Why build cardmodels?

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

  1. CA?......what's that?
  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    ca is short for superglue's chemical name cyanoacrylate

    you will see alot of that around here

  3. popala

    popala Member

    There you go - this is the man to ask about the tricks of the trade. Swinger is one of those master builders we were talking about. Don't let him tell you otherwise.

    As for the link - I dropped it without reading the entire article, because I vaguely remembered a construction report from a while back (until now I could swear that it was a P.11c), where someone did some amazing shaping using the wet paper method. Does it ring a bell?
  4. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    It might help to consider the structure of both paper and polystyrene. Paper is made of cellulose fibers held together with starch. Both polystyrene and starch are technically plastic, in that they are both polycarbon and both can be molded. The difference is that paper is made of a fiber which is none water soluable and starch that is water soluble. The fiber makes the paper able to bend and fold without breaking. The polystyrene can't do this. The fiber also limits how much detail can be impossed on the subtance. This isn't a problem if you are modeling something such as fabric tor sheet metal hat behaves in a similar fashion.

    As others pointed out that paper is a better model for how fabric and metal behave than is polystyerene. Paper, metal, and fabric can be bent double without breaking. Polystyerene won't do this.

    Paper is a nifty material in that it behaves somewhat like polystyerene in having rigidity until you score it or wet it. Then it behaves like fabric. Polystyerene can be sculpted to resemble fabric but it never behaves like fabric. It won't drape naturally.

    I use paper, polystyerene, metal, polyethylene(clear plastic), polyurethane varnish, and fabric in my models depending on how I want the material to behave.

    After following this discussion, I realized that I'd been missing out on the fabric like properties of wet paper and not exploiting what what wet paper will do. I made some spit-wad figures to try it out and posted one of them in the tips section.

  5. k5083

    k5083 Member

    Actually, neither of them look close to the appearance of a full scale subject. If you look at an airplane from any distance sufficient to take in the whole thing, you do not see panel LINES, you see panel EDGES. Panel edges do not appear either as ridges or trenches, as on a plastic model, or as thin lines of color, as on paper models. The appear as a transition between light reflecting off one panel one way and the adjacent panel a slightly different way. If the airplane is very smooth and well finished, they may be totally invisible. The only way to simulate this realistically, in paper or plastic, is to build (or at least cover) a model with panels that duplicate the panels of the original.

    By the way, some plastic modelers, including myself occasionally, agree with you that drawn lines can represent panels a little better than relief detail, and so we sand off all the relief detail and draw the lines on the model with a fine pencil or drafting pen. It can look pretty good.

    Those paper models are very very VERY nice. No one disputes that they are great workmanship and hard to believe are paper. But, as accurate and realistic as a really good plastic model? Sorry, not even close IMO.

  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Why Build Cardmodels?

    Because of deep seated aggravations and apprehensions brought on by those dull as rock pre-school bluntees that never cut squat no matter how hard one tried. They were responsible for creating an entire set of psychological inadequacies amongst a set of kids that were deliriously happy to be dumb as door knobs until this awful event befell them.

    Better yet, how come you got stuck sticking styrene together? Please tell us why you have now come to Cardland seeking redemption from your haunted past. We'll be nice and let you down easy if that's possible. Even show you how to use a pair of bluntees without puncturing yourself...,

  7. Texman

    Texman Guest

    Yea, Gil, I think we can talk'em down....might have been the glue fumes,
    but we can bring back down.

  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    You really are missing the point.............the great workmanship was done by a person using a flat medium(paper). Plastic models are already pre-shaped(machine molded) for the modeler and yes the modeler has to make changes(improvements) in order to get a realistic representation. But MOST of the work...i.e. general shape and outline, and to some extent detail, has already been done for the modeler.

    Each has to learn to be Master Craftman, but IMO a person who starts off with a flat medium and creates a 3D representation is truely an artist.

    It's kinda like starting off with a blank canvas, picking out your own colors and brushes and creating a painting, or going to the store and getting a "paint-by-numbers" picture and filling in the blue outlined areas. Both finished products look very good and have their merits, but is the person who used the "paint-by-number" product truely an artist?

  9. k5083

    k5083 Member

    Ah, now there's an interesting wrinkle on the question -- not jusy why build cardmodels, but why would a plastic type switch to (or at least add) card models?

    I think I and others have partly answered this question in this thread. Good paper models are really cool. They have a wow factor. They're big. They're cheap. They're not smelly or toxic. They can, if desired, be built with blunties and Elmers. (Or even that wonderful reduced-horse glue that we used as kids with the funny rubber bottle tops.) And the card modeling community is a lot less stuck up than the plastic one.

    Right now I build plastic and card models at about the same rate -- often the same subject in both media at the same time. It's a good way to learn the advantages and shortcomings of both. And a lot more paper is showing up in my plastic models now. Scaled-down cockpits from paper models can look really good in an older 1/72 plastic model that doesn't come with cockpit detail. I wish there were more paper model engines to do the same thing with.

  10. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Well there you go.............

