Card Modeling FAQ

This document contains the following sections:


Mail cardfaq@bellsouth.net | Steve Brown |

0. What is card modeling?

0.1 Scale Modeling in Paper

Card Modeling or Paper Modeling is the art of creating scale models with paper. Models are built up from appropriately colored, cut, and folded pieces of paper, usually a stiff cardstock. Many models are available as kits, with pre-printed pieces to be cut out and assembled by the modeler. It's also possible to build entirely from scratch.

Anything can be modeled in paper, but the most common subjects are buildings and vehicles. Buildings are a very popular subject and well suited to the medium. Kits are available of many famous buildings and castles. There are also many kits available in common model railroad scales, suitable for inclusion in a railroad layout. Aircraft and ships (both civil and military) are also popular.

Paper models can be surprisingly sturdy, and can stand up to handling well. They derive their strength from their structure; even seemingly flimsy paper can be strong when it's shaped properly.

The basic elements of a card model are cylinders or cones. The cylinders can be square or rectangular in section, as buildings usually are, or they can be round or oval, as in an aircraft fuselage. They can even be polygonal--a castle tower may have five or more sides. Cylinders can be tapered, and a cylinder which tapers to a point is a cone. Again, the cones can be square (like pyramids) or round in section.

Most paper models are built up from these simple elements. Once you've mastered the basic skills, more complicated shapes can be formed from these basic ones. Shapes involving compound curves, such as a ship's hull, are built by forming an appropriately shaped paper skin over a framework (much as a real ship is constructed.)

The basic operation of paper modeling are

If you can use scissors, you can build a paper model.

Only a few simple tools are necessary for constructing card models. A complete set of tools can easily fit into a cigar box. Only a small space is required for construction, or for storage of unbuilt models. This makes it an ideal hobby for people with small homes, or students in dorm rooms. It's easy to pack all the necessary tools and several kits into a small case, so you can easily travel with your hobby.

The hobby is also economical. Kits are inexpensive, and no specialized or expensive tools are needed. An entire village of HO scale buildings can be had for less than $10. Of course, some kits are expensive, but even the most expensive are much cheaper than a plastic model of comparable complexity.

Card modeling is distinct from, but related to origami, the craft of folding paper. There are numerous Internet resources on origami--it's beyond the scope of this FAQ to list them. However, if you're interested in origami, a good place to start is Joseph Wu's Origami Page. You may also wish to consult the appendix, Related Arts.

0.2 Historical Notes

Paper has been used in modeling since its invention thousands of years ago, but those ancient modelers probably did not use paper for the construction of entire paper models. The roots of the modern paper model go back to 15th century Europe, where the printing technology and the paper came together. These first models were very simple rectangular pictures, to be cut out and glued to wooden blocks as toys or educational aids. At first, religious themes predominated, but over the next several centuries, they evolved to cover a broader set of topics.

Printing technology took a step forward in 1796, with the invention of lithography, which allowed the production of clear images for large press runs. The paper models were developing too. The rectangular cutouts began to follow the outline of the figures, and a folded strip was added at the base to allow the figure to stand on its own. Then extra pieces were added, to be glued to the face of the figure to give a three dimensional effect. By the late nineteenth century, the models were fully three dimensional. The JF Schreiber company of Esslingen, Germany began publishing paper models in 1831 and is still publishing today.

Paper modeling as a hobby had a heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but in the 1920's began to wane in popularity, as competition came from mass produced wooden model kits and metal toys. In the 1940's, wartime shortages of wood, metal, and labor produced a resurgence of interest in paper models.

In the 1950's, in the US and Western Europe, the competition from plastic models gradually crowded out the paper ones. Some companies, such as JF Schreiber and Wilhelmshaven in Germany, continued to produce high quality kits, but the medium couldn't match plastic's popularity. Simple, `tab-and-slot' models were also produced for use as promotional gimmicks.

In Eastern Europe, were polystyrene was less ubiquitous, paper models continued to be popular, and a great variety were and still are produced.

However, even in the West, some modelers continued to be attracted by the medium of paper, and the growing international commerce of the 1980's has led to a rising popularity. It's now possible to get paper models from all over the world.

from Bob Santos <SantMin@aol.com>: Growing up during WWII we did a lot of paper modeling because most other model materials were in short supply. Wish I could find some of those now. I have all the repro penny flyers but I remember a Jack Armstrong model that assembled into a nice little Piper Cub that was suspended inside a box that looked like a TV (we had no TV back then). All was connected with strings to a set of aircraft controls (stick and rudder pedals) and whatever you did with the controls moved the strings to make the little airplane assume the proper position. GREAT.

Another was a B-17 that was based on a paper tube with a little mirror in the nose making it a little periscope. You looked in through the tail and saw cross-hairs looking down so you could drop marbles on paper targets.

Does anyone remember the giant paper circus that started with models printed on Kool-Aid packets? How about the books that made 3-d working models of all the popular comic strips of the time (I think that set was late 40's or early 50's)? I often wonder what happened to all those plates.

from Beppi <beppi@fachschaften.tu-muenchen.de>: King of all paper model designers for me is the Czech old-hand (over 30 years in this business with thousands of models!) Richard Vyskovsky. It's unforgiveable that he's not mentioned on your page! [He is now!] The difficulty and perfectionism of his kits are unsurpassed and he modeled virtually every castle and other old building in Czechoslovakia as well as a lot of modern or foreign ones, most in model-railway sizes. He also did noteworthy planes, cars, trains etc. and his wife Anna does folklore puppets. The Prague castle (115cm x 60cm complex with single buildings of 1-4cm) took us about 3 months to build and we afterwards earned many puzzled looks from the tourist hordes when we walked through the real thing exclaiming "Look, the window which gave us so much headache to build", "There's the big gap where you didn't cut out properly" or "This chimney shouldn't be here, Richard cheated us!"

One problem with his legacy is its unavailability. Most of his models appeared as attachments to the fortnightly editions of "ABC", a Czech youth magazine (which also carried kits from other designers), from 1962 until today (We have a 10cm stack of this attachments at home), but have never been published elsewhere or with explanations in other than Czech language. Another problem is the socialist (that is: bad) quality of paper and print. A few of the more well-known kits have been published separately and in better quality by Albatros, Prague, but their approach to marketing is also rather socialist. Some are available (at high prices) from a small company in Munich (Germany), which sells a very large range of paper models from all over the world at flea markets and fairs. They sometimes, reluctantly, do mail ordering as well. Richard is still designing (although he must be quite old by now), for example a whole line of classical Greek and Roman buildings came out in "ABC" just a year ago.

from Chip Fyn <chipfyn@quest.net>: That nostalgia stuff hit a nerve with me. A few years ago, I realized that I've always been a paper modeler and that it's roots must have been the addiction I had for the Lone Ranger Town that had bits printed on the back of Cherios boxes and that then you had to send a box top and a quarter to get the layout and a bunch more cutout and glue up buildings. Then when the radio program came on every Wednesday, you could follow the action with your layout. (Hmmmm. The first virtual media experience?!) This was back in 1948 or so.
from Jack Graham <jgraham@nisc.net>: Ah yes! The Lone Ranger Towns and Maps! More like 1947. I wonder if we could get reprints from General Mills? I think it was a box top and a dime not a quarter. I was only able to get one set and longed for the remainder. My favorite "send in" was during WWII and it was a map, buildings, army vehicles, and a bomber plane. Here's how it worked. The bomber had marble "bombs" on a turret. The "bomb sight" was a mirror viewed at an angle from the tail of the plane. The mirror being located inside the plane tilted at an angle. The map on the floor was seen through this mirror and a marble was released to bomb a building or vehicle. Man what I would give for one of those again! Anyone remember Build-A-Set brand tab and slot paper models? I wonder if those could be resurrected.
from David Kemnitzer <DKemnitzer@eypae.com>: I have a nearly complete set of buildings that were part of the Nabisco Shredded Wheat Toytown and the Toytown Carnival. These came printed on the dividers which were in each box of cereal. Like all premiums I think certain models must have been harder to get (probably the entire production run was sent to another part of the country.)
from Roy Miller <miller@csd.com>: It's nice to know that someone else out there has a nice case of nostalgia for the old paper stuff of W.W.II. The Bomber plane mentioned had to be one of the best Radio serial offers ever presented. I would love to find one or get it re-issued somehow. The airplane was actually a model of a B-29 and was offered as a premium for the Hop Harrigan Radio serial, I believe by Kellogg's. There is a nice photo of the shipping envelope in the delightful book "Toys of World War II" if you can find a copy. This book is a good source for information on many of the paper models of the time including Build-A-Set and the Color Graphics "Young Patriots" sets. These were made of heavy cardboard and could survive the rough usage by an eight year old boy. I am fortunate enough to have several examples of the W.W.II stuff including a Build-A Set Military set and the Lionel Paper Train set (which included die cut flanged wheels and track!). A replica kit of the latter can be obtained from PMI minus the wheels and wooden axles. It is not die cut and the cutting lines are difficult to see, but it can be built and, from a distance looks like a real Lionel train.

I agree with Jack, it would be great if some of these could be resurrected. I remember the Build-A-Sets and Color Graphics sets particularly. The higher cost sets ($1.00) included many working gimmicks such as guns that shot projectiles and targets that exploded when hit.

Panzerdeisel has a section on Scale Modeling in WWII (in German and English) which shows German children and servicemen building models, at least some of which are paper models. A model of the era is also shown.

Also see The History of Paper from Mead Paper Corporation.

1. Where do I get paper models?

If you get in the habit of looking, you can find often card models in local hobby shops and bookstores. A lot of the Dover line of buildings are in HO scale, and hobby shops catering to the model train crowd often have them. Large bookstores often have the Dover and Usborne lines. Major sources are listed below; for a variety of more obscure or uncertain sources, see the appendix More Sources for Card Models . Non-mail order sources in various countries are also listed there.

1.1 ...by mail order?

The following listings are order by continent and country, in no particular order. Despite the fact that sources are grouped by country, don't look at only one category. Many of the sources listed here will ship to internationally.

North America

US Sources
The most complete source for card models in the USA is Paper Models International in Oregon. They import the Wilhelmshaven, JSC, Geli, ModelCard, and JF Schreiber lines from Europe, also Dover, Usborne, Micromodels, &c. They also have their own line of aircraft. Their 1999/2000 catalog is 56 pages and includes buildings, ships, planes, trains, cars, and other things. They'll ship outside the US, too, so they really deserve their name. You can get a catalog for 4 first class stamps, or 4 IRCs outside the USA. They have a web site with catalog updates, some specials and closeouts, and various odds and ends. Follow the link from their home page or click here. PMI also publishes a selection of reprints of some out-of-print models.
PAPER MODELS INTERNATIONAL                      503-646-4289
9910 S.W. Bonnie Brae Drive
Beaverton OR 97005

H&B Precision Card Models carries the Wilhelmshaven, HMV, cfm, JF Scheiber, and papmobil models from Germany, the LJ line and the BC line from Australia, the LS line from Holland, Alcan from Spain, JSC and FlyModel from Poland, and Promotion Models from the USA. LJ makes HO & N scale buildings and a couple of steamboats. The LS line is an eclectic mix of planes, buildings, ships, birds, and old-time autos. FlyModel publishes airplanes and naval vessels; the supply of these can be a little erratic. cfm publishes about 15 ships and aircraft, including some reprints from the now-defunct Kranich line of the former East Germany. Promotion Models are a line of small civil aircraft. H&B also publishes the American edition of Möwe, the newsletter of the Friends of Wilhelmshaven Models. Subscribers receive a 10% discount on all models ordered, so a subscription easily pays for itself.
H&B Precision Card Models                       703-620-9727
P.O. Box 8173                                   703-620-9720 (FAX)
Reston, VA 20195
106022.2701@compuserve.com
from Peter Heesch <106022.2701@compuserve.com>: `I presently carry the Wilhelmshaven line, the LJ Models (mainly buildings in HO and N scale for railroad buffs) from Australia and the American Promotion Models (a line of approximately fourteen 4 to 6 inch wing span plane models which retail for $2.00 each). I also publish a quarterly newsletter titled The Mwe for the Friends of Wilhelmshaven Models. The annual subscription rate is $15.00 and enables subscribers to purchase models from me at a 10 percent discount. We are still experimenting with the format of our catalog. The 1997 edition is bi-lingual, 54 pages with 6 color photographs and includes all the models of the Wilhelmshaven and LJ lines.'

The Paper Soldier's main catalog is $5.00, but if you order from it, then you get it and the supplements forever, or until you stop ordering. The supplements have mostly one of a kind models, and you have to be fast ordering.
The Paper Soldier				518-371-9202
8 McIntosh Lane
Clifton Park, NY   12065

The Village Hobby Shop carries ships from the Wilhelmshaven, Modelcard, JSC, and Scheuer & Strüver lines, and a few others. They prefer credit cards for mail order.

Village Hobby Shop				512-452-6401
2700 W Anderson #402                            512-443-5302 (FAX)
Austin, TX  78757
vhsaustin@aol.com

Looks Like... Paper Models makes buildings for model railroad layouts, in N, HO, S, and O scales. Send an SASE for an illustrated brochure.

Looks Like... Paper Models
200 N. Second St., 1A5
Cary, IL  60013
looks-like@keypage.com

Dover publishes a line of architectural models, mostly in HO scale, and a few others, such as a train, a Mayflower, and a Santa Maria. They also have a line of simple models called "Easy to make..." which go together very quickly and are nice for children. Available from bookstores or directly from Dover.

Dover Publications, Inc.
31 East 2nd Street
Mineola, NY   11501
Note: Canadians wishing to order from Dover will be referred to their Canadian distributor, Irwin Publishing, telephone 1-800-263-7824 or 1-416-445-3333, fax 1-416-798-1384.

Robert Kaelin has a modest line of aircraft models. He is planning on designing more and is also considering doing some Pennsylvania RR cabooses, so let him know if the RR stuff is on your wish list. He has a generous part replacement policy; if you screw up a part, he'll replace it for an SASE.

