What is card modeling and how to start this paper crafts hobby?

Card modeling is crafts of folding paper. It is a form of paper crafts like origami with a little difference. Card Modeling or Paper Modeling is the art of creating scale models with paper. Paper or card models are built up from appropriately colored, cut, and folded pieces of paper, usually a stiff card stock( heavy paper).
This article helps you learn about card modeling, features of this paper crafts hobby and how to start with it!

Features of card modeling:

  • Card models are inexpensive compared to plastic models.  
  • No specialized or expensive tools are needed.  
  • No need of expensive tools like an airbrush for a good finish. 
  • The level of detail is very high.
  • Card models are easy to collect in inbuilt condition
  • You don't need much space
  • This hobby is economical. 
  • Kits are inexpensive
  • An entire village of scale buildings can be had for less than $10. Some kits are expensive, but even the most expensive are much cheaper than a plastic model of comparable complexity.
  • Card model building is not easy – you often have only one try
  • 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.

 What is card modeling?

Paper/Card Modeling is, building anything from a 2D paper/card into a 3D scale model.

Basic tools to start this crafts:


Only a few simple tools are necessary for constructing card models.
Scissors, paper cutting knife, white glue, blunt nail and a ruler to score the fold lines. You'll also need cardboard to glue some of the parts on (fuselage formers) for enforcement. You can find most of these tools in office supplies or hobby stores.

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.

A brief history of card modeling:

Card modeling goes back to the invention of paper. The Egyptians used papyrus to form parts for the models of their buildings. Likewise for the Chinese, who developed a much better method for making paper. It wasn’t until paper making came to Europe in the 15th century that the forerunner of today’s card models came about. These early models were simple two dimensional drawings on thin paper which were cut out in a rectangular pattern and then pasted onto heavier “card” stock. The early models were printed using wood or copper plates. Therefor the quantity was limited. It stayed that way until 1796 when Alois Senefelder (Munich) perfected the lithography. Now thousands of models could be printed from one plate. Quality and detailing continued to improve to what you see here and there.

How to start this paper crafts hobby?
You can get card modeling kits from nearby hobby shops or stationary zones of any shopping mall. There are many online sites which offer free models to download. You can start creating paper or card models by downloading these models.

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.
All parts are printed on several sheets and are pre-painted. All you need to do is: Cut out, fold/curve and glue the parts to each other. Detailed assembly instructions and/or exploded views of the different stages of the assembly are supplied with each kit, and some manufacturers supply their own building method/line codes sheet.

Useful links:

* Free online download of Paper toys                                              

* 'Currell Graphics' offers many free card models which you can download.

* 'Paper Craft Paradise' is a blog with a lot of origami, paper craft projects.

Download, print, fold, paste

* 'Paper Mau'

* 'Studio Waka' with many models

100 Exceptional Free Paper Models and Toys

* More paper models at : http://www.np-g.com/npi_yoshi/kosaku/index.html

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