The Making of USS Aldebaran


Lately Aldebaran (1st son, 4yo) has taken fondness in playing with toy planes. We have 5 planes from brand new ray (cheap but detailed), 3 of which we hang in his room and 2 broken ones that he plays with (hence hanging the remaining 3). Since I often play with the boys (more so with Aldebaran) I figured it’d be nice if we have an aircraft carrier to play along with.

Now, the sample came from the biggest toy set that toy brand GI Joe had ever issued. An air craft carrier called USS Flagg. (see below)

It’s massive and ubercool. Produced in 1985, worth USD 109.99 then in the US and no longer in production. It is now traded as collector’s item with value USD 100-600 depending on conditions. I came across the model several years ago and have been holding back from purchasing one due to price and transportation cost (most of these sold in US).

So I thought, let’s just make one based on this. A lot cheaper and have the values of teaching creativity and values about money to the kids.


  1. Sticky papers (ready glue on 1 side). Color of your choice. Mine is Blue navy for the body, dark blue for the windows, black and orange for the runway.
  2. Chopsticks for the cannons.
  3. Double sided tape (not glue) just for sake of convenience. Since I am a very sloppy person with low level of craftsmanship, double sided tape is my choice.
  4. Corrugated cartons. Many of them.
  5. Corrugated plastic carton for the platform (runway).


1. Boat building

Take a long box. Then take another piece of cartons and make lean front shape. Attach with double sided tape.

2. Control Tower structures

This one requires mid level precision. We need to ensure the tower is shaped like a descent tower and not shaped like your mother. Basically make 1 big rectangular box for the tower and 2 small boxes for the offices. After the big box is made, immediately cut out it’s sides so that the 2 small ones fit can fit nicely. As seen in the picture, the level of craftsmanship is poor hence not really aligned here and there. But, then that’s the best I can do.

3. Runway

First, attach the plastic carton ON the boat. Then attach the tower structure ON the plastic carton. This is to ensure that the plastic carton (runway) is firmly gripped by the 2 structures. After that, cut out the runways accordingly.

4. Cannons

Cannons are optional. To add excitement to the play, we made rotating cannons. It’s quite easy. Just punch a hole and attach them with a screw. In real carriers, cannons are not supposed to be placed on the runway. It’s supposed to be under it. But then the weight of the cannon can pull the runway, tilt the boat, etc etc, too complex, no thank you. Just make sure the cannons are small enough so that it doesn’t take the runway space. I didn’t manage to take the pictures on the making process, sorry.

A more comprehensive shape of cannons should have been made but then I thought, the boy is just 4 years old. He’ll probably smash this thing in a week or two. So I decided not to spend too much energy on the cannons.

5. Radars and flags

Cut a simple angled carton, make a small pocket upside down. It will create a hole. This hole will be a pocket for the pole and will allow it to rotate. There you go, rotating radar. This simple feature was later in fact, one of my son’s favourite.

6. Other features?

You can add the following:

  • Anchors,
  • Chimneys
  • Antenna discs

Depending on how much time and energy you can afford. I decided not to make them.

7. Finishing

This step requires a high level of precision which I failed miserably. The ready stick cartons were a big help because glue are just so messy unless you’re very crafty (which I’m not). So, stick here and there with as least cuts as possible if you can. Why as least cuts? Aesthetics.

Mantle the runway with black carton to resemble runway tarmac. Stick orange lines to make it closer to reality.

Choose dark blue for the windows to ensure color contrast with the body of the tower structure.

Time spent was around 8 hours.

Money spent was around IDR 80K (USD $ 9). I only had to spend money for the tapes and color cartons. I was however mocked by colleagues in office for digging the trash cans for the cartons. Next time I will do that after 5 PM. So yeah, $ 9 and some dignity. Totally worth it.


  1. ari
    Ari Widjanarko November 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Fuiiiihhh.. mantap! A detailed documentation and a very well executed aircraft carrier indeed. Looks like both father and son had a great time building and playing with it :)

  2. Adhitya
    Adhitya Mulya November 26, 2010 at 1:04 am

    @Ari Yeah man. We have so much fun. I was so scared that Arza (1yo) will sit on it that we place the vessel on highest rack everytime we finished playing.

  3. Adhitya
    Adhitya Mulya November 26, 2010 at 1:13 am

    @Ari Yeah man. We have so much fun. I was so scared that Arza (1yo) will sit on it that we place the vessel on highest rack everytime we finished playing.

