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Tips and Tricks
Basic Tips and Tricks for building Paper Models
Almost all paper models consist of primary shapes like cones, tubes and boxes arranged in any number of ways. Once you get the hang of making these shapes, you'll be able to do even the most complex models. Below are a few tips to help you get started building paper models. You may find that some of the techniques below work well for you and some don't. If you come up with a better way of doing something or a new "tool" idea, let us know and we'll include it on this page. Print this page as a handy reference.
Basic Tools Needed:
- Glue (small glue gun works best)
- Ruler (any straight edge will do)
- "Dead" Pen (no more ink)
- Colored Pens or Pencils*
- Hobby Knife*
- Cutting Matte* *not necessary, but can be very handy in a lot of cases.
There are two folding tips that will help when assembling your models. Score the fold lines, and fold all parts before gluing. This will make your projects go together a lot easier and much faster. Use a ruler and "dead" pen to score the fold lines.
Here are a few other tips to help put your models together... Read the instructions through all the way one time before cutting out any of the parts. Cut out each part as you need it. After you cut out each part, use a ruler and a "dead" pen (no ink) to "draw" a score line along each fold. This will make the fold more accurate.
Fold all parts and test fit them before applying any glue. This way, you will not be fighting to get that last tab folded down in some awkward position.
Tubes are pretty simple to make. To make them even easier, try curling them using the edge of a desk or table before gluing together. Cut out the part that is to become a tube. Start with one end on the corner of your table and slowly pull it across the corner. This should make gluing the tube a lot easier then trying to glue and form it at the same time.
Cones are very similar to tubes, just tapered down on one end. Cut the part out and start to curl it using the edge of a table or desk. The only difference between curling a cone and curling a tube, is when curling a cone, you want to keep the pointed tip in one place on the edge of your desk while rotating the curved part over the edge of the desk.
A couple things you can do to make your models look really good when finished.
Finish the edges of your model. That's right, the edges. A printer can't print on the edge of the paper, so this edge will show white on a model that may be dark green or blue. Use some colored pencils or pens to color the exposed edges before gluing the parts together. Use good quality paper in your printer if you have to print the model. If you have a color inkjet printer, use the special paper so the colors and details of your model look good. If you accidentally get too much glue on a part, take a moment to wipe the excess off before it dries. Take your time and make sure all the parts line up properly before gluing. Just like anything else, it's going to take some practice to get each model exactly how you want it, but you'll find the more models you do the easier they become.