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Papermodels are a craft rather than an art but a papermodel designer still needs to consider the same problems faced by other artists/craftsmen: should one focus on form or function - in other words, should it focus on looking good or being practical? If you wanted a prop of the Next Generation Tricorder you couldn't go past the attention to detail of the one sold by Master Replicas. However technology that does the same work as the Tricorder has been developed by Vital Technologies, Raman Systems and even the New Zealand firm ARANZ Medical, none of which look remotely like the canon prop!

I was in the same dilema when looking for a papermodel project for this year's Twelve Trek Days of Christmas. Last year we did a calendar and I like the idea of something practical like that however I wanted it to have something to do with papermodels this year. A pepermodel calendar? Close but too easy. I thought about doing a datebook (too much like a fanzine and you'll be getting fed up of my writing by now!) or a CD jewel case calendar (a good project but not really a papermodel is it?).

I decided to finally bring together some ideas I have had percolating through what I laughingly call a brain, for some time. In the past I've tried my hand at science education for primary schoolers and agonised over a papermodel of a PADD. I've often thought that it would be cool to handout science notes in a PADD but never taken it beyond following the great work in paper information technology being done by the "paper PDA" community.

So here's The Paper PADD Mk 01 for the Starfleet Cadet Academy, Tech Level: 2009. It stands to reason that, even with all the wizz-bang technology they will have in the 24th century, kids will still want to make things and besides, understanding is something that needs to be experienced rather than force-fed. It's my belief that primary schoolers will still be taught to use the traditional media of pencil, pen and paper, alongside more high technology resources, so that the ancient skills of writing and crafts - and their necessary hand/eye coordination - will not be lost.

At the moment it is at the Beta testing stage and I have just included notepad drawing and text pages but will update this soon with a 2009 Star Trek papermodel calendar. I'd like feedback from builders on either the forum, the Star Trek Papermodel Yahoo Group or the DIYPlanner forum.


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