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  1. At this point, most of the major structures are completed. It's down now to finishing off miscellaneous small bits scattered around the ship. I have some personal, general guidelines I follow (not necessarily to the letter) when I add these parts: 1) Work from the center superstructure towards either end, and 2) add shorter structures first, since tall structures are easily knocked off when working around them on the model. This means the parts numbering sequence is out the window. Of course, it has been for a while now, hasn't it? We'll start at the forecastle. Parts 54 are chocks. These are easily built, though tedious to cut out, as are many of the parts to follow. Color the back side of the chocks before cutting them out. The horns are glued on the lines running down the middle of the base plates. There are parts for eight chocks, but only six are needed, four on the forecastle and two at the stern. There's also a two-tiered capstan on the forecastle, part 50. Don't bother edge coloring the tiny bits for this assembly - just paint the entire part black once it's finished. Part 50c gets cut into three strips. Each strip gets glued into a ring. The parts are then glued into a stack - two parts 50c onto 50a, capped by 50b and topped with another 50c plus 50d. Looks like this: After painting the capstan, glue it down to its spot on the forecastle deck. Finally, there's a breakwater (49a) to add. It glues down to the angled line that crosses the forecastle deck in front of the gun mount. 49b are the braces that go aft of the breakwater. The larger braces are inboard and get progressively smaller as you work outboard. To prevent these tiny parts from getting lost, cut the braces from their doubled parts sheet only as needed. The finished breakwater looks like so: We'll add the anchor hoist later due to its delicate nature. Return to Part VII: Building V108 - Armament
  2. The first armament to be installed will be the torpedo launchers, two seemingly complex and fiddly structures consisting of 16 parts each. The parts for these are conveniently located together on the parts sheet. Believe it or not, I have built models where this wasn't the case - go figure. There are two launchers on the model, one forward of the bridge, and the other aft of the superstructure. The launchers are identical, and on assemblies like this I prefer to build them simultaneously instead of first one, then the other. This is another construction sequence where it makes more sense to me to assemble the parts out of sequence. We'll start with the pedestal. Cut, color, roll, and glue the pedestals (52g), then add the caps (52f). Glue these down to the deck. Next, add the triangular support brackets (52i); these are tiny right triangles, and the long leg of the triangle goes on the deck. The finished pedestals look like this: Next comes the ring-shaped structure that I'm presuming is a kind of track that the tube support brackets (52k) travel around when the tube is aimed. This consists of two parts, the ring (52e) and the circular track (52d)(the upper parts in the picture below). The inside of 52e needs to be colored, because it will be visible on the finished launcher. The ring, when closed, will be rather flimsy, and mating the track to it will be difficult. To fix this, we're going to use the spare deck printed on 20# bond. Remove two small squares containing the launcher locations from the spare deck, then laminate these to a couple of sheets of card. When dry, cut out the circular mount location, being careful to cut inside the line. Presto! Now you have a circular former to help you get the ring (52e) nice and round before adding the track (52d) (the temporary former is in the lower left of the previous photo). Work the ring carefully around the former and be sure it is seated at the bottom of the ring - we don't want to accidentally glue these two parts together. Next, cut out and add the track (52d); remember to remove the inner circle first, color the inner edge while the part is still on the sheet, then cut the outer circle. After the ring and track are glued together, the temporary former can be removed. The finished ring/track is in the lower right of the previous photo. Here's the forward ring glued down to the deck. Return to Part VI: The Superstructure
  3. Before starting the superstructure, take a few moments to study the diagram for that assembly. The cover sheet artwork also has a nice view of that part of the ship. Assembly of the superstructure starts with wrapping the walls (23b) around the deck piece (23a). Score the fold tabs on 23b, along with the two fold lines where the wall wraps around the aft corners of 23a; after cutting it out, add the hatch door on the port side (part 55), Now here's another tip - if you apply contact cement to only one surface to be joined, it doesn't grab as tightly as when both surfaces are coated, but it does allow a small amount of working time. I glued 23a and 23b together with contact cement in the following order, applying the contact cement incrementally only to 23b: starboard rear corner, starboard wall, front