We need more in depth tutorial

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by davis4559, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

    Hello All,

    I am a new card model builder / designer and I have learned alot of building / designing on my own. Granted there are bits and pieces on this site as to accomplish certain things. But there is a total lack of in depth tutorials as to how to design / build / paint models. There are plenty of posts decribing how things should be done but they are discussed in a casual manner without describing the subject in steps with associated photos. I really feel like there are alot of potential new desingers out there that have a passion for models that step into this medium. They take a shot at deisgning with card and are get frustrator and quit. Of all of the forums here this Tutorials forum has a total of 15 threads. I would say that is pathetically low for a site that is all about the furthurment of card modeling. I see from other forums on this site that there are many talented builders / designers that are part of the community. Wouldt it make sense to share that knowledge in easy to understand tutorials? Honestly I think well written / explained tutorials would push the hobby forward.

    Anyhow just my thoughts
  2. Nothing

    Nothing Longtime Member

    I would agree whole heartrdly. I have been in the realm of plastic for the past decade and just recently got turned onto card models. I would like to design my own but have no clue where even to star.
  3. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member

    Well that is all up to the designers! Most of those designing have regular jobs, and are spending most of their time designing... I'm grateful that we have as many tutorials as we do.

  4. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

    in no way am i trying to take away from what the designers here have contributed. i am very grateful and thank them. i just feel that the site should be about more than just showing pretty pictures of latest finished builds. part of the passion should be about teaching others. i understand everyone here has lives and part of their lives is doing this. i just cant agree with your last comment. it is not only about designers and designing. we all build models here as well. why not in the process of bulding a model snap some photos and describe exactly what was done. that in itself may help someone that is trying to tackle a desin project out if he sees how something else was put together. i really dont think complacency is going to help newcomers to this hobby
  5. Sumato

    Sumato Member

    I think there are a couple of primary reasons not too many tutorials exist. First, like Ryan said, most have regular jobs. I happen to be a DC9 captain, and I work 60-90 hrs a week, and do my designing during my 'down' time between legs and on my days off (which aren't that many). Another reason is that the design process itself varies GREATLY from one designer to another. I personally use about 7 or so different programs to do my own designs, and how I use those programs to tackle a design problem varies enormously between projects.

    Having said that, though, I feel you can actually piece together your own tutorials from various sources. You do need to be intimately familiar with the software you are using, or at least that software's functions that will benifit your design process. Try searching for relevant tutorials on 3d modeling to start. Then look for tutorials on unfolding, and then maybe on paint programs. You have to understand that almost all of the tools we use in designing paper models were not designed for that purpose, but we have simply found ways to adapt them for it.

    I think my best personal advice is to pick a starter project you want to do, then actually do it. Wade your way through the project, if nessesary, make notes, and learn all you can while designing this first project. Another thing you MUST be ready for is to make clear instructions and construction diagrams. Your work is not done just with the model itself. When you are done with the model, don't skimp out your time and effort on weak instructions. This may make or break a project.

    Good luck!
  6. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Member


    I hope I wasn't taken wrong. I love a good design tutorial as much as anybody, but having been a regular member about as long as the forum has been here, I believe that the amount of "tutorials" and the amount of tutorial type data available in various threads is pretty decent. And I'm experimenting with a few designs of my own at the moment, but nowhere near the point of doing a tutorial, (except maybe on using GIMP). A few threads have disappeared due to some hackers and software issues as well.
    Some of the members such as NOBI, Wilja67, Ashrunner, and 46rob have put up some good stuff on Rhino, Metaseq, and Pepakura and other programs in various threads (most of them not specifically in the tutorials sections). Some of the better programs are fairly expensive as well and the amount of users doesn't seem that high. Somewhere here there is also a thread that had an article on designing fuselages with just drawings and paper - like the old stick built balsa aircraft. I wish I had $800 to drop on Rhino3d!
    Essentially, what I was trying to get at is that some designers are more into communications than others, as we all are.