Robert J. Kaelin			(516) 727-3813
1099 Ostrander Ave.
Riverhead, NY   11901
from Robert Kaelin: `1:24 scale detailed models of classic American light planes from the 1930s and 1940s in addition to two military training biplanes of that era (Focke-Wulf Stieglitz of Germany and US Army Stearman PT-17). Printed on colored card stock. Each with full instructions including sketches of subassembly details in addition to three-views of completed model. Prices range from $7 to $12 postpaid first class. NY State residents must add applicable local sales tax.'

Jerry Haines publishes the Authentic Flying Models line of detailed, colorful, die cut, WWII fighter aircraft in approximately 1/40 scale. These are flying (or rather, gliding) models. He now has 8 models in his line.

Jerry Haines Sales                         818-919-4767
1337 Donna Beth Ave                        FAX: 818-919-0657
West Covina, Ca.   91791

Space Craft International publishes models of space craft such as Voyager and the Hubble Telescope. The models are laser cut, which allows for extraordinary intricacy and detail in parts like struts and antenna booms.
SCI / Space Craft International             1-800-4-SCI KITs
P.O. Box 61027                           or 1-626-398-4800
Pasadena, CA 91116-7027                FAX: 1-800-307-0007
commerce@scikits.com                     or 1-626-398-8600

Natick Stamps & Hobbies has many of the JF Schreiber castles, and they stock other models as well. Call or visit to see what's available.
Natick Stamps & Hobbies               (818) 305-7333
405 S. Myrtle Ave.                    1-888-60-STAMP
Monrovia, CA 91016                    (818) 305-7335 (FAX)

Papermation has a small line of models (Box Truck, Van Truck, Cistern Truck, Bulldozer, Track Type Loader) priced at $6 each.

Papermation
P.O.Box 614
Dayton VA 22821

Bellerophon Books publishes a range of "art books for children of all ages," including some paper models. My catalog lists English Castles, Castles of Scotland, Viking Ships, Old Cars (featuring a Stanley Steamer), Great Trains, several books of airplanes, totem poles, California missions, and helmets. They also have many coloring books and paper soldier books. The books are priced from $2.50 to $7. Send a long SASE for a catalog.
Bellerophon Books                    800-253-9943
36 Anacapa Street                    805-965-8286 (FAX)
Santa Barbara, CA   93101

Geoblox publishes a line of geological card models. The models are intended as teaching aids, demonstrations, or classroom projects, and are supplied as books of patterns, to be copied onto card. The line presently includes five books comprising 98 models on geological and paleontological subjects. A sample model, demonstrating paleomagnetic banding, is available at their web site. They accept checks and purchase orders only, but will ship internationally.

Geoblox
104 West Croslin
Austin, TX 78752

Linea Forma is a graphic and industrial design firm that has recently branched into paper models. They presently offer a single model, a set of 3 San Francisco Victorian houses in HO scale. More models are planned.
Linea Forma                           800-846-5446
PO Box 66866
Portland, OR 97290
bgob@lineaforma.com

Wurlington Bros. Press publish a series of postcard models titled "Build Your Own Chicago."

Matt Bergstrom
Wurlington Bros. Press
1316 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL  60613  USA
info@wurlington-bros.com

Tru-Flite Models offers reprints of the Rigby Wheaties cereal box premiums.

Tru-Flite Models
3720 Hessen Road
Casco, MI   48064
Canada
Wildcat International Corp. carries the Martinez Casalta line of aircraft, automobile and train paper kits from Spain.
Wildcat International Corp.
Dept MC						416-494-8045 (FAX)
Ontario, Canada
M1W 1V4

The Hobby Factory sells the Dover and Flymodel lines and other models.
The Hobby Factory
#37 52318 Range Road 213
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada   T8G-1C3
dersar@wci.ab.ca
From Garry Sarver <dersar@wci.ab.ca>: My business is located in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. I do take mail orders and ship a lot outside of Canada. I even ship to Europe. I carry most of the common names: Schreiber, Usborne, Dover, Fly Model, GPM, JSC, Pierres de Papier, Wilhelmshaven, Bellerophone and some old Maly models. I am still working on the net catologue and only have about 3/4 of the stuff in it.

Europe

Great Britain
Marcle Models 1999/2000 catalog is £3 in the UK, overseas £4 surface mail, £5 airmail. They accept Visa and Mastercard (easiest for overseas orders) and send a four page newsletter, Cutting Remarks, quarterly. The catalogue and the latest issue of Cutting Remarks are also available on their website. Marcle carries models from a broad range of sources and they will ship worldwide. Their prices include worldwide surface shipping, but there is a £3 surcharge for overseas airmail.
Marcle Models
Turnagain, Finch Lane				01494-765910 (FAX)
Amersham, Bucks, HP7 9NE
England
christopher@marcle.co.uk

Hooton AirCraft makes 1:25 scale models of classic airplanes. These are actually multi-media kits; most of the kits have etched metal parts, vacuforms for difficult 3D moulded components, resin-cast or hand-built metal exposed engines, carved pine propellers, wire and rigging cable, moulded wheels, and comprehensive decals. All the kits contain illustrated step-by-step instructions, histories of the type and of individual aircraft, and a handbook detailing special card modeling techniques. Some of the kits include specially prepared colour 3 or 5 views, and include some original photos. If you have trouble getting to their homepage by the link above, try this one.
Hooton AirCraft
Administration
Percy Street
LIVERPOOL L8 7LT
UK
par@cct.u-net.com

US Agent:
Joseph Bloom 
908 22nd St NE
Canton
OHIO 44714
USA
Joe.M.Bloom@mcdermott.com

Usborne produces a modest range of fairly simple and colorful dioramas, including some unusual subjects, such as a haunted house and a wizard's castle. They are widely available through bookstores and are available in the US from PMI.

Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Usborne House
83-85 Saffron Hill
London EC1N 8RT
UK
Usborne books are published in the USA by Educational Development Corporation.

Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop has a mail order catalog with a line of paper theatres and other models. For more on paper theatres, see the Theatres section.

Pollock's Mail Order                      0171 379 7866
44 The Market                             0171 636 0559 (FAX)
Covent Garden
London WC2E 8RF
England
louise.heard@virgin.net
from Louise Heard <louise.heard@virgin.net>: 'We are a supplier of cardboard models. Our speciality is the toy theatre. As well as English thatres by Pollock's, Everett and Jackson. We sell a variety of European toy theatres. We also sell a variety of cut-out models for both children and adults.

'Our beautifully illustrated catalogue features a selection and comes with a miniature theatre to cut out with a production of Hamlet. It costs £3 (£3.50 - U.S.A.) and is available by writing to us or by telephone.


Alphagrafix makes model kits for the model RR market in card, resin, and white metal. Their line includes over 250 card kits of buses, trams, buildings, and other subjects. Some of the kits are multi-media, including card structures with resin or white metal detail and textured parts. Most of their custom is by mail order; payment by check or money order only. Inquire about custom designs.

ALPHAGRAFIX
23 Darris Road
Selly Park 
Birmingham B29 7QY
England

Metcalfe Models has a line of about 25 buildings in OO and N scale. Some of the models are buildings seen on the Settle and Carlisle Railway. They accept credit cards and ship internationally.

Metcalfe Models and Toys                       01756 797806
1 Carleton Business Park                       01756 794886 (FAX)
Carleton New Road
Skipton
North Yorkshire BD23 2AA
England

ModelYard publishes a line of OO scale card models for railway modelers. Shipping is free within the UK, and they'll ship internationally (not for free.) They accept credit cards.

Model Yard                                    0113 228 1066 (UK)
16 Helmsley Road                       +44 (0) 113 228 1066 (Int'l)
Leeds  LS16 5JA
England

Heritage Models has a line of architectural models of British buildings of historical interest. Some are uncoloured and require painting; others are in full colour. They accept credit cards and will ship internationally.
Roger Pattenden                              0181 427 0818 (UK)
Heritage Models                              0181 863 4352 (FAX)
PO Box 903
Harrow, HA1  4XY
UK
roger@heritage-models.co.uk

Cybermodels publishes a model of the principal character from the computer game Quake.
Cybermodels                            0181 427 0818 (UK 9am-9pm)
PO Box 903                             0181 863 4352 (FAX)
Harrow, HA1  4XY
UK

The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre is a museum devoted to moving mechanical sculptures. Although not exclusively devoted to paper models, they do sell about 20 different paper automata kits through their shop.
Cabaret Mechanical Theatre         0171 379 7961
33/34 The Market                   0171 497 5445 (FAX)
Covent Garden                   +44 171 379 7961 (Int'l)
London WC2E 8RE                 +44 171 497 5445 (Int'l FAX)
England
barecat@cabaret.co.uk
Spain
For Spanish paper models, you should also see Robert Freidus' detailed comments in the appendix More Sources for Card Models .
Ediciones Merino, S.A.
Jorge Juan, 68,2  
28009 Madrid - Espana

La Ciutat de Paper
Corsega 465, 1er, 1a, 08037 Barcelona
Spain
Germany
Möwe Verlag publishes the Wilhelmshaven line of high quality ships and aircraft. They also publish the German edition of Möwe, the newsletter of the Friends of Wilhelmshaven Models. Subscribers receive a 10% discount on models purchased by mail. (Möwe Verlag does mail order in Germany; for Wilhelmshaven models in the US, see H&B or PMI above; in the UK, see Marcle Models; for other countries, inquire.)
Möwe Verlag					049-4421-43666
Rheinstrasse 23					049-4421-43911 (FAX)
26382 Wilhelmshaven
Germany
mail@papermod.de

Scheuer & Strüver publishes an enormous catalog of models on all subjects; they also have their own line of Imperial German warships. A list of the model lines they carry is available. Their 1999 catalog is 160 pages in full colour and includes a free model steam locomotive "Länderbahn-Lok T12" in HO scale. The catalog is DM 8 (with shipping to the US, the total cost is DM 23 surface or DM 34 airmail). They accept VISA, Diners Club, EUROCARD and MasterCard. They will do mail order throughout Europe. From the US, you can order directly from them, or H&B Precision Card Models in Virginia can arrange to get them in the USA (they pool several orders to reduce shipping costs, so this can take a little while.) You can also order on-line through their web-site (in German only right now, but an English version is in the works.)
Scheuer & Strüver GmbH				(040) 69 65 79-0
Jollassestieg 4-8				(040) 69 65 79-79 (FAX)
22303 Hamburg
Germany

Ulrich Rüger's papmobil has airships, planes, and a rocket.

Ulrich Rüger
Im Steinengarten 11
D - 70563 Stuttgart
Germany
101613.2614@compuserve.com

Kartonmodell International			+49 89 2016525
Waldmann GmbH					+49 89 2021024 (FAX)
P.O.Box 140647
D-80456 Muenchen
Germany

Thomas Pleiner carries models of his own design. He is also the exclusive distributor outside Europe of the CFM-models line. He will ship world-wide; inquire about shipping costs. He accepts cash, check, and money order. A brochure and promotional CD are in the works.


MTP-Studio
Thomas Pleiner 
Ergoldsbacher Str. 19-21
D-84056 Rottenburg a.d.L.
GERMANY
thomas.pleiner@t-online.de
Italy
Editoriale Domus has a line of architectural models called DomusKit. They sell direct by mail order; their multilingual web site lists prices in lire and dollars, but doesn't mention shipping costs. DomusKits are also available through other vendors, e.g. Marcle, and S&S. Despite the fact that their WWW site list prices in US dollars, they apparently do not accept orders from the United States. (The US distributer is reported to be Lombard Marketing, Bloomfield, CT, 1-800-741-3519.)
Editoriale Domus S.p.A.                      39-2-82472529 Int'l
Via Achille Grandi, 5/7                      02/82472455/357 Italy
20089 Rossano, Milano                        39-2-82472383 Int'l (FAX)
editorialedomus@edidomus.it                  02/82472590 Italy (FAX)
The Netherlands
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>:
Thoth publishers			035-694 41 44
Prins Hendrikstraat 13			035 694 32 66 (FAX)
1404 AS Bussum
The Netherlands
They specialize in architectural books and have sometimes paper model kits. At the moment they only have the Feyenoord Stadium (De Kuip) in Rotterdam.
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>:
Leon Schuijt Uitgeverij                 (072) 511 76 28
Lisztstraat 7
1817 HH
Alkmaar
Publisher since 1959, has over 250 models in stock (boats, planes, buildings, cars).
De Prins Uitgeverij                     (026) 443 75 74
Groen Van Prinstererstraat 26           (026) 443 75 74 (FAX)
6828 VX Arnhem
Run by Koen Berfelo, son of Jan Berfelo, who made more then 100 models (airplanes, ships, cars, buildings) between 195- and 1970 under the name Veritas. Koen now publishes and distributes paper models including some old Veritas models. They are the Dutch distributors for the Spanish publisher Alcan.
Sjoerd Hekking Bouwplaten               (033) 462 27 75
Westerstraat 80
3818 NM Amersfoort
Designer and publisher of buildings, mostly lighthouses. Most are postcardmodels.
Iceberg                                (079) 3479945 
Wingerdpark 74
2724 RG Zoetermeer
The Netherlands
http://www.peterjvisser.demon.nl
Designer and publisher since 1981, mostly fun postcards. Published two architectural model kits in 1988.
France
L'Instant Durable (``Lasting Moment'') publish a line of approximately 60 detailed models. Most are of European castles, chateaux, and cathedrals, but there are also some other subjects represented, such as theatres, and one ship and one automobile. They also have a line of postcard models. They accept credit cards and shipping charges are included in the prices, but they have a 200 franc minimum order.
Editions L'Instant Durable                 (33) 4 73 91 13 87 (FAX)
P.O. box 234
63007 Clermont-Ferrand cedex 1
FRANCE
art@instantdurable.com
from Alain de Bussac <art@instantdurable.com>: ``L'Instant Durable distributes a nice catalog of 48 pages presenting on 24 pages an historical text about architectural paper models in the world since the beginning of the 19th century and the rest of the pages offers a selection of the most famous publications: Epinal,Schreiber, micro model, Dover, l'Instant Durable, Ciutat de Paper,Domus...with photographs in colour with presentation of the collections.

