Why build cardmodels?

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

  1. k5083

    k5083 Member

    I'm familiar with the technique. Our friends in the stick-and-tissue flying model hobby sometimes use it when they want compound curved cowlings etc. that are very light. Basically you pulp up some paper, saturate it with white glue, and mold as desired. Well worth trying but not a mainstream paper modeling technique. In principle you could make a whole model this way, but then you would basically have a papier mache model, not a paper model as we generally use the term. And you would have to paint it.

    And Gerardo, your message is as clear as can be. I agree with everything you say, especially about the fetish for overdone or pseudo detail in plastic modeling. Indeed, I have started to notice a disturbing trend in the better paper models toward replicating this excessive weathering and overdone surface detail.

  2. wow....that model is a beauty. How was the radome done? I don't read the language but it looks like it was assembled, sanded and then painted? Would anything need to be done to the paper first to make it easier to sand (ie soaking it with some substance to add stiffness).
  3. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    Why build in paper?

    Well, first and foremost, I enjoy it, which is enough reason in itself. The cost factor is something the Scot in me finds attractive, also the satisfaction of getting a piece of cardstock to do something that you wouldn't think could be done at first glance. Then there is the challenge of taking a model and recolouring it to whatever scheme pleases you, and possibly having that scheme published, something which is a major boost to the old ego...<g>

    I still do the odd plastic model, but well over 90% over the last 5 years or so has been paper.
  4. jrts

    jrts Active Member


    I think all the reasons have been stated, but for me I only build ships in 1/200 or bigger, planes in 1/33 or bigger.

    The cost of this would leave me with a national debit of a small country to pay off.
    Plus the detail is far better and you don't require major tools to change kits, I would love to see someone put a plastic model in a scanner and print of a new part!!

    Have fun thats all that matters

  5. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    I agree with all the reasons esp Robs, if you have a look at a plastic model distributer, not a retailer, they make a kit of an essex or hornet class ww2 carrier in @ 1/350 scale. First the price of the base kit is @ 300.00 US. Then of course this 300 dollar kit is not quite that detailed, so you have to dump @ 100.00 to 200.00 in photo etched parts to bring out the detail. Then of course it must be primed, painted, (airbrush required@ 60-120.00) and the paints of course @ 20.00 and glues @10.00. put it all together, vs the cost of say the newest GPM Saratoga kit @30.00 fully painted weathered and detailed as is. of course you can get photo etched stuff for her @ 20.00 to 30.00 us plus paint and you have quite a savings, and it is kinda cool to make your own parts, etc.
  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    It is not papier mache. Its formal name is cast paper and the process is identical to that of making paper except that the form is not planar. Yes, in most cases you have to paint it but that's no different than printing on paper or painting on plastic. It's somewhat an art form unto itself but can yield results difficult with any other medium having a texture and feel quite unique unto itself.

  7. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    Why Cardmodels?
    The answer for me is simple.
    I have downloaded over 5000 cardmodels of varying subjects for free. There are tens of thousands of free downloads online. I realize that most people do not have the time to spend online downloading, but that was not the question.
    I could fill this post with links, but they would take up too much space for what it's worth. My point is, free, free, FREE!

    I have yet to find a free plastic model.

    The craftmanship that goes into any card model far exceeds any plastic model I have built, minus the paint job.
  8. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    This discussion (particularly with the remarks regarding plastic kits) is deja-ing my voux. It brings to mind my involvement in the slotcar hobby back in the 60s....when I first got into it in '64, commercially-avaiable slotcars worked insofar as (usually) making it around the track under their own power. Getting to a competitive stage was strictly a factor of the builder's skills and ingenuity. To make motors scream, you rewound it yourself....and balanced and epoxied the rotor, and honed the armature, and figured out some way of pressing a ball bearing into the case. You figured out how to improve suspensions, cooked up your own formula for wheel goo (usually to the ire of the track owner), etc. It was an absolute ball, and didn't require too much in the way of dollar outgo....a highschool kid could sit down next to a banking executive and still stand a pretty good chance of winning the heat. The hobby was a real blast....and was thriving. Then the manufacturer's got to messing around with the hobby....50,000 rpm Mabuchi's could be bought across the counter (although set you back about a week's paycheck), super four-wheel-suspension, progressively sprung chassis could be shaken out of the box (but for another couple of weeks takehome pay). If you had the cash (i.e., were independently wealthy), you could assemble a vehicle that only another investment banker could possibly beat. The hobby lost the fun.....and I wasn't the only one feeling that way, since when is the last time you even saw a slotcar track in a hobby shop, much less being a stand-alone business. The same thing is happening to plastic models. Twenty years ago, there was a substantial plastic model section in just about every department store in the country. Based on what I've seen, at least half of the retail stores have decided to completely eliminate the model section, and what remains in those still carrying them is pretty pathetic. And take a look at the model clubs....what is happening to membership and competitions (and be honest about it)? It looks to me as if today you have to go to a regional or national competition to find as many entrants as you used to see at the local level.