  7. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

    RyanShort1 I totally understand where you are coming from and I apologize if I came across a bit brash. It is just frustrating for me because I come to this site multiple times a day and sometimes leave frustrated. I come in the hopes of walking away with a new piece of knowledge and most of the time I dont. I guess I was just venting. Anyhow maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and start some tutorials. I have recently finished an X-34 model that I designed so too late for that one. Maybe when I start the next. Anyhow you all have a great night

  8. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Even though we dont really have any super indepth tutorials start to finish I have found lots of great info here. It is pretty rare that I leave this site without learning something new. Usually from looking at those pretty pictures in the threads as wellas from looking at the desk clutter around the builds. Cant speak for anyone else but my favorite parts of some of the build threads is seeing what other people have out on their work space - it shows me what tools they favor and has prompted me to try new things.

    Golden Bear has put together some GREAT tutorials on specific parts of card modeling - cutting folding etc etc. Thanks Carl :D

    Flu, Carl, and Erik (among many others) have given great pointers buried in their many build threads and for that I am appreciative too.

    Now on to your real point I think..... heh heh

    Designing - there really isnt squat for designing - on that I whole heartedly concur. Tutorials for designing must be near on impossible without writing a book - and a long one at that. It would HAVE to be focused on very specific software or techniques (for those that do it by hand I salute you!) - thats not fair - I salute all designers cause I couldnt design a cube and make it turn out square.... Anyhow I digress again. If someone could write a tutorial on how to design that would be awesome but I cant even begin to imagine the time involved. Using the tutorials that come with the software and muddling your way though is the best viable alternative that I can think of off the top of my head.

    My next topic - venting - thats cool, I wouldnt hold it against ya - its hard when you dont find what you are looking for ;)

    Now my request to you: Have you designed anything yourself that is super simple? I hope so :) Maybe a tutorial on how to make something super easy like a geometric shape but include all the facets - designing it in 3d software, adding texture, unfolding it and anything else there might be. In fact I just exhausted my designing knowledge by pulling those terms out of my behind....

    In any case I think this was an excellent topic to bring up and you have absolutely nothing to apologize for (in my humble opinion) get a good nights rest!
  9. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Well, speaking as a member who's been around for a little while.

    There were some GREAT tutorial, but and I might have this wrong, but two server crashes and a totaly host change they got lost in the never never land of the no longer on the INTERNET.

    After a couple of the guys rebuilt the tutorial only to hev then lost again, it kinda got dis-hearting.

    BUT.......... and this is the good part, between some of the great builders we have Carl, Ted, Barry, and others they have made some really sweet building threads with great tips for all to see.

  10. Sumato

    Sumato Member

    Yeah, maybe we should all agree on some basic software and techniques to at least 'introduce' people to card model design, and then make tutorials based on that.

    The only real problem for designers is that it takes even more time to make a tutorial about designing something than it does to simply design it themselves.

    I think that this lack of useful tutorials is really a symptom of our growing industry and hobby. More people are simply becoming interested in paper modeling, and they are beginning to realise that they themselves can be designers if they wish.

    Just give it some time, and I'm sure some wonderful tutorials that suit many of you will arise. I think this hobby is merely in it's infancy, and it's full potential is far from realised.
  11. Nothing

    Nothing Longtime Member

    while tutorials etc would be great and i would be very interested in,i have learned a lot by just browsing this site. I have been building plastic models, scratchbuilding for years and even produced a kit. but i am amazed at what can be done with paper.i just stumbled onto this site this week and i think its absolutely great!
  12. davis4559

    davis4559 Member

    I am glad to see all of the wonderful responses. As I mentioned in one of my last posts I should put my money where my mouth is and do this myself. Being that I am a beginer designer it probably makes sense to help out others beginers by allowing them to see the baby steps I am taking. I have just about gotten done with my next project (X-34 NASP) and am in the phase of cleaning up the Papekura file. Once that one is done I will start a very simple model and document from begining to end the steps I took to create the design / create the model.

