Really big card models....problems?

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by andrew ferguson, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. I've seen some large airplane card models available and i'm tempted to build one but was wondering if there are any problems associated with building a paper model that is that large. Aside from complexity, i'm wondering if over time there will be problems with warping, twisting, wrinkling etc.

    Paper is derived from wood and large pieces of wood can easily bend and warp over time etc. It would be a shame to do all the work of making one only to find a few years down the road it starts to look mangled, due to it's size and the nature of it's construction.

    I'm talking about a paper model plane with a 5 foot plus wingspan.

    Advice or insights?
  2. The Terminator

    The Terminator New Member

    Generally the bigger models have an extensive frame or series of sub-frames, if much care is taken in the assembly of these to keep the model as aligned and balanced as you can it is much less likely to warp. (elastic stress will gradually make the parts warp, if you see what i mean)
    Card does not warp as much as wood does, at least not in the same way as it is made from pulverized wood fibres and has no orientation, it will tend to shrink or expand uniformly apart from where it has had treated (i.e soaked up glue or paint) wood deforms depending upon the grain.

    So, cut accuratley, fold neatly, glue carefully and keep your model away from environmental extremes and it should stay warp free for years.
  3. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    Is this a museum type model?
    If the worst happens, you can always build another one in 10 years...
  4. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Card often does have a pronounced grain - usually the fibres are partially aligned in the direction the card was rolled during manufacture. That's why it's often easy to make long cuts parallel to the long side of a piece of card and harder across the sheet. There was a discussion of this in one of the threads on laminating card. If you want to avoid grain effects then laminating sheets where each successive sheet is rotated 90 degrees will certainly help.


  5. mbauer

    mbauer Cardstock Model designer

    Hi aferguson,

    Depends on what you want to do with it. For flying big models I use a couple of different things:
    -adding an extra set of wing ribs at the midpoint of the wing
    -Fan-fold triple/quadriple spars glued back to back
    -double wall fuselage at major load carrying area (couple inches past the wings [leading/trailing edges] on a 50" F16 model). The double wall has rings spacers to create a very strong yet light fuselage.
    -Wingspars go thru double wall fuselage and wing.
    -Long X-1 wings use 3-different ribs (65" wingspan) each side plus the wingtip rib.

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