``This catalog has been published during an exhibition in Paris in 1987, organised by the Stichting Kunstprojecten of Rotterdam and the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques.

``The text is all written in French

``Price:180FRF [or $40 US] by slow air mail, door to door from France.''


Editions Pascaline
5 Rue Pascal
63000 Clermont-Ferrand
FRANCE

from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: Have returned from a trip to Brittany, in France, where I haunted shops for paper models, particularly looking for Editions Pascaline. No luck. Did find a new series of simple models published by Editions Ouest France, 13, rue du Breuil, Rennes, all designed by Dominique Ehrhard. These are large format, like the simpler Dover books, with a Breton flavor: 6 Lighthouses, 4 Traditional fishing boats, 3 Ocean liners (the Normandie, The France, and the Titanic), and a 3 masted ship. They are in print, and retailed for 85 Franks @ (5.7 = $1). Nice entry level models - colorful, large (can't comment on the fit - haven't built one), and attractive format. They look easy to build.
Poland
Pelta carries the Flying Model, GPM, A. Halinski, JSC, and Model Card lines from Poland. Shipping costs to the USA are +70% (min. $13) for air mail, or +30% (min. $10) for surface mail. I haven't had occasion to inquire about shipping to other destinations.
Pelta				(+48-22) 827-66-14
00-050 Warsaw			(+48-22) 826-91-86 (FAX)
16 Swietokrzyska Str.
Poland
pelta@warman.com.pl

Gryf Hobby sell a variety of models from Polish publishers. They will ship outside Poland, but require payment in advance for foreign orders.
Gryf Hobby                      (091) 415 16 68 (TEL/FAX)
Boguslaw Czyzynski
ul. Artyleryjska 26
74-100 Gryfino 1
P.O.Box 23
Polska / Poland
gryfhobby@gryfhobby.com
from Thomas Peters <thomas.peters@unibw-muenchen.de>: I have ordered twice from GryHobby, everything worked fine. They want foreign orders prepaid - I understand this policy. Their English knowledge is poor/non existent, but their German knowledge is very good. Bank transfers are expensive, I send money (DM) as a consignment of valuables, then the German postal service insures the shipping.
Denmark
Ballermann & Son
Yesteryear Prints
Skragade 6 DK-9400 Norresundby
Denmark
Czech Republic
from King Butler <kbutler@mandala.ca>: I, and some others, have been trying to find the address for the Czech youth magazine "ABC". The magazine is published fortnightly and contains a card model with each issue. For what it's worth, I got the address, but apparently no-one there speaks/reads English because they do not respond to letters sent to them. The magazine is very cheap - about $0.25 per issue. [Reportedly, Nikolaus Waldmann of Germany (address above) carries reprints of some of the models published in ABC.] The address is:
    Reakce ABC
    Domazlicka 11
    Prague 3, 13000
    
Switzerland
Paedagogischer Verlag des Leherinnen- und Lehervereins Zurich
Vertriebsstelle
Postfach
8126 Zumikon
Switzerland
from Kell Black <blackk@apsu01.apsu.edu>: Write and they will send you an order form.

They publish ONLY Swiss related models, and most of them come on two large A3 sheets, all with instructions in German, some with text in French. The models are very easy, straightforward, and the diagrams are crystal clear, as they are intended to be teaching aids in Swiss classrooms. They have about 60 different kits, and they are grouped in the following categories; transportation, history and culture, geography, Christmas and holidays, activities for young children ages 6-8, and workbooks. We bought and made lots of the architectural and transportation models, such as a City Gate of Basel, the Clocktower of Bern, the reconstructed Roman Home of Augusta Raurica, two Swiss Air Jets, the Airbus 310 and the MD 11, a working cable car and a Swiss rescue helicopter. We found these kits in toy shops and art supply stores, and they cost 2 SF apiece, that is, about $1.50 each. Cheap by any standards!

Belgium
Dupré publishes the 17th century Dutch East India Company ship Batavia. They accept credit cards and will ship worldwide.
Dupré Graphic Ships              00 32 9 379 86 13 (FAX)
Rommelsweg 39
B-9980 St.-Laureins
Flanders-Belgium

Asia

Israel

Moshe Lemer carries models from the Israeli Air Force Magazine and ModelArt, as well as an assortment of other models. The collection is mostly aircraft, but includes some ships and ground vehicles. He has a list he will send by e-mail or paper mail, or you can check out his WWW page and see pictures of some of the models he's built, as well as the list. You can purchase the ML kits with a credit card through xprss.com.

Moshe Lemer
17/5 Avraham Keren Street
Kfar-Saba 44208
Israel
moshelmr@bezeqint.net
from Moshe Lemer <moshelmr@bezeqint.net>: "I have models of airplanes, ships and armored vehicles in various scales. If you are interested, please e-mail me."

Australia

The LJ models line is available in the US from H&B Precision Card Models. The line includes HO scale riverboats and buildings, and N scale buildings.

LJ Models			(03) 5341 2001
P.O. Box 100			(03) 5341 2001 (FAX)
Buninyong, Vic. 3357
Australia

B.C. Models publish a modest line of buildings in HO scale. By modest, I mean it's only a few models. Their showpiece model of Rippon Lea, with over 1000 pieces and 20 pages of instructions, sounds anything but modest.

B.C. Models                     61 3 5331 9943 (FAX)
1 Cameron St
Ballarat
Victoria 3350
Australia
bgcarey@netconnect.com.au

1.2 ...on the Internet?

Note that this is not an comprehensive list. In particular, mail order sources which also have a web site are linked from their listing above, and may not be listed below. So always check the mail order listings, even if you're looking for web sites.

Also see the section on Free Models available on the Internet.

1.3 What about models of [airships, sailing ships, &c.]?

1.4 How do I order from overseas?

from Robert Tauxe <Tauxerob@aol.com>: I am an innocent on the art of international payment, having never used anything but a VISA card and a personal check in U.S. funds. I have a few pound notes stashed away, and some spare German change from the late 40's, but that probably wont do it. I've seen occasional references on this list to other more arcane forms of payment that sound like international vouchers of some kind, but don't know what this is. If I wanted to order something from Marckle, in UK or S&S in Germany, how would I pay for it? Where would I get those voucher thingies?

from Bob Pounds <Bobp@dynamite.com.au>: I've found the least expensive way to purchase from overseas (and remember, for me, the US is overseas) is the good old plastic card.

I used to always use Bank Drafts, but the inconvenience of having to go to bank to arrange them, then the cost of international postage on top of that was just a pain in the you-know-where.

Added to that, banks drafts are not cheap. My bank charges $A6 for each draft, and one bank I tried when I lived in Thailand wanted to charge $US25 per draft! But bank drafts are secure. They are drawn in favour of a particular person or company, like a cheque, and are usually endorsed with an upper limit (often the next whole dollar above the amount for which the draft is made). The down side is that some companies will not ship orders until the draft is cleared. In the case of (say) a US company in middle America, the draft must make its way from the local depositing bank branch to the US office of (say) the Australian bank's office in New York, clearly adding several days to the delivery time.

Virtually all reputable businesses will accept one of the major credit cards, especially Visa and Mastercard, and sometimes Amex. In the past month alone I have renewed magazine subscriptions in the US and the UK, purchased models from PMI, obtained a book from Japan, software from Canada and a recording from New Zealand -- all on plastic.

I use some fax software to send the orders directly from my computer. In fact, to send a simple one page fax to the US or Canada costs me less than the postage to send the same letter airmail. I have my signature digitised and this is added to the appropriate point in each letter.

So what's new? Nothing, except that this is the method that works for me and has reduced my 'outward bound' costs to only the cost of the dial-up fax and I save however many days it would have taken for the letter to have reached the supplier.

International Reply Coupons were originally developed to cover the cost of a return letter. Thus I could send Bob Bell or Myles a letter with an IRC and they could each exchange the IRC at their post offices for the relevant stamps for a reply, even if the local air mail postage charges, comparing exchange rates, were different. (Back in the dim dark days it used to be that one IRC equalled sea-mail return and four IRCs were needed for an airmail reply. Now, one IRC is USUALLY the rate for airmail. I recently purchased a number of IRCs for letters going to the UK for which I was requesting a reply, and was assured, yet again, by Australia Post that one IRC now buys an airmail reply.)

IRCs may be useful for small amounts, say up to $5, but as 'negotiable instruments' to use the jargon, they are not worth the trouble, and often can only be exchanged for stamps, not cash. [IRC prices vary widely, e.g., about $1.05 in the US vice $3.75 in Canada.]

Some postal jurisdictions also have what are called 'International Money Orders'. You buy these as you would a bank draft. There is a charge, usually a percentage of the value of the money order. Recipients of money orders can exchange them at most post offices or deposit them into a bank.

Having said all that, I still will generally use my faxed credit card details, although I would be reluctant to send this information to certain countries. I have no doubt at all that within a few weeks my bill would show all sorts of charges from all sorts of exotic locations. My fall back in this case would be to use bank drafts.

Editor's note: the following comments comments apply to purchases made in the USA using IMOs issued by the USPS.

from Keith Walker <keithwwalker@yahoo.com>: About a month ago, a message was posted requesting information about the best way for someone in the USA to order a kit from overseas. Everyone agreed that using a credit card was the best and quickest method.

But there are some vendors overseas out there who do not process credit card orders, and they will accept payment only by a check or bank draft drawn in their own foreign currency, or an international money order (IMO) from the United States Postal Service (USPS). Depending on your post office, IMO's can be quick and easy to get, so you can get your kit from overseas relatively quickly for less cost than it takes to get a bank draft ($10-15).

There was confusion about IMO's that are issued by the USPS, however. Some posts stated that they are only issued in the foreign currency denomination, and the last time I purchased one it was issued in American $ denomination. Who was right? Who was wrong? It turns out that nobody was wrong, but to find out why I had to dig into the USPS website and I spoke with several USPS employees to find out more.

It turns out that there are THREE different types of money orders used for International Postal Money Order Service; and depending on WHERE you send your order, the IMO that you get will be different!

The following IMO service descriptions are taken verbatim from a USPS bulletin, which went into effect December 1, 1995. If anyone has updated information, please comment.

I will list ALL countries that accept IMO's as stated on the USPS form (just in case there really is a cool hobby shop in Vatican City that sells the Popemobile replete with a photo etch incense burner!); but will list the most prominent countries at the beginning of their own respective lists.


The former Trust Territories of the United States are the only countries accepting the domestic postal money order from the United States. The fee for this form is $0.85.
The Federated States of Micronesia (Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap)
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (Majuro, Ebeye)
The Republic of Palau (Koror)

The following countries accept international postal money orders from the United States using the International Postal Money Order form MP1. The fee for this form is $3.
Canada
Japan
Mexico
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mali, Montserrat, Nigeria, Peru, St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago

The following countries accept international postal money orders from the United States using the Authorization to Issue an International Money Order form set. The fee for this form set is $8.50. This form says it will take a maximum of 4 to 6 weeks for the IMO to arrive at its destination.
Austria
Belgium
China (and presumably Hong Kong)
Czech Republic
France
Germany
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
Poland
Slovak Republic
Sweden
Switzerland
Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Corsica, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Republic of; Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Caledonia, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Reunion, St. Bartholomew, St. Martin (French), St. Pierre and Miquelon, San Marino, Senegal, Slovak Republic (Slovakia), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uruguay, Vatican City, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe


I can only assume that countries that are not listed do not have a reciprocal exchange with the USPS; and you probably don't want to do a lot of model shopping from Mongolia or North Korea anyway.

Now for some examples.

If you wanted to send an IMO to Japan, you would look up in the list and find that Japan accepts the 'form MP1' type of IMO, which costs $3. This form is orange-pink in color, and is just like a regular money order in format. It is issued in US$ DENOMINATIONS! So you have to know how much your order is in US$, because the foreign post office will do the currency conversion. I have recently used the MP1 IMO to order a kit from Atelier Noix in Japan (he only accepts IMO's), and the exchange went smoothly, I got the kit within two weeks. To account for any currency fluctuations between the time when you get the order and the time it is redeemed, be sure to err on the generous side of the fluctuation to make sure things go smoothly (1-2% of final order including shipping).

If you wanted to send an IMO to England or France, you would use the 'Authorization to Issue an International Money Order form set' which costs $7.50 (let's call it IMO-2). This IMO-2 is ISSUED IN THE FOREIGN CURRENCY of the recipient's home country. It has been about ten years since I have last used one, but I believe that the process goes like this. You tell the USPS employee how much the IMO-2 should be in the foreign currency. They calculate the exchange rate of the currency. You pay the employee, and fill out a form instructing where the IMO shall be sent. That information is sent to a processing center where the IMO is issued in the foreign denomination and then mailed to it's destination.

If the process still works like that, then I would assume that it is still slow, since the IMO-2 has to be processed at a central facility. At least the IMO-2 is issued in the foreign currency so that you don't have to worry about any currency fluctuations whilst in transit.

Hope this clears things up! Please if you have any comments (especially experiences pertaining to the 'Authorization to Issue an International Money Order form set') please post them. Hopefully this information can be posted to the FAQ file.

Finally here is the link for the Universal Currency Translator just in case you want to know how much that kit costs where ever you are.

2. What resources are available to the card modeler?

2.1 ...on the Internet?

