Report: Vintage Cardmodeling Design Book

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by bclemens, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Greetings, all,

    Sometimes my father really surprises me...He's 80 years old and just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his second wife. His first wife, my mother, died three years ago in May, so he's a fast worker ;)

    Anyway, I went to visit him today and to take him to lunch. Before we left I showed him some of the card model projects I've been working on. He said, "Wait a minute- I found something for you..." and disappeared into his bedroom.

    Soon he emerged and put this book into my hands.


    "I've been holding on to this for years. I don't remember when I got it or where I found it. You can have it."

    I opened it and gasped.

    Maybe folks on this forum are already familiar with Simple Cardboard Models by G. H. Deason, but I wasn't. This is a gem!

    Originally published in the UK by Model and Allied Publications Ltd. it first had the title Cardboard Engineering with Scissors and Paste. The one my dad handed me is the second edition from 1969, so it's only 38 years old.

    Does anyone know if it's in print and available today? I haven't read it yet, but upon leafing through it, I see it has LOTS to talk about regarding designing card models the "old fashioned" way before computers, when a modeler had only rulers, protractors, dividers, and Euclid and Pythagoras. This is a real blast from the past!

    The book has lots of suggestions for modeling jigs, tools and fixtures for marking, measuring, and projecting. Here's a design for making rubber coving such as goes around an open cockpit of an airplane model:


    Want to shape compound curves from wet card stock? Yeah, we got that!


    Forming the shell of a boat's hull from gummed paper tape:


    Spoked wheels for race car models...


    Forming complex shapes from a cardboard skeleton...


    Here's a paper steam shovel that's motorized!


    A car with working transmission?!


    A vintage European locomotive:


    Everything is written in that wonderful British English that is almost incomprehensible to us Yanks. It'll be a treasure trove of night-time reading for weeks to come. :)

    The moral to the story is don't think taking the old man out to lunch on a Saturday isn't worth the trouble!

  2. gippolot

    gippolot Member

    Fantastic book.

    I remember a few of my father having a few of those 'boys' own' type modeling books when I was a child, but never saw one associated just with card modeling.

    Thanks to your father for saving it. Many of us never really appreciate something until we no longer have it.
  3. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    Wow, what a wonderful gift. It is a treasure trove of information. You are fortunate to have such thoughtful father.
  4. smyfe

    smyfe Member

    Bruce being British, I would gladly translate for you, but with my black country accent anyone from more than 10 miles away, can't understand a word we saysign1. Been looking on e-bay for just such a book, you have got a great treasure to keep there. How long before the designs start rolling out?:mrgreen:
  5. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    It's still around

    I just Google'd it and got several hits. Apparently it was reprinted in 1970. I'd love to get my hands on a copy, but the prices I saw were too steep for me ($26 pounds on one, $150 US for an original edition from a rare book store.)

  6. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member


    Try the library. A few years ago I was able to obtain a copy via the ILL (Inter Library Loan) system in the US. I then photocopied it before I returned it.
  7. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Wish I could buy the copyright. I'd be glad to scan the book and make it available to the world. But alas...
    What about reading it? Can I make audio files of it and be within copyright law?
    You know, I totally agree with "intellectual Property" law, as long as it protects the intellectual who originally came up with the property. But in this case, copyright law protects only those secondary market book sellers who are lucky enough to have the book. If I sold it to one of you for $150, poor old G. H. Deason, the author, or his estate, wouldn't get a plug nickel from the transaction. But if I scan it and post the pages, the publisher will scream 'Bloody murder" and slap me with a "cease and desist" order.
  8. Mark Crowel

    Mark Crowel Member


    This reminds me of one of my own treasures, Model Making, by Herbert Lozier, an American, copyright 1967. Many of the projects in the book are for cardboard models. This is the book that inspired me to seriously pursue cardmodeling.

    To get around the copyright dilemma, study the construction methods in
    the book, then, in your own words and with your own illustrations, post tutorials relaying what you learned. Do it in a way that would not be plagarism, but simply re-teaching.

    I have no CAD; I use the traditional hand-held drafting tools.

    Congratulations to your Dad. Best wishes to him.
  9. 57townsman

    57townsman Member


    You've got a real gem there :thumb:. Of the dozen or so design books I own, that one and my 1940 tome on sheet metal fabrication are the best! Congrats on getting a copy for such a reasonable price, lunch was surely cheaper than eBay! :mrgreen:

  10. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Oi! Just watch it, mate! I just might have to send the boys round to sort you out!

    That book is a treasure. Your dad must be one, too. :thumb:

    I have, written in that same style:
    "A Book of Model Railways" by P.R. Wickham.

    Covered by the 'fair use' clause, here's just one of many excellent

    Attached Files:


    ARMORMAN Guest

    I picked up a copy of Deason's book for $12 U.S. off of Ebay....:D
  12. Mace

    Mace Member

    That's one nice treasure you got there!!! I would be very carefull when handling it :)
    I really like the wheel solution that's presented in the book.
  13. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    I have an idea. I am acquiring another copy, hopefully two. I will "rent" one copy and mail it to you. You "read" it and return it. The rental cost will encourage its return, whereupon I will refund the rental cost since we are all such good friends. In fact, we could just send the book from one modeler to another, each "renting" from the sender.

    When the book finally returns to me, I will refund the "rental" money to the person who returned the book to me.

    It's a trust issue founded on NOT spending the rental money on anything, leaving it in escrow so to speak.

    That way, no copyright laws are broken and everyone gets a chance to "read" the book.
  14. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Inspired! :thumb:
  15. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    This truly will be an interesting experiment! Best wishes!
  16. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    All I can say is... Bruce, your dad rocks! :D

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