New Poll - All paper or multi-media

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by ButchPrice, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    I go by the Oak Ridge Paper Airplane contest rules...95 percent of the structure should be paper. From my own standpoint, it is not the media that is important, but the media's usefulness for what you are trying to accomplish. Paper (especially after means of digitizing became affordable for the common slob) is the most amenable medium I've run across yet for customizing kits to suit your own fancy, which is very high on my priority list. That said, I have no problem whatever with wire, photoetched brass, thread, cord, chain, map pins, etc being used to depict details that can't be carried off well just with paper. Comes to that, I've been known to substitute food carton foam for cardboard when it is the right thickness for support armatures and formers.
  2. I have no documentation, and the experiments were hidden from the boss in a recycling box, but I could reproduce the various results in a sample or something. I'll add that to my work list.

    Some of them were a series of tiny hook-toothed slot&tabs that "zipped" together, others split the gluetab into a fringe that matched-up and double-folded, then there is cutting 'tongues' into matching gluetab faces then folding them back /and tucking them into a slot...
    Amusing enough, a few months ago I encountered a device that makes this joint. It could possibly be used to do the job, after cutting off most of the "safety covering" to place the working parts closer to a seam.
    An image here demonstrates basically what this joint looked like:

    Laser cutting would be one of the few feasible ways to produce these joints in a mass-distributed kit, otherwise it would be a "knife madness". :twisted: Multiple testbuilds become quite tedious.
  3. ButchPrice

    ButchPrice Member

    Just for the record

    Just for the record, I fall into my "purist"
    catagory. No special reason except I love
    to brag "It's only paper!" :D

    I do consider glue as an essential component of
    a paper model. Without adhesive, it is
    actually more like oragami. :?:

    And yes, I color edges typically.
    But I don't consider the application of
    color to be outside the "purist" classification.
    (Unless one is literally painting the model
    over more surfaces than edges.)

    This is only my opinion, and I am by no means an
    I have great respect for the engineered joint with no adhesive.
    Fantastic enginuity. :idea:
  4. ShaunGamer

    ShaunGamer Member

    I think it all depends on what sort of modeller you characterise yourself as. I tend to think of myself as a paper modeller - I transfer 2 dimensional shapes into 3 dimensional models. I do it using printed paper and not much else (glue is a given :D ). I try to choose models that allow me to keep this standard, but not always.

    I will conceed some models require a few bits that are not paper. The P51 is a fine example where a preformed canopy makes all the difference. Most WWI aircraft require rigging made of thread or wire.

    I agree with ButchPrice, color edging is the only "painting" that should be done to a paper model. I try to use pearl card if I need a metallic finish and some friends think that is cheating. I suppose I think of myself as a purist, however I have purchased some models recently which will require mixed media. I will let you know how I go! :wink:
  5. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    I tend to draw the line where a paper rendition actually detracts from the model. Blown canopies are an excellent example, those slit 'n glued clear foil monstrosities look absolutely awful no matter how charitable you are, and will make an otherwise beautifully built model look complete rubbish.

    I never saw the point of limiting yourself to one medium, if several would do a better job. Why sell yourself short?

    Tim P
  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    How to paper the "it's made of paper issue"....,

    When asked what it's made of reply, "paper".
    When the enquirer persists reply, "yes, you are very observant, it's made of paper".
    When the enquirer somewhat testily persists about the blown canopy reply, "yes I tried that and it turned out to be very difficult indeed so I made it out of paper".
    Now the persistent observer is accusing you of being one step down from the level of the village idiot you blandly reply, "yes, he's a good friend of mine and we both enjoy the hobby. Did I tell you it's made of paper?"
    The persistent observer by now can be seen stamping angrily away...., call after him, "It's made of paper you know"....,

    Best, Gil
  7. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Bravo Gil,

    Paper modelling meets Monte Python - I can just visualise the scene.


