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Perhaps the only thing more fun for kids than really small things (miniatures, matchbox cars, RC cars/helicopters/planes) are really large things. When I asked my wife why she bought the giant pencil that appeared in our playroom, her answer was “it was on sale.” My son’s answer was somewhat more satisfying — “it was completely awesome.” I have to admit it, giant versions of small things are pretty awesome. Which is why the oldest son had so much fun working on a project this weekend making a big replica of an otherwise small object. He built a 9X scale model of Apple’s iPhone (why 9X you ask? Read on and find out.)
The first step in easily building a scale model of anything is to create a drawing of the item on graph paper using the most logical unit of measure. Because the iPhone has pretty easy dimensions in centimeters (11 X 6 X 1), my son created a drawing of the iPhone on graph paper in which each square represented one square centimeter.
From that drawing, it was relatively easy to create a blueprint of the larger object at pretty much any scale you choose. Once my son had figured out that the most he could get out of a single sheet of foam-core was nine times the height of the iPhone, the math was pretty easy — each square on the graph paper represented a 9cm square (99 X 54 x 9). From there the process of measuring the right dimensions, cutting out the appropriate shapes and making sure that the proportions of all the features matched the scale model was reasonably simple (although, If you have ever wondered why it is so much cheaper to make square parts than rounded parts, try making rounded edges out of foam-core).
The reminder of the process was all about appropriate decoration. My son did some additional due diligence on the iPhone by spending a great number of hours obsessing over its “awesomeness” while scouring Google picture search. He also must have watched Steve Jobs’ keynote about a dozen times. Based on that careful research, he was able to add a number of details to the overall model that made the giant iPhone instantly recognizable.
While I have no idea what one ultimately does with a 9X scale model of the iPhone, my son had a lot of fun building it. I’m hoping maybe the iPhone can morph into a pretty cool Halloween costume without too much additional work. Regardless, I have no doubt that it will find a home right next to the massive pencil. Here’s the finished iPhone in all its glory.