WWW pages of card modelers

Other WWW resources

Translation resources

Mailing Lists, Bulletin Boards, Newsgroups, et Cetera

There are now three automated mailing lists for paper model enthusiasts.
Cardmodel-L mailing list
The Cardmodel-L list began in March 1997. The genesis of the group was Jack Graham, who in June 1996 began collecting e-mail addresses of persons interested in corresponding about paper models. Within a few months, that group had grown so much that informal arrangements were no longer sufficient, and King Butler stepped in and set up the automated list. Much of the contents of this FAQ came from this source. The list membership includes builders, collectors, designers, and retailers, spread over 15 countries, comprising a wide range of expertise, experience, and interests. Beginners to the paper modeling hobby and experienced modellers are both welcome. To subscribe to the list, send an email message to:

LISTSERV@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM

with the following text in the message pane:

SUBSCRIBE CARDMODEL-L firstname lastname

where firstname is replaced by your first name and lastname is your last name. Within a few minutes you will receive a message asking you to confirm your subscription. Just reply to that message, replacing the text of the message with only the word ``ok'' (without the quotes) and you will be subscribed to the Cardmodel-L list. The list is available as a digest or index; this option can be set up after you have subscribed. The Cardmodel-L list is archived automatically; the archives are available to subscribers by e-mail or on the WWW. Many thanks to King Butler <kbutler@mandala.ca> for setting up the Cardmodel-L list.

NOTE: For various reasons (not under the control of the FAQ editor) there is a limit on the number of subscribers to Cardmodel-L. If you get a message to this effect when you try to join, please contact King Butler and ask him to put you on the waiting list. He tells me that it's usually a short wait.

CardModelers mailing list
In January 1999, Saul Jacobs set up the CardModelers list. This list differs from the Cardmodel-L list in that there is more commercial content. In particular, manufacturers, designers, and dealers are encouraged to post information about new items, special offers, et cetera. There is no limit on the number of members to this list. To subscribe to the list, send an email message to

majordomo@teuton.org

with the following text in the message body:

subscribe cardmodelers your-email-address

where your-email-address is, of course, replaced by your e-mail address. You will shortly receive a message with instructions on how to confirm your subscription. Once you've done that, you'll be subscribed to the CardModelers list. The list is also available in digest form, see Saul Jacobs' page for more information. Many thanks to Saul Jacobs <saulj4@msn.com> for setting up the CardModelers list.

Papermodels mailing list
The papermodels mailing list is hosted at eGroups. Subscribe by visiting this page.
Other Internet forums
Other forums for paper modeling on the Internet are the Paper Model Message Board, which is a nice concept but not yet as widely known as it needs to be; and the rec.models.scale newsgroup, where paper modelers are welcome, despite a preponderance of polysterene addicts. There is a Paper Model Lovers Club, a Paper Models Of Cars club, and a Paper Bus club on Yahoo. Also, you don't need to join a mailing list to participate in this FAQ; you're welcome to send comments, criticisms, corrections, and contributions directly to me.

General references on modeling

2.2 ...how about books, magazines, &c?

Books and booklets

In addition to the books listed here, see the Bibliography appendix, which lists a variety of sources less general, or more obscure, than the ones described here. The general idea is that good basic references be listed here, preferably ones in print (or at least still circulating copies are in existence). Less general or more obscure citations are in the appendix. However, as always, actual practice is a little arbitrary and subject to editorial whims.

Magazines

Newsletters

Magazine Articles

The editor apologizes, but some of the citations below are incomplete. If you have any further information, please notify <cardfaq@bellsouth.net>

Newspaper Articles

2.3 Trade shows, conventions, museums, and exhibits

Museums

Conventions and trade shows

International Karton-Modellbau-Treffen in Bremerhaven, Germany
The 13th International Karton-Modellbau-Treffen (Card model construction meetings) was be held on the 28-29th of April, 2001 at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven. Contact:
Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum
Dr. Siegfried Stölting
Hans-Scharoun-Platz 1
D-27568 Bremerhaven
Tel. 0471 - 48207-48
Fax  0471 - 48207-55
Some comments on previous meetings are below.
13th
The 13th International Karton-Modellbau-Treffen (Card model construction meetings) was be held on the 28-29th of April, 2001 at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven. Pictures:
Peter Visser (follow links to Index, then to Pictures)
12th
The 12th International Karton-Modellbau-Treffen (Card model construction meetings) was held in April, 2000 at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven. Gunnar Sillén took some pictures.
11th
The 11th International Karton-Modellbau-Treffen (Card model construction meetings) was held on the 24th and 25th of April, 1999 at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven.
from Kell Black <blackk@apsu01.apsu.edu>: For the past eleven years paper modelers from Germany and Northern Europe have been meeting on the last weekend of April at the German National Museum of Shipping for two days of exhibitions, presentations and conviviality. This year's event was attended by more than 100, including 21 exhibitors and 19 lecturers on paper modeling related topics. (Two people, for example, gave talks on the newly opened Schreiber museum. One discussed the development and aims of the museum as a whole, and the other focused specifically on the paper modelling component of the collection, which runs the gamut from early 19th century models to the latest additions.) Four designers/publishers also presented upcoming kits from their respective houses. Several "cottage designers" were also present: one exhibited several all white prototypes of heavy industrial machinery at 1:20 scale, and another, the only WOMAN modeler/designer present, had a handsome series of tugs and freighters at 1:200. [There are pictures of some of Imogen Zimmer's model ships at News and Views from Modellbyggarakademien.] A couple from the former East Germany presented an impressive line of over 40 new models, ranging from East German housing projects and East German Socialist monuments, to many variations on the Trabant, the ubiquitous small car of eastern Europe. All in all, a wonderful weekend, and well worth the exhausting trip.
from Mayer Brenner <mabrenner@mediaone.net>: Any idea when these are likely to be available?

Was there any feeling at the Meeting that paper modelling is increasing in popularity? From my vantage point, the past several years have seen a tremendous expansion in the range of products out there. Is that just an artifact of the widened horizons the Internet and the mailing lists have facilitated and the greater internationalization of the modelling community, or is a rising tide actually lifting all boats (so to speak)?

from Kell Black <blackk@apsu01.apsu.edu>: The guy working on the heavy machinery is planning on selling his kits via the Internet. The young woman who designs the great little boats has not even yet begun to approach publishers and vendors, and actually, she was somewhat overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to her work! Also, she's still at the unversity studying geography, so she's pretty tied up with other responsibilities at the moment. Another designer has just come out with a 1:50 WWI airplane, the Farman IV. He, too, plans to market via the Internet. The only folks who expressed an interest in approaching the US market via mail order catalogs were the two from the former East Germany. They are also in the process of setting up a web site, but they speak only German. I traded business cards with all of the folks mentioned and everyone agreed to let me know when their sites are up and running. I'll pass on the info when they do.

[On popularity...] Yes and no. Yes, in that many were pleasantly surprised at the increasing popularity in the USA, but they were equally perplexed that Americans would interest themselves in something perceived as so "old world." On the other hand, everyone is lamenting the fact that there are so few young paper modelers, and a recurring topic of conversation was how to increase interest in the art, craft and hobby . (I met only four modellers under the age of thirty, and the three in their 20's felt themselves to be exceptions. All, however, were very active in that they built AND designed models. The youngest exhibitor, a thirteen year old, was there with his dad, and he also had one of his own designs available as a freebie: an all-white kit of a city bus.)

10th
from Werner Winkler <werner.rudi.winkler@t-online.de>: On the 25th and 26th, April, 1998 there will be a big meeting of all cardmodellers in Bremerhaven, Germany. Dr. Stoelting, senior executive of the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven, will hold the 10th annual meeting this year.

One of the key points in his agenda is the product-planning and discussion with the professional manufacturer.
-Walter Stute
-Waldmann GmbH
-Hamburger Modellbaubogen Verlag
-Moewe Verlag
-Anette Scholz Verlag
-CFM Verlag
-Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum
-(etc?)

from Werner Winkler <werner.rudi.winkler@t-online.de>: For the last 10 years we have had a big meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany, in the last weekend of April. I reached the event on Saturday morning and many, many people had models exhibited. Twenty cardmodellers gave lectures about and around our beautiful hobby. There were ships, planes, some buildings, cars, etc. in excellent condition. The manufacturers gave an overview for all new models we can expect in 1998.

[Scheuer & Strüver has a report and some pictures of this event at their website.]


Annual International Paper Modelers Convention
Beginning in 1997, an annual International Paper Modelers Convention has been held in the Dayton, OH, USA, area. Beginning in 2001, this series of conventions will be held in various locations around North America. For descriptions and pictures of past conventions, and information about upcoming ones, see here.

UPDATED The 2002 International Paper Modelers Convention will be held over the weekend of 25-27 October at the Dulles Days Hotel and Convention Center (rooms are only $59.00 for single or double on Friday and Saturday nights) in Herndon, VA (near Washington, DC and a free shuttle ride from Dulles International Airport). There is a registration fee of $10.00 and a 6 foot table costs $25.00. We will start with an ice breaker ($10.00 for sandwiches with a cash bar -- $15.00 for sandwiches w/o reservation) while we set up the tables of displays. The Convention will be open to the general public (free admission) on Saturday (approximately 10 am until 5pm) and Sunday (approximately 10 am until 3pm) -- we will also sponsor a "make and take" on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we will have a buffet ($25.00 with reservation and $30.00 at the door - cash bar) starting at 6pm and this will be followed by an auction of donated models to help fund next year's convention (so if you can't attend please send your donations and reservations to Peter Ansoff, 6353 8th Circle, Alexandria, VA 22312-1903 or send donations to H&B Precision Card Models, P.O. Box 8786, Reston, VA 20195). Sunday between 9 and 10 am we will have our annual business meeting to discuss the site of next year's convention and how to improve on this year's convention. BTW if you make your reservations and send payment before 1 September there is a 10 percent discount. So, for more details visit our website set up by Ed Schulman.


Bouwplatenbulletin convention in Holland
NEW from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>: The Dutch paper modellers convention will be held on October 19th at the Aviodome at Schiphol Airport. This convention is organised by the Bouwplaten Bulletin and soon as more info is posted on their website I will let you know. For past conventions you can go to the Iceberg page and choose PICTURE and go to Bouwplatenbulletin meeting 1999/2000/2001.
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>: The third annual Dutch 'bouwplaten meeting' is planned to be held at April 15 at the Flying Museum in Lelystad. Just like last year it will be held between old airplanes like Tiger Moth, Fokker S-11 and Saab Safir. (have a look at http://www.solcon.nl/vml/vmluk.htm for their other airplanes.) So if you're in the neighborhood, please drop by. Many Dutch designers and publishers will be there: Sjoerd Hekking, Marc Gerretsen, Koen Berfelo, etc.

Go to http://www.peterjvisser.demon.nl/bpbe.html for pictures of last years meeting.

The 2nd Bouwplatenbulletin meeting was held on April 10, 1999, at the Nationale Luchtvaart Museum (National Aviation Museum) at Soesterberg in the Netherlands. Peter Visser attended and took photographs, which can be seen at the Iceberg web site.
Australia
Australia's Inaugural Card and Paper Model Convention was held on May 18, 2000.
United Kingdom
The UK chapter of the card modelers mailing list put on a display of paper models at the International Model Exhibition, Buckinghamshire, UK, on the 8th October, 2000. Pictures are available at the Heritage Models web site.

Miscellaneous exhibitions

from Christopher Cooke <christopher@marcle.co.uk>: In Cockermouth on the edge of the Lake District, North West England, is the Cumberland Toy and Model Museum run by Rod Moore. Among a tremendous display of toys going back to the 1900s, there are plenty of card models made up, including Micromodels & the Beam Engine works! So, worth a visit and, if you present a copy of Cutting Remarks you get a reduction on the entrance charge.


from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>:
Maritime Museum Prins Hendrik
Leuvehaven 1
Rotterdam
A sea of toys
April 3-September 12, 1999.
This exhibition shows the diversity of maritime toys. Bathtub toys and (paper) models, magic lanterns and computergames, Noah's Ark and pirate ships. The museum shop is also interesting for for paper shipbuilders.

from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>:
Piggelmee shop
Rode Torenplein
Zwolle
Paper model cars in advertising.
January 10-February 27, 1999.
A part of the collection of Jan van den Bor. (Publisher of Bouwplatenbulletin)

[Editor's note: the exhibit noted below is now closed. I have left this comment in because it's a traveling exhibit, and I'm hoping to find out where it's going to pop up next.]
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>: If anyone gets near Helmond in The Netherlands, make sure you visit the City Museum (Meyhuis). They have an exhibition called 'Architecture a decouper' and has lots of architectural paper model kits. Empire State building, Sears Tower, Kremlin, Vatican, Teatro del Mondo, Casa Battlo, Rietveld House, Eifeltower, Notre Dame, and some L'Instant Durable Castles. It's an travelling exhibition that started about 10 years ago, but keeps growing and changing. I saw it about 8 or 9 years ago in The Hague, but it was also in Paris, Brussels, Naples, Milan, Edinburgh and Amsterdam.

See http://www.tref.nl/helmond/architectuurcafe/bouwplt.htm for the (Dutch) press-release. There are two pictures of the Empire State Building and the Kremlin. The exhibition is open until July 5th.

3. How about tips on techniques?

4. Detailing and advanced techniques

5. Reviews

6. Collecting and collectors.

Editor's note: This section will soon contain a brief essay on collecting paper models, with some comments on the virtues (and vices) of collecting. For now, all that's here is a link to an appendix listing the particular interests of some collectors and builders.
from Saul H. Jacobs <saulj4@msn.com>: I think most of us cardmodelers wind up being collectors. We find that there are models that we just must have and go and buy them and then wind up not having the time to build them. Some of us also got disappointed when we have seen a model and said that I will wait till I have time to build it and then when we had the time the model was unavailable. I think the longer you stay in this hobby the bigger your collection becomes. Just look at my web pages and you will see just "some" of the models in my collection.
from Kell Black <blackk@apsu01.apsu.edu>: I, too, plead guilty to the charge of collecting, although I REALLY DO only acquire models I one day hope to build.

