Oh, goody, another off-topic ramble...
I thought that the underlying problem was that millions and millions of
Brazilian peasantry were producing 16x millions and millions of offspring,
and desiring to feed said offspring were burning up millions and millions of
acres of rain forest every year. Whereas, all the time, the real problem was
the bit of balsa wood in my attic...
I remember all the crying about the mahogany used in expensive furniture in
Britain. In fact, my own shop windows were daubed by the eco-warriors. Great
days. We imported less mahogany for our joinery and laid off dozens of
carpenters and joiners. Result? Well, the Indonesians still needed to
recover the same annual yield from their mahogany, so ended up selling it at
10% of the UK price to Japanese builders, who used it for concrete-laying
shuttering on building sites. Of course, to recover the same yield, they had
to strip the forests at ten times the previous annual rate. So that was
The first rule of paper or card model making is to use 3 or odd numbers of
layers, for the same reason that ply wood is always made of odd numbers of
layers, the layers tend to counter warping.
Second rule is that you MUST seal the surfaces - shellacing was the normal
method in the past, but some artists sprays should have the same effect.
With those two techniques, paper models should be robust enough to have a long
life where they are not directly handled.
I have seen paper models over 100 years old which look fine.
However conditions have a lot to do with longevity. If you live in a
high humidity area and your layout is not in a humidity controlled
area, you should brace walls as even wood will buckle in the moist
conditions. Modern card stock is much tougher than the old papers use
in the past and those used in the "punch out" books but if you buy
"archival" level paper stock the paper will last centuries. the next
problem is ink. All inks will fade in direct sunlight. since few of us
have layouts hit by such light that is not a problem for us (though
fluorescent lights do cause any pigmentation to fade be it ink or
paint or molded in colour) So the inks should last as long as any
other paint. Basica;lly if you avoid high humidity and bright light
paper will last as well as any other material you can model with.
Any suggestions as to the type of glue to use when using paper and expecting
a few years life from paper models.
My experience is the 'contact' type adhesives 'leech' thru to the surface,
and shrink and distort paper after a few months, and water based ones either
fail to stick at all to 'archival' type papers ( which seem to have a
plasticky finish) or distort imediately..
Personally I use "carpenter's" or "cabinetmaker's" glues. They
are a yellow toned (but dry clear) glue that is like a thicker "white"
glue (like Elmer's). I use it sparingly as it can get messy but it
holds tenaciously and will last for many years.
A lot like the "white" glues but I find they have too much
water in them and can cause problems when attaching fine parts.
Another good glue, especially when you want things to bond
fast, is "Alien's Tacky Glue" which is found in "crafts" shops.
Yes I have. Some years ago I was making the base sides for a VLine
VKEX wagon out of a single sheet of 0.5mm styrene sheet.
As it was cut to almost A4 size, and as I had drawn everything up in a
CAD program I put the plastic through the inkjet printer to see how it
went. As expected the ink balled, so I washed it off and tried again.
From memory, I gave the surface a light sand with say 400 grit Wet &
Dry sand paper. This worked batter, but not perfect, so I then went
outside and gave the whole lot a spray with cheap matte spray from the
local art supply shop. This worked well enough to enable me to cut out
the sides, although I did have to sand off the coating before gluing.
Subsequent wagons have used the same artwork, but printed on paper
then glue-sticked to the plastic before cutting/scribing.
For my artwork and some other comments see
Before I comment too deeply it would be good to know the application and the
type of printer.
But.. That's not stopped me in the past.
I work for a hardware/lawn&garden company. We regularly print outside signs
on plastic material for our plants, shrubs and fertilizer displays. Printers
used are laser, not ink-jet. The plastic signs cards come from Horticultural
Printers. They're web site is: http://www.horticulturalprinters.com /. Click
the 'onsyte printing' tab. There is stock for thermal transfer, ink jet and
laser. I don't know if any of this is usable in your application but it's
worth a look. The whole idea for us is the ability to print signs that can
withstand the weather. We don't do color, just black on the white card.
Laser printers are all HP 4100 to 4200 series. We have had good luck with
And no, I have no connection with the above mentioned company!
Any ALPS MD series printer will print on styrene up to 0.010" thick.
It works really well.
It is a thermal wax/resin transfer printer.
The only problem is that they are long out of production.
Good news is that lots of them show up on eBay.
But lots of the eBay ones have problems (like burned head elements).
On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 20:18:36 +1000, mindesign wrote:
Don't try this with a laser printer. We had some one wreck the 'fuser' on
our office colour printer by putting the wrong sort of transparency film
it it and the plastic melted in the fuser stage.
The clear sheets meant for the printer can take much more heat.
Inkjet printers don't use heat to fuse the ink. The warning only applies
to Laser printers.
Now there's an idea for flat sided rolling stock.
Print directly onto overhead projector film and stiffen the back of
each car side with either plastic or even brass rod. This would give
flush windows instantly.
Might give it a try.
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