubby was pretty nonrestrictive. I was given a CG model (so I knew the dimensions), and a couple of colors (red & white). The rest was up to me.

I didn't want to bog the model down with heavy graphics, especially since it would be so small. So, I stuck with the sci-fi serial look (Flash Gordon), which was Stubby's charm to begin with. I added some plates and rivets, a couple of hatches, some thrusters (for smooth landings and blast-offs), and three landing gear doors. Pretty simple.

The landing gear doors were fun. They have some caution graphics that actually read "keep clear." If I wasn't limited to a single sheet of paper, I would have made a full set of landing gears/feet that would have made it easier to sit on a desk or shelf. I still could still make them on a separate sheet without having to alter the original file at all. But, that's all up to the good folks at Tor.com, and it leaves room for some of you to make your own modification.
15. Grumpy
Let me get this straight...you guys/gals work in the Flat Iron Building in New York City and get to make paper rocket ships?
16. Clever Charles
I cut my finger.
17. Robothut
I built up this great rocket with a smoking feature. I posted pictures to Alphadrome.

Irene Gallo
18. Irene
Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you Robohut!

Everyone, click on: Smokin' Stubbs!
sherard son
19. sherardson
I would have made a full set of landing gears/feet that would have made it easier to sit on a desk or shelf. I still could still make them on a separate sheet without having to alter the original file at all. But, that's all up to the good folks at Tor.com, and it leaves room for some of you to make your own modification.
so it should work on a single sheet. Sorry for the mix-up--I think Irene secretly wanted everyone running around with mondo-sized Stubbies :)
Seo Training Course Delhi
Robert Nava
20. RobertNava
Ha ha! That's awesome!!! Now you just need a cheesy starfield backdrop and a planet or two hanging from wires. Great work!
21. Matt2010
Done! But how/where do I upload a picture of it, as requested?
Irene Gallo
22. Irene
@11 Jennifer, great job!

Matt2010: If you it on photobucket or some other image hosting site, you should be able to show wit here with:

If it's easier, please feel free to email it to me and I can place it in for you. I;d love to see it!
25. Monkeyrum
Thanks for the awesome model. I completed mine this morning and all I can say is it is so sweet looking.

I'm thinking about making a couple more, a moon, and some stars to make a killer mobile.

Higher res shots can be seen at my DeviantArt page
Irene Gallo
26. Irene
THese are so much fun to see!

From Matt2010:
27. GManchess
Hey Robert! Just wanted to say how much I liked the paper model of Stubby! I'm the artist that designed and drew it for Ms. Irene. You really kept the feel of the little guy! Love it!

I noticed the extras like the hatches...good call!

Also, if anyone wants a bit of a tip: you can bend the nose spike around a toothpick to glue it and hold it with a touch of tape. After it's dry, it'll slide right off.

I must say, while building it I managed to cover just about every vile cuss word ever invented, and maybe invented a few new ones, but when it was finished, it looked like a labor of love and didn't show the pain at all!

Thanks again!
Robert Nava
28. RobertNava
Thanks, Greg! I didn't want to overwhelm the piece or take anything away from it. I just wanted to "plus" it.

Cuss words. Hmmm . . . I don't run into them too often. Of course, I take my sweet time. It can take me an hour or more just to cut, fold, and glue a couple of pieces together. I have to be far more patient than most, because the model has to be very photogenic in the end.

About the only cuss words that venture forth are ones aimed at my cats. I walked into my dark room one evening, encountering the crunch of paper under my feet. The cats often play in a paper bag that migrates from room to room, so I figured it was that, and I happily kept on crunching. No harm in stepping on a paper bag, right? Then, the bag touches my shin, almost to my knee. That's too high for a paper bag. I flip on the light switch, and discover that my Sleeping Beauty Castle is lying on the floor! One of the cats had eaten a sizable portion of the rampart, while I had the pleasure of decimating the hillside.
32. monkeyrum
One more completed this time blue. I'm working towards making a couple in various colors for a mobile for my son.

34. Dave Friesen
You are truly an amazing and generous designer. Thank
you very much for that.
Robert Nava
35. RobertNava
A Stubby mobile; how awesome! What a great way to introduce your kid to sci-fi. Just make sure that it's out of his reach. We wouldn't want him to choke on destroyed Stubby rockets (assuming he's really young).
36. monkeyrum
Orange and Green are complete:
Here is a preview of the fleet so far:
I'm currently designing the moon and the stars that will go with them. Thanks tor.com and Robert for creating such a wonderful papercraft for people to build!
Robert Nava
37. RobertNava
Ooo, colorful! I'm partial to the orange one myself.
38. bobbill
what the hell
39. bobbill
omg thats so cool
40. Brian the Red
I finished my 2 times scale rocket today. It is hanging from the ceiling in my cube.
42. Derek Tombrello
I have been trying to find a paper model this shape to go up on my space wall - one wall in our living room is painted blue-black with stars sprinkled across it and over thirty rockets displayed. I am going to build this this weekend, but I would LOVE to get a copy of the larger size that you built the oversized model from. Please, please, please...
Irene Gallo
43. Irene
I used the file linked to above, I just enlarged the print-out.
Please post pictures if you make it!
Good luck. The tricky part is that needle nose.
44. Derek Tombrello
Not sure how to upload photos using this interface, but I have uploaded them to my web site. You can see the completed 2x Stubby Rocket here:


and two photos showing my Space Wall are here:

and here:

Thank you so much for this wonderful addition to my ever growing collection!
Robert Nava
45. RobertNava
Wow. That's quite a collection of rockets you have there.

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