One of my chief interests is in looking at how different designers approach the same problem. I've half a dozen kits of the Spirit of Saint Louis, and also four or five DC-3's, and every designer approached the problem differently. Fascinating stuff! Sometimes it appears as though the designs follow similar national patterns: i.e., fuselages in Polish models are often built up of sections butted against one another, while German designed planes seem to favor a smoother, nestled approach. (This could, however, rest solely with the preferences and budgets of the respective publishers.) Anyway, the differences make for interesting study.

7. Printing your own models and scratch-building.

This section concentrates on the process of printing models yourself, and building models you've printed. These concerns are common to models that are distributed in electronic form (like all the free models listed above) and to models that you've designed yourself. For more on how to design your own models--that is, how to get to the point where you're ready to print something---see the Appendices Designing Paper Models and Maths Primer for the Card Modeler.

7.1 What printer or copier to use?

Epson

from Myles Mandell <Micromodels@yahoo.com>: The Epson Styus Color 500 prints on plain card stock. The printer is relatively inexpensive but the ink refills are quite expensive. I have just purchased an inkjet refill kit but have not yet had a chance to try it. The Epson Stylus Color Pro while almost twice as expensive as the 500, prints much faster, but according to the tech support people at Epson would probably not print on card stock. Being able to print on card stock was very important to me.
from Myles Mandell <Micromodels@yahoo.com>: I have now had a chance to try both the black and the color refills. For the Epson 500 Stylus Color and they are excellent. Epson now has an even better low end color ink-jet printer for about $200. and I can heartily recommend getting one since the main draw back was the cost of the ink-jet refill cartridges. Now with 2nd source refills available for about 1/30 the cost of OEM cartridge it is a best buy for those who want to print in color on card-stock.
from Myles Mandell <Micromodels@yahoo.com>: I have a new Epson Printer 850, I have raved about the Epson in the past. This new Epson has excellent quality as my old Epson, but prints about 4 times faster. The cost of cartridges has never been a problem since I have bought a kit that I use to refill the original cartridges. This reduces the cost considerably.
from Fred Hirsch <fhirsch@khs.com>: I would like to recommend the Epson Stylus Color 600. It has a straight paper path which allows it to feed cardstock without any problems. It will do 720dpi on regular paper and the print quality is excellent. I recently printed one of Emil's planes on a Tektronix color laser and on the Stylus 600, I showed the prints to a couple people and everyone chose the Stylus printout (I don't nor have I ever worked for Epson Corp). The best part... I paid about $235.00 for it at Price Costco.
from Chip Fyn at Fiddlers Green Ltd <chipfyn@quest.net>: Can't find much fault with our Epson 800. Really intelligent and well behaved. Good write-ups from the experts.

Apple

from Peter Richardson <par@cct.u-net.com>: I use Apple StyleWriter 2400 to print on 280 micron pulp board with few problems so long as the page feeder has at least 10 sheets backing up the one to be printed - this seems to assist the sheet alignment into the tractor feed - without the backing sheets the page being fed seems to be picked up asymmetrically on one corner. For most uses when printing single sheets, this isn't a problem because you can assist the sheet into the feeder - however for my commercial use I may require batch printing of up to 30 sheets and need to leave the printer to its own devices. I print both sides of 280 micron board, and with a little care it is possible to get good registration front to back - I reckon I can consistently achieve +/- half a millimetre. With the 2400 I also print onto the reverse plain side of 250 gsm "Chromolux" glossy surfaced card, which is the card stock I use for the skins of Hooton AirCraft. This does require assistance through the printer as the shiny surface slips on the tractor roller. Light finger pressure on the edge of the card until it disappears into the printer works OK. I'm sure Apple wouldn't approve, and it probably shortens the printer life. It is essential that any printer has a straight a path as possible for the card for printing heavy stock - conveniently this is true of most of the cheaper ranges of DTP's (unlike my LaserWriter Pro!) But the best printer news is the introduction of the ALPS MD solid ink printers. These are brilliant - superb resolution and really solid colour, they accept card stock, even textured materials, replacement cartridges are inexpensive and they print metallic inks all for £369! And they have a combined printer/scanner for only £600! I shall be getting one shortly and would be interested to hear from any users out there.

Hewlett Packard

from Bob Bell <bobbell@portal.connect.ab.ca>: My HP Laserjet IIP will take card stock of file card thickness quite easily. This stock is slightly heavier than the paper of Wilhelmshaven models which is about the limit that my Canon BJC 600 color printer will take.

from Stephen Brown <cardfaq@bellsouth.net>: The HP 682C color inkjet printer is spec'd to print on cardstock up to 110 pounds, and I have had good luck feeding 80 pound (~216 g/m²) and 67 pound (145 g/m²) cover stock through it.

from Fil Feit <filf@ns.kreative.net>: I just picked up an HP 890C, to replace my aging HP IIIP laser. I haven't done extensive testing yet, but I did do two things:
1. printed a colour picture on regular copy paper. It came out _very_ well. Not photo quality, but, again, it was on regular copy paper.
2. printed out a card model on heavier stock. I chose the paper using classic scientific method: it (a) felt about right, for card stock, and (b) was free. In spite of the curved paper path, it printed fine, did not wrinkle or fold the paper at all, and looked good enough to cut. Which I will. Eventually.
The printer isn't as cheap as some of the others mentioned in the FAQ (eg, the Epsons), but I've been led to believe that it's more economical with supplies than the Epson (esp. the 600 & 800 which devour print cartridges), and it's not prone to the head clogging problems that some Epsons have. Printer cost me US$430.

from David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: I have an HP 690 C and am very pleased with the results. I have used it to print onto card and it has fed ok and printed without bleeding. The harder sorts of card seem to be better for ink-jets in general.

from Harry B. Frye, Jr. <xfldengr@email.msn.com>: The HP Model 720C will handle up 110 lb paper. And it has photo quality reproduction.
from Peter Ansoff <peter_ansoff@compuserve.com>: I've just made what seems to be an unfortunate discovery about the HP 720 printer. I bought it because the advertising copy said that it printed at 600x600dpi. However, when I printed the Digital Navy "Admirable" many of the lines were missing. Looking throught the manual carefully, I found this statement buried in the section on photographs: "To get best results, scan photographs at 150 or 300 dpi. If you scan them at a higher speed, you won't improve the print quality, and the pictures will take longer to print." It appears that, while the HP 720 can print 600x600, it cannot accurately reproduce an image that's denser than 300x300.

Nosing around the HP web site, I found that the 720 will only print 600x300 if standard paper is selected -- to get 600x600 you need the HP Premium Inkjet setting. I selected this and printed another Admirable, with no change in the results.

Does any one else have experience with this printer? Am I missing something? The printer works well at lower resolution -- it did a great job with Chip's shark.

from Jimi Tubman <jimi@roguetrader.freeserve.co.uk>: My humble HP870CXi gives me brilliant printouts on card.
from Fil Feit <filf@ns.kreative.net>: I use an 870. I've printed FG, the HEMS chopper, the Yamaha R1, and others; I like it just fine. Relatively straight paper path; I haven't had a problem with creasing or curling. It'll take A4 or letter, but I don't think you can feed anything wider than letter. Ink lasts longer than most, and it's even pretty OK for printing photos. I don't regret my choice At All.
from Peter Wehrhahn <PeterWehrhahn@t-online.de>: The HP Office Jet 1150 takes regular office filecard-cardstock (A4 size) very well.
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>: Just got a brand new HP2000C inkjet color printer. It's not cheap, but it is very good! According to a test in a Dutch computer magazine it's better quality than the Epson stylus 800, but the HP costs almost three times as much. But printing (i.e., ink and paper) costs for the HP are about 30% of the Epson, so if you do a lot of printing, it's not that expensive at all. And it's fast (compared to my old HP Deskjet 560C, about two minutes for a full color page A4 size), and it can handle card up to 110 lbs. So depending on your use of the printer I should advice the HP for large quantities (over 1000 pages a month), and the Epson for smaller amounts.
from John Lifer, Jr.<jliferjr@yahoo.com>: I've used (until last month) an HP682c. Ok printer, older model with limited resolution. Printed a BUNCH of stuff with it with very few problems. Not a lot of card stock, less than a hundred pages I would guess. Would jam on this occasionally. I use a HP1120c wide printer at work. Have printed in two years probably 10 reams of copy paper, 300 or so overheads a hundred or so pages of card and a ream of thin onion skin thickness. I've had numerous misfeeds from both the thin and the thick paper. It feeds regular 20# fine, just doesn't like other paper. BTW, you can feed card stock thru straight from rear. I would give this printer a 7 and the 682c an 8 on John's printer scale. My new personal printer is a HP930c. So far it is a 10 on my scale. Beautiful print, much bettter than others, feeds (if you select the right paper on setup) all paper well. The heavy paper setting pulls paper in at about 1/3 normal speed so it picks it up properly. Great feature imho!
from David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: I finally went and got myself a new printer to replace my aging HP Deskjet 690c. I went for a HP Deskjet 930c, mainly as a result of some rave reviews about how it handled photographs. It is brilliant for models too. The main difference from the 690 is the complete lack of dithering - it generates almost completely smooth fills. General line detail is also much crisper and well-focussed. Tried a test print of the Digital Navy V108 and the results look like a vector PDF not a bitmap. I showed my wife a sheet from a HMV ship model and one of mine coming off the new printer and she could not believe how close they came in terms of print quality (she still doesn't understand why I make the ship models but I'm working on that!). I thoroughly recommend it to anyone - usual disclaimer about not being connected to HP, etc.

Canon

from King Butler <kbutler@mandala.ca>: What I do with almost all of my models is take the sheets to a colour copy outfit, have them copy it onto cover stock and build the copy. You need to find a copy shop with a Canon 700 or 800 - These copiers will copy onto card and usually match the colours very well. (Got that idea from Myles.)
from Alan J. Frenkel <mason@mich.com>: I bought a Canon BJC-6000 recently with a USB kit for my Mac. I'm very happy, and it promises to be a very good printer. Two very good features:
1. Individual ink tanks- you can replace only the color that runs low.
2. Large tanks - especially Black.
When I first installed it I was having trouble getting the colors to look right. I had a fortuitous accident - an installer for an old program totally wrecked my Mac by installing outdated system files. I did a software restore and almost can't believe how close colors are to my monitor screen. Some old software must have been interfering with the driver.

September "Popular Photography" reviewed various printers and liked the Canon very much. They estimated that it would print 100+ 8x10 color prints while other printers would be lucky to get 30 on a set of cartridges. They also said that it was the fastest in their tests. With single sheet feed you can use up to 143 lb (500 g/m2) or .6mm thick paper.

from Mike Hungerford<chthulhu@sdccu.net>: I have the BJC4200, with which I have been quite happy for the most part. I've had some annoyances with the ink tanks, but as long as I buy true Canon refills, the quality has been very good, and the machine is a hell of a lot quieter than my wife's Epson.

One very important consideration for card model printing is the paper path; it should be as straight as possible, as with the BJC4200 and the Epson Stylus Color 640 (both approx. 30 degrees of bend). The Hewlett-Packard I'm stuck with at work has both the in and out trays at the front, requiring the printer to bend the paper a full 180 degrees around the platen, which causes a lot of jams and misfeeds. I've never had this problem with my Canon.

The Canon inks, if I remember correctly, are a wax-based system, and don't seem to be very sensitive to moisture. I've yet to have a print smear while working with it.

Ricoh

from Louis G Van Winkle <looks-like@juno.com>: Try to find a copy shop with a Ricoh color copier. They handle 80# stock without a problem! Some of their models are rated for 110# card. I have had copies run on 11 x 17, 140# index stock, and that worked just fine. Sometimes I wonder, what would it take to jam one of their machines?

ALPS

from Bob Santos <SantMin@aol.com>: I've had an ALPS for about two years and make all my own decals. I have also printed paper models using the photo-realistic mode and they are impressive. However, I have an MD-1000 and it is slow and I find the HP color printer does a fine job on paper models. I usually reserve the ALPS for decals in that it not only prints on decal paper but can also print WHITE (try to get white lettering any other way) and metallics.
from Karl Guttag <karlg@topher.net>: This last weekend I experimented with some materials with my ALPS printer. Here are my subjective results:

ALPS Photo Quality Paper - Excellent very photo like detail - no dots! This is fairly rugged/resistant to scratches. While heavier weight than ordinary paper, it will require a backing for any larger structures.

The image is into the top coating. I'm new at cardmodeling, but I tried scoring it to make some folds. I did cut through the image sometimes, but other times it seemed I could make a clean fold without cutting through the image (maybe with some practice, and the right tool, it could be done constantly). The "inks" are thermal/wax based and are totally waterproof.

Gluing may be a problem with the photo paper. The photo surface is slippery. The super-glues will dissolve the ink and make it run. Rub on glues and "white" type glues seem to work.

ALPS printing on ALPS paper - This seems to work well, but the printing has noticeable "dots". I have had problems with even Hammermill paper with white specks in dark areas. The paper would clearly need backing and is not as strong as the photo quality paper. An advantage is that it is cheap.

ALPS is really two printers in one. The photographic mode requires special papers with coating to receive the sublimation inks. In the "normal" mode they print wax dots, similar to a ink jet. In the photo mode you are very limited to the material you can print on but the quality is excellent. The normal mode gives a great flexibility in printing materials but the quality is more like ink jet (probably below the better ink jets) but waterproof.

ALPS Backprint film - While not the detail of photo quality, it does a good job of capturing the image/ink (as good as the ALPS paper.) The printing is done on the "glue" side and thus you print a mirror image. This is a very interesting product. The "film" is held on a much thicker plastic backing. The image can then be heat transferred (say iron transferred) to card stock or paper. After the heat transfer the thicker plastic backing is removed and, the ink is then "sealed" under a thin plastic coating (much thinner than typical laminating).

The result seems extremely durable. It also has a plastic/shiny paint look to it. You can score folds without cutting the plastic film. There is a tendency to curl which can be taken out.

