Tutorial: scratchbuild ship railings with paper

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Lex, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    The railings on ships had always been a real hassle to deal with on cardmodels. Many go about with using metal wires with superglue, and paper purists would have to go for expensive laser cut parts. But there is a simpler method devised by the Chinese modeler "Vicar" (username "king" on Zealot). that uses thin paper stripes to simulate the effect of railings.

    Original thread here:
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    Credits must be paid to George, who used a similar method in his construction of the Saturn V external stringers, as documented here:

    Take two identical 30 degree knife blades, make sure they are held firmly against each other and insert them into a plastic handle.

    Then, use this custom-made knife to cut along a ruler, thin laserprint paper is recommended as inkjet paper delaminates easily. Make sure the ends are not detached from the bulk of the paper.

    Then comes the clever part, insert a wooden plank to pull the stripes tight, in order to attach the vertical columns

    Attaching the vertical columns are best aided with a ruler to help making the intervals constant, the protruding parts can be trimmed later.

    End result:

    Comparison with Lasercut rails:
    As seen here, the scratchbuilt rails gives a more 3d look, and does not have dark edges like the lasercut ones. --But still, colouring is always an option ^^

    Handrails for ladders can be made with the same method, only now cutting curves:

    The thickness of the railing can be easily controlled by inserting a thin piece of metal between the blades.

  2. David H

    David H Member

    Woooo! Excellent and creative solution. Nice one Lex, I think I will give it a try.

  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    WOW! very great info there :) thanks!
  4. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Well now, that is right clever. Thanks. :)
  5. the4ce

    the4ce Member

    Great tutorial! Thanks! :)
  6. bclemens

    bclemens Member

    Brilliant! Thanks, Lex!
  7. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Very clever!!!

    Using a pair of blades - what a great idea! Thank you (and "Vicar") for sharing it!

    Afterthought - you could make this even easier if you printed a *template* for the vertical columns and placed it on top of the wood strip, under the railings. Then you wouldn't have to mess with a ruler, the plan would be right there, under the railings.
  8. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Nice thoughts there!!
  9. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Definitely an Institute for Higher Learning!

    Thanks for sharing, Lex! :thumb::thumb::thumb:
  10. Dell_Zantoz

    Dell_Zantoz New Member

    Thank you very much, guys. Now I can tackle my IJN Yamato with this technique. You're a life saver.
  11. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Excellent tutorial Lex.

    This should work very well for "plumbing" and other applications, say for model spacecraft and such, not just railings.


    I'll use it. Thank you.
  13. racc00n

    racc00n Member

    This will be a great help when I build my Edmund Fitzgerald. Super idea. Lots of potential applications in other areas as well - I'm thinking ribs and stringers inside visible areas of an airplane model, etc...
  14. Bencool141

    Bencool141 New Member

    Neat. I'll have to try this...
  15. paperwarrior

    paperwarrior New Member

    Thanks for the tutorial!
    I must admit I have a couple of small ship models I've been holding off on building because I couldn't figure how to make decent looking railing.
    Two blades! Who knew?
  16. adyputra

    adyputra New Member

    wow, i like this tutorial very much.. very helpful. thanks for the sharing.

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