Paper models, how long do they last ?

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by blaar, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. blaar

    blaar Member

    I am curious, what is your oldest paper model you have built ?
    How long does it take before a paper model will start to fall apart ?
    What do you do to protect your model ?
    If your model fall apart to you just glue the parts back on or is there any special preparation that needs to be done before hand ?

    I am sure some one have asked similiar questions if they did my apolagies for asking it again. Just wanted all my questions answered in on topic.

  2. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    I have a model of Cassini-Huygens (the Saturn orbiter/lander) that was built in late 1998. It's a little dusty, but so far, I am not seeing any degradation in 11 years. All I did to protect it was hanging it from the ceiling in a dry place -- this was before I began using clear acrylic to seal models after building.
    I have various models between then and now that have been fine so far. Humidity can warp fragile parts, and the sun can fade and yellow paper parts, both of which I have seen on some models. Generally though, a coat of spray acrylic and keeping the items in dry areas that aren't exposed to direct sunlight seems to keep them fresh for at least a decade.
    I have heard of people using Future floor polish (?) to coat models, although I have never done this and am not sure what kind of efficacy it has.
  3. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    Until the cat gets them. :mrgreen:

    I have several that are pushing 5 years, and other than dust, I have had no troubles with them at all. Mine are not coated, although I'm seriously considering it once I'm done with my build of the Big Galactica.
  4. Thomas Meek

    Thomas Meek New Member

    If you use acid free paper, which is very easy to get, you shouldn't have trouble with yellowing (unless you smoke a lot.) As for the colors fading, there are some sellers who claim their inks are more fade resistant but the truth is that they will all fade eventually.
    Keep them out of the sun and they should be okay for many years.
    The problem with dust is that it is difficult to clean a paper model without damaging it. And if something falls off, just stick it back on.

    I have a little English canal narrowboat that I built in 1986. A commercial model (I have no idea what it's made of) and it still looks fine. It has been sealed in a clear plexiglass tube all this time.

    Oh, and keep them away from cats.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have a Superquick enginehouse that I built in high school that is showing no problems other than a bit of wear. (and I'm now retired). OK, so that's cardboard rather than paper. As Thomas noted, most of my damage is from a cat.
    (I'll be frank: the enginehouse is less than 50 years old, but more than 40. And I have a lot more that are up to 30 years old.)
  6. bluehmstr

    bluehmstr Lurking Newbie

    This is good to hear. So far I have only built the free "urban art" paper models to get a feel for the process, so I'm not too worried about preservation. Once I feel confident enough to tackle something really nice and detailed, it's good to know it will last if I take care of it.
  7. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    I have a few paper models that I built almost 20 years ago that, aside from being dusty, have survived intact. In fact, I've never had a paper model fall apart or whatever just from age--getting hauled around to shows and IPMS meetings has claimed a few victims, but the models that stayed on the shelf have done as well as my 20-year-old plastic models. And the paper models stand up to dusting a lot better.
  8. Blackronin

    Blackronin New Member

    I have a paper model with 20 years that I've done when I was 18. A flying paper model still hanging on my parents ceiling. My nephews are aching to degrade it :) but I'm resisting giving it to them.

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