of the bridge, port wall, port rear corner. When I got to the rear port corner, I discovered that the wall, 23b, was about 0.5 mm too long; if this happens to you, just trim the overage away from the end of the wall, crimp a new corner where the wall and corner meet, and then finish attaching the wall. After the wall is completely attached, the superstructure roof (23c) can be added using PVA. The finished assembly looks like this: If you study the last image carefully, you can spot a minor error. While I was dry-fitting 23b around 23a, the assembly slipped from my fingers. It is a very rare person who can suppress the reflex to grasp at a dropped object, and I'm not that person! As a result, there occurred a crease in the forward bridge wall (it runs down through the front porthole). When card is creased like that, the crease is pretty much there forever. Next, the superstructure assembly needs to be mounted to the main deck. The kit supplies a couple of joiner strips for this task (parts 23d). I happen to dislike such joiner strips for this job. When paper is folded, the fibers in the paper have 'memory' - they want to return to their previous shape. As a result, folded paper acts like a weak spring. In this case, the folded joiner strips will have a tendency to push the superstructure assembly upward. To avoid this, and to do a better job of positioning the superstructure walls, I prefer to add locator strips to the model. These can be made from leftover chipboard or strip wood, if you have any lying around (what ship modeler doesn't?). Here, I've sliced some ~1 mm wide strips from the edge of a chipboard sheet. These are then cut to the appropriate length and glued down to the main deck just inside the superstructure outline. The idea here is that the strips will position the walls exactly where they need to be, right on top of the outline. Notice I've cut and shaped a piece for the curved forward bridge wall as well. By the way, those colored patches on the deck are where I tested some markers for color matches to the kit. I used ordinary white glue to mount the superstructure, because the fit with the locator strips is tight, and I wanted as much time as possible to get all the walls down over the locator strips. The mounted superstructure should look like this, with nary a bit of white peeking from beneath the walls: Back to Part V: Building V108 - The Hull
  4. And now the part you've been waiting for: What are we going to build?? Answer: We will build the 1/200 scale V108 torpedo boat from Digital Navy. Some reasons for this model: First, I have it printed already, and my printer has shown a recent propensity for not wanting to print on card stock, so finding a different model was problematic. Second, I have never built it before, which means that I'll have more motivation to build it, plus you and I will encounter the inherent construction problems together at the same time (all card models, no matter how top-shelf they are, have some construction problems; overcoming these is part of the challenge of card models). Third, it is a reasonably-sized model - not too big, not too small, and not overly difficult (based on parts count). Fourth, it is a torpedo boat, and torpedo boats are cool - who wouldn't want one? The first thing you will need to do is acquire the model. Roman at Digital Navy has been kind enough to allow MSW to host the files here. Be sure to visit his web site - perhaps send a note of thanks and maybe even spend a few dollars! Each of the four pages comes in the form of a PDF. Download the files to your computer. Page one is a cover sheet. V108 diag1.pdf Page two is construction diagrams. Construction diagrams are very important for card models, since most card models are printed in non-English-speaking countries; therefore, the translation of instructions (if there is any) can be a little tortured - just like those infamous Italian-to-English instructions in many wood kits. So, diagrams are the chief construction guide for card models, and their number, completeness, and clarity can make or break a build. V108 diag2.pdf Pages three and four are parts sheets. Two sheets is a small number for a card model. V108 sheet1.pdf V108 sheet2.pdf Depending on your printer, you can try printing the model at normal resolution, or at 'best quality' for better color density. You may also need to tell your printer that you are printing on card stock. You can print the first two pages (cover sheet and diagrams) on 20 lb bond paper (regular printer paper). The pages are formatted in 26 cm x 19 cm, so they should fit on both 8.5 x 11 and A4. You'll want to print the parts pages on 20 lb bond as well - some parts will be easier to form on the thinner paper. The parts sheets also need to be printed on card stock (after all, it's a "card model"). Finding card stock can be intimidating, because it comes in different thicknesses and is measured differently in the US than elsewhere. The easiest way to get some is to go to your local stationery store and ask for "card stock" - chances are, whatever they direct you to will do the job. Once you have the model printed, it will be time to prep the parts.