  4. thelilsoldier
    inga November 26, 2010 at 8:07 am

    kalo liat fotonya, kayaknya bapak yang paling girang ya?

  5. Mirza Resita
    November 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Kreatif bgt!Hebat nih bapak n anak kompak bgt :)
    Bisa jd ide nih kl ntar punya anak cowo (tp msih ntar2x he3x), TFS y mas

  6. riandiani
    ria andiani November 26, 2010 at 8:38 am

    kang adit,
    meni kreatip pisaaaan!!kewreeeen!! :D

  7. Mirza Resita
    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

    *ngakak baca komennya inga* :D
    tx papa adit, trully inspiring! mau nunjukin ke suami ah biar latian bikin dulu ;)

  8. Mirza Resita
    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Wuiih…senengnya kalau lihat ortu yang kreatif. Anak happy, Bapaknya jauh lebih happy hehehe. Aku arsip ah, siapa tahu ntar punya anak cowok ** :D

  9. sLesTa
    shinta lestari November 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

    kereeennn bangeeett, dit!! ini pasti yang paling happy dan semangat bapaknya deh. even loong after alde udah bosen maennya.. heheh..

    btw, masih utuh kan toy nya nih? belom didudukin ama arza? :P

  10. dadidedo
    Anggraini Karimuddin November 26, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Tepok Tangaaan..

    Aslii keren banget dan kreatiiff.. :D

  11. November 26, 2010 at 10:06 am

    kereeeeeen! bikin towernya kan ribed tuh. turretnya lucu banget! jadi mainan favorit alde dong sekarang? pesawat2nya pada punya rumah :D

  12. November 26, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Keren banget, dhit… *dua jempol*

  13. rainiw
    Aini Hanafiah November 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Giling… keren banget ! Ini judulnya win-win crafting ya’, Alde & bapaknya sama-sama girang sama mainan barunya :D

  14. eka
    Eka Wulandari Gobel November 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    wah, kreatif banget!

    Inga, thalia,
    hahaha…ngebayangin bapak adhit pasti yg paling bete kalo ini maenan didudukin ma arza :))

  15. siska.knoch
    Siska Knoch November 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Dari pertama liat di tweetnya Teh Ninit udah amaze abis liatnya. Mantap bgt Dhit! *jagoan ih* bisa dong yah pesen satu buat Migu :D

  16. adey
    ade y November 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    sukaaaaa liatnya.. hmmm kalo anaknya perempuan, kira2 pantes nggak ya dibikinin maianan ini? hehe
    btw, mestinya nama kapalnya KRI Aldebaran coz benderanya merah putih :)

  17. November 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    @ade y – hahaha, iyaaa betul ya! mestinya KRI Aldebaran!

  18. Adhitya
    Adhitya Mulya November 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    @all: hi guys, sori baru ketemu internet lagi. Thanks. Kapalnya masih selamat kok hehehe.

    @ade: hehe iya ya harusnya KRI.

  19. Mirza Resita
    November 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I’s brilliant…..
    Aldebaran, how lucky you are…

  20. Adhitya
    Adhitya Mulya November 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    @all: hi guys, sori baru ketemu internet lagi. Thanks. Kapalnya masih selamat kok hehehe.

    @ade: hehe iya ya harusnya KRI.

  21. lei
    Lady Fitriana November 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    keren bangeeeet!
    haha senyum happy and bangga-nya alde itu loh, priceless!

  22. ninit
    ninit yunita November 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    ihhh keren banget deh suami :p

  23. Mirza Resita
    November 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    aduh seneng yah papa yang kreatif dan pasti bangga banget alde di bikinin sama papanya ..,good job ..:)

  24. Adhitya
    Adhitya Mulya November 27, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @Thalia iya yang paling susah itu control towernya. Yang lama dalam proses pembuatannya adalah desainnya. karena bahannya karton maka jika terlalu banyak poongan dan selotip akan bikin letoy. jadinya rancangan harus se-sedikit mungkin potongan. tadinya desainnya ribet karena banyak lipetan tapi kemudian nemu kotak kertasnya sinar dunia yang udah langsung berupa boks dan kuat banget mutu kartonnya. Made life so much easier.

  25. Mirza Resita
    November 27, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    mantap…jangan dikirim ke semenanjung korea yach hehehe…

  26. syafrina
    Syafrina Ramadhani Nasution December 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    wiihh..kreatif niy suami Mba Ninit!! bisa gantiin Mister maker mas Adhit..hehe..

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