spit wad figures

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by lizzienewell, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    In the discussion of why people make cardmodels. A comparison came up between paper and plastic and then the suggestion that papermache and castpaper somehow were excluded as a legitimate way of building out of paper.

    So here it is. Figures made of paper mache. The nice thing about working this way is that I can get curved organic shapes that suggest clothing and skin.

    I used cornstarch as paste. This comes out less sticky than white glue and since paper is basically starch(cellulose) cornstarch is highly compatable. I understand that the original papermache along with the ever popular spit-wad is chewed. The enzimes in saliva break down the starch of the paper to act as a kind of glue. Not wanting to chew paper, cornstarch is fine.

    I put 2 teaspoons of starch in a quarter cup of water and cooked it until the starch was translusent and the consistency of mayonnase. I put it in a metal measuring cup in a small skillet becauseheating ring on my stove is bigger than the measuring cup. I put some water in the skillet so that it acts like a double boiler. --If you want to make lemon pie the process is similar.

    I printed out the basic shapes from the computer so that I can keep track of the sizes of paper pieces and repeat the process. Thn I dunked the paper in the paste and went to work.

    I used a pin for the neck so that the head turns. After it dried a bit I added details, like the printed face, clothing, and braided hair with superglue. I also colored parts with a Sharpie.

    I'm going to do this again and see if I can make her better. The character is Peggy, the protagonist of my novel.

    I needed some heads to show up under the canopy when I photograph my models. The face in the model is from an earlier attempt at making figures out of flat paper. The flat head doesn't look very believable.

    Attached Files:

  2. hpept

    hpept Member

    interesting work lizzie. Are the paper figures printed with ink-jet or laser printer? I'm curious to know if dipping the printed paper in the liquid paste doesn't make the colour bleed.
  3. mininote

    mininote Member

    papier mache

    dipping paper into water will CERTAINLY ruin most prints, with - may be - exception about outdoor ink used on some big format poster printers for ads and signs. Some inks are also UV resistant, interesting if you're displaying models exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, or feel concerned about the distant future of your models. Regular modeler don't mind it, but what about museum objects or so...

    So, this thread will soon or later approach an other "forbidden" subject: painting or airbrushing a blank model.

    Papier mache or paste made of melted paper and glue could be interesting to make tyres in a mould and painting it in black when it is dry. I've always been thinking that wheels are a weak area on many paper models.


    I've used toilet paper and white glue spitballs to make joints where I can't get a strip to conform or i don't want to pinch something flat.
    I'm going to try HO style painted paper over florest wire armature figures for my model carnival. Now I am modeling in 1:87 becouse of th availabity of figures (carnivals need a lot, hunderds, of figures) but it is much easier and faster to scratch build in 1:48 and you get a more 'in-scale' look.
  5. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    These are with laserjet but I'm going to try inkjet next. I've been retouching with Sharpie but think I will change to watercolor or acrylic for archivability. Ink isn't colorfast. Pigment is better. Cornstarch should be good on archivability: I learned about it from someone showing how to mount watercolor paintings.

    I've been keeping the parts with sharp lines dry. For the rest I don't mind if the color migrates. It all depends on what you think of as ruined. Water ruins the effect of rigidity which is what we usual strive for with models of machinery. But it gives the effect of softness which is right for figures.

    Ringmaster has a good tip. I've also used tracing paper and cornstarch to reinforce joints. The thin wet paper conforms to the shape and pretty much disappears. If you are concerned about archivability go with acid free paper instead of toilet tissue.

    Painting a model is a great way to go. It's nice to have a printer repeat your work but most printers use non-archivale ink. Most of us are varnishing and retouching the printouts anyway.
  6. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Very interesting thread. Where does craft end and art begin? I personally don't think there are any "forbidden" subjects....simply inadequately explorered ones.

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