  8. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Ha Ha! Reminds me of the time when my old business ( PP Models, we manufactured photo etched accessories for 1:72 aircraft models) was just starting and photo etching was very new in the plastic model world. At a show an old gentleman of the 'precision engineer' kind studied our kits for some time, then looked up to my father and said 'Thats a nice bit of stamping'

    'No, no, not stamping, its done by photo etching...' said Dad and he then went on to explain how the artwork was researched, how the artwork was drawn, how the phototools were made, the brass prepared and the etching and cleaning done, ending up with the brass bits he was studying. Through-out this very detailed explanation, the old guy stared intently, apparently enthralled with the lesson he was getting.

    Finally, he looked around to his mate, who had just pitched up alongside, and said, 'Hey Bert, seen these? Nice bit of stamping....'

    Tim P
  9. eric truax

    eric truax New Member

    uh...I'm new to this card moddeling, but have made paper model rockets. If I need something to jam in to get it to fit or perform. IT GOES! :) (especially when i feel like strapping a card model plane to a rocket, and shoving it 600ft.+ in the air!) :D- Now we'll really see if it can glide! :D
  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Any relation to Bob Truax the legendary and original rocketeer?

    And by the way a nice bit of stamping and did I tell you it's made of paper?

    Best regards, Gil
  11. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    I tend to agree with Darwin. Paper models are such a treat, I find, because they go so exquisitly well together with web publication, sharing electronically, and making up your own kit.

    The defining character of what I find myself doing actually would be models that don't need to be purchased as "hardware", i.e. in a printed form. (That said, I find myself purchasing a lot of old and new card models, only to scan them, rescale them, and sometimes repaint them. But that's because generally there is no other way for those particular models, if the farsighted guys who produce electronic kits haven't come to my favourites yet. Three cheers for their efforts, however!)

    That is also why I like models best that don't need the glossy metal print of some recent beautiful commercial models. What I really look forward to is a technique that would enable printing of e.g. the Halinski P38 Lightning or P51 Mustang. I have a hard time enlarging such models while keeping the beautiful shine. (But I do it anyway and accept the loss of quality!)

    Anybody comes up with a good solution to that, a big Hooray from me!

    As for other stuff, I use the ordinary concoction of toothpicks, wires, plastic tubing, etc. for details, and I do not frown on touching up models, preferably with water colour, to hide bad joints, etc. In fact, I think that adds to the pleasure and satisfaction of modeling. After all, I would do exactly that, and more, if I were building a balsa model, wouldn't I?

    What I don't use - and can't, unfortunately, in most cases - is plastic canopies. I would love to, but my habit of enlarging models to a common 1/25 scale prohibits that in every case so far. I would dearly like to learn how to produce such items myself. So far, however, it seems a bit out of my league.

    Another defining character of mine, I find, is no longer to use anything that isn't water soluble. I've used so many exotic paints, solvents and glues over the years in other kinds of model building that it is a real relief to impose this kind of restriction on myself. I was sorely tempted to buy some cyano acrylate glue the other day, but successfully resisted it!

    (Exceptions, come to think of it, are spray glue for laminating whole sheets, and a canister of spray matt acrylic varnish, which I haven't tried yet, but promises not to warp the sheets. I have made one attempt to pre-paint sheets with a brush and water soluble varnish. Although I taped the sheets to a table before varnishing, they warped some. But lo and behold - ironing them under cloth and stocking them under pressure for a while took care of that. So that particular canister might turn out to be superfluous as well.)

    So, the beauty of paper for me is that the medium allows for creating your own "kit", either from a downloaded file (ideally), or a scanned & scaled copy of a purchased kit. It gives me great satisfaction both to scale and rearrange the original scans, and then to get just the right material to build my own kit from widely available local artists' shops, in distinction to exotic materials from specialized hobby shops (where I have spent several fortunes over previous decades, and where I still have to go on rare occassions, to purchase items like thin plastic tubing, piano wire, and some good tools).

    Best, Leif Oh.
  12. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Letraset do an inkjet paper material with exactly that Halinski metal finish on it, have a look at


    I bought a couple of packs but have yet to try it out, and poor Gil has tried to get it in the USA with no luck yet, but I'd be happy to get more packs fir people if they can cover the costs. It is £11.99 a pack of 20 A4 sheets, but I might be able to get a discount if I order a bigger quantity.