    On a side note, If any of you are interested I have attached screenshots of the X-30


    Attached Files:

  13. 46rob

    46rob Member

    There are as many different ways to design a model, as there are ways to get from New York to Chicago. Everyone has their own preferences and favorite programs or methods that they use to create their product. As Sumato says--most of us are involved in other things, as no one is going to be able to live off the money made from selling models. (unless they're a hamster). Different shapes require diferent techniques. the best thing to do is to try and design a SIMPLE model first. nothing breeds sucess like success. I myself learned most of my design practices through building and critically examining the way other folks solved their problems. Don't be afraid to borrow a technique from another source (just don't borrow their work and label it our own). For example--there are only so many ways to unfold a canopy: After a while--you'll get to where when you see a certain style--you'll already have a good idea of how it should look unfolded. Because of the variations in design practices, it's not really feasible to coompile a comprehensive tutorial that covers all the different methods. Each designer is willing to share some of their secrets--but it's got to be up to you to come up with a technique that works for you.


    This section of the forum has some good intormation on designing using various different approaches. It's a good place to start.
  14. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    What Rob said.

    There are so many equally valid techniques for designing, you can't just say, "follow steps 1-100" and a card model kit pops out. About the best you can hope for is to learn some basic techniques, then try to use them to design something, then do it again, and it will keep getting easier. You can teach someone to stretch a canvas, to mix colors, or to make a brushstroke, but you can't teach how to paint a masterpiece.
    So my advice is to just go for it, and ask for advice if you run into a problem. You'll eventually figure out what methods work best for you.
    Just my 2 cents on a snowed-in morning.
  15. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Sure there are lots of ways to do the same things and no you cant teach someone to paint a masterpiece. But thats not what is being asked for. The request is to show the basics of various software packages and how its used by that individual to try and make the learnign curve a lot less steep. Face it most of these software packages arent easy to dive into and get a decent result.

    I do prefer to muddle about myself on somethings and figure it out and learn my own technique but for some things a tutorial would be greatly appreciated. No harm in mentioning that some of us would like to see some software tutorials....
  16. swiftsword

    swiftsword Member

    IMHO, I think what's looked for here are tutorials on how to tackle certain design tasks, independent of the software used.

    For example, modelling a ship hull - what information do you need, what should you do first etc. There are hundred ways to skin that particular cat, but I personally think there are some best practices that are worth at least looking at before you go and develop your own technique.


  17. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    We interpret two different ways but I think that they are both excellent ideas for tutorials :D
  18. Sumato

    Sumato Member

    I understand what Swiftsword is saying. There IS one practice that is common among most, if not all designers. One thing I would recommend is to gather as much reference material about your topic as humanly possible long before you start. Then gather some more. Get everything you can, books, articles, drawings, photos, color swatches, and anything else. Leave nothing out. Find drawings and study them veeeery closely. Compare them with photos, to ensure their accuracy. I am willing to bet that pretty much all of the designers here keep an extensive reference library and continually add to it. All of you would-be designers should do the same.

    I like to print out a set of drawings as well, so I can draw all over them and plan how I will tackle the design. Get a good plan of attack going to start solving the geometry. Think about bulkhead placement, page size limits, etc... Always start with the simplest solutions first. Just remember that card modeling is actually a form of 'gesture' modeling. Make sure you are capturing the overall gesture of the topic in your design.

    Just like a great painting, a great model design really happens in the planning stage, and you can do all of this without even touching a computer.
  19. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Painting Card Models with Acrylics

    I will be glad to do a tutorial on my method for card model building with the aim being to paint the entire model with acrylics.

    Due to space limitations, I need to keep my armour collection to a constant 1:35 scale. This necessitates resizing, therefore copying and reprinting in B&W. The logical conclusion, of course is to paint the finished model (unless, of course, there is a new form of urban camouflage called "yesterday's news" that they havent seen fit to tell this old ground-pounder about! :)

    In addition, I like to use mixed media: bits of wood, brass and plastic; also filler and putty where necessary to create the necessary levels of detail, strengthen parts, correct errors/misfits, etc. These usually need to be coated with a a common medium (primer) before being finally coloured,highlighted and shaded.

    To head off would-be critics: I am not and never will be slavishly devoted to paper exclusively. I am a modeller first; and a card modeller because I love the freedom that this medium allows me to reproduce subjects that are not reproduced in plastic often, if at all.

    So there!


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