A question on framing

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by FlareBaffled, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. FlareBaffled

    FlareBaffled Member

    Building a fairly large sci-fi model, which will need a fairly robust frame underneath it all to hold it together. The thing is easy enough to do, but I want to try and make it so that the finished product will be buildable by others.

    I have built a nice 3D mesh, which I imported to Pepakura ... easy enough so far... but the internal frmaes are just solid pieces. They need some kind of slots or keys to position them in the right place, and I can't work out the best way.

    Whats the favoured option here? Chop up the pieces and do it with butt joints and fillets for strength .... or try to cut thin slots to fit the pieces together.

    It's quie a big model ... so the slots would be very small in relation to the size of the parts.

    Don't really want to trial and error this one... it's a lot of card to waste if I screw it up!
  2. PilatusPC21

    PilatusPC21 New Member

    Hello Flarebaffled,

    I am new to the forum and just browsing around getting familiar. I have been a plastic and mixed media scratch model builder for years and have always admired papercard(borrowed some of the principles in R/C and S/F projects).

    Suppose you've found your answer after two weeks but if not, a good method I've used for quick joining frames is using rolled paper sockets or couplers and just plugging them together at the ends. There is a certain amount of flexibility for repositioning and re-sizing parts and if you want to make them more permanent or much stiffer, just use Tyvek envelope material or electronic heat shrink tube material(glues w/CyA and still responds to heat).

    I am supposing here that you are using balsa or ply; my construction material of choice is bamboo skewers and the rounded ends are good for these paper couplers. The ends can be shaved, tapered and mitered and then bound together lashing style with unwaxed dental floss. Apply glue of choice(CyA, Elmers, Gorilla-PU, epoxy,etc.) and strong permanent joints result.
    I've tried to simulate steel tube fuselage construction of 1930's biplanes this way with good results. Bamboo is also great because it can be steam and heat formed to rigid curves. I am currently in Okinawa,Japan and have access to more craft grade wood and 3-4 ft. length bamboo rod than I could ever desire!
    Also get to watch lots of Gundam and mecha anime! Good luck with your large scale project!


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