    Now, to end my diatribe....this issue can be easily and definitively resolved by one simple little experiment. Have a scale model competition with only two rules.....the cost of materials (including price of the base kit) is strictly limited to $20.00 and all work be performed by the entrant. Any bets as to which modelling medium will come out on top? (And does anyone doubt this would be the most hotly contested event at the meet?)
  9. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    I think we have another competition.......

    But you are right, a paper model would win!!

    Tim P
  10. Kaz

    Kaz Member

    Plastic vs Paper

    I wonder if longevity is part of this question, why build paper when its possibly not going to last as long as a plastic kit.
    But for my tuppenth worth, there is something I like about the first cut into the paper, the sound, (its akin to the first glugs of wine from a bottle, before the wine is poured) the destruction of the perfect sheet of printed material, forming the curves. I believe a lot of the skill is in the preparation, cutting, scoring, its all this that I never found in plastic kits, and as such, it's paper all the way.
  11. cdcoyle

    cdcoyle Member

    I've read this thread with great interest, and now I'll jump in and give my two cents...with fear and trembling!

    I have to agree with previous posters that a top-notch plastic model beats a paper model for ultimate realism. A very good friend of mine (who happened, BTW, to get me back into modeling after a long hiatus) builds strictly 1/48 plastic aircraft, and he is GOOD. I mean, award-winning, world-class good...his models look like miniature airplanes, whereas the vast majority of plastic modelers (myself once included) build models that look like models (get the difference?). I've seen some fantastic paper models, but they don't quite match that level of realism. However, I'd say these same paper models exceed the plastic models in WOW factor simply due to the medium, as in the oft-heard phrase "I can't believe that's made out of paper!". I think most of us realize and appreciate the work of an artisan, no matter what medium he/she choses to work in, and we can equally appreciate the work of a modeler who has taken a subject beyond just plastic or beyond just paper.

    Now all that being said, I agree with the previous poster who correctly pointed out that in order to produce world-class models, my friend forks out the dough for top-notch kits, after-market parts and decals, and reference books (probably averages over $100 per project), not to mention the many models he went through honing his remarkable airbrushing skills. Cost alone will keep me from ever getting back into plastic. I'm too much of a perfectionist, and can't see myself expending the time or money to advance up the plastic learning curve. Now paper, on the other hand...well, that looks a mite more within my reach, skill-wise and cost-wise. So here I am...IPMS' loss. :smile:

  12. barry

    barry Active Member

    surface detail card or plastic

    It seems to me that if you are building a real high speed aircraft the last thing you would want is a load of rivets and ill fitting panels all over your aircraft I would think it would flutter quite a lot in real life. Rivets on battleships yes but at 1/200 th they are not that big. It does not matter if it's plastic or card you are building in, most things are better if they are smooth even if I do emboss steel plates occasionally. If you do things the Polish way then you can fill and paint card as though it was plastic and then I guess it's down to the paint job and a lot of outstanding building.
  13. John Griffin

    John Griffin Member

    Why card model?

    I like the fact that an aircraft constructed of paper is much like a real one- stressed skin, bulkheads and spars, scale skin thickness and weight, etc. A plastic model is much less realistic in that respect- scale one up to life-size and the skin would be 3 inches thick- not very airworthy!

    John Griffin.
  14. Bernie

    Bernie Member

    Why to build...?

