Why build cardmodels?

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by andrew ferguson, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. With the large number of high quaility plastic model kits available, in a variety of scales and subject matters, why do people build card models? Not trying to be a wise acre; i'm just curious as to what attracts people to this hobby in particular.

    I've seen some really well built card models but, in my opinion, they can't really hold a candle to a well built plastic model kit for realism and finess of detail.

    I know what has attracted me to this hobby but i would suspect my reasons are not the usual ones.

    So why do you folk like building card models?
  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    variety of subjects

    ease of fixing screwups(reprinting pages)

    little to no storage space needed

    basic tool set, and lack of fumes

    most if not all, are cheaper than plastic or resin.

    that should do it


    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy aferguson,

    Well, as for me, I used to be an avid plastic modelist...modeler.....I built plastic kits. At one time I had 127 tanks, helicopters, planes and rockets all in plastic.
    Now if you figure an average price of a plastic kit is (figuring low here) $15.00, then I had $2,000.00 tied up in the kits alone, not including my airbrushes and very wide assortment of paints.
    I found card models by accident while looking up the stealth bomber on google. There I found Fiddlersgreen J3 PiperCub and printed it and built it in about 2 hrs and was hooked.
    But the problem I had with plastic kits was I had built every kit in everytown within 200 miles of me. Then I started shopping for plastic kits out of state by catelog.....then the cost shot way up for me.
    I have found that there is a card model of most anything you can find a plastic kit of, and......if there isnt, like the Airwolf helicopter, all you have to do is bring it up and someone will generally design one shortly.
    Anyway, I have rambled, there are many reason that ppl like card models over plastic, but I will let the other ppl speak for themselves.

    Have a good evening,

    Greg aka GW
  4. hpept

    hpept Member

    i'm a plastic modeller since i was a child. I passed a long time without building models, and restarted in 1994, after a very popular model magazine was released (Tutto Modellismo, for the italians...). Seeing all those perfect models gave me a new drive and i started to build models improving my techniques. I bought a whole set of tools, a drill, and slowly began to master the aerograph art. With time kits started to build up in my room since the buy-rate was much much higher than my build-rate and ended up with dozens of boxes getting dust. I met paper models casually on the net: i discovered that some mad people were building airplanes with paper... sounded odd, and i wanted to give a try. GOTCHA!!! You all know how it ended... i became one of those people. This hobby is addicting. Personally, what i like most is to see how a flat piece of paper can be cut and assembled in such a complicate way to represent every shape you can think of. whithout forgetting that you can find for free alot of models around the net, and have them built very cheap. More, this kind of construction is much more tolerated by my wife, which cannot argue anymore with bad smell of paint, thinner, glue and resin. And last but not least, i recently moved from Italy to Brasil and had to sell most of my plastic kits because i couldn't afford to bring everything with me: paper modelling is the only kind of modelling i can practice right now, cause it doesn't require much...scissors, glue, a toothpick and lot of patience. Bye!
  5. dwgannon

    dwgannon Member

    Well I have to add my $.02 here. I started looking for a 1/96 scale model of the Saturn V. After seeing that I was going to pay well over a $100.00. I quit looking. Then while on another e-mail group that was for plastic modelers. I had an interesting chat with Jon Leslie and he told me about his paper Saturn V. Well I was a bit skeptical. So I down loaded it and built it over a weekend. I was hooked from that day. Then I found fiddlers green and the B-52. Just got deeper. Now as for not having the detail of a plastic kit. I have to say you had better look around. There are some master modelers here that can make you eat your words. Look at the picture on the main page.

  6. allhallowseve

    allhallowseve Member

    i like paper model because it nice to see the finish work and knowing you made all your self . The cutting and glueing and bend ,forming as Geed stated its much cheap the plastic model who run $15 a wack plus plus paint

    All you do is point and click on what you want to download and there it is ok some files may need other program to use . it all depends on what you like airplane , cars , boats, space craft there something out there for everyone and if you can't fine it some else mite !!! the only thing that you can't get is more time to work on them !!!!
  7. Willja67

    Willja67 Member

    For myself I can say that building has never attracted me as much as designing models. I started out in plastic like a fair number of the guys here but when I was six years old I designed and built my first paper airplane (a couple of triangles glued to a cylinder with a cone on one end) and although I continued in plastic as well as paper I always liked paper better. I had no idea there was a rather large (if not centrally located) group of individuals that enjoyed the same hobby until maybe ten years ago. That was basically when I abandoned plastic. Like I said I like designing and I can design in paper much easier than I can in plastic. The challenge for me is to eventually design models that will rival a plastic kit. As someone said in their post there are modelers that grace this site with their work that can put most plastic modelers to shame.

