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Being a Cheater

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Being a Cheater
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, August 24, 2020 12:32 PM

Hi Ya'll

      As you know I do all kinds of models. For my personal choice for pure inventive fun I choose Paper or Card models. Why? well they require a lot of patience and eye hand co'ordination. I find that at my age to be a calming factor for all the other stuff I build.

      Now, that said when it comes to Paper or Card, I cheat, Always have. Why? Well, I am always trying ways to improve the detail without getting in a funk because the paper part didn't work out the way it's pictured or explained!

    When you work in 1/250-1/400 or whatever it aon't easy trying to do a crane boom for instance. The paper is doubled then glued to thicken it. You cut it and it can mess up. It will twist up and sometimes seperate. This happens because of the glue not being spread evenly or it's thin and it dries to fast.

   So, I sneak in some train stuff. "H.O." which is 1/87 scale is somewhat off size, but you can use it on some. The smaller ships are candidates for 1/160 which is " N " scale. I have also used some "Z" scale which all I know is Half of " N " scale.

     You might say " Chicken" and you'd probably be right. I love building in paper.But this to me has always been the one drawback. I was amazed when I did my first Full Hull paper ship. It was a tug from the early 1900s. The paper was thin and so on. But I pulled it off Even going so far as to rolling the masts in paper soaked in glue. Whatta mess. But they did work!

     They even had the hull designed in such a way so you could remove the bottom and display it in waterline configuration! Now, the one I am working on now has a full hull. Built carefully I still am having problems. Why? well the hull bottom pieces have the centerline and it's offset from the keel so one side is higher than the other. Why I don't know.Well, I was able to correct that, But, that means I will have to actually paint it to correct the printed waterline on one side.

    I have to go on with this vessel because I am going to try another as a yacht conversion. Yeah, me and my conversions. Now there is a trick to the doubled sheets which took me all these years to master. I Got It! I Got It!

 I don't press in the knife hard and just go gentle. Lots of useable pieces. Am I going to be a purist? Heck no. I have to much fun trying to mix scales and parts. Besides, how many Crane boom sides can you cut out before you either get fuzzy vision or get frustrated? 


  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Monday, August 24, 2020 3:19 PM


I've bought a couple paper models but haven't gotten up the will to try and build one yet.  I like your suggestions though.  To me any model "kit", be it paper, styrene, resin or other, seems like it should really be a "starting point" for a build and if there are items out there that you can use to simplify, improve, or even just assist you in building it sounds like a good idea to try and use them.  For the "Dry Dock" paper model that I have bought, I've already started considering replacing some of it with balsa and/or styrene.  Based on your suggestions above I may also start looking to see if I can find some railroad or ship model addons for stuff like ladders, chocks and doors, etc.


1st Group BuildSP

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, August 24, 2020 3:27 PM

TB - you and your catchy subject lines!

I don't see anything immoral in trying to improve a paper model by any means necessary provided we're not harming other people...

Be it wire, PE parts, parts scavenged from other models or stuff like poppy seeds used to do bolt or rivet heads - sometimes paper won't cut it (or cannot be cut as fine) and then you either go to other medium or you have to simplify your model.

And there's no point in drawing a hard line between paper and non-paper models. All models are better or worse approximations of the real thing, more or less detailed, more or less accurate. And most of the best models are mixed medium anyhow, so where's the problem?

Good luck with your predominantly paper builds and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 10:04 AM

Hi Pat;

 Do It !

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 10:11 AM

Hi Pawel!

    Yeah, It's a fault of mine. I do those catchy lines, because I have met so many Purists in this Hobby it's sickening. I did a scratch built D-8 Bull-Dozer with working blade and used Fruil-Model Brumbar tracks on it. Boy ! Did I get yelled at! Whatsa Matta You? You don't use tank Tracks on a civilian Dozer.

    Had to dig out a photo from Berlin; A D-8 running those exact tracks. Anything wrong with that? I didn't think so. We Modified the Dozer with parts delivered by the (" Bundesbahn Authority"?) so we could finish a bridge for them! Our parts would have arrived to late. They were held up in commercial customs in Belgium!

 So, in Paper or Card I follow instinct as a Modeler. If it looks right use it!


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