N scale modular paper building

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Biased turkey, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Maybe I should have posted the thread in the Paper Models subforum, but as it is N scale related , here we go ( I hate to crosspost )

    My idea is to create some paper models to go on my switching layout. The structures will be similar to Walthers Modulars ( TM ) structures.
    Here is a first sample ( NOT TO SCALE ).
    I used a free ( as in free beer and free speech ) graphic program Inkscape that create scalable vector graphics ( .svg ) files
    The software is available for the Windows, Linux and Mac platforms.
    Inkscape. Draw Freely.

    Here is the picture
    Any comment is welcome.
  2. Great Scaper

    Great Scaper New Member

    I hate to be rude, but I hate paper models. Why not make something out of styrene or wood etc? Sorry if this is offensive.
  3. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    It's not the kind of reply I was expecting :) but I have no reason to be upset if a fellow railroad modeler states his opinion politely.
    I built only 1 paper model so far, just to see how it works and because the model was downloadable for free.
    I enjoyed the experience, but in the process, I discovered that paper models take more time to build than their equivalent styrene counterparts.
    But Imho, the biggest point against paper models is that they lack texture.
    On the other hand I find paper models cute when building switching micro-layouts ( the Brits are very good at it ) but completely out of place on a 4' X 8' HO classic layout.
    See examples:
    Small Layout Scrapbook

    I might use that "modular" paper model as a mockup for a styrene sheet structure.
    Here is a pic of my only paper model:


  4. roch

    roch Member

    For a paper model that is very cool. I never would have guesed it was paper.

  5. Great Scaper

    Great Scaper New Member

    I agree, it looks very good. Good job!
  6. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Why do you hate paper models?

    I saw some of your photos of your amazing skyscrapers, I can see where card wouldn't be a good choice for many of those.

    Jacques! Your ScaleScenes warehouse looks great! Don't give up so easily after such a great start! :)

    I'm not a model railroader, I'm a card modeler, but I work in model RR scales. I bet if you try a couple more, you'll find your building speed quickly increases.

    I'm not sure how complex that ScaleScenes warehouse is, but you also might be able to go faster by going simpler, depending on distances, viewing angles, etc. on your layout. From my experience, at N scale a model doesn't have to be physically detailed to look detailed. With card you can convey so much texture and detail through the graphics - that's one of the biggest benefits of paper as a medium.

    Try another and post a shot! :)
  7. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Depends on the purpse of the model too. For background models I think they are awesome. For forgeound models styrene might be better unless you are ready to put a lot of time into detail work. You can build interiors out of paper as well.

    To me the building of the card model is as much of the enjoyment as the end product.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    To me, the time consuming part of cardstock buildings is building up the layers to give the building depth, and get away from the flat look ( if that makes sense ).
    I totally agree with art decko and cgutzmer, card stock is a great medium for model railroads. There is even a card modeler that has, or is, building a complete layout out of card. Track, locos and all.

  9. lucakiki

    lucakiki Member

    Would a combination of paper and styrene, with some wood for good measure, be a viable solution?
  10. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    It's good to have some respectable members of the Paper models subforum to have a pook at the N scale model railroad subforum.

    Thanks cgutzmer for the link to the wiki. There are plenty of paper models to download, but I can't find any use for a paper model of the Taj Mahal or the spaceship Enterprise on my 1960 N scale layout.
    But, amongst those links I found the Build Your Own Main Street From the State of Illinois link to be very interesting to us N scale modelers.
    Unfortunately, paper models are not very popular amongst North Americans railroad modelers. That's the reason why it is very difficult to find some good pictures ( suitable for paper models ) of a North American enginehouse , warehouse, or a freight depot .
    Just to see what's done in Europe ( France for example ) here is a link to a French model railroad website that has a serie of articles devoted to paper models applied to model railroad.
    CLAP 2000

    At the bottom of the page, click on the numbers 2 - 8 to see the next section.

  11. stantonjtroy

    stantonjtroy New Member

    Being formally trained in fine art I'll quote to you something that's been told to me often. "If it works, USE IT!" Though there are purists in every genre, and they are often VERY good at what they do, My personal thought is whatever medium satisfies the need, that's the best choise. Styrene is great for some things but, especially in N scale, card stock definately has it's place. FWIW

  12. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    If the structure looks good using hybrid materials , then it is of course a viable solution. But then it's not considered a paper model anymore , but falls in the scratchbuilding subforum .
  13. lucakiki

    lucakiki Member

    Sure! Most likely, though,the original poster posted on here on purpose, so to have some slack from strictly paper models.
  14. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    I think you hit on something that is a key distinction between card modeling and model RRing.

    A card modeler builds a model for the enjoyment of the card construction experience itself. Model RRers, on the other hand, are not tied to a medium - their hobby requires combining many media. They are more interested in achieving a particuliar end result, not the choice of medium.

    So in the model RRing market, I think a card model has got to produce results that are viable alternatives to comparable products in any other medium, or they won't fly. They can't just be a good card model.

    So if you are a model RRer into card modeling (or vica -versa) you are in a kind of market demographic "sweet spot". :)

    I agree, breaking the "flatness" is a big challenge. When you talk about time consumed building up layers, are you specifically referring to laminating, or do you mean other construction techniques in general?

    Ha! :) See Jacques, this is the problem with Canada - you can ride the rails for days and never see a single Taj Mahal. ;)
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Art Decko, I was talking about laminating. Specifically the Scale Scene structures ( the only ones I have bought ). With them you build up to five layers to make one wall. I will say though, I have built two structures so far, plan on building more, and they are well worth the effort.

  16. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Loren -

    About laminating, if you could get the same structural shapes or detail though other means (e.g. folded parts) would that be preferable to laminating? Or do you prefer the strength/mass of laminated parts?
  17. willy4

    willy4 Member

    Paper Shed

    This work shed has a wood frame, then the walls and roofs are covered with
    Paper Creek products. No weathering done except drybrushing for highlighting.


    Attached Files:

  18. roch

    roch Member

    Very cool cabin. :thumb: I would like to try and copy it if you don't mind. Do you have a plan for it?
  19. willy4

    willy4 Member

    Yard Storage Kit

    No I don't have a plan because it is a wood kit from Micro-Mark kit # 83747.
    The kit is called Yard Storage, page 109 in MM early winter 2008 catalog.


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