    To me it just feels like there is a lot more room to grow and improve than there is in plastic. I like the challenge.
  8. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Why paper over plastic? Well, for one thing, they aren't shake-and-bake. It takes a whole lot actual modelling to create one of these paper thingies than a plastic kit....frankly, I was getting awfully bored with plastic in the creativity department, and the wife was getting pretty tightjawed over the balsa dust throughout the house. For another reason, think again on the kit variety. There are more paper kit subjects available than the plastic afficianados can even dream about. And, given a scanner, computer, and some graphics software, there is no limit to one's creativity.....and an absolute guarantee that you can have a model that is completely unique. As a final point, show me a single plastic kit under $100 that even begins to compare with the detail of just about any $5 JSC kit, not to mention a $15 Helinski kit.
  9. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I started off in art doing graphics, then ceramics, then sculpture, and then science fiction. I started by drawing pictures of settings and science-fiction equipment as part of pre-writing. I can write about a place or thing better if I drawn it and so know what it looks like.

    I was drawing the WIG craft that I keep posting versions of and needed to know how the wings fold. Drawing didn't seem to work well and so I realized that I'd have to make it to see how it worked. I tried building it with styrefoam, styrene, and aluminum but I couldn't easily repeat the shapes.
    I set it aside until I had a scene with some fishing boats and tugs that I wanted to set up. I couldn't find any toy fishing boats or tugs and realized that again I'd have to make them. I decided on paper because I can repeat shapes by designing and printing on my computer and designing a model is like drawing in real space. I'd already been doing miniture clothing patterns on a computer.

    I also love conversions between demension. I love the process of changing 3-d to flat in drawing and in changing flat to 3-d in building models.

    So here are all the reasons that I like working in paper.

    --It's inexpensive, recycleable and non-precious. This allows the work to be more iimpressive than the material. I've never like glass or gold as a material because the material is easily more impressive than the work.
    --It can be run through a computer printer. This is important to me since I can repeat what I've done and perfect it without having to start from scratch each time. To repeat shapes in plastic would require complex and expensive making of molds. I've priced out rubber and plastics for molding parts. Plastics are expensive. We only think they are cheap becasue of the low cost of mass production. (hm maybe I should post photos of my scratch built action figures)
    --It can be bent and folded like sheetmetal, but it has more stretch than metal and gluing is far easier than soldering or welding.
    --It's similar in structure to felt.
    --It can also be sanded and laminated like wood.

    I found this website when I realized that the boats that I'd made might make good souveners for children visiting Alaska so I was trying to research similar things on the market. I still might pursue that idea.

    When I was twelve I saved my babysitting money for architecture cardmodles. I did Hampton Court, Cantebury Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the Whitehouse. Then in French class there were pictures of French chateaus on the walls and instead of learning verb conjugations I thought about how to make them out of paper. I ended up scatch building Azay-Le-Rideau from a photo in my textbook. I didn't have the right tools and used a pocketknife and kitchen cutting board. The models that I'd made before than had been pre-cut.

  10. Why paper? For me, that's easy to answer. It's a miracle every time you cut and bend and fold (pieces out of) a flat piece of paper, and ultimately end up with a cool 3D model. And I have seen and built paper models that put most plastic kits to shame, in detail, ease to build, and most of all, price (yes, I'm Dutch).

    Keep glueing right!
  11. eric_son

    eric_son Member

    I enjoy the cutting, folding and building phase of card modelling more than the painting phase of plastic kits.
  12. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    I can't add any more than what has aready been said.

    Except......Naw I better not.
  13. i used to be a plastic model builder, but after putting to many hours into a a model of a C-5A and watching my cat playin with the broken pieces on the floor ,and talking to some one that built a few wilhelmshaven models i been hooked since the 1990's.i like paper models cause some paper kits you can not find in plastic, you can resize the models, and the price!!! got a JSC Queen MaryII in 1/400 scale for 20$ and saw a plasic kit in 1 /400 scale for about 150$ , also you can build fleets for the cost of stock paper and printer ink
  14. Huey