    ....that is the question - I can give basicly 2replies

    1st reason - it is a hobby - modelling is complex hobby - need a basic knowledge about area from which you want to make your model /need to know how to search for data/, need to know skills how to perform /incl. own designing/ a model, need a kind of creative thinking how to add some additional details to a model
    2nd reason - card - paper is much more flexible material than a plastic and of course much cheaper /including tools cost/. If you make a mistake when building and destroy a part - absolutely no problem to make new one /about plastic I am not so sure if that easy/

    This forum gives all described to us - thanks to everybody sharing his experience, knowledge and time in here

    Have a nice time spended on cardmodels.net
  15. popala

    popala Member

    I would argue that the panel lines on plastic models are not very realistic due to their out of scale size.
    Appearance of panel lines simulated with fine, printed lines is much closer to the appearance of a full scale subject.

    Since paper can be easily stretched into desired shape, experienced modelers can achieve amazing results with complex shapes, using proper techniques. Here is a good example: http://www.konradus.com/forum/read.php?f=1&i=86816&t=86816 (be sure to scroll down to see the close-up of the cowling).

    Excellent examples of paper models that can easily compete with plastic, can be found on Mr. Halinski's gallery page (especially good ones are F-16, P-39, I-16 (look at the cowling) and the P-40), or even closer to home: Spitfire Mk Vb by Laszlo.

    I get frustrated when I hear/read opinions that paper models are not as good as plastic. It is a perception that lives on despite evidence to the contrary. High quality paper model kits (like those from Mr. Halinski or the latest Pe-2 from GreMir) have detailing that rivals and sometimes surpasses plastic kits. Master builders can create models that most outsiders would never suspect are paper.
  16. mininote

    mininote Member

    I like variety! astonishing subjects!

    I like FREEDOM in paper modelling.

    Just a little tale:

    Once upon a time,
    I was IPMS member in some IPMS event.
    There was a scratch build doll house.
    Few modellers said:
    - "This modeler really has the skills"
    Many modellers said:
    -"Gonna puke. It's not a Phantom with load of Mk84 eggs like mine"

    Obviously there's some people considering that "modelling" simply means "model a military aircraft or go home".

    I wanna model a link trainer, a figure of Neneko, a windmill, a golden eagle, Novgorod circular gunboat, a catfish, Robur's "Albatross" out of Jules Vernes novel, Howl's moving castle, a kitten, an historical monument, robots, a zebra, Akira's bike, birdmobile series, Homeworld2 starships... anything that could attract me.

    Without being granted by the Great Priest of the Resin that is all the rage.

    My last model was Tucker snow-cat. Where's the plastic kit? Where's the resin? Where's the photo etching? They are very busy, releasing an other Me-109. Price? don't ask.
  17. That Spitfire is incredible.

    So, where do i learn these master modeller techniques so that i may be able to make models approaching that level of quality some day? Specifically getting paper to conform to a double curvature?
  18. popala

    popala Member

    Unfortunately my knowledge is limited to two techniques and practice to one.

    First method involves forming the paper while it is slightly wet - I don't know much about it other than while it is dangerous for paper, the effects can be pretty good (once again the cowling).

    Second method involves forming parts placed on top of a soft eraser (I may be wrong but I think that the Spitfire had some parts shaped with this method). Use a large, soft eraser as a base and either a soft small, round eraser set on a tip of a tool (pencil etc) or alternatively a metal or wooden tool with a nicely rounded, smooth tip. As it is with anything, this method requires practice to avoid destroying the paper. The idea is that you work the paper with a very small amount of pressure until it stretches/forms into the desired shape.

    There are many other techniques: thinning the edges of parts that overlay other parts to minimize the unnaturally thick appearance of paper's edge, touching up edges of parts with matching colors. There are too many to remember and I am getting ready for finals so I have no time to post them here for another couple of weeks or so. However, I learned most of the tricks from two Polish forums: Konradus and KartonWork. In both there are people who speak English and will gladly answer your questions.
  19. Excellent help, thanks!
  20. Swinger

    Swinger Member

    Are you sure you haven't mistaken the links? The cowling in this P.11 was made by soaking it with CA, sanding and painting, as Andrzej S. said.

    As for the second method, I used and showed it eg. here: http://www.cardmodels.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1667&page=2

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