Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by J.L., Jun 15, 2005.

  1. J.L.

    J.L. Member

    In reading a previous comment about a long discussion thread that must have taken place on this site some time ago regarding the purity of cardmodelling, I wondered if some would think a photo I posted in connection with using a wood product would be considered 'cheating'. (Lose Those Tabs:June 14)

    I understand when this word would apply. Fairness must rule in competition and to use media other than specified or allowed would automatically disqualify an entry. However, in our craft, many seek modifications to enhance and move the quality of models to a much highter level. This is where inspiration and creativity really makes modelling fun and exciting. This is a hobby to be enjoyed. This is evident in the openness and willingness to share new techniques and ideas on this site.

    I muse on this topic as I prepare buttresses for L'Instant Durable's Notre Dame Cathedral. The designers made them three sided - open on the lower face. When folded up, they tend to twist out of line. In order to stiffen then and make them all stand parallel to each other, I have chosen to stiffen them with particleboard. Is this cheating? The eye is very unforgiving and would instantly pick up on a row of buttresses not true or plumb. Maybe it's just my inability to make them so without the stiffeners. But on my model I want to do the best I can and enjoy the process rather than settle for an inferior result.

    Here is how I stiffened up the buttresses:
  2. J.L.

    J.L. Member

    Finishing Buttresses

    In this last shot, a small strip of paper is shown glued to the stiffener at the bottom or 'tail' of the buttresses. It supports the two wings that will protrude down the edge of the plinth below.
  3. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Hey J.L.

    There are always 'purist' in everthing. AND some can carry things to the extreme.

    BUT............. and this is just my opinion...........this opinion stated does not reflect the managment of this site of anyone other than myself..................

    Whatever it takes to make a model look it using something other than paper or card open game and should be used; and will be used by me.

    Yes purist may not like this but.........I build for myself and my enjoyment and I'm the one who ultimately gets the most enjoyment out of this hobby.

    So.................please show me whatever you can to help me with the enjoyment of this hobby. I for one appreaciate any tips or new techniques offered, and thank for taking time to show them.

  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Particle Board is made from sawdust and resin so it's not much different than paper and glue. Both being manufactured products from a renewable resource. This brings up the use of acetate for canopies and as a glass replacement. It's derived from wood cellulose through the action of acetic acid on cellulose. In yarn it's called Rayon, in candy wrappers it's called cellophane and in sheet plastic it's called acetate. With the use of the aforementioned we can claim it's an Earth Friendly hobby using only renewable and recyclable materials in it's art...,

    So I guess it's not cheating..., is it?


    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy guys,

    Purity of paper models huh? Well, I am sure we all have our own little "tricks and tips and shortcuts for this, that and the other thing. One that comes to mind is "buttons". Yes, "buttons", they are used as wheels on card models alot, when both "faces" of the button is covered with paper cut outs resembling wheels, they can be used on aircraft landing gear, (see fiddlersgreen "tips and techniques").

    Another item, one which I am fond of is the paper covered wire tie twist from bread wrappers. Peel or burn off the paper and you are left with fine antenna material, which is great for aircraft or one end can be coiled around a needle and with a little imagination, and some black magic markers, you end up with a "whip antenna" for tanks, apc's, trucks etc...

    Then there is nylon monofiliment fishing line, a wonder of modern science. It can be used as railing, guy wires, rigging, antenna aeriels all by glueing a piece of line between two points and applying a small amount of heat, thereby causing the line to shrink and tighten making nice straight rails, tight guy wires and taught rigging.

    Plastic for windows, anything from cigarette cellaphane to the heavier "security plastic" that most products are sealed in now-a-days. (Speaking of which, why do they put cassette tapes, which are fairly study themselves, in inpenetrable plastic and put fragile lightbulbs in flimsie paper containers?) Anyway, plastic of all sorts can be used for "winders" as we call em in the south. I am not suggesting security plastic though lol.