  5. The tools needed to get started in card modeling are ridiculously few. Basically, you need a cutting tool and some glue. Everything else is optional. Here's some basic tools: You'll need a self-healing cutting mat, available from most office supply or crafts stores. Next, you need something to cut with. Notice the lack of scissors in the picture. Most card modelers rarely use them. Instead, your garden-variety craft knife will do the job nicely and with more precision. Get a good supply of #11 blades -- card can be surprisingly hard on them. A steel rule is a must, not just for measuring, but more importantly for cutting straight lines. Glue is, of course, essential. A variety of glues will do the job, and each has merits and drawbacks. Good ol' PVA glue, either white (such as Elmer's) or yellow (wood glue -- hey, paper is wood, you know) are good general purpose glues with one proviso: it must be remembered that PVA glues are water-based, and card or paper will absorb the glue and deform. Thus, PVA is not good for gluing large surfaces together. Cyanoacrylate glue, or CA (commonly known as 'Super Glue', which is a brand name), has its uses in card modeling. Fast-cure CA can be wicked into card stock to stiffen it, and medium-cure CA is useful for gluing parts made of different media together, as well as for paper-to-paper bonds. Contact cement (not to be confused with rubber cement) is a non-water-based glue and thus good for gluing large surfaces together where severe warping would occur with a PVA glue. Contact cement sets rapidly, so repositioning of parts once they come in contact with each other is iffy at best. Modelers in Europe have access to UHU-brand glues that some modelers swear by. I haven't come across any myself, so I haven't had a chance to try them out. Polish modelers, who seem to be born with a master card modeler gene in their DNA, use something called 'butapren'; I'm not a chemist, so I'm not familiar with what exactly butapren glue is, and it doesn't seem to be easily available in the US, possibly because it is a favorite of glue sniffers. Perhaps someone with knowledge of this substance can fill us in. Now, on to some optional stuff that you'll probably want to have on hand: From left to right we have: blackened, annealed wire - an assortment of diameters is useful for making gun barrels, railings, etc. styrene rod - card can be rolled into tubes, but for tiny tubes, styrene is often a better choice assorted paint brushes - for painting, but also for aids in rolling tubes tweezers paint, marking pens, or other media for coloring cut edges (more on this later) calipers - for measuring card stock thickness, especially when laminating sheets together hobby pliers (not pictured) - for cutting and forming wire (end nippers, needle nose, round nose) Some other useful items to have are thin, flexible, clear acetate sheets (for glazing windows), matte clear spray varnish (for prepping parts sheets), and 3M spray adhesive (for laminating card and/or paper sheets together). 3M costs more than other brands, but take my advice, it's worth the money. Cheaper brands don't coat as evenly and produce clumpier spray patterns. Trust me -- I learned this the hard way. I'm sure there's some other stuff I forgot to list, but I'll add those if and when I remember them. Now, go get your supplies, and we'll move on to the model! Back to Part III: Shopping for Card Models On to Part V: Building V108 - The Hull
  6. The tutorial I will be writing will use a free kit as its subject, but supposing you wished to buy a paper model kit, where could you get one, and who makes the best kits? The first question is rather easier to answer than the second, so we'll start by discussing the various publishing houses. Few card model designers run their own publishing outfit; usually the designers farm their kits out to one or more publishing houses. This makes it a little difficult to generalize about Publisher A versus Publisher B, because a designer might have his or her design published at both places. Lesson: It pays to take note of who designed a particular kit you like, then look for that designer's work at different sites. Something else to make note of is the date of publication. CAD designing did not become commonplace until about the turn of the new century -- the earlier a kit is published prior to 2000, the more likely it is to be hand-drawn. This is not to say that all hand-drawn kits are bad (they aren't) or that CAD-drawn kits are always preferable (they aren't either), but CAD-drawn kits usually have more and finer detail. