Paper Size & Weight Confusion

Discussion in 'Feedback & Support Forum' started by tigerback, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. tigerback

    tigerback tigerback

    Since most card models seem to be in A4 size format, where is the best place to buy A4 paper cardstock, and what is the best weight to use for modeling? I see so many different sizes and weights and I'm lost as to which are the best. Any help?
  2. jendalin

    jendalin New Member

    I also would like to know which kind of paper is best for papercrafts. I am a beginner, but I have downloaded several models and I would like to start, but I dont know nothing about the best choice of paper. Please help.
  3. Rogerio Silva

    Rogerio Silva Active Member

    I don't know what is the system you use to classify paper quality and weight, but here we use the same as Europe: gsm (gramms per square meter). The best place to buy paper would be a stationery store, but sometimes you can get it even on good supermarkets, like Walmart. About quality of paper, please look below.
    The best paper for models? That depends on what you want. For models that have detailed, small pieces, the best for me is 120-140gsm. The "normal" that works for me is 160gsm, but I wouldn't recommend it for a model by our GREAT MASTER UHU02. I'm just building a model by him, and happily using 140gsm.
    If you want to build a costume/armor for you, so that you can resin and fibreglass it, than 180gsm would be the minimum. I've done an Iron Helmet from Skyrim for my kid using that, and it was just fine.
    So, it all comes to what you're doing and the size and level of detail (not printed, but assembled) of the model.
    I hope it helps!
  4. You've touched upon a problem most all card model downloaders face at some point. A4 paper is 210 x 297 mm (8.3 x 11.7 in). While only slightly narrower than the US letter paper standard, the length can be an issue sometimes. Luckily, though, I find many, if not most, A4 models can be printed on letter anyway. The designers often will take letter printing into consideration and leave a bit of space on the ends.

    If the A4 page won't fit on letter as such, you have some options. A4 cardstock is pretty hard to come by in the US. The easiest solution is to simply reduce the printout of the entire model slightly-- the same for every page-- to fit a letter page. Another way is to print each page twice, allowing a different end to be cut off both times. Still another way is to import the pages into a graphic program that will allow you to rearrange the pieces.

    Some modelers make their own A4 cardstock by cutting down either legal size (8 1/2x14) or leger size (11x17). I've never found the need to do this, but many modelers keep leger stock around anyway for printing enlarged models.
  5. chunder

    chunder Member

    luckily A4 availability is not an issue in Australia, but using the right paper is an issue with all of us, over the years I think all of use have use every type of paper known to man. I feel you could ask 100 people, what is the best paper and/or glue to use?, and you would get 100 answers.

    I mainly use;

    premium grade photo gloss 250 g/m2 paper, and a 220g/m2 matte paper,. Different paper for different finishes. eg gloss paper for commercial planes & matte for military, gloss for car bodies & matte for tyres.

    PVA wood glue & Tacky craft glue, the wood glue for general use (clean & fast drying), tacky for instant bond, but can leave messy finger prints.

    Some papers perform better than others, some glues perform better than others.

    You need to purchase small amounts of stock untill you find the goods that work for you. Model building should not be a pain in the rear, if it is frustrating it could be the products you are using, try not to change to many thing at once, work out which product work & which product is a problem.

    Good luck & have fun
  6. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

    I mainly use 160 gsm paper which works fine for me. I had some trouble with glossy paper; the glue wouldn't stick to it and the the coated site broke when I rolled it into a tube. If you are not sure whether the paper you choose can do the job I recommend printing only one page first and check out how it performs (don't print the whole number of parts pages if you are not quite sure).
  7. chunder

    chunder Member

    I also had a big drama with a very expensive Ultra Premium gloss paper that would not bond with any glue unless you primed it first, I have used cheap gloss paper that is very good to work with but availability was inconsistant, I now use a Kodak product that works for me & is a fair price & easy to find.

