Hubble Telescope Model – Trail and Tribulations of a DIY Paper Model


There are many different aspects to building a scale model of anything. It could start simply as a recreational hobby or college project (or in my case both). Then arises the categories of supplies and tools needed which could make or break a project. In the end, these Do It Yourself (DIY) models are thought to be fun and if you fail to have amusement then something is amiss. Overall there are good and bad aspects when making a scale hand held model that leads to a fairly enjoyable yet gratifying entertainment and some thorough hair-pulling frustration because without the ups and downs of building a model, then what is the point of attempting to build one to begin with. In my example I have created a Hubble Telescope Model.

The Baby Hubble Telescope looks surprising authentic. Even when working with a budget the quality of the build was unexpected. It has a nice hallow yet somewhat sturdy build giving it the “throw it against the wall and watch it survive” test, but not the Hubble Telescope pictured below, apparently that one is priceless. Fairly simple instructions were followed to get it to its current condition with moving parts and the time needed to finish should vary between how well you interpret the diagram. Also conveniently provided are print outs of the theoretical outside layers of the telescope effectively shortening the time needed to complete it.

Just like a roller coaster with what goes up must come down building this model had its good and bad times.  The most apparently things wrong with the priceless model below is the lack of dowels used as the arms for the solar panels and radio antennas, instead embarrassing chop sticks were used and the amount of effort adapting was frustrating.  Secondly, the single sheet of black construction paper was abducted by tiny cousins most likely over the holiday leaving no other choice but to find an alternative.  Overall minor issues like the “optional” secondary mirror seemed mandatory and better print quality could have been used.

Therefore when building a hand held model expect the unexpected. For example, if you don’t like scissors use a box cutter or if it looks faded then that’s good because it’s true to the current Hubble telescope in orbit today. Now it’s only time before a launch date is set and a rocket strapped to it, although high probability of it detonating on launch. In all seriousness I thoroughly enjoyed this project and wish more professors were like you and that is why I’m slightly embarrassed to present you with thicker, slightly unproportional chopsticks as arms.