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the major publishing firms. This is by no means an exhaustive list, because due to the nature of the product and the fact that it can easily be electronically distributed, there are dozens of Mom and Pop sites that may have a limited offering available. Here's a few of the better-known outfits: GPM: GPM are one of the largest card model publishers in Poland. They have a large selection of ship models in many scales, both in their own line and from many other publishers as well. They also have an extensive inventory of after-market accessories. Ordering by mail from Poland is usually not terribly expensive. GPM's listed postage rates are steep, but according to reports from other modelers, GPM will calculate the actual postage charge and refund the difference between that and the rate calculated at their website. Modelik: Modelik carries only their own line of models, but as discussed previously, these are not all the work of one designer. Modelik kits are generally well-regarded in the hobby. Modelik charges a flat shipping rate of 15 EUR per order. JSC: JSC have an extensive line of ship models and are one of the few Polish publishers to offer a large selection of models in a scale other than the usual 1/200 favored in that country; JSC kits are normally either 1/250 or 1/400. Many of JSC's kits are older hand-drawn designs. JSC sells directly to the public and through other on-line retailers. Kartonowy Arsenal (KA): Better known by the surname of its owner and chief designer, Halinski, KA offer highly detailed models of mostly WWII warships. Though often considered suited only for advanced modelers, the fact that they usually fit together so well eliminates some of the problems found in less well designed kits. KA does not sell directly to the public. Orel: This Ukrainian publisher is relatively new to the scene, but they have been prolific. They offer a large selection of mainly Czarist-era Russian vessels, including torpedo boats, destroyers, cruisers, and pre-Dreadnoughts in 1/200 scale. Orel sells directly to the public as well as through larger firms like GPM. HMV: The Hamburger Modellbaubogen Verlag is probably the premier German ship model publishing house. Like other German publishers, their kits come in the 1/250 scale preferred in Germany. They have a wide selection of mostly German warships, passenger ships, and merchantmen. They also offer an extensive line of after-market detail sets. HMV have been good about upgrading their designs, and several of their older hand-drawn models are currently being reworked as CAD models. HMV does not sell directly to the public from their website. Moewe Verlag: Also known as Wilhelmshavener, this publisher has an extensive line of warships, passenger ships, and merchantmen in 1/250. Ordering from them can be kind of tricky, since many of their kits are hand-drawn models dating as far back as the 1960’s, and this isn’t always obvious when browsing their website. MV kits tend to be less detailed than HMV kits, but they have a broader selection and somewhat lower prices. They don’t offer after-market detail sets. Moewe kits can be purchased on-line from their website. J F Schreiber: Schreiber are the third major German publisher. Their kits are, as a rule, less detailed than either HMV or Moewe, but they offer more kits of simpler subjects suited to beginning modelers. They also offer more kits in 1/100 scale than other publishers. Schreiber operates an on-line store. Paper Shipwright: Designer David Hathaway’s line of kits is unique in its extensive offering of monitors. David also designs small passenger craft and working vessels. These are generally very good kits and also reasonably priced, with a fair but not overwhelming amount of detail. Paper Shipwright kits can be ordered directly from their website. In addition to the aforementioned publishers, many excellent designs are available from smaller outfits, some notable ones of which include Golden Bear Models, Digital Navy, WAK, and Answer (the latter two are not exactly 'small outfits', but their ship model selection is limited). As noted, some of these publishers sell directly to the public, and some don’t. Finding a retailer that carries the kits you want can sometimes be a taxing ordeal, but here are some of the more popular sites: GPM, Orlik, and Model-Hobby are three of the larger Polish retailers, each carrying their own in-house models as well as designs from other firms. Karton Modell Shop is a German retailer with a good selection from a variety of designers. Marcle Models are one of the larger distributors in the UK. Paper Model Store is practically the only US retailer with a broad selection of Polish kits. None from Germany, though. Paper Models International used to be a well-stocked and reliable supplier, but they were sold four years ago, and their website hasn’t been updated since then. GreMir Models offer kits in either CD or download form. Many of their models, which must be printed by the buyer, are the same models offered in print by WAK or Modelik. E-Cardmodels is a retail venue for a slew of small designers -- a lot of variety of subjects, scales, and degree of difficulty. HMV operates an on-line store at Amazon.de. There are many, many other places to buy kits on-line, but these should get you started. Have fun browsing! Back to Part II: Start for FREE! On to Pt. IV: Tools & Other Supplies