    Gil is working on modeling radial engines now............that's the cool thing about not been one-minded. Gera has long hailed the virtues of mixing media and the vaules and assets gained by doing so. The "good, bad and the ugly" of each.

    Detailing from scratch is easier, cheaper and less time consuming in paper, when satisfactary results are achieved switching to another medium is less of a problem.

    Look at the work Gil has done on engines, the threads are here somewhere, and check out Gera's work with mixing paper, plastic and wood.

    Add your designs, ideas, successes and failures...........yes we all show our failures.........so others may learn.......right Dave!

    Surprised you will be....hmmm?
  11. k5083

    k5083 Member

    No, I get the point and totally agree with it. Although it is more like the difference between a painter and a photographer. Both can be great artists and great technicians, both have plenty of room for creativity, but you have to give extra props to the painter for starting with nothing, even though he can rarely if ever match the realism of the photographer.
  12. k5083

    k5083 Member

    I've seen Gil's threads, his work is awesome, although I wouldn't say it looks "easier" than ... just about anything. Easier than machining them in metal maybe!

    There are some decent radials out there as part of kits, too. But I think it is time for the GPMs and Halinskis to start opening up their models and giving us inlines and jet engines too, don't you think? (Yes I know there are a few, like that GPM Stuka.) Paper has great potential for doing open-structure and cutaway models because of its close-to-scale thickness.
  13. popala

    popala Member

    Brilliant comparison. If you don't mind I will steal it and use it in conversations with plastic model builders (I am a member of a local scale model club where all but me build plastic).

    To me the building of plastic models involves too much painting and too little building. This building process is what I find so fascinating in paper - the creation of parts: cutting them out, forming, strenghtening with cardboard or wire when needed, assembling one by one into a larger elements and finally, putting everything together to make the final product. The same fascination also draws me to construction reports of other people: I really enjoy looking at pictures showing a model take shape.
  14. k5083

    k5083 Member

    You may have hit on another difference in aptitudes that would govern the choice of medium. Paper modelers can say that plastic modelers have it easy because the shape and structure are largely done for them, but plastic modelers can counter that paper modelers have it easy because someone else has done all the coloring for them. It's a question of what you like and what you consider drudge work. Personally, I can play with my airbrush all day (and most of the night), and my very favorite thing about any form of aircraft modeling is researching color schemes.

    Of course, both of our observations only apply to kits built OOB (out of the box, as plastic guys say). In plastic, there's no law saying you have to start with a kit. You can start with a pile of sheet styrene and build to your heart's content, and if you do build a kit, you can turn to your own skills instead of the aftermarket for added details. Similarly, in card, you're not forced to use the paper model kit's coloring -- you can repaint it either physically or electronically, the latter being how I get much of my enjoyment from card models. As has been noted before in this thread, the closer you get to scratchbuilding, the more similar the two media become.

  15. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    For those who say that paper cannot adequately capture the essence of compound curves, take a look at the Airwolf string currently in progress. Those chosing to stand in the highway of life declaiming that something cannot be done should take care to stand well on the curb, lest their rump collect the footprints of those who are doing it.
  16. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Sorry I've been quiet on this one, but I have been working up a couple of projects which combine the best aspects of both hobbies, namely I'm using card models as templates to build models in plastic card. I'd been looking out for plans of Hunt and River class escorts, and realised there are several paper models of such vessels (Hunts anyway) as well as numerous other Royal Navy destroyers, corvettes and so on. Paper is wonderful stuff, but I started hankering for something a bit more substantial, as well as using cast resin and photo etchings for the smaller parts.

    I know, I know, this is scratchbuilding.... In plastic.

    BUT, the paper modelling techniques, both design and execution, apply perfectly well to other materials; heck, you could use tin-plate or aluminium sheet and get great results.

    I know this is a paper/card modelling forum, but I would hope we are all big enough to realise there are other ways to make models, and no-one has a monopoly on skills and techniques, and if we keep our eyes, ears and MINDS open, we might just learn something; and maybe teach something to someone else too.

    Tim P

    PS Anyone else using plastic card? www.kipperboxes.co.uk refers, especially the LCT4 pages.
  17. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Interesting. So is this site (cardmodels) for working with paper (material made of cellulose) or for working with card (flat sheets)?

    I'm on here because I'm interested in scratch building out of paper card but I'm also interesting in other materials and in other forms of paper. I try to use whatever material will work best to convey my artistic intent.

    I don't know much about plastic card; my local hobby shop had a limited selection of materials for scratchbuilding.
    If I were working in other sheet material I'd probably make mockups out of paper before trying the more expensive and difficult to find plastic, aluminum, or gold. I'd still end doing most of my work with paper with only the final version in the more expensive material. You could work gold the same as paper if you wanted to and had alot of money. Your viewers first reaction would be "How much did that cost?" Ah and that brings us back to the advantage of paper--noone is going to be impressed by the cost of the materials.

    I do wonder if any of those into very small scale have considered working in gold and selling the models as jewelry. You could build them of gold, make a mold of the models for lost wax casing, or electroplate them. Imagine tiny gold airplanes as earrings and ships as pendants.


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