    Clear fingernail polish for guages, dials, landing and headlight lens woks great, apply a dab and let dry, it gives an extra 3d effect.

    Anyway, I use whatever I feel I need to make the models look better in my opinion. But what you like might not be what others like, so I say build the models the way you like them for you, you are the only person you have to please. When you think about, it is afterall......your hobby! lol

    Have a good day guys,

    Greg aka GW
  6. J.L.

    J.L. Member

    Thanks guys. Reassuring. With these healthy attitudes toward creativity, innovation and inspiration, the hobby of papermodelling can only flourish.
    (Notice how I put two 'll's in papermodelling? I'm Canadian!)
  7. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Hah! I thought so - always had trouble accomodating to cardmodeling, when I've grown up on aeromodelling. Now I understand the reason!

    Thanks, Leif

    ... and I've really got to get me one of those particle boards. Main task for the week-end, if the weather holds up.
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Member


    Tie themselves in knots over this non-issue people do.
    Not too many wooden ship models there are made only out of wood.
    If the primary material used is paper then a paper model it is.
    It does not have to be printed or even to be printable.

  9. k5083

    k5083 Member

    I'm fairly new to paper model[l]ing (Canadian living in the U.S., don't know which spelling to use), and come out of the plastic hobby. As mostly an observer it seems to me that the paper purity argument has a different role in papercraft than in other media.

    The viewpoint that whatever materials improve the model should be used is a slippery slope. Its logical conclusion is that we should abandon paper for almost every part of the model. Paper is a pretty limited medium compared to, say, plastic. A paper 1:33 airplane of a subject that has a lot of compound curves (here comes the controversial statement) will never look as good as a "plastic" 1:32 model made at the equivalent skill and effort level. I mean never, ever, ever, ever. I put "plastic" in quotes because any well-made plastic model these days is really a multimedia project incorporating styrene, resin, wire, brass, acetate, wood, and sometimes even paper. The "plastic" model[l]er basically chooses the best medium for every part of the model, with no restraints. The paper modeler self-imposes the restraint of using paper card for at least the major components.

    Accordingly (controversial statement #2) the praise that a paper model[l]er is looking for from an observer is, "Wow, that's made of paper?!" rather than, "Wow, what an amazing scale replica!" To be sure, many paper models deservedly earn the latter compliment and we are all happy to hear it, but it can only be earned by the builder putting in much more time and skill to overcome the handicap of the paper medium, as compared to making a plastic/multimedia model. And such is also the source of some of our own satisfaction in paper models. The reason why a built-up 1:33 Halinski P-51D can impress us as a much better piece of workmanship than a well-made 1:32 plastic P-51D kit, despite the fact that the plastic kit is the better finished replica, is that the Halinski started life as an innocuous little paper booklet whereas the plastic kit started as pre-formed plastic pieces that already looked quite a bit like a P-51D.

    Which is where purity and cheating come in. We could dress up a lot of the details of the Halinski P-51D by swapping in the propeller, exhausts, canopy, wheels, etc., etc. from the 1:32 plastic kit. It would almost always produce better results and certainly be a lot easier. But now the kit didn't start life as just a paper booklet, and if somebody says (or we think to ourselves), "Wow, that's made of paper?!" we have to say, "Well, except for the ..." and part of the mystique, the creative satisfaction, is lost.

    For some, anyway. I guess some of us just like to build stuff.

