Making sharp folds look better.

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by andrew ferguson, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. andrew ferguson

    andrew ferguson Member

    Jan 10, 2005
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    Hi again. For those who remember i am building a KV-2 tank. I'm working on the hull and i've got most of the sharp angled folds done. It looks good from a distance but close up you can see where the paper has been cut during scoring/folding plus there is a bit of a crack, for lack of a better word, in the paper leading out slightly from part of one of the folds. The colour is missing from the fold areas too.

    My first impulse was to lightly sand along the folds to blend out the cut paper look and also get rid of the little crack. I was then going to touch up with a bit of water based paint. Is this a reasonable approach or is there a better answer?

    Also, one of the folds was upward, meaning that the inside of the fold is actually visible on the outside of the model (it's the front glacis plate which bends up from the vertical. I hope i'm explaining this well.

    The bottom line is that the visible folded area has puckered a bit (because it is the inside of the fold, due to the direction of the bend). Is there some way of preventing this from happening in future? Right now it sort of looks like a weld so i'm not overly worried about it but it's something i'd like to prevent in future if possible.

    Thanks for any help, as always. :smile:
  2. Kaz

    Kaz Member

    Jul 27, 2005
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    better folds

    Personally I use a small tool that mimics a ball point pen with no ink in it... I daresay there will be other 'solutions' As for the 'other-side' turn the sheet over, on a light box and score the rear side and it'll be ok..ish
  3. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Jun 25, 2005
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    I've been using Sharpie pens for touch up, but black Sharpie has a redish sheen and I doubt the pens are archival. I've seen black ink turn brown over a period of about ten years. I think that watercolor or acrylic paint may be a better solution(notice the pun.) You can custom mix the colors and can buy paint that should last. Avoid yellow if you are concerned about fading.

    I've found that sanding only works if the paper has lots of glue or varnish. Otherwise it makes the paper fuzzy. For sanding I use a disposible manicure emery board. They usually come with different grades of sandpaper on each side so that one side is finer than the other.

  4. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    Feb 10, 2004
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    You will find as many answers to this as there are modelers, but this is how I make sharp folds. First lets talk scoring tools some use ballpoint pens others use knitting needles and what have you. My preference is to use a tool I made from a #11 blade. I rounded the tip so that it has a 1mm radius as viewed in profile. I then used a fine sharpening stone to dull the blade. I did this by rocking the edge of the blade across the stone. What I wanted was a half round shape on the edge. The result is a dull blade that will not cut your skin but is still a fine edge. My thinking in making this blade was that to get the sharpest crease you need to use a very narrow scoring tool.

    On 65/67 lb and 110 lb paper I score the printed side. I have made a shadow box and tried scoring the back side but the results were not any better then scoring the printed side. Note this tool can cut through the paper if you press to hard. I do want to cut the ink and just the surface fiber of the paper. I then fold the crease using a steel rule as a guide and straight edge to fold too. Over bend the part, if you are making a 90 degree corner bend the fold to 110 degrees the paper will relax back to a nice 90 degree corner.

    For parts on .5 mm and 1 mm card stock, I mark the back side of the crease using a needle from the front side I then cut a V slot centered on the crease on the back of the fold, I am assuming that the fold is a peak from the printed/ front side. The V slot does not go all the way through the paper only about ¾ the way through. Adjust the sides of the V to obtain the required angle. When satisfied with the folds glue the sides of the V slot.

    You probably noted that I purposely wanted to cut the ink this leaves you with a nice straight line and usually less flaking of the ink. So yes you need to color the edges but you have to color all of the cut edges so no big loss. Again there are several ways to color the edge I prefer to use good quality paste opaque watercolors and not the little hard bricks that your kids use. The reasons I prefer water colors is first and for most I can mix the colors to match the model and if you do not use all of the paint let it dry and just add some water the next time you need that color. If properly mixed to the consistency of modelers paint, the color will not bleed where you don’t want it to. Back to edges, apply just to the crease then rub the edge with your finger, no not the one with the glue on it, you will see the colors blend into the edge and the crease will disappear.

    For the modelers that use acrylic paints I have had good success using the water color pigments to adjust the colors of acrylic paints

    Jim Nunn

    Attached Files:

  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Jan 25, 2004
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    You can scribe a line on a piece of clear acyrlic plastic sheet with a scribing tool. The paper to be folded is placed over the scribed trench and is embossed with an inkless ballpoint pen or a small diameter embossing tool. The paper will fold crisply at the embossed line. Put a light source underneath to illuminate the lines through the paper. You can also use this method to make lap joints and/or radiused corners if the size of the trench and embossing tool is large enough.

  6. rjm

    rjm Member

    Aug 11, 2005
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    Making sharp folds look better

    As Jim Nunn says, there are as many ways to do this
    as there are modelers. I'm using a "Half-sheet" cutter
    from Levenger. It's not cheap and are sold by the pair,
    but looks like they should last forever. It's a small chip
    of ceramic material in a piece of plastic. The advantage
    is that the cut is the same depth for the whole length
    of the cut so it bends to a very sharp, straight edge.
    The cut is about the depth of a newspaper sheet. Maybe
    someone can figure out how to adapt this to a more
    convenient holder and have them made to cut to other

    Bob Miller