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How to create a paper model - collecting blueprints, images and all possible documentation

Documentation - part II.


Star Wars The BlueprintsHistory books, technical books or even comics are great source of technical drawings, images, photos or texts, which could lead you to describe all details of the object. I got several books covering nearly all aspects and details of complete development of Mig-15. Technical drawings, photos, texts describing all differences between various versions offers me great opportunity to create highly-detailed model. On the other side of my bookshelf are books from Star Wars universe – Ultimate Cross-Sections, Star Wars Blueprints, even several comic books. All full of great pictures, images, photos and technical drawings. Where can you find these kind of books? My favorite e-store full of books is bookdepository.com with worldwide shipping for free ツ

3D models

StarCraft 3D modelOnce again, internet offers great resource for 3D models of various types and also of various quality. Most of the high-quality models are commercial, but you can find some really great stuff for free. 3D models works exactly the same way as blueprints. If done correctly, they can offer you guides for shapes, dimensions or even details of your future model. However, if you try to create paper model directly from downloaded model you will be facing lot of problems – simply because 99% of all 3D models on internet are not created with intension to become a paper model ツ Where can you find 3D models? I don’t have any favorite site, just simple google the name of your model with added “3D model” keyword. There is a great gallery of 3D models for Trimble Sketchup 3D editor.

Plastic models, resin models, toys

Plastic model of Warhammer 40k DreadnoughtMy first big model was Dreadnought from Warhammer 40k universe. I own an original model of this robot. I do not have any blueprints, photos or pictures. Just a plastic model. With a ruler, I simply measured the dimensions of whole model and “converted” them into 3D model. There are thousands of plastic and resin models, millions of toys and every single of them could become a resource for your next paper scale model. Where can I find plastic models? Best way to obtain a plastic model is to visit your local hobby store or order one on internet.

LEGO models

LEGO Exo Suit“What are you talking about? LEGO models? You must be crazy!” I know, I know. It sounds really crazy. ツ The biggest advantage of LEGO models is that you do not need to own the model (set), 3D model or blueprint. You only need few images of LEGO model and you can create exactly the same model as on pictures. That’s the reason why I put it in the separate category. So how can you create exactly the same model without blueprints? LEGO is based on let’s called it a grid – every basic block of LEGO has the very same dimensions. So when you see a picture of a LEGO spaceship and need to know the wingspan of it, just simple count the pins from one side of the wing to another. Then multiply it with basic dimension of LEGO block and you have the wingspan. You need length of the spaceship? Do it in the very same way – just like I did it with Astro Racer. And one more advantage. If you have original or custom instructions for LEGO sets it’s even simpler to create a model. So where can you find these pictures and instructions? There is big community on Flickr, there are several sites with nearly all old and new instructions and also there are sites with description of nearly all types of LEGO blocks. Described simplicity when working with LEGO models is also reason why I have created separate board in my Pinterest account.

These are the main categories from my point of view. But documentation could be anything, which helps you to create desired paper model. It could be your own knowledge of object you are creating, technical knowledge of instruments used in the object or even a model from PC game. Despite the fact I am not a big fan of paper models created directly from PC games 3D models. Why? Cause most games are using as simple 3D models as possible – to increase performance, to secure smooth running and to decrease hardware requirements. And simple 3D model means simple and not very precise paper model.

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