Category Archives: Card Models

News about card (paper) models.

An Intro to Card Models – V108 Torpedo Boat

For those of you looking for nice tutorial on card model building, check out Chris Coyle’s tutorial on The Nautical Research Guild’s Model Ship World. In this tutorial, Chris uses a small, downloadable model of a German WWII V108 Torpedo Boat produced by Digital Navy.

The company produces several card models, that you can download for around $35 to $40. However, they have given Model Ship World permission to host the downloadable files for their tutorial and you can get these for free. You will, of course, need a color printer and some good quality card stock paper to print on.

https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2701-intro-and-table-of-contents/

 

Completed waterline version of the V108 card model built by Chris Coyle and featured in his tutorial

Since I’ve been working on a couple paper models, I thought it would be a good idea to follow this tutorial and try my hand at building this relatively simple card model myself. The startup cost is hard to beat, and you really need only very basic tools for start modeling in paper.

This is probably a lot more common type of paper modeling than what I’ve been building from Shipyard kits, which is why I want to run though the tutorial.

If you want to give it a try too, I encourage you to register with Model Ship World (it’s free) and start a build log there.

I started mine, which you can visit at: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/16325-v-108-torpedo-boat-by-catopower-digital-navy-1200-scale-card-msw-tutorial-build/

 

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HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Build, Part 3

To begin with, I have to revise something I stated earlier about card modeling being challenging.

The biggest challenge about these Shipyard paper model kits is a mental one. When you get one of these kits, you instantly see a gazillion parts, and you have to cut out each and every one, plus you might decided to cut out windows instead of using printed windows, etc. That’s intimidating.

So, I’m finding that approaching construction of one of these kits is a lot like tying ratlines on a ship model. You can’t think about all those knots you have to tie – you just have to start and do one at a time until you get to the end. Building this model is about baby steps. You can’t count how many baby steps you have to take, you just have to take them one at a time and keep on going.

HMS Mercury Progress

First off, I glued the new pieces into place in the fo’csle and then added the doors back on. If you recall, I’d added the doors earlier and then decided I didn’t like printed windows. So, I removed them and the related partitions and cut out the window panes and used canopy glue to add the “glass”. In addition to the doors, I also finished the inner bulwarks pieces at the bow.

As you can see in the photo below, I still have to “edge” the gun port sills with red paint.


At this point, I began to wonder how well this model was going to go together and test fit the fo’csle and quarter decks. I had to dig through the diagrams and all to figure out if this was all going to work okay in the end. So far, it seems like it should be okay, though there’s more gap around the bow that I would like. Not sure yet how to fix this, if it even needs fixing. But, it was nice to see how well the decks seated into place. There are a couple beams I will have to fashion and put into place before these decks can go on. And, of course, I’ll need to finish some internal details, plus the cannons.

In the lower photos, you can also see the galley stove under construction. Below, you can see where it will eventually go.

Of course, there’s a lot of work to do to the stove before it goes into place.

Finally, I added the remaining parts for the interior of the great cabin, aft. There’s some furniture to go in here. That’s one of those things which is pretty neat about these Shipyard ship model kits. Of course, if you want to be able to see any of this stuff, you’ll have to modify the original kit, which includes printed windows. Those would normally need to be carefully cut open, but the detail kit I bought from GPM includes some laser-cut parts for the gallery windows.

I’m starting to think about the outer layer that’s going to go on the model. The kit includes printed parts for two configurations of the ship, one for the original 1779 paint scheme and another for the 1795 (Black and Yellow) paint scheme. I was always planning to build this in the 1779 configuration, but I’m thinking about the later configuration, just because it’s different (for this kit, anyway).

Awe Inspiring HMS Mercury Build on German Paper Modeling Forum

Since I’ve been on the subject of paper ship models anyway, I wanted to give some attention to the German card model forum Kartonbau.de. Now, it is a German site, and the forum entries I looked at were all in German. However, you can connect to it through Google Translate and that seems to work very well.

On the forum, I ran across a build of the same HMS Mercury kit that I have been working on, a 1/96-scale model from Shipyard. However, there is a world of difference between the German builders model and my own. It’s very inspiring, but it is also making me take a second look at my build and making me think I need to go back to square one!

That’s it. That’s a paper model, built using the Shipyard paper model kit as it’s basis. It’s absolutely incredible. I’m really proud of my HMS Alert model, but when I look at this, I think I really need to step up my game on the next one.