    Huey Member

    i started too with plastic model and i still have over 30 unbuilt plastic models gathering dust in my home. but for someone who's living in a hootch (actually a cabin) and moving from one camp to another and with the hostile environment that in case we need to pull out in a jiffy, i don't think i'd be able to take with me my plastic model and tools at a moments notice. while on the other hand, with my paper models stored in a memory stick and portable hard drive (aside from my laptop), i can easily bring with me my collection of paper models. besides, i've made genuine friends in this forum who i haven't even met in person, sharing not only tips and sending me models ( Dewayne, NOBI, etc.) but most important, their friendship (Ashrunner, DeWayne, NOBI, John aka Bowdenja, etc.) Surely, for that reason alone, you can't beat that. in terms of details? i have seen paper models here and in the other forums and just had to ask... "Is that paper?"
  15. tausugAir

    tausugAir Member

    I guess most, if not all, paper card modelers (aircraft, armored, etc) were children of the PLASTIC kits and that included me. And, I guess (like in my case) it's the changing world economy that may prompt one to look for the next BEST alternative....

    Best to all

  16. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    I think for me it's something deeper down in the brain than anything conscious -- when I was about nine or ten, a friend of mine showed me a model of the Tirpitz his father had built. It must have been more than two feet long, and all at once my little plastic models started looking pretty unexciting by comparison. So what if the detail wasn't all there? It was detailed enough to spark the imagination, and it's stayed that way since then.
    Of course on the conscious level, there are all the considerations mentioned above, as well, especially the availability of obscure types in large scale. Very few plastic kit producers would invest the kind of money necessary to produce a 1/32 model of something that was going to sell only a few hundred kits, and if they did, you can imagine what the price would be.
    For me, the last key issue is the fact that I like actually building something, rather than just putting it together. With plastic, I never really felt like it's MY model.
  17. Hello all,

    I was introduced to cardmodelling by my father in the late 50ties,
    when I saw him assembling Wilhelmshaven aircraft. The first model
    I've assembled was a Ju-87B - a rather simple kit by Wihlemshaven -
    when I was five years old. The rest is history . . .
    From that point I was addicted to cardmodelling and I've made only
    little "excursions" into other genres of modelling.
    But injection-molded Polystyrene was not my cup of tea ever.
    Personally for me none of the other modelling genres could compete with the attraction
    of folding and glueing nicely printed parts from flat sheets into three-
    dimensional objects.
    Now I'm 51 years old - and cardmodelling hasn't lost any of it's attraction for me.
    Over the last decades I was able to draw a childhood-hobby into a profession.
    Between 1973 and 2005 I've designed and published more 120 different card-
    models - most of them for J.F.Schreiber between 1981 and 1992.
    The latest cardmodel object I've designed was in 2004 the finnish nuclear
    power plant Olkiluoto III. My own publishing company was founded in the
    same year.
    For me the Internet ignited a second stage of it, because it's so easy now
    to share information and experiences all over the world. The discussions
    with enthusiasts from all countries is a constant pleasure for me - without
    electronic media it would have been impossible for me to meet all
    those nice people.
    If you like to know a bit more about my personal cardmodelling-CV, please
    feel free to click here: http://www.mtp-studio.de/forum/thread.php?threadid=217

    Have a nice weekend and
    always keep your scissors and knives sharp . . .

    Best regards
    Thomas Pleiner
  18. Excellent responses. Many have made comments that they have seen paper models that rival or even surpass plastic models in detail etc. Can someone point me to a gallery or links where i can see models of this quality?

    Thanks. :)
  19. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    coz I couldnt paint to save my life

    John John
  20. Kevin G

    Kevin G Member

    check out the Picture of the week on this site.

    look at the pictures of the USS Arizona and other ships at http://www.digitalnavy.com

    Take some time to go thru some of the build threads here in the forum, many have excelent pics.

    http://www.3dpapermodel.com.tw/ click on the pictures in the center of the screen or the gallery button on the top. All of the pictures are not of super quality work but I have not seen anything I didn't like!

    also look through some of the build threads over at http://www.kartonbau.de/wbb2/hmportal.php
    Don't worry about not being able to read the words, the pictures will tell you everything you need to know.

    There are many more places to see great pics out there but this should get you started until GW the linkmaster can finish off the list for ya!

    Oh and why I build with paper? Cost, dont have to mess with all the extra junk like paint, special tools, expensive airbrush's. It is extremely easy to replace a lost or messed up part. If you never actually buy a kit there is enough free stuff out there to keep you busy for the rest of your life. If you have 10 spare minutes you can actually get something done on your paper model instead of having to drag out all the paint and stuff. and finally (and most importantly) my wife actually is interested in my paper models, she even bought me the GPM Missouri! She never did anything but complain about the plastics.

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