The result on paper is very durable and shiny/plastic. It can be folded easily. This might be a good material to use for small details that need to be folded easily. I have successfully transferred it to paper, posterboard, and wood.

As veterans are probably aware, the posterboard is not a good stock to use for card modeling as it wrinkles even if scored (but it was handy at the time). I did find I could score the cardboard without cutting the image. I found that the image would only stick well to the shinier side of the posterboard but would bubble up on the dull side. I will get some 80 weight paper and try again soon.

The print back film without removing the clear plastic backing may also be used to make windows for buildings. The plastic backing gives a shiny surface, but the glue/image later is diffuse and would scatter a backlight (say if one lighted the inside of the building.) I have ordered some ALPS Clear projector sheets to try for windows as well.

Another thing I briefly experimented with was partially ironing the image and then peeling the rest off the backing and then ironing it around a corner in a second step. It seemed to work. While the film is thin, it is much more durable than typical water slide decal film.

The ALPS printer can print on posterboard directly, but there is a tendency to get blotches on either side. I am going to try 80 weight paper and see. ALPS printers need a very smooth surface to print on due to the thermal transfer process.

I could not find 80# smooth white paper (from experience, only very smooth paper will work in the ALPS). I got very good results with Strathmores Smooth Bristol board 100#. I got slighter better results with the duller side (it was hard to tell but there was a slightly duller side). It came out almost identical to the ALPS paper, even when viewed under 8x magnification.

Next I used Spectra Fadeless Artboard. Printing on the shiny/waxy side worked pretty well, but there were occasional thick streaks with no ink in dark areas. The dull side worked pretty well, but I think the Bristol board was better (particularly under magnification). This board did not have a weight, but it measured about the same thickness as the Bristol board, but was slightly stiffer (probably from the waxy coating).

NOTE: A major drawback of using either cardstock for "photo-cardmodeling" is that when they are scored and folded you get a "cut" in the image layer.

I also tried out some ALPS transparency material. I'm thinking about using it for windows. It takes the ink very well (about the same as the paper). For normal transparencies, one would print on the front side, but for windows backside printing (by printing the mirror image) gives a shiny surface. Also, the ALPS software prints "transparencies" much darker to look better when projected, but for printing windows, I think it is better to use the "backprint" film option.

Backprint film, without removing the backing is another option for making windows. It has a diffuse backing which may be desirable if the building is lit from the inside (so it would blur/even out the light source).

I also just got some Vinyl that is coated for ALPS printing. I'm thinking of using it for making awnings, and other "plasticy" objects.

I have tried ALPS "photorealistic" papers. They cost about one-fourth that of the photo-quality papers. In this mode the printer prints/dithers at 1200 by 600 pixels per inch. The dots are less noticable, but I have never been able to get the colors to look good due to a big color shift (the "normal" and "photoquality" printing match well without any changes even though they are different processes using different inks).

After all my experiments, I far and away think that using the ALPS photo quality paper is the way to go for most parts of a ALPS printed photo-model. My measurements (10 sheets with a dial caliper) showed that it is about 60% the thickness of the 100# Bristol board. I think it is a little stiffer per unit thickness due to the coatings. Through the Internet it can be had for about $1 a sheet (about the same as the print back film). The image quality is extremely good and there are no dot patterns in the final image (I should say that from more than a foot away few can tell the difference).

I think that the ALPS print back film on paper may be a good material to form part that have a lot of small folds or small tubes. The resultant image is very durable yet flexible. It can be scored and folded without cutting the image. It is a very little bit shinier than the photo quality paper, but I think it will mix and match ok.

One could consider using the print-back film on 60# to 100# paper. The print back material costs about the same as photo quality paper, gives lesser image quality, and requires the extra transfer step. The heat transfer step is also prone to mistakes, thus making it more costly (including mistakes). Still I'm glad I experimented with it and will keep it in mind for other specialty situations.

Lexmark

Lexmark has a web page on using their printers for paper models.

General comments on printing

from Evan Powles <epowles@peninsula.starway.net.au>: Anyone have long-term experience of inkjet ink lifetimes? Am I just paranoid about fading?
from Peter J. Visser <peter@peterjvisser.demon.nl>: I have some prototypes printed on a HP 560C Deskjet about 3 years ago. There is not much colour left on the models that were displayed in a room with lots, but no direct sunlight. The models in a room on the north (no sunshine at all) are much better, only the black turned purple.
Infoworld magazine has published some information on the lifetimes of inkjet inks. Wilhelm Imaging Research has test results for some ink and paper combinations.

7.1.1 Commercial printing

Bob's Print Guide has suggestions on selecting a printer, frequently asked questions, and a glossary.

7.2 Choice of papers

Also see the Glossary of Paper Terms. For papers suitable for very large models, see the section on Macro-models, above.
from Paul M. Bucalo <bucalo@norwich.net>: Is there a 'perfect' card stock weight to print on for paper models?
from Stephen Brown <cardfaq@bellsouth.net>: Well, I don't know about perfect, but I can try to put some quantative figures on it. I've been using 80 pound cover stock (which is what Eric Sayer Peterson recommends). Initially, I just walked into a print shop and asked for some; later, when that was running low, I found a big package at the Dayton Hamvention.

I'm too lazy to cut measured squares of my various stocks and weigh them on an analytic balance (and I don't want to cut up some of my models just to weigh the paper), but I took a micrometer to some:
Wilhelmshaven 0.008"
Dover 0.008"
ModelCard 0.008" (for the card stock)
0.004" (for parts to be laminated on thicker card)
3"x5" index card0.007"
Micromodels 0.010"
Kenilworth 0.0085"
80# cover stock0.011"
'Strawboard' 0.032-0.043" (various sample of pad backing card, &c.)
Bristol board 0.0045"/ply (Geoffrey Deason's measurement)
Maly 0.011"
'Poster board' 0.015" (not very rigid for it's thickness)
JSC 0.009"
Taschen0.012"
Looks like...0.009" (model)
0.060" (packing card)
LJ 0.012" (N-scale building)
0.017" (riverboat)

Sorry for the archaic units, but I've only got the one micrometer. Sounds like your 65# stock is probably comparable to what Wilhelmshaven, Modelcard, Dover, JSC, & alia, are using. I think it's fine for the smaller models, but larger planes and ships will want something heavier for framing.

The micrometer isn't perfect, as paper varies in density, so that two samples of the same nominal weight may not measure to the same thickness, but I think this gives a good rough guide. (Technically, I measured the caliper, not weight.) Also beware that the basis size can vary; an 8.5" by 11" sheet of 24# cover stock is lighter than an 8.5" by 11" sheet of 24# bond. Most of Europe uses a more rational grams/square meter (gsm) measure, which is at least comparable. (80# cover stock is about 216 gsm.)

Hmm... that insert in the Looks Like... models is just the right thickness for the 1.5 mm stock JSC and ModelCard want for laminating ship frames.

from Louis G Van Winkle <looks-like@juno.com>: I read with interest your comments and comparisons of papers. I would agree that 80# card or cover stock is the best. It is commonly available and most copiers and printers will handle it.

However, there is a world of differences in 80# stocks. Stiffness and workability are really the most important things, not weight. Some papers have more bulk, and thus are thicker and stiffer. A fine grain, tightly compressed paper may weigh the same but lack stiffness. Some of these very dense papers are available as tag or index stocks. While they are really heavy weight and stiff, generally, they don't take a bend very well. Stay away from textured papers (linen, felt, etc.) as they do not make good photocopies.

Right now I am using Wausau Papers "Royal Fiber" for my models. It seems to be readily available from paper stores, and is available in a variety of weights and colors. It is stiffer than a lot of other 80# cover stocks and will bend to sharp corners without splitting apart at the bend.

BTW, that insert in the Looks Like kits also makes a good cutting board.

[Editor's Note: Louis Van Winkle is the proprietor of Looks Like... Paper Models and so speaks with some authority on the choice of papers.]

from Phil Koopman Sr. : Finally! There is a solution to getting soak-it-in-the-sink prints from inkjets! A special paper and light card stock from Japan. This has a clay-like coating giving a mat finish that's ideal for military models. It comes in light card and a heavy paper.

What appears to be a clay coat is actually a chemically treated coating that react with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to "lock" in the inkjet-printer's dye. Most inkjets use alcochol as the solvent for the "ink." It wroks great with Canon printers and I'm told that it's fine with the HPs, too (I haven't personally tested it on an HP).

You can also work up coloring from a b&W outline print, like a laser printer, and then color with water colors. A quick spray with rubbing alcohol and the whole works is now waterproof. If you do use too much water there can be warping. After spraying wet the paper and let it dry on a flat surface like a formica counter top.

Where to get this "miracle??" Well, it's as close as your local Canon COPIER dealer. They now use the same paper for the Canon ink-jet copier. You can also get it a some copy centers that use the Canon inkjet copiers. You CAN NOT get it from a computer dealer (weird isn't it)!
Canon LC-201 LTR Color BJ Paper (8-1/2 x 11) 200 sheets/Box
Canon LC-101 LGL Color BJ Paper (8-1/2 x 14) 200 sheets/Box
Canon CS-101 LTR Color BJ Card Sheet (8-1/2 x 11 ONLY) 50 Sheets/Box

The paper is about 28 pound and the card stock is about 60 pound, depending on whose paper you compare it to. It's NOT cheap! Figure about $35.00 for the paper and $50.00 for the card stock. Haggle! There's actually no set price for retail sales - the more you buy, the cheaper you can get it.

from James Nunn <jnunn@tstonramp.com>: I have printed both models from the WEB and PDF files using a HP 660cse and a HP 692 inkjet printer. The print quality leaves a lot to be desired in that lines are not smooth and the colors are not correct. I am using 67Lb (145 g/m2) White Vellum Bristal paper and I think that the paper is part if not all of the problem.

from David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: The easy way to check that the paper is the problem is to print the models onto proper Inkjet paper and look at the colours/bleeding. Proper inkjet paper is coated to make it non absorbent or loaded with talc to soak up the ink before it wicks/bleeds. I would imagine the Bristol card you are using is too absorbent.

I have an HP690C and find that I get better results if I print using the "best" option on print setup.

from Chip Fyn at Fiddlers Green Ltd <chipfyn@quest.net>: Fiddlers Green has always printed on coated cardstock (10PT C1S Cover) so we've ordered a quantity of 8.5"x11" sheets after finding they work great in the ink jet printer set on 'Best' or `Photo Quality'. Why not approach a printer in your area for some coated cardstock--he just might have a bit left over from a job OR go to a fairly large paper shop. If they don't have it, they might be able to order a pack (250 sheets) for you.

Lastly, Jim, if you can get some nice glossy paper to print on, all it takes is a little spray glue to adhere it to some cardstock you have around the house like manila folders, magazine covers or even cereal boxes. Try and figure out the grain of the cardstock with respect to the bending/curving requirements of the model before you bond.

from Chip Fyn at Fiddlers Green Ltd <chipfyn@quest.net>: Choosing the right paper is real important when you're downloading models. Most printers these days will print cardstock up to the most used #67 and even up to the sturdy #110. With the heavier stock, you might have to 'help' it through the printer by a gentle (but firm) push. Office Dept, Staples, Kinkos or stationary shops are the best sources but a printer will usually have left over cardstock from earlier jobs. 250 sheets might cost $6-$9.

We here at Fiddlers Green use Epson 800 ink jet printers and I like to use an uncoated but with a somewhat hard surfaced #67 cardstock. Springhill Index plus is our present favorite. The matte surface of a softer and more pulpy cardstock gives an interesting 'Polish' looking model. Kind of like soft sponge. Gloss paper is a disaster for ink jets. The ink washes all over the place.

67# is used for the curvy jets and newer planes. The #110 is for boxy old birds. We've discovered if you're printing a model airplane that's basically green, beige, or yellow, it's absolutely magic to print on 'ivory' or 'cream' colored cardstock. The colors are noticeably deeper and more saturated. Blue aeroplane models can be printed on a very light blue cardstock OR just plain white--brown or camo planes on a light tan is fantastic. Pink aeroplanes shouldn't be printed at all. If you can't find colored cardstock, just use the basic white cardstock and you'll do fine.

Lastly, it's real important to know that you must use very light colored cardstock. Not like sky blue or canary yellow. Although I've seen some great little Piper Cubs printed in black on bright yellow cardstock.

from Roman Detyna <digitalnavy@juno.com>: 1. As good as they look, I've had bad experiences with coated card stock. The Ochakov model, which you can see on my site, was printed on this kind of paper. Around 90lb, with good mechanics but the paper selectively absorbs inks and you never know what color will show up and what will disappear. I couldn't get red at all, so I ended up painting the hull.

2. For most of the models right now I use "plate bristol". Manufacturer -Renaissance - describes it as "2 ply plate finish bristol" and I have no idea what it means. Again, the paper is around 100lb, thick (probably the limit of what my printer can handle) and very good in shaping and forming. The thickness is very important in my opinion as I tend to discard gluing tubs as often as I can. Thick paper provides enough gluing surface. Thick paper can also be forced to take some crazy shapes (see the bow of Takao) - futile exercise with something thinner.

3. It is interesting how two almost identical looking and "feeling" papers can differ in many aspects. Lately, I found paper which looked identical to plate bristol, but was cheaper and I was able to buy it in 11"x8.5" sheets (the other one is 12"x9"). Unfortunately, it doesn't work well with super glue - it quickly absorbs the glue and changes its color.

4. For the parts to be tightly rolled I use regular copy paper - as thin as I can find. It replicates colors the same way the card stock does (high quality ink jet papers print beautifully, but give different colors than card stock.) This way I can achieve nice, tapered gun barrels - can somebody do it with thick card stock?