I’ve pulled a few build photos from the site to show you. There are plenty more where these came from, plus a lot of very useful information on taking your paper model build to the next level, and maybe to the one after that. So, be sure to check out the link at the end of this post to see more. There’s a LOT more.


There are a lot of techniques I never considered. But, there are also some things I did think about doing, like building the gratings from paper from scratch, highlighting the planking by scoring the printed planks, etc. So, it’s nice to see how these work out in actual (ship modeling) practice.

In any case, I highly recommend checking out the build and the whole site. You can view the build directly here:

http://www.kartonbau.de/forum/hms-mercury-1779-1-96-von-shipyard-construction-reports-ships/board5-ships/t25313-f6/?l=2&l=2

Or just paste it into translate.google.com and read the blog in English.

Visiting Papermodelers.com

First off, before anyone asks, I AM a wood ship model builder first and foremost. I know that question may come up, because I’ve been posting a lot about paper models.

Well, I just think they’re so darned neat! I can’t help but be intrigued by them. But, they haven’t replaced my love for wooden ship models. So, don’t think I’m changing this site. I just think the paper models should be more popular than they are.

Heck, how many wooden ship models can be built on a card table in your living room without all the dust, wood shavings, splinters, etc. And with the local heat wave we’ve been having here in California, it’s too hot to work in the garage, where I can make a lot of dust and noise, working on my wooden models.

Anyway, as the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail has TONS of Shipyard kits and many of the accessories, so I’m trying to find a way to help get the word out and generate some interest.

So, I found myself registering an account on Papermodelers.com and found some great stuff there. They have a lot of everything being built there, including ships. Most ships are steel navy, and those that are of the sailing variety are often scratch builds. But, there are some Shipyard sailing ship builds here and there.

Here you can see that I stole a copy of their picture of the week. I know nothing about the model, so if you want to know more about it, be sure to visit their site. I think you can read the threads even if you’re not a registered user.

I signed up many months ago, but finally posted some photos of my Crowdy Head Lighthouse and HMS Alert models there. Hope to see some more Shipyard related activity there.

Last night, I had a chat via Facebook with Tomek Kliszynski of Shipyard, discussing ways to help him get more visibility for his products in the North American market, since they’re already doing well in the European market. Don’t know if I can help him much, but I will certainly build some more of their kits!

HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Build, Part 2

I’m not a paper/card modeler, but after building Shipyard’s paper model of HMS Alert, I enjoyed the project so much that I tinkered with a couple other subjects. I have two of them at the moment, and like with my ship modeling scratch build projects, I start on a few different ones until one of them stands out and calls to me to be taken to completion. That’s actually how HMS Alert came to be. I had no particular plans to complete the model initially – it was just a tinkering project.

Now, one of my current paper model tinkering projects is  Shipyard’s 1/96-scale HMS Mercury paper model kit. The ship is a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth-rate frigate. As I mentioned before, there is a 1/72-scale boxed version where all the parts are laser-cut instead of printed, but that kit is around $500. Mine is about $35 at the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail.

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Renesans Paint Colors for Shipyard Kits

Those of you familiar with Shipyard paper kits may have come across some color reference numbers and wondered what colors they correspond to. Shipyard references a brand of paint called Renesans, which is an artist’s acrylic line of matte finish colors that work really well with the paper kits. They are included with Shipyard’s boxed edition Laser Cardboard series of kits, but the problem is that you can’t buy the paints here in the U.S.

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A 1/72-Scale HMS Mercury Card Model

I’m not the only one with an HMS Mercury paper model in progress. Here’s one based on the 1/72-scale boxed edition kits in Shipyard’s Laser Cardboard Kit series. This is a really nice kit, and I’d love to work on one of them. The HMS Mercury is Shipyard’s flagship product.

Take a look at the pictures of this builder’s project. Seeing these gave me some inspiration to make some progress on my own HMS Mercury.

Wooden ship model builders, I’m telling you that you should look at trying one of these kits. They are challenging, but really rewarding to build.

Ages of Sail

This past weekend, we had a vendor table at the IPMS show in San Jose, and had a chance to talk to many people, including a number of customers. One of them, Ron Palma, is building a 1/72-scale model of the British sixth-rate frigate HMS Mercury from Shipyards Laser Cardboard Kit series.

Yesterday, he sent along some progress photos and said that we could share them, which we are very excited to do!

Ron has the hull mostly completed and copper sheathed. Keep in mind that while the frieze work is included in the kit, the whole model does not come pre-printed. So, the excellent paint job is Ron’s handiwork. He commented that the cannon barrels have been taped to protect them from the clear-coat overspray he gave the hull.

