How to design

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by andrew ferguson, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. This is a very basic question. There is an armoured car i would like to make a card model of but none exists. I have a good, to scale, 3-view of it. Is there some way of designing a card model from this threeview, without using a computer (ie by hand)?

    I realize i will be missing the back on the card model i design but that will be easy to fill in once i get the basic shape of the sides, front and top.

    It seems to me that there should be a way, since it is all angled, flat surfaces but it's tricky because some of the surfaces are angled across the views and so don't appear true in any of the 3 views.

    I can just trial and error it but i was hoping to find something a little more precise.

    thanks for any help. :)
  2. 46rob

    46rob Member

    I model jets, using nothing but three view drawings. Trial and error is the rule, rather than the exception. It's not all that hard, once you get used to conceptualizing a three dimensional object, based on three separate views.
  3. any tips on how i begin?
  4. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    With tracing paper.
    Lay the tracing paper over the view to get the shapes. Then cut the tracing paper and use it for the pattern to cut the cardstock.

    When you modify a shape make sure to change your pattern so that you can repeat what you did.
    It might be good to label the pattern parts and to mark which ones are obsolete.
    This is basically how I work with a computer the only difference is that the pattern is the computer file.
  5. lunarhighway

    lunarhighway Member


    I'm by no means a design pro, but i've designed a few airplanes and some cars,.. so here's some of my design methods

    I think the best way to start is to break the shape of the model up into a few basic threedimentional shapes.. if the vehicle you're modeling doesn't have to many complex shapes perhaps a single "box" would do.

    decide what the most basic shape of the model will be, measuring width and height from the plans...

    having pictures of the vehicle also helps in understanding how certain things are connected

    next you can draw an unfold patern of these shapes,
    you might want to make a copy of these plans, and actually make a quick build to see if you've got everything right. you can now use this shape as a help to visualise the next step in the model... make measurements, and perhaps test fit new parts... also this will imediately show where the model will need reinforcement, so you can perhaps inculde this in your final design. and probably also give you an idea what kind of paper you'll need, and if you'll need to slightly enlarge or reduce certain parts to cover for paper thickness...

    it's a good idea to make a copy of every part you design before you test build it... if you have a scanner you can just scan it into the computer and print it for reuse later... otherwise you could trace it manually using light paper or against a window

    anyway... i hope this was a little bit helpfull.

    good luck, and i hope your efforts will turn into a nice model :)
  6. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    When I designed my World Famous Line of Flintstone Card Models 8v) I began with nothing more than an image of the object. I broke the object into pieces...for example, the Flintstone Family car was broken into roof, side posts, cross posts, back window, front bench, rear bench, dashboard, steering wheel, front wheel, rear wheel, front and rear axels and left and right side log rails. Can't remember off hand if I missed anything, but not matter, you get the picture.

    From there I measured each piece, and based on average man height of 5 foot 10 inches which is how tall I am, decided on a scale of 1:24 for the model. After getting the scale sizes of each part, I began designing each piece. Most of them were simple cylinders and boxes which are easy to draw. I did all the work in TurboCAD, which for some reason, is the only CAD/3D type software my mind accepts "learning" from.

    Anyway, bottom line is this...look at the object, break it into "parts," measure the parts, then start with basic boxes and cylinders to get a basic shape. From there, when you're mind is more open to the visualization process, start on the more difficult parts.

    This is basically what I told a friend of mine when she asked me how I designed the models. I use TurboCAD because it was easy for me to learn, but a basic knowledge of math also helped me in knowing "what" to draw. As for more models only from the mind of Ashrunner, I have another problem I won't talk about, which interferes with my ability to continue designing models. However, I continue working on more and someday may release more models.
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    As has already been said.
    Attached is a doodle (done in TurboCad in 2D of course :)) to show one way that might help you to find the true lengths of the edges and the true shapes of panels.
    The basic visualisation needed is realy no differrent whether you happen to use manual or computer methods.


    Attached Files:

  8. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    You have an arbitrary flat polygon oriented arbitrarily in 3-space. Overlay a coordinate system one each of the 3 views. Pick one of the points of the shape as the origin in all 3 views. Now, for each point of the polygon, determine its coordinates in x,y,z. Now that you have those, you will want to apply at most 2 rotational transforms to bring that surface flat in one of the 3 views. A google search of "rotational transform" should find the equations you'll need to do it analytically. You can also just determine the angle of rotation you need and then graphically stretch your image by the ratio of the cosine of the angle. I'll try to come up with a simple illustration later.
  9. charliec

    charliec Active Member

  10. SteveM

    SteveM Member

  11. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    The thread originator must have at least a minimal system since he posted in this forum rather than chiselling words on stone tablets or whatever non-computer people do. Tank-cam is so easy to use that it would be worth figuring out how to use it rather than going through the anguish of a manual method. I note that in the Tank-cam site the software's author said he spent 4 months trying to get an SdKfz 251 model right by manual methods.


  12. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member


    You go to a museum where they have a real example of the vehicle you wish to model, and run a tape measure over it. Then draw/plot it all out the old fashioned way. This is usually the point where you discover all the plans you have found in books, magazines, Interweb etc., are complete nonsense. In fact sometimes, you can see which draughtsman has plaguerised anothers work by the repetition of common glaring mistakes. Even worse, you then see the same mistakes incorporated into models (of all persuasions, this isn't limited to paper products!!) because the designer has assumed the drawings were OK.

    Go back to the original, if it is at all possible! Then there are no arguements...

    Tim P

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