Strong papercraft

Discussion in 'International Modelers' started by Mottebushi, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Mottebushi

    Mottebushi New Member


    I will try by this weekend a technique to strengthen and raise a papercraft.
    I'll see if the paper support varnish gum (I don't really know the english name but it's solid varnish in spangle form, dilutable in 95° alcohol). If so I'll coat paper with the gum to harden. Once done I'll do a small hole and be fulfilling my papercraft a small amount of resin that I would run down on all inside part and let dry. I think I'll get a robust and less fragile paper sculpture.

    I'll tell if the current Technic is viable.

    For those who are wondering what's the point, I would just say that it may be a method to strengthen a paper sculpture and also because I like strong and heavy structures.

    If some people have tried it or have other more appropriate technics please let me know.

    I'll post here the result on two days ^ ^
  2. Mottebushi

    Mottebushi New Member

    Well Well the experience isn't really conclusive. The varnish don't reinforce the paper as I thought. I always used it on lether and always hardened it, si I thought it would maybe be the same with the paper.

    I don't retire and I'll test other products on paper to harden it. Maybe starch, glue or other varnishs.

    As I asked, if someone has other solutions to do it, don't be shy and share ideas. ^^
  3. peter taft

    peter taft Senior Member

    i experimented with SUPER GLUE {liquid - not gel} on small items such as struts for undercarriages on aircraft, and found that it does have a strengthening affect on the paper {cards stock} and makes it more of a rigid structure - only trouble is with this glue are the fumes which irritate eyes and breathing it is really an NO GO :cry:. Also in the end, the paper or card stock is more like plastic doing it this way, so i avoid using it unless absolutely needed. :wave:
  4. Mottebushi

    Mottebushi New Member

    It depends on the effect but it's sure puting some product on paper will alterate it for sure. If you have a printed paper, puting some product won't be good and dirt the print. The technic I expect to test is for basic paper, to strenghten the paper for painting it after.

    You glue solution seems good for paper but effectively it can irritate eyes so we must be carreful with it or any other products. The other problem with glue is that it can make some weird spots like snow; glue makes white spots growing and it could be dirty (but for my technic it's not a problem cause I paint after assembling papercraft).

    Thanks for your answear, I'll sure try other technics and put some if they are conclusive ^____^
  5. peter taft

    peter taft Senior Member

    Yes you are right.. the Super Glue gives a white haze {vent off} when it dries, this can be removed, but awkward...especially on clear parts - so that's a NO NO. The Gel variety however doesn't have this problem, but if larger areas needed to be covered then it would be a none starter.. FUMES... YUK. I hope all your tests go well, and please let us know your findings. Regards to you. Pete. :wave:
  6. pepelu

    pepelu New Member

    Some people says:
    The model is made of papel....mmmmm, bad thing.
    The paper models are not stronger than plastic, yes, but
    they are less expensive.
  7. Mottebushi

    Mottebushi New Member

    For sure I'll give you my results for future tests on paper ^^

    And other People would say: "Don't sit on your papercraft" :-D
  8. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    There are LOTS of ways to reinforce paper one that comes to mind is resin. The resin soaks the paper and cures to a hard shell... one could argue that this is no longer a "paper model" but a true model. The resin uses the paper as a shape guide.

    Another way to "impregnate" paper is to coat it with wood glue or elmer's glue. if you wish to get a plastiky effect try Krylon's Crystal Clear. A generous coating on both sides will make the paper take on a plastic feeling, and will remain flexible.
  9. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    After thinking about the idea of "stronger paper" I realized that there are so many different types of papers, and paper products to choose from. I used to use illustration boards, card stocks, cardboard, chip boards, Strathmore Bristol boards; the list goes on... all held by Elmer's. finding out what paper is right for the job is the biggest part, and how to apply the paper... you would not want to use an illustration board to make a curved part, but you might use a Bristol. Hot pressed water color paper is another good heavy paper that holds its shape well.

    If you want to hold a curve in a more rigid position, make a form, (a master of the shape for the curve) mount it to plywood, then wet the paper, stretch it over the master, then staple it tightly to the plywood. While still wet, brush in Elmer's glue and then blow dry. The paper will shrink and harden to place and keep the new curve, after you remove it. Cut away the excess, and you have the curve you need. This does not work well with cheaper papers, or lightweight papers. Copier paper is a bad candidate.
  10. Lord Manimal

    Lord Manimal Member

    I've been looking for a way to do this for ages. The first thing I can say is that if you're not modeling on Cougar Opaque, 80lb Coverstock; do it now. It's somewhat pricey, but it's far stronger than any 110lb cardstock I've found and the printable finish is immaculate.

    The other idea that I haven't tried yet is using Great Stuff expandable insulation foam to fill the inside of a paper model. You'll obviously need to leave a vent somewhere that it's not totally obvious (like the underside of a tank body for example) so the foam can expand out through that vent and not just explode the model.

    The third technique that I do on all my larger builds, such as these:


    I build a superstructure inside the model of wooden "Skinny Stix" that you can buy from Walmart for about 2.75 USD for 75 sticks. Each Warlord takes about a pack and a half of them, for the record.
  11. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    And the ultimate solution is to make a finished [natural] "carbon fiber" model.
    Just mix a small amount of laminating epoxy (the thin stuff used to saturate fiberglass/carbon fiber sheets-check a boating supply store) and cover the model. It's thin enough to apply in many ways, but I'd recommend brushing it on (with a cheap, disposable brush). It is thin enough to not leave brush strokes, a thin coat will be absorbed by the paper and not run, and it shouldn't dissolve anything. Of course, disassemble any moveable parts first as it WILL stick everything together forever.
  12. Lord Manimal

    Lord Manimal Member

    I'm going to have to give that stuff a shot! I've done glassing work in the past for car door panels etc. Didn't realize it would saturate paper like that!
  13. Joepet4

    Joepet4 New Member

    That is interesting, will have to give that a shot myself, thanks for the tip! :D

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