Ron’s done an outstanding job, but commented on how well this Shipyard kit has been engineered. He’s getting pretty close to…

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HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Next Paper Model Project

Having completed Shipyard’s HMS Alert kit, it just didn’t feel right to not have a paper model to work on. There’s something about the simplicity of paper that is just too darned cool!

Of course, I have plenty of wooden ship model projects, but it’s nice to have a paper model going in the background. As with other background projects I’ve had in the past, there is no rush to get it done. There’s also nothing that says I have to ever get it done. But, having completed the Alert, I can see taking on another kit and carrying it to completion.

Now, I have Shipyard’s Super Modellar Plans (that’s Shipyard’s spelling, by the way, not mine) for the Santa Leocadia, a Spanish 38-gun frigate in 1/72 scale. The “Super” part of that title means that the plans include the laser-cut frames and some other items to give you a start on the model. However, beyond that, it’s really designed as a scratch build project. That’s something that, as a wooden ship modeler, I can probably do. But, I’m really not looking for something that requires a great deal of thought and planning time. I’d rather just go with a kit that I can just follow along and build.

There are the “Laser Cardboard Series” of ship model kits, which are boxed sets and include cast resin figurehead and scrollwork, turned brass cannons, wooden dowels for masts, pre-cut sail cloth, etc. Those kits are really nice and are in a larger 1/72 scale.

However, I already have a paper model kit on hand that I bought more than a year ago. It is Shipyard’s 1/96 scale HMS Mercury kit.

kit-hmsmercury

Like most of the other paper model kits, this one comes with color printed parts that have to be cut out. Also, like most of these kits, the internal framework comes already laser cut, so getting started is very easy (note that HMS Victory and HMS Endeavour are notable exceptions and you have to build-up the framework parts and cut them out before you can assemble them).

The most daunting thing about this kit is the rigging. HMS Alert had only one mast with two yardarms. HMS Mercury is considerably more complex. I considered this, but also have been an admirer of British admiralty models, which show the ships at launch. Such a ship is now fitted out and has no masts and hence no rigging. Instead, poles were erected with large decorative admiralty flags. So, looking at this kit, I thought, what better kit to use for an admiralty style model.

Of course, there’s a long way to go before I come to that fork in the road. By that time, I may just be itching to build the masts and add rigging and sails!

Lots of parts...

Lots of parts!

And even more parts...

Another view of the parts.

In any case, we’re looking here at a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth-rate frigate. At 1/96 scale, the model, rigged, is about 26 inches long. That’s a pretty small model, really. I know a lot of ship modelers won’t build at that small scale. That’s one of the reasons I’m considering the admiralty-style model.

For those who want an easier model, but like the subject, Shipyard makes a boxed edition of this same model, but it comes with all the parts laser cut, and it’s in a more comfortable 1/72 scale. But, since I’m just a paper model beginner, and it’s a lot more expensive, I figured I’d work on the 1/96 scale paper model kit. It means a lot of cutting of small parts, but there’s no rush.

Here are the first stages of my build, assembling the pre-cut framework…

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That was the easiest part of the kit and took a very short time to get this far. If you’re trying this CUT the parts out, don’t ever try to punch them out or you’ll tear or tweak something out of shape.

The whole thing “dry fits” together very easily. Once everything looks straight and twist-free, then it can be glued together. I used fast drying CA instant glue. You only have to touch it to the parts and it wicks right into the joints. With thicker glue, you risk bumping a piece out of place. So, I save the thicker stuff for other assemblies.

I’ll use Aileen’s Tacky Glue, DAP Weldwood contact cement, Elmer’s white glue, or slow cure CA depending on the application.

After the framework is assembled, the partial inner deck is put in place and the hull “skin” is added. This is the first of the layers that will cover the hull. With more layers, the hull takes on a more naturally smooth shape. Afterwards, the pre-printed deck pieces are cut out and, one of the features that separates the Shipyard kits from most wooden ship model kits, the great cabin  detail begins with the checkerboard pattern floor covering.

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Later, the partitions and knees are built up and put in place to provide interior detail and support for the bulwarks.

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Finally, here’s a glimpse of the instructions that show you what goes where. Note the numbers that indicate how thick each piece must be built up to. It’s all a kind of code with almost no written out text. Mostly, build in general order of the part numbers and put the parts where you see them in the instruction sheets.

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I hope others reading this will find inspiration rather than intimidation. This is actually a very easy building process, it just takes time. So… “Just keep swimming…”, “put one foot in front of the other…”, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step!”