    Printing one page at a time is great advice,.... anyone want to buy a draw full of pages of models that for one reason or another just did not make it to the finished stage?lol
  8. streethawk

    streethawk Member

    I used paper "Clairefontaine DCP" in 190 grams. And as glue, I use wood glue brand "Pattex".
  9. cmdreamer

    cmdreamer New Member

    Here in México, I use opaline cardboard pure white (can't remember it's weight), and for glueing I use the white glue used for woodworking. One think I do before glueing is scratch a bit (and gently) on the parts to join, so the glue will work best.

    Almost forgot, the papersize I use is Letter. No A4/A3, so most of the models need to be resized properly.
  10. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    White GLue is not really god or modeling. Try using UHU glue and a glue called Zip Dry. These work far better than white type glues and set up quicker. I end to use 110 lb card stock, or 67 lb. card stock. :)
  11. cmdreamer

    cmdreamer New Member

    Thanks for the point out... actually I've noticed white glue cracks sometime after the model has been finished, so your advice is very welcome.

    I have access to UHU, but have never seen "Zip Dry" on stores here in México, so I'll have to use the first one. I need the glue to be flexible many time after the model is finished, and white glue doesn't work like that at all.

    One more thing, do other modelers think is a good idea to coat the whole model with a matte/bright varnish depending on the desired finish of the models? Or leaving the plain paper is better?
  12. After printing a model, I always lay out the pages and spray them with fixative or a clear varnish like Krylon. That helps prevent accidental smudges during assembly.
    cmdreamer likes this.
  13. starbuck

    starbuck Active Member

    I use 250g/m2 paper and find it ok. Maybe it is a little bit too thick for the round parts. They seldem get perfect although I use sticks. Based on this I would recommend a slightly thinner paper.
    For glueing - I will also have to check where to get a Zip Dry. I only saw on e-bay. Never saw in a store, maybe because I do not know the german word for it;-)
    I use a paper glue which is transparent when dry and a toothpic to place it.
    One of the most important things beside above mentioned is a fine tweezer to be able to fold small parts.

    So good luck for your first models, and show them.
  14. GyverX

    GyverX Member

    Since your in the US I thought this might help out. In all honesty though. Dont go by the U.S. pound # gsm is the easiest way to go.

    Attached Files:

    Tonino likes this.
  15. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    Here in the states, for most models, you will only need 67 lb. and 100 lb. cardstock. You can use paper used for frames, Micheal's Craft Stores gives me the stuff for free (go to the back where they do the Custom Framing, tell them what you need it for, offer a couple of bucks, they can't sell it, so they give you what they aren't using). Sometimes, since they can't use it, they throw it away, if that is the case, just ask them to hold it for you. I have around 20 lbs. of 1 mm stock, some of it 2' foot by 3' foot pieces! I use that for ship bulk heads. If I did not have that, I would probably use Balsa wood. No need to get too complicated, and it's always best to try and get the stuff free. :)
  16. Tonino

    Tonino Member

    Thanks GiverX for your chart. I've been searching a lot for a reference guide to convert between g/m2 and thickness of paper. This come in handy, I'll keep it in my "useful things" folder...
  17. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    Just out of curiosity, what would cardstock, 110 lb. Card Stockread in "GSM" on that chart you provided? I have a package of 110 lb. card Stock from Staples, and it reads 199 g/m2
    How does that relate to the chart you posted, as "GSM" appears nowhere on the packaging? I am asking with all sincerity, as you are light years ahead of me on this. It's probably obvious, which irks me the most, as I usually miss the obvious stuff. :)
  18. GyverX

    GyverX Member

    well is could be 1 of 2 possibilities. it really depends if it is text or cover stock.
    110# or pound would be

    Text = 162.8 gsm
    Cover = 297.88 gsm

    1lb. of Text paper = 1.48 gsm. multiply each pound of text by 1.48.

    1 lb. of Cover paper = 2.708 gsm. multiply each pound of cover by 2.708.

    Hope this helps
  19. Shipscape

    Shipscape Member

    I may be wrong, but believe that gms stands for grams per meter squared....same as g/m2. The 110 lb stock must be index not cover which comes to 199 g/m2 or 199 gms.

  20. GyverX

    GyverX Member

    Yes, You are correct that gsm is meter squared. and yes its index. I forgot about that part, Opps. I will have to watch what I post on lunch break ;)

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