What about seams?

Discussion in 'How Do I...' started by Szdfan, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Szdfan

    Szdfan Member

    One thing I've noticed in pictures of completed card models are the seams where the paper has been glued together -- such as aircraft noses or the sides of ship models. Are there any techniques for minimizing or disappering those seams? One of the advantages of plastic models, is that it's possible with paint and filler to hide them -- what about paper?
  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I recommend cutting on the exact inside of the lines to prevent this. This is in art the fault of many designers who feel they need to use a crayola crayon to show the edge. If the color is other than white, no line is necessary. If you consistently cut on the exact inside of the line, you should have the model go together fine. If you cut the formers on the outside of the lines, then you will run into problems. Always dry fit pieces first too. :)
  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Active Member

    excellent suggestion!

    In addition you can use several different techniques to color the edge of the paper to make it match exactly the color of the ink at the join. If you get really lucky and the designer paid close attention to where they put the seams it COULD fall at a natural panel line making it really hard to spot.

    Dry fitting it paramount to hiding seems as if they fit isnt exact then no matter what technique you use to hide the seam it will fail.
  4. daishi

    daishi Member

    There's 2 other techniques i can recommend that generally help hide the cut edge. If you are working with thicker papers, no matter how well you have fitted the parts together, the side of the flap-less side usually shows bright white, since u can't print on it. This shows show more pronounced on pictures that are taken with the camera's flash function. (hope is clear what i mean :p)

    I'd read somewhere that using an empty ballpoint pen (or the back of the scalpel) and pre-draw the cutting edges (not the folding edges that's another technique), then cutting them out. This should compress the paper where you cut it, making the cut edge thinner, and thus less visible. Personally I think this one is for those who use scalpels to cut out their paper parts, I'm more comfortable using scissors, and don't really use this. (I have a hard time following the lines exactly with the pen :p)

    The other technique I personally use is this: I have a nice big set of felt markers and colour pencils. After cutting out the part I find the colour closest to the flap-less sides and basically pull the edges over the side of the pen/pencil tips. this usually hides the edges really well.
    I use this on almost all my models since Grunt, and in conjunction with my "close fitting skillz" :p it really shows. Here are some pointers i got from experience:
    -Careful with the felt markers, if u pull them too slow the paper will draw up too much ink, and the edge will get more pronounced
    -using color pencils are easier if u sharpen them to a point and use a knife or scissor edge to make a little groove on the side of the tip, after u can pull the edges in this groove and will generally get a better result.
    -After using felt markers be sure u don't use too much glue, since its more easily dissolved by the glue than the printer ink (if you're using inkjet ofc.)
    -pencils don't leave as pronounced colour as a felt marker, so use them to the more pale colours, and markers for the more saturated ones
    -felt markers (at least the ones i use) generally look more dark before drying completely, so I'd advice making a test paper with a dried stroke from all your markers, it's also a big help to match colours, since u can put it next to the piece you want to use the markers on
    -I found that if i cant find any decent colors that match, a light grey marker will do wonders. Its not as good as a matching colour, but lightyears better than the bright white of the paper (if the edge is on a really pale coloured part, use a pencil instead)

    Hope this helps :)
    lyter1958 likes this.
  5. terrinecold

    terrinecold Member

    Also it is sometimes possible to cut off the flaps and replace them with a strip of paper on the inside (Zathros gave me this advice + a nice drawing of what he means here http://www.zealot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=171987) It cannot always apply but when it does you don't have the problem describe by daishi as both sides are flap less and can meet nicely.
  6. daishi

    daishi Member

    Yes that works great too, ofc it takes more time, so it depends on your own patience. Also since there's no limit on the thickness of the paper you use as flap surrogate, you can make excellent reinforcements with it.
  7. terrinecold

    terrinecold Member

    This being said even when I use this technic I much prefer when the original model has flaps since I can decide to remove them and I also better understand the way the model is supposed to be put together.
  8. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I don't design models with flaps. I find them troublesome to work with, remove, and design in. Geometrically, they rarely make sense, unless it is for an internal support structure. Making strips to fit work far better. IMHO. Even for petal shapes, you can also just glue as you go, and they are more forgiving to work with.
  9. Wojtee

    Wojtee Member

    I fought this problem just recently. From here:

    ... to here:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You need to:
    - Cut the edges very precisely, so that they fit as they should.
    - Paint the edges with the right color, so that they don´t show so much.
    - Form the "petals" slowly and patiently. You can bend the edges by rolling along a round thing (brush handle, round skewer).
    - Think that there should be a tangent at the conection. The edges should join in a line, not at an angle (the result is always a compromise)
    There is also a little sanding and filling here. Sanding with a very fine grit if a part of the edge comes out, filling with glue and thick paint where there was a little bit missing. Repainting the sanded part afterwards.
    Here the paper still shows up :)

    Then another level up - if you repaint the whole thing, then you can sand, fill, sand and fill as long as you want (and the paper lets you).

    I found only this picture - the cars there are done this way - printed at 90-95% scale black and white, then sanded, repainted in high lacquer, the numbers and stuff are decals, i think... These don´t look like papermodels even from a close-up :)
  10. Concerning edge painting, I tried using colored markers and found they too easily bled color from the edge to the precolored surface. I picked up a little set of opaque watercolors- the kind in the the flat metal box with little pans. I mix the watercolors to a shade very close to what I need, get a small amount on a very little brush, then paint the paper edge using the side of the brush. This gives me more control than with pens and works well for me.
  11. The_Hawk

    The_Hawk New Member

    For my 2 cents I have used chalk pastels to color in the open seams.
    If your good you can even mix them to the right color to match then rub them in with you finger, pant brush etc.
  12. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    If you are working with thick stock, then use very fine sand paper and sand till the edges fit appropriately. File to fit is what many master modelers do. You would be sanding from the backside to the outside edge till the parts fit appropriately. You may have to do one side or both, whatever is necessary to make the transition and lesson the impact of the formers. This also means taking the edges of the formers so that they are not two parallel edges moving the seams apart. Dry fitting will tell you when you have it.

    If you are building a model that is going to be painted, then you can use filler and the like. There are disadvantages to preprinted models sometimes that do not hamper painted models. Of course, they are many advantages too. :)
  13. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Member

    I can only agree with all of the techniques discussed above.

    Speaking as a designer, I try to "hide" seams as much as I can, but placing them where other parts will be glued over them. On my "Cryptosian Ship", for example, I rotated the aft body parts 180 degrees relative to the forward body parts. This places the seam for that end directly under one of the fins, hiding it. the rest of the body has a thin color edge on the joiner, helping to minimize any white showing there. Edge coloring is still needed there as well.

    Scott K.
  14. daishi

    daishi Member

    I just want to note that I primarily use color markers and found that when I cut the edge with a blade the colors indeed bleed in. But when I use scissors they work fine.
    My hypothesis is that since my scissors are not razor sharp they tend to compact the paper on the cut edge enough that either the contact surface with the marker is different, or that the paper doesnt dring up the ink that good.
  15. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I think the edges have to be colored very lightly in stages, and slightly drier pens work better. :)

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