  7. So what exactly is a “card model”? A card model (more properly a paper model, since card is only one of many kinds of paper, though the terms card and paper are frequently used interchangeably) is simply a model made primarily out of paper. Many modelers are surprised when they hear for the first time that a ship model can be made from humble paper, but paper as a modeling medium has a long history dating back to the early 20th century. During World War II, paper was one of the few resources not heavily regulated due to the war effort, and paper models enjoyed a brief peak in popularity, even in America. After the war, though, plastic model kits began to take over the market, and paper model kits eventually become so scarce that most modelers have never heard of them, except in the countries that formerly made up the East Bloc. Communism may not have had much going for it as a system of government, but what it did do is preserve card modeling as an art form. Because plastic models were prohibitively expensive in Eastern Europe, card modeling remained a popular hobby there. Once the Cold War thawed, commerce started flowing between East and West, and one item in particular had a huge influence on card modeling: CAD technology. Our card modeling friends in Eastern Europe were quick to apply computer-aided drafting to the art of designing card models, and as a result an ever-increasing number of card model designs became available with better artwork, more detail, and closer fit tolerances. Although the number of Western designs is also increasing, for the most part the hobby is still dominated by designers and publishers from the East, particularly Poland, home to some of the preeminent publishing houses, including GPM, Modelik, JSC, Orlik, Maly Modelarz, and the company considered by many to be the gold standard of card modeling, Kartonowy Arsenal. Germany is another leading producer of card models, with HMV, Moewe-Verlag, and J. F. Schreiber being some of the better-known publishers. Paper has a number of selling points as a modeling medium, probably the most important of which is that it is relatively cheap. With the prices of wooden and plastic kits exploding in recent years, the fact that most paper kits can still be purchased for under $20 US makes them attractive candidates for modelers with small budgets. Paper Shipwright of the UK, for example, offer 44 ship designs in their catalog, none of which has a price tag greater than $16 US. Of course, just like with wood or plastic, after-market additions can push the price of a card model project up considerably, but even with the cost of laser-cut or photo-etched details thrown in, a card model costing over $100 US is rare. In addition to being inexpensive, paper is also versatile, and with careful manipulation can be molded into almost any three-dimensional shape. A third advantage of card models is that they are, with very few exceptions, pre-colored, meaning that the color of the finished model is printed on the paper. Modern graphic design programs allow designers to produce card model kits with exceptionally realistic weathering already printed on the model. In most cases, painting or coloring of a card model is limited to the need to obscure the seams between adjacent parts. And finally, card models require very few tools to get started – most people probably already have the basic cutting and gluing supplies in their house somewhere. One of the most compelling reasons to try card modeling is that a card model kit that starts as a set of flat, printed sheets can be transformed into a stunning finished product. There is a learning curve, of course, but hearing someone say, “I can’t believe that’s made out of paper!” upon viewing one of your finished card models never gets old. An excellent one-stop site to see a variety of completed card ship models is the website for Hamburger Modellbaubogen Verlag, better known as HMV. Their site is available in both German and English. Enjoy! Continue to Part II: Start for FREE!
  8. Hi! I see the title of this thread has grabbed your attention. I admit I have a shameless reason for starting this series, and that is to raise the profile of card/paper as a modeling medium here at MSW. Over the years here and at MSW 1.0 a number of people have expressed an interest in trying their hand at a card model, and that's what I hope you will do after reading this series of posts. My goal is to describe the building of a simple card ship model in sufficient detail that upon reading it, anyone can say, "Gosh, I can do that!" And then, perhaps, you will actually go forth and do that! Today's installment, Part I, is a very brief description of card models. As subsequent parts are added, I will edit this post to keep the Table of Contents up-to-date. So, sit back, enjoy the series, and seriously consider taking a trip to the Dark Side of ship modeling! TABLE OF CONTENTS Part I: What is a card model? Part II: Start for FREE! Part III: Shopping for Card Models Part IV: Tools & Other Supplies Part V: Building V108 - The Hull Part VI: Building V108 - The Superstructure Part VII: Building V108 - Armament Part VIII: Building V108 - Miscellaneous Bits
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