    Problem is of course, anything in white needs printing seperately and sticking on, but I think it will be worth the effect. I use a meterial from Eurojet for brighter metal finishes.

    Tim P
  13. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Lovely tip, Tim, thank you!

    (I suspected there was such a material, and have indeed picked up some alufinished paper at the artists' shop, but was a bit suspicious about how coloured print would appear on it. And then, as you rightly point out, there's always the problem of the white - not least the US national emblems.)

  14. ButchPrice

    ButchPrice Member

    Cool paper

    Cool metal finish paper!:!:
    ... and hey, that's some fine stamping... :wink:
  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Back to white water slide decals...,

    Best regards, Gil
  16. silverw

    silverw Member

    Paper springs

    I get a fuzzy feeling if I can construct the whole thing using only paper...however...sometimes it just won't work...

    So I will use other stuff, if I have to use other stuff:D


    But........mostly paper!

  17. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    That's as good a way as any!! Just be careful sealing the model to make it waterproof before you start sloshing decal juice all over it. I thought about using a very thin but bright white paper, and SprayMount-ing them in place.

    Tim P
  18. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    First time on a reply but I had to... until they make clear paper for canopies, and they give you paper patterns for internal struts instead of .2mm etc "druty" wire patterns and as above paper glue, then we're almost "stuck" with multimedia.
  19. Medic

    Medic New Member

    if i could roll a decent 1mm diameter tube out of paper, i would definately do that :D

    guess Ill just stick to toothpicks for now...
  20. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    As someone who models primarily space-related stuff, I can get by with paper on virtually everything except things like smallish trusses and struts and foil insulation blankets. I generally use toothpicks or small dowels for some of the smaller struts. As for the insulation blankets, I break down and use actual foil because nothing in paper comes close, although I have been tempted to experiment with some foil-like wrapping papers I've seen around the holiday season.

    Plus, I think sometimes it's helpful just to head down to the local art supply store and go through their books of different papers. I've done that a couple of times and I've been amazed at what I've seen (and wound up buying) that has come in handy, like colored corrugated paper, "metalized" paper and papers in various thicknesses and colors.

    That said, sometimes my models do have parts that would set off a metal detector. For example, I've done a number of launch vehicles that have external plumbing featuring rounded bends at 90-degree angles. My first attempts to achieve that involved rolling the tubes out of paper and then bending them. As you might imagine, the paper crinkled and scrunched up and the thing looked pretty lousy. Then it hit me that if there was something inside the tube to help it keep its shape during the bend (and if I cut out a little notch on the inside of the bend) then the paper would hold its shape. So I got a pipe cleaner, stuck it in the tube and bent the whole thing. The bend came out ok and the tube held its shape.

    Maybe we should think in terms not just of "card" models but of "organic" models, i.e., we should reasonably strive to make the majority of parts from organic sources. Paper comes from trees, as does wood, so they're ok. I've even given some thought to using spaghetti for small struts (straight and uncooked) or complex plumbing. By cooknig it, you could bend it while it was still wet to whatever shape you needed and let it dry. That way, if you're trying to model some plumbing (say on the outside of a rocket or on the inside of an airplane wheel well) you could get the bends you want. And the model would still be constructed out of organic materials.

    As far as using plastics for canopies, I think that's appropriate. There are some immensely talented modelers here, and some of the card models I've seen posted are just as good as (if not better) than the large percentage of plastic models you see photos of on various plastic modeling websites. If you've done a beautiful job detailing the cockpit of a P-51 (as we've seen here recently) then it'd be a shame to hide that beneath anything but the clearest plastic.

    I've been building plastic models since I was 6. It was 1961 and I still remember my first model -- the old Aurora AT-6 Texan trainer. But of all the models I've built since then, none have required more satisfying work or more constructive and educational problem solving than the card models I've worked on. And that's why I keep doing it. Only wish I'd gotten into it sooner....

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