Sunday, November 8, 2015


Taking a break from trains, I immersed myself in the world of paper models this weekend, attending the International Paper Modelers Convention in Sterling, Virginia.    The work displayed there was quite impressive with themes across the spectrum.   It was a great group of people who shared techniques, information,...etc.. freely.    I'm posting a few photos of the work displayed.   It's amazing the level of detail and relief that can be done with just paper.  Some of the take away from the convention -

  • Paper modeling is overall much cheaper than other types of modeling.  You need few tools and adhesives, and practically no paint or other finishing supplies.    There are thousands of free models available online, and those that have to be purchased aren't nearly as expensive of comparable plastic models
  • From a time investment, I'm not sure - Because you are using layers to achieve 3-d shapes, more work is needed for sub-assemblies, however, once the model is complete, it's done - no painting required.  Between the NMRA convention and this weekend I worked on a plastic 1/35 scale mid eastern "technical" - a Nissan compact pickup truck with an anti-aircraft gun in the bed.  The model took me a week or so to build, and the painting just as long.  
  • Paper modeling is very portable - you only need a cigar box of tools and glue, a cutting mat, and the sheets of paper for the model.
  • The paper modeling I've been doing as part of my model railroading and the paper modeling I saw this weekend differ somewhat.  The ScaleScenes Models I've been building use a combination of paper and two thicknesses of heavy cardboard.  Most of the models at the convention were built from 100% heavy paper.  
  • There is no limit as to what can be done with just paper.
Of course I made a few purchases while there.  I was drawn to 1/250th scale ships and harbor scenes. This German or Polish company (most paper model producers seem to be from Germany or Eastern Europe)  makes a series of models that interconnect to make a massive port area.  I purchased a 1920s dry dock, some sort of German 1915 tramp steamer, a modern container ship, a container crane, and the USS Maine.   If I started working on them tonight, these models alone would probably last me a year or two - not bad for a stack of paper that fits in a small folder.    Jimmy was interested in the 1/25 armor and picked up a few WWII German tanks.
Yes, this is all paper.......