    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy k5083,

    I agree with your train of thought. Using a peice of nylon fishing line and/or a small wire fashioned into a part representing an antenna or guy wire/railing or rigging, is a lot different from using a plastic prop from another kit.
    I think the hobby is about the creativity of the modeler, not so much what percentage of the model is constructed of paper or the purity of the construcion materials.
    There are all sorts of things we call by one name that are actually combinations of several things, 10% of gasoline is ethanol in alot of places, yet we still call it gasoline. And diesel fuel, well, it can be a kerosene based product which it is normally related to, or, now-a-days, it can be pure vegetable oil, but we still call it diesel fuel. Wooden boats have metal in them almost always, even if it is just nails or a metal rudder.
    I know these arent the best anologies, but, I havent slept all night, so bear with me.
    I wouldnt dare try to place a percentage of how much paper should be required to be in a card model to still call it a paper model. I think most people would know where to draw that line. But I dont think a few "non paper" products harm the name "paper model".
    I still contend that the "purity" of a paper model is up to the builder. But, the materails used should be easily and readily availible to anyone who tries to follow in the footsteps of the designer and build a replica of the orignial model builder.
    I believe that most designers list "alternitive materials" (other than paper) as optional parts, not as "required" parts. Canopies for paper aircraft are a very good example. The major commercial models not only draw a usable canopy on paper, but sometimes supply the plastic to be used for the canopy in the model. You are given the option, be it in the kit, or as an after-market product.
    So, again, I say its a hobby you are creating for your own enjoyment. Use whatever works for you.

    Have a good day,

  11. k5083

    k5083 Member

    I think that's right, GW. Nobody can argue with your point that it's a hobby, and you should go with whatever glues your tabs.

    I also agree that molecular analysis of the materials that go into a model to see if they meet the standard of "paper" can be carried to silly lengths.

    Maybe the boundary has to do with how, and by whom, the bits that are not "pure" paper card are prepared.

    For instance, if you make your P-51D canopy by cutting and folding a flat piece of acetate into some semblance of a bubble, nobody is going to cry foul. Adding a flat piece of acetate to the booklet that the model started out as hardly makes the final achievement any less impressive.

    On the other hand, if you buy a vac-formed canopy from the aftermarket, in many people's eyes that does lessen the craft aspect a little bit, just as borrowing a part from a plastic kit would. This is similar to the difference between making your own brass wire ship railings vs. buying photoetched brass railings.

    Ah, but what if you start with the flat piece of acetate and vacuum form it yourself? Now we come to the grey area where it is the legitimacy of the technique, not the starting material, that is open for discussion. After all, you could use opaque plastic and vacuum form the whole fuselage in the same way, but then you wouldn't have a paper model. The issue is, given that you may use plastic for the canopy because canopies should be clear, should you then exploit the other features of that material to make a smooth bubble, or should you stick with construction methods more typical of paper?

    If there is an essence to the craft of paper model[l]ing, maybe it consists of: (1) respecting the physical properties of paper and paper-like materials, especially their very limited ability to form compound curves; (2) restricting oneself to relatively simple, albeit sometimes ingenious, construction techniques; and (3) limiting the use of specialized, pre-formed aftermarket components. I think many of us may be influenced by the current hobby's roots in eastern Europe, where for many years hobbyists had no choice but to adhere to these conditions; nowadays it is perhaps more of a fetish. Also perhaps a reaction to plastic model[l]ing, where the rules are exactly the opposite: the material is infinitely malleable, the techniques often baroque, and aftermarket details are abundant and not stigmatized at even the highest levels of competition.

  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Auld Lang Syne

    From tomes past:

    The post is here along with a vote on the topic: tell made paper&start=0

    Gil en redux
  13. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Dang Gil,

    I just read that thread and had to put my hand over my mouth to keep it shut. I am at work and laughing usually gets you sent off to the room-without-a-view and a brand new white coat with buckels!

    I guess nothing is just forgot that it already has happened!

    I loved Shrike's comment.............. renaming something to a fancy sounding name always seems to impress people.

    Thanks for the bright spot in a normally dismal work day!


    Oh by the way.................did I say it was made out of paper??!!
  14. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    A long time ago, in a hobby (not so) far away, some modellers such as John Adams, Francois Verlinden and a whole bunch of others started using 'different' materials to provide accessory parts for detailing, converting etc plastic kits. Processes such as etching, white metal casting, resin casting, and probably the first 'alternate' technique, vacuum forming, were used primarliy because useful parts could be manufactured without the massive investment in injection moulding tools.