7.3 Printing downloaded models

For comments on specific printers or paper to use, see the appropriate sections above.
from Tim Ryan <tlryan@ccia.com>: This relates only to printing problems from Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Earlier this year I had purchased and downloaded all of the Fiddler's Green airplanes. The output of my little Canon bubblejet at home sucked, so I loaded one of the files onto a diskette and took it to work. The results from an Epson Stylus 1520 at 1440dpi were pretty much the same... lousy. Thin lines missing, diagonals and curves all had a very bad case of the "jaggies" or were fuzzy. I was puzzled, to say the least! These "jaggies" never showed up on the screen, even if I zoomed in for a closer look.

I then jumped onto the 'net and downloaded/installed the latest printer drivers for this model... same result. Changed the display driver... same thing. Then I went to the Adobe site site and started digging. There I found the solution and now the output (even on my crappy little printer a home) is just dandy.

What I found was an update called Acrobat 3.01 Update For PCL Printing (aka Acrobat 3.01RA). When printing, this update downsamples images to 150 dpi instead of 75 dpi. This increase in resolution resolves the poor print quality of images to non-PostScript printers.

If you get an error from Acrobat Reader to the effect that "The encoding (CMap) specified by a font is missing or corrupted", you may need to download an Asian font pack.
from Mike Hungerford<chthulhu@sdccu.net>: If you've recently upgraded to the new Acrobat Reader 5.0, you will have to install the new 5.0 Asian Font Packs to read Japanese, Korean, and Chinese .PDF files. The Asian font packs for Reader 5.0 are at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/acrrasianfontpack.html

For 4.0/4.05 it's trickier; ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatreader/win/4.x is where the font packs are located, and there seems to be no other way to get to them. The four files are:
Japanese at 5,751,296 bytes.
Korean at 8,575,488 bytes.
Chinese Simplified at 10,172,928 bytes.
Chinese Traditional at 11,150,336 bytes.
The font packs for Reader 5.0 are also available via FTP at ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobatreader/win/5.x:
Japanese at 6,095,096 bytes.
Korean at 5,817,104 bytes.
Chinese Simplified at 14,588,512 bytes.
Chinese Traditional at 10,219,688 bytes.
Please note that the font packs are not interchangeable! The 4.0 packs won't work with Reader 5.0, and vice versa!

Also remember to restart your computer after installing the font packs.

Editor's note: Mike has provided links for the Windows versions of the font packs. They are also availble for Unix and Macintosh, and aren't hard to find if you poke around Adobe's WWW and FTP sites some.

Incompatible paper sizes

Models distributed electronically are sometimes distributed in "portable document format" (PDF) which is easily displayed using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software. Unfortunately, PDF is not as portable as one might hope, because the electronic documents are still tied to a specific paper size, and the US and the rest of the world use different standard paper sizes.

Paper Sizeinchesmillimetrespoints
US Letter8.5 x 11216 x 279612 x 792
A48.27 x 11.7210 x 297595 x 842

The US and Canada use the 'letter' size standard, and most of the rest of the world uses the ISO A4 standard size. A4 is longer than letter, and letter is wider than A4. Thus, if you print an A4 document on letter size paper, you'll lose 0.7" or 18 mm off the top or bottom; if you print a letter size document on A4 paper, you lose 0.23" or 6 mm off the sides. There are several ways of coping with this. You can use a different paper size available locally; you can resize the documents; or you can get the correct size paper.

If you need to print A4 documents in the US or Canada, one easy way is to print them on the readily available 8.5" x 14" legal size paper. The legal size sheets are larger in all dimensions than A4. Cardstock in the legal size is not as easy to find as letter size, but Marco's Stationary and Paper Products has cardstock in 8.5" x 14" and 11" x 17" sizes. If you can't get card, you may be able to print onto regular paper, then photocopy the pattern onto overlapping sheets of letter size card stock, as long as no single part is bigger than 11"/279 mm.

You can resize the document. Some care is necessary to insure that the aspect ratio is preserved and that the scaling ratio is the same for the various pages of a multi-sheet model. Adobe's Acrobat Reader offers a shrink to fit option when printing, but doesn't give you control of the scaling (94% should scale A4 documents to letter size sheets.) Some versions of Acrobat Reader have a rescaling box in the Print Setup dialog, but this feature fails on the machines I've been able to try it on. The free software Ghostview is able to convert PDF and postscript files to bitmaps, which can then be rescaled in your favorite graphics editor or viewer. Some care is necessary with this to avoid unacceptable loss of resolution, and the intermediate bitmap files are very large. [David Jackson <djackso1@stny.lrun.com> adds: I have successfully resized Chip's CD models by setting a custom paper size for the printer to what I need and then checking the fit to page block in Adobe Reader print options.]

Finally, you can get A4 size paper (nearly all printers and copiers can handle both letter and A4 size sheets). A4 paper is available in the US, although you may have to special order it. Again, I don't know if cardstock is as readily available as regular paper.

To print letter-size documents outside the US, it may be harder. There is, as far as I know, no readily available "just-larger" size paper to use. The A3 size is too large for most printers and copiers. The C4 size is only about 13 mm wider than the letter size, but this is an envelope size and it may be hard to find paper in this size. The untrimmed RA4 and SRA4 sizes are probably suitable and may be available through printers; they are intended for books to be trimmed to A4 size after binding.

Perhaps fortunately, the letter-to-A4 conversion only loses 6 mm of margin and many documents may have sufficient margin to allow this. Rescaling letter to A4 should work much like A4 to letter, but the ratio is 97%.

I don't know of sources, even mail-order, for letter-size paper and card-stock outside North America.

Designers, you can do all of us a favour. If distribute your models in PDF format, do your layout as if the paper were 210 x 279 mm (8.25" x 11"), which will fit on both letter and A4 sheets. This rectangle should include the appropriate margins for printing, so the area used for printing will actually be a little smaller. It means wasting a little bit of the vertical space on an A4 sheet and a little bit of the width of a letter sheet, but it will make your designs internationally portable.

See Markus Kuhn's excellent document International Standard Paper Sizes for a detailed description of the various ISO standard sizes, and EDS Incorporated's Guide to International Paper Sizes discusses Japanese standards.

from Saul H. Jacobs <saulj4@msn.com>: I went to one of the local print shops and they told me that they would cut any weight paper to any size I wanted. I bought a ream, 500 and some sheets, of 75 pound 8 1/2" by 12" card stock for $25.00 US. I have been using it in my HP 712C and it works great.

File formats

The LH archive file compression format (identified by .lha or .lzh suffixes) can be handled by WinZip with appropriate external programs. The freeware program Power Archiver (only for Win95/98/NT/2000) handles these formats natively.
from David Sigüenza" <dasitor@hotmail.com>: Download the file 'lzhe100.com' or 'lhexe15.zip' from: ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/msdos/packing/archiver/ (I'm not sure about these two because I'm using an Unix machine)

If you're working on Lunix/Unix, try 'lharc102j.tar.gz' from here: ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/unix/tools/lha-lharc

Adjusting scale for printed models

from Mike Hungerford<chthulhu@sdccu.net>: For those of us generating .PDF files with GhostScript and other freeware/shareware programs, there is a handy little utility at Glance Software called "PDCAT.EXE." This thing will concatenate several single-page .PDF files into one multi-page .PDF file. It runs from the command prompt in a DOS window, and though there is a DOS-type help display, it's a bit confusing to figure out (no documentation).

The syntax seems to be:
pdcat -b infile1.pdf infile2.pdf ... infilen.pdf outfile.pdf
The -b turns off bookmarks.

Requires 32-bit Windows and is freeware. Some of the other tools may be of use, too.

from David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: Re-sizing PDF files has been an ongoing issue for the list and while reducing has not been too much of an issue, enlarging them has. Well I have found a solution. Bit fiddly but it works.

Mike Hungerford suggested a tool, above, for joining pdf files together to form a single pdf file. I have been using this and discovered one of the parameters is a scaling factor - up or down!

Enlarging you need to re-size the "media box" also, and it takes values in what seems to be point sizes but I am not sure.

Download the program and try it, it's an MS-DOS command line program but not hard to work. The following will resize from A4 portrait to A3 portrait:
pdcat -r -oP -b -box "0 0 865 1212" -scale 1.41 input.pdf output.pdf
(assumes pdcat.exe, input.pdf, and output.pdf are all in the same directory.)

7.4 Painting scratchbuilt models

from Xavier Brice <xbrice@ibe.kent.edu>: I design and build paper models of railroad engines - 1/8" to the foot. I have two in the works at the moment and would like to paint them. I'm using thin bristol-board and cartridge paper. How would I go about painting them? One suggestion I've had is to coat them with hairspray as a primer and then use enamels. Any better ones?
from Harry B. Frye, Jr. <xfldengr@email.msn.com>: I have always sprayed my models with a clear, matte finish, acrylic spray. I find that spraying both sides of the paper before I start cutting works well. I generally give one coat to the inside and depending on the coarseness of the paper, one or two coats on the outside. We do have some humid days here in Missouri.
from Hans Christian Gran <monir-g@online.no>: I paint my models with enamel paints such as Humbrol not only to give them the correct appearance, but also to add to the structural strength and durability.
Mark Lardas <Mlardas@flash.net> responds to Xavier Brice <xbrice@ibe.kent.edu>:

I want to know the best way to colour these models--I assume that I need to prepare the card/paper with some sort of spray--what?

Not necessarily, it depends on what paints you used. Clear acrylic spray does give a good surface to work on, and also has the added advantage of keeping the card from absorbing atmospheric water vapor over time. I sprayed a model boat I made with Testor's Dullcote following assembly, and before adding touch-up paint. That gave the entire hull a uniform level of reflectivity, which was a real plus as the kit came with two different types of papers with different sheens. (This was a pre-colored kit, so I did not need to do major painting.) For my money, spray the model with clear flat acrylic.

What is the best paint to use--modelling enamels?

I prefer model acrylic paints to enamels. My favorite, Polly-S, is out of business, but I understand that the Polly-Scale Railroad colors are being continued. Acrylics dry faster, and seem to give a flatter finish. Also, Polly-Scale is brushable, so you don't need an airbrush.

Will the card/paper shrink or buckle when painted/prepared--i.e. is it best to paint before or after construction?

Depends on the model. Interior and hard to reach spots have to be painted beforehand. Some post assembly painting is needed as touch-up anyway. If the sheets have been sprayed with flat acrylic the paper will not get waterlogged and shrink or buckle. (My experience has been that tacky glue still works on paper that has been sprayed with flat clear.)

from Bob Pounds <Bobp@dynamite.com.au>: I'd spray completed models with a light shellac mix to seal the card, then finish with acrylic or enamel paints. First choice would be acrylic, if for display, enamels if the models are for working use.

7.5 Colours

from David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: Does anyone out there know of any sites that have colour tables giving a range of colours as CMYK or RGB or HSB values? I am looking for either common colours (eg burnt umber) or a more general set of colours.

I appreciate that colours on screen or printed with an ink-jet look different from offset printed, but I just need some pointers for getting a starting point for defining colours, doing it by eye is not working.

from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: Relating colour systems and arbitrary colour names can be somewhat difficult if not impossible. Perhaps a little background would help:

RGB is the colour system used on colour monitors and televisions. It is called an additive system as white is created by mixing al of the colours (red, green and blue) at full intensity. This system is used for projected light.

CMYK is the colour system used for print. It is called a subtractive system because white is created by the absence of all colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). This system is used for reflected light which accounts for the opposite method of creating white. This is simulated on the computer to allow for colour separation for output.

RGB and CMYK systems contain common colours, but RGB has a larger gamut (more colours) than CMYK. Therefore there are colours which can be reproduced using RGB, but the same colour cannot be reproduced in CMYK.

HSB is a colour system used by artists which is very similar in structure to the Colour Wheel. This is based on the three aspects of colour: Hue (actual colour name i.e. green, blue, etc.), Saturation (intensity of the colour) and Brightness (how much white is in the colour).

A couple of tricks here: The colour wheel is used to create the four basic colour schemes: monochromatic, analogous, complimentary and triadic.

Monochromatic
One colour is used at varying brightnesses and sometimes intensities.
Analogous
Colours used are separated by 30 degrees on the wheel
Complimentary
Colours separated by 180 degrees are used. Combining colours with their compliments can increase the intensity of the colour.
Tridaic
Colours chosen are separated by 120 degrees on the wheel. Colours set at the same saturation and brightness will almost always work together.
Colours separated by 30 degrees are harmonious. Mixing a colour with its compliment will reduce its saturation.

Colour names such as Burnt Umber are determined by the manufacturer, do not conform to a particular colour model and will vary between manufacturers and media. For example, Grumbacher Gouche burnt umber has a touch more red than the same colour in Liquitex acrylic colours. For exact colour match, other colour systems are used such as Pantone (print) and Munsell (plastics manufacture).

To answer your question, there is no table to relate one system to another reliably since the colour systems are based on very different concepts and usages (projected vs. reflected light for example). How does a computer convert between RGB and CMYK? In most applications designed for CMYK output, the image will take a brief run through the L*a*b colour system which is system and calibration independent. Print shops which output to CMYK have calibrated monitors and scanners to ensure exact colour reproduction. Therefore there is little to no way to set out an arbitrary relationship between the various systems.

However, for colour mixing on screen, I would recommend the HSB system as it is the easiest to relate to and create new colours. Optical colour matching is your best bet unless you have a scanner and can scan in and sample colours.

from Bill Geoghegan <whg01@attglobal.ne>: You might try the Web Design Group's RGB color page at http://www.htmlhelp.com/cgi-bin/color.cgi. It lists about 128 colors with approximate names and RGB values in hexadecimal notation. Paint Shop Pro allows hex codes in color selection, and it would probably work with other paint programs.

Until a week or so ago, Testors had military and railroad color swatches on their Floquil site. That URL is now dead, and the color swatches in their paint catalog section don't seem particularly accurate. The site is being redesigned (www.testors.com) and the old info may reappear.