 

HMS Alert – Project Completed

Here it is, about a month after I said I should have the model done in about a week. HMS Alert, my first paper model project is finally done. I added the last of the rope coils last night and and working on the case.

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This is from the Shipyard line of kits from the Polish company called Vessel. The kits are sold in the U.S. by Ages of Sail (http://www.agesofsail.com). The hull and nearly all the deck details are cut from pre-printed paper parts provided in the kit. Some things, like the mast and spars and blocks are wood, purchased separately.

The sails are cloth, and the cannons are brass, sold by Syren Ship Model Company as small swivel guns. The blocks are swiss pear blocks that were also sold by Syren (sadly discontinued). Some other aftermarket parts were used, such as the gratings and the gun carriages, which I adapted from a detail kit sold by the Polish company GPM for a different model.

Building this model was a real challenge in patience for me – there are a LOT of little parts to cut, and the instructions take a bit of study, like it’s in code. But overall, I had a blast building it. The kits are VERY inexpensive and if you photocopy the parts before you begin, you can usually recover from basic screw-ups – I certainly had a LOT of opportunity for that!

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I highly recommend trying a paper model kit. But not just any kit, I recommend one of the kits from Shipyard. The models are constructed in a fashion that’s closer to wood ship modeling than is true for most other paper kits. These kits are very high quality, but you just need to be aware that you will either have to make just about everything from paper provided in the kit, or you have to provide some of your own materials, like cloth for the sails, dowels for the masts, etc.

If you have a bit more money than time, you should consider getting one of the boxed kits that is part of the Shipyard product line that used to be called Laser Cardboard Kits. These kits contain everything you need in one tidy package. Of course, it’s more money. Also, few part are pre-printed for you. The big advantage is that ALL the parts are laser cut for you – a big time saver. Also, all the boxed ship kits are in a larger 1:72 scale, whereas all the paper ship kits are all 1:96 scale.

This particular model is going to a good home with a fellow ship modeler who has been admiring it since I first brought it to a ship model meeting. He encouraged me to finish it up, and I will be transferring possession of it next week. In the meantime, I’m busy working on a case for the model.

But, this isn’t the last you’ll see of HMS Alert. The new owner and I have made tentative arrangements for me to take it to the Nautical Research Guild conference in October. The model made its first debut at the conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014, so it’s only fitting that it make an official appearance as a completed model in a case this Fall.

I know I’m going to miss working on this paper model. So, I started working on another one that will take it’s place as a low-priority background project. The model is Shipyard’s 1:96 scale HMS Mercury, a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth rate frigate. At this point, I’m not planning on rigging her. Rather, I’m thinking of making a type of admiralty display model rigged with launch flags. Of course, things change over time, so you never know. Stay tuned! Ω

 

Santa Leocadia Paper Model Ship Kit – Just for Fun


Once in a while, you just want to stick something together without being too involved in a project. Sometimes paper models work quite well for this.

This last weekend, I had some time to work on a project, but I just wasn’t in the mood to work on my wood or paper projects. I had a Santa Leocadia Super Modellar Plans set from Shipyard of Poland sitting on my shelf for well over a year. This is really a set of model plans that included the basic hull in the form of a laser-cut paper model kit in 1/72 scale.

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However, the kit really stops there. It’s designed to provide the basic hull, but the builder is expected to build the rest using paper, wood or whatever. The hull even requires planking with 1/16″ thick planks. My plan was to build up the model as far as the included parts go and possibly add the parts I got as part of a Santa Leocadia “Super Detail Set” that I bought from GPM, another Polish company. This set includes ships wheel, capstan, gun carriages, ship’s stove, etc.

I figure I can use the model completed that far as a display example of paper ship model kits. We’ll see. My HMS Alert started off this way, but I’m almost done with that one now. So, who knows.

The Santa Loecadia is a 38-gun Spanish Frigate built in 1777.

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It’s fun just fitting parts together like this. At this stage, the kit parts don’t have to be glued together, the parts fit tightly enough to stay together. There’s still plenty to do on this kit. It goes together just like all the other Shipyard paper ship model kits. Next is to fit the subdecks and to cover the hull with the first layer of “Sub-Planking”, which is made up strips that fill the space between adjacent frames.

I got my Shipyard product from Ages of Sail. You just have to pay attention to the difference between the Modellar Plans and the Super Modellar Plans. The “Super” versions includes the laser-cut parts in 1/72 scale. These were limited edition products and Ages of Sail has only a few left. However, I’ve seen that these are also available from the Polish manufacturer GPM.