    Sheesh, you could have heard those 'purists' wail!! A vociferous minority (usually IPMS pot hunters) made it plain that anything that wouldn't legitimately be found inside an Airfix, or Revell, or Tamiya kit box was absolutely verboten.

    Now look at the plastic modelling hobby. Without the likes of Eduard, Meteor, VLS, Aeroclub and literally HUNDREDS of small, and now not so small outfits, that particular hobby would have gone the way of the dodo long ago. Resin, etched, and metal parts are commonplace in injection moulded kits, and the magazines are crammed with articles on how to 'improve' plastic parts with aftermarket accessories. I know modellers who won't buy a kit until the accesories for it are available too.

    Don't listen to the moaners. DO YOUR OWN THING. If you want to vacform your own canopies, you do it. If you want to use wooden wheels or gun barrels, don't let some bleating 'expert' tell you you can't. You can. If they want to make a rod for their own backs, let them. This site, and the interest it engenders in its denizens is fuelled by innovation and lateral thinking. The fact that we make such use of computers and a miriade of different programs to make our models is a testiment to this.

    DON'T let other people limit YOUR horizons.

    Sorry to rant, but this REALLY gets my goat!

    Tim Perry (yes, of PP Aeroparts..... I was that soldier)
  15. If it works for the person doing it and one of the "purists" don't like it, too bad IMO. This is a hobby, a pastime for most of us. We do it for our own enjoyment (and a little praise once in while, our egos do need to be stroked from time to time) not so some one else can make sure we play by the rules. But in contest builds if the judges want to stick to a paper by minimum # of parts or all paper requirements that is there business and the contestants know the rules going in.

    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    howdy mark, just plain mark,

    hehehehe, (sorry I had to).

    I agree, contests are one thing, but for personal enjoyment, its up to the builder.

    you any kin to that bond, james bond guy?

    have a good day,

  17. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    As long as your happy with the materials and the results who cares what others think.

    Did you have fun and enjoy doing it, for me thats all that matters.
    Its your model to do with as you please!!

    I love the card models and try to make everything out of card or paper. But my magic wand brakes sometimes and I have to use other stuff to compensate for this.

  18. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Oh, this issue again, for the "purists" no laminating parts for if you want to be truly "pure paper" you will have designed a kit solely to be assembled by interlocking parts and not having to use glue. The only coloring would be from the colors of the paper only, no printing for the ink is not paper, no rigging, antannae or other detailed little parts unless of course it's paper. I guess I'm done for now, in short, short of a specifically ruled contest you can use whatever wire, wood, tissue paper (used or not) cat hair, bat hair ,thread, nylon, rayon, crayon, steel, precious metals, plastics, spastics, bombastics, foil, glues, bubbles bangles or beads. It seems most of us are in agreement this is our hobby and it should be a source of enjoyment, and not another anxiety causing venture, just have fun and do it.
  19. Bernie

    Bernie Member

    Cheating? What are you talkiing /writting about? There is no cheating at all - if you mean techniques used in cardmodelling.
    You can feel that you cheat only if you see that you did something in other way than all the others do - but it is not truth.

    If you want to speak about cheating you may appoint as a cheating a card-body construction of most airplanes, ships, truck wheels etc made of 1mm thick card.

    Äll materials and techniques used in target to make a card model are not cheating

    This is statement of me

    one more sentence to be added: My presently done models T813 or Jelcz are patina coated - which is not acceptable in system of Paper model contests in here - but I am still building, cause it is not about awards collecting!
    Have a nice weekend - full of paper/card/modelling
  20. Now in the realm of cheating where do we draw the line on tools. If particle board or Masonite is being used then do we strictly limit ourselves to hand saws and whittling knives. Or do we allow scroll saws and other power tools? I have found a lathe works great for doing internal bracing rings for large cylinders such as might be needed for 1/72nd Shuttle External Tank or one of the various Saturns and the N-1 available as down loads. Are special forming rings made of metal a no no? Not in my book.

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