There are color research sites for modelers that have varying degrees of utility. E.g., a color site for Imperial Japanese Navy ships and planes at http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/colormix.htm. Most of the info is on mixing paints from standard model paint suppliers. Right now, the best starting point might be the WDG's RGB page listed at the top.

from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: Colour matching is a rather large issue which is dependent primarily on colour calibration. Calibration for true colour reproduction is a complex topic, but here it is in a nutshell:

All devices which deal with colour will relate to colour differently. The scanner will see a colour in one way, the monitor will interpret it in another way and the printer will print something completely different. This is due to differences in the way each device encodes colour values. In order to get every device to communicate accurately with one another, they must all be calibrated.

To calibrate a device, a target is read in and compared to a digital file of the target. Any differences are then used to modify the output of the device to make it in line with the digital file. A separate device is required for monitors and printers.

There are some software solutions to this issue, but they are not nearly as accurate. An example is ColourSync for the Macintosh which ensures that the print will match the appearance on the monitor based on device profiles encoded into the software. Note that this changes the print to match the monitor which itself could be off. This is good for home use but can be disastrous if used for displaying images intended for professional four-colour process separation.

In addition to these issues, the way the file is created will also affect the output of the colour. In a vector file, the colour can be RGB, CMYK, Pantone, Toyo, Focoltone, Munsell, etc. Each one will print colours differently. In bitmap images, the colours can be RGB, CMYK, greyscale, duotone, etc. Again, each type of colour mode will output differently.

Then there's the issue of gamut. Between colour reproduction systems, the range of colours they are capable of producing are different. RGB can produce a larger range of colours than CMYK, for example. This means that a colour can be displayed on an RGB monitor that cannot be reproduced using a CMYK printer.

Essentially, all this means that exact colour match is possible, but so complex and such a pain that it is usually limited to professional print shops which require accurate colour reproduction for their work.

from designer David Hathaway <david@dhathaway.freeserve.co.uk>: Matching a colour to come out right on your own printer is easy, but getting it commercially printed looking right...

I thought I was really switched on and in my drawing tool set all my colours consistently using CMYK codes (professional designers use CMYK for print output, right?), printed it out and took it and the output file to show a printer.

First issue - she said my printout was definitely not what it would look like on an offset litho device and different again from a digital device. Second issue was the package I was using had taken the CMYK codes and converted them all to an internal rgb coding and spat out completely different CMYK codes into the output files (this meant my 30% grey was now 33% cyan, 33% magenta, 33% yellow and 0% black!) Third issue was my printer driver, even when I had sorted this, refused to print grey using black only but used red/yellow/blue as well. I near gave up, but asked her to make suggestions.

She said that while I could use anything to draw the models I should only use Corel Draw (which I have) to set colours and give her Corel Draw files with only CMYK codes, not an exported file in any other format. We also spent an hour going through her colour swatches getting CMYK values for just about every colour I may ever need. I am going to put all of them on a single page and get a proof printed to see what they will really look like. Tedious and extra cost, but apparently the only way to guarantee a colour match. The proof would not be needed if I was going to print on an offset litho, but I intend to print on a digital press as it is more economic for smaller runs and the inks are different -> colours may not match.

An alternative perspective on colours

from Mike Krol <shoki2000@earthlink.net>: I did this plane [Kyushu J7W1 Shinden] without coloring, and both Steve Bucher and Saul Jacobs asked me why it's done this way. I gave them the same answer, but it was not a complete answer. I also started reading Frank-Michael's tips and tricks and it hit me that probably my way of building paper models is unique.

Let me explain: Building airplanes from paper has its limitations, everyone knows that. You are always stuck with uncolored edges, and sticking out ridges in the fuselage or engine cowling. Because I became kind of annoyed with it, so I switched to my plastic modelers side (but only for the next steps - I would never fall so low as to actually build a plastic model). I score all the lines with a dull knife before I assemble the model. When it is ready, I apply a thin coat of varnish to protect paper and then smooth all the ridges by putting small amounts of kid's powder mixed with clear varnish. When it is dry I sand it with a very fine sand paper and fix the lines if necessary. The last step is to paint the entire model and put on all the markings. I do them as decals, which I prepare myself.

The only limitation is that it works best with airplanes from WW II and earlier. Jets have way too many tiny little signs and writings to make it practical.

The result? When my friend, a fellow card modeler, saw a model of my Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden (which unfortunately I had to leave behind in Poland) he asked with disgust why I switched back to plastic models! The airplane lacked all the giveaways of paper construction, ridges and unpainted edges that it fooled him even from up close.

Now, I know that this is very archaic, but maybe somebody will be interested in another approach to card modeling.

7.6 Scanners

Wayne Fulton's A few scanning tips is an extensive site with much useful information about scanners and scanning.
from Saul H. Jacobs <saulj4@msn.com>: I have been having some problems with my scanner reproducing some of the colors from my card models accurately. My scanner came with Twain 32 which was very difficult for me to use to match the colors on the prints. I finally gave up today and went out and bought the HP3200C scanner which uses what HP calls Intelligent Technology. They do not use Twain to scan but have there own scanning program which takes care of matching the colors for you. I did my first couple of models tonight and was able to accurately reproduce colors that I never could with the old system. At $99.95 this scanner is a heck of a deal and does a beautiful job on scanning card models.
from Jim "Knobby" Walsh <Member8763@aol.com>: I recently purchased an HP ScanJet 3200C for $99.00 at Staples. The HP technology is so friendly in all ways and the scans are right on. I use it for newsletters and photo reproduction (as well as reproducing intricate model parts I feel I will mess up). It has a multitude of options regarding the many variations of color, hue, intensity, etc. PCComputing rates as the best in the low price end. For my money, it is.
from Alan J. Frenkel <mason@mich.com>: I have an Epson Perfection 600 Scanner which has a color management system by Kodak. This model is discontinued, but newer Epson models are available for both PC and Mac. Mine is used on my old Mac, but it came with a SCSI card that would attach it to any PC with an open slot.

I've had terrific results. I'm working on my long-delayed web page with pictures of Dayton [1999] that I scanned at 72 dpi for the web and simply sharpened (Unsharp Mask) in Photshop LE. The colors are very nice. I can't say, however, that I got such a wonderful price! Scanning printed material (usually halftone screens) requires you to use your "descreening" filter to avoid Moire patterns in the output.

from Karl Guttag <karlg@topher.net>: Is there a particular "descreening" filter that someone has found works well?

My procedure using Photoshop is to do a Gaussian Blur to get ride of the Moire (I manually adjust the filter width to just get ride of the patterning) followed by an Unsharp Mask to gain back a little sharpness. It works remarkably well, but I would always like to find a better way.

from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: Regarding moire removal: The Despeckle filter (Filters menu - Noise Submenu - Despeckle) in Photoshop is designed to remove the moire pattern, but will result in blurring the image. Use Unsharp Mask to bring some of the detail back.

Also check your scanner's software. Many scanning packages have auto-descreen functions, but the scan target has to be set to the appropriate halftone screen ruling. This is the measurement of the number of halftone dots along a line within one inch. This is usually about 133 l.p.i. for magazines, books are between 150 and 200 l.p.i., and Newspapers are the lowest at about 85 l.p.i.

In a colour image, moire is more pronounced as there are four different screen angles to contend with: one for each of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. To remove moire in a colour Photoshop image, convert the image to CMYK using the Mode submenu in the Image menu. Open the channels palette and click on one of the cyan, magenta or black channels to display that channel alone. Go through each channel and look for the highest degree of moire. Once it is decided, click that channel to make it active and apply the Despeckle filter. You may have to apply the filter on more than one channel.

This way, the other channels are left at their original sharpness. If the individual channels are not showing in greyscale, deselect the Show Channels in Colour option in the Prefereces dialog.

from Todd Anderson <bigtodd@tarheel.net>: With the latest talk of scanning models i have a question. I have a Geli kit i would like to build, but the colors on this model are not how I envision this plane would have looked. Can I scan this model and then change the color scheme in corel draw or paint shop pro with ease or am I kidding myself?
from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: A scanned image could be changed relatively easily in a bitmap editing program (I'm assuming Paint Shop Pro is bitmap based - most paint programs are). I say relatively since it is usually based on selecting areas of the image and applying new colours. Depending upon the tools you have for making selections, this can be quite simple, if often tedious on complex images.

A scan can't be easily changed in Corel Draw since it is a vector based program and would require tracing or converting to vectors/paths (bad thing - never do this) to be editable.

Photoshop has some functions which will selectively replace colours as well as selection methods based on tone, hue, saturation and other aspects of colour which can make it easier to select the areas. I don't know if there are similar features in your software, but you might want to look for them.

from Todd Anderson <bigtodd@tarheel.net>: And if so at what dpi would you scan it in at?
from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: Depending upon the amount of scaling, if any, the scan resolution (DPI) should be just a little bit higher than the output resolution (DPI of the printer). Multiply this by the decimal version of the scale percentage (1.5 for 150%) and this will give you the scan resoution.
from Saul H. Jacobs <saulj4@msn.com>: I got a copy of Photo Shop 3.0 from our Graphics Arts department and have been doing quite a bit of experimenting with it. I found that replacing a color using the fill command is easy to do. Trying to draw new color breaks into the scan is where I have a problem. As long as the color separation is marked on the scan changing the color is no problem but sometimes it can be tedious. My HP712C prints out at 300 dpi so that is what I scan the models in at and when I am done I save them in JPEG format. So far it seems to be working very well on most models. There are some that have given me problems, especially those with a shiny coating. Since most Geli I have seen have this shiny coating you may have to replace all the colors as what you replace may not match up with the scan.
from Robin Day <rday@pangea.ca>: Something you might try when scanning glossy prints: place tracing paper or wax paper between the image and the scanning bed. This removes the reflectiveness of the glossy coating while still revealing enough of the image to make a good scan.

8. Meta FAQ

8.1 Copyright notice

This document and the associated appendices are Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Steve Brown, except those portions herein attributed to others, which are copyright by their respective authors. Permission is given to copy or distribute this document, electronically or on paper, provided that no fee is charged and the original source is cited. In the event only a section attributed to someone else is quoted, only the original contributor need be cited. Fees may be charged to cover the cost of reproduction and mailing, but any for-profit distribution is forbidden without express permission of Steve Brown.

This copyright notice, and the license granted, also applies to the appendices to this document, unless otherwise noted therein.

8.2 How do I add a question or answer to this FAQ?

This FAQ is maintained by Steve Brown <cardfaq@bellsouth.net> and questions, answers or complaints should be sent to him.

8.2.1 I am a designer, seller, or publisher of paper models. How do I get listed in the FAQ?

Send e-mail to cardfaq@bellsouth.net. Include contact information, a description of your models, some history of your firm, a URL for your web page, if you have one, and, for sellers, information on payment terms and shipping costs. You may include any other information you feel is relevant, but please do not send file attachments or pictures. If you wish to send samples, pictures, or other files, please contact me in advance and we can arrange for you to deliver them by ftp or e-mail as appropriate.

Saul Jacobs' Paper/Card Model Page is in a position to offer a limited amount of web space to designers and dealers for the purpose of publicizing new or special offers. See his page for details.

8.2.2 Can you put pictures of my models in the FAQ?

In keeping with its non-commercial and informational nature, this FAQ has relatively few graphics or pictures and no banners. Believe it or not, the FAQ serves more than 100 MB/day of data, which is mostly text. Adding a lot of pictures could easily run the risk of overloading the server.

Occasional exceptions are made when pictures or graphics are used to illustrate particular design techniques or construction reviews. If you wish to suggest pictures for inclusion, or provide pictures to accompany your review in the FAQ, please contact me in advance and we can arrange for you to deliver them by ftp or e-mail as appropriate.

Saul Jacobs' Paper/Card Model Page also provides web space for illustrated construction reviews and articles. See his page for details.

If you just want space to put up pictures of your models, either as a hobbyist or commercially, there are many places where you can find web space for free. There is always a catch, of course, usually some advertising content, but this way you retain editorial control and copyright for your material. I don't endorse any particular option, but here are some suggestions:

from David Jackson <djackso1@stny.lrun.com>: I was recently talking with Peter about options I could use since I am running short of space on my home page. He put me on to http://www.tripod.com/. You can set up your own 11M page free! (Well, you do have to put up with their banner advertising.) But it is a solution as to where you can upload your photos and/or models without disturbing Saul. Registration is easy and their QuickPage procedure allows you to set up quickly. They also have advanced procedures for computer gurus.

Another possibility is http://www.bigstep.com/. It is business oriented but still free. Set up is a little restricted and confusing. I have not tried uploading pictures (or ZIPs) yet so I cannot comment on capability or quality.

Finally, if you are only concerned about photos try http://www.photopoint.com/. I use this for photos for Ebay auctions. I do not recommend this for downloadable stuff as they do some diddling and resizing.

8.3 What's new?

Look for the NEW and UPDATED labels.

A history of revisions to this document is available.

8.4 How many people care about this stuff, anyway?

For the first four years it existed, the Card Modeling FAQ lived on a server at The Ohio State University. The statistics available on this server were limited, but early in 1998 this page became one of the most frequently accessed pages on it, getting about 60-70 hits/day. By early 1999, it seemed to plateau at around 200-250 hits/day for the top level page of the FAQ and seemed to hold steady there.

In November 2000, the FAQ moved to its own domain, on a server where more detailed statistics are available. It has not been there long enough for patterns of use to be evident.

8.5 Where to find this FAQ?

The official location for this FAQ is:

http://www.cardfaq.org/
It had to move from its old location at
http://eewww.eng.ohio-state.edu/~browns/card-faq/
because I am no longer a student at The Ohio State University. I am very grateful to the Electrical Engineering Department at OSU for allowing me to host the FAQ there while I was a student (and allowing it to stay for a while after I graduated while I found it a new home.)

Now that it has its own domain, the FAQ will hopefully be insulated from further changes the actual hosting location.

The FAQ is mirrored at

http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/~n8hfi/card-faq/
The mirror site is now updated semi-automatically, so it should be up-to-date or nearly so most of the time.
Mail cardfaq@bellsouth.net | Steve Brown |