Printing paper models

Discussion in 'Architecture Models' started by boofox, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. boofox

    boofox New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
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    Hi everyone,
    I've entered into the exciting and overwhelming process of getting my boyfriend some paper models for Christmas, and I am thrilled to find out that I can print them for free. What kind of paper do you suggest? And do I need a fancy printer? Also, how do I print a pdo? I went on online casino paper crafts buildings at and still couldn't figure out how to download the program.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
  2. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    Dec 17, 2006
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    Hi boofox!:wave:

    For the type of buildings on the site you're looking at, I would recommend 110lb. cardstock.

    .pdo files are viewable/printable if you download Pepakura and the Pepakura File Viewer (for free) at:

    Pepakura Designer

    You'll find some interesting free downloads on the Pepakura site as well...

    Check around, and you'll find a whole world of free models on the internet!:thumb:


    Ping-Pong Ball Cannon and N/Z scale Old West paper models (free samples) at: paperbeam - virtual paper models
  3. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Nov 27, 2005
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    Hi boofox,

    That´s a very good idea for a Christmas gift. I would recommend a medium-thick, silk matte, photo-paper (about 160 - 170 grams/m2 thickness), which you probably can get from any well-stocked artist´s supply store. If you´d want really thick photo paper, look for 230 - 240 grams/m2. However, this paper is not so easy to roll or to make very small parts from.
    Here in Sweden, I can get good quality photo papers (with rich blacks!) in boxes of 100 sheets (in standard Letter format), which means that the price of each sheet is lower.

    Re. the printer:
    Any good color printer will do. And, if you have access to an image program, such as Photoshop Elements, you can adjust the print colors under "Image, Adjustments", and "Color Balance", or "Saturation" in the menu. Just print a test of one of the model sheets and look at it under the light from a window in broad daylight. If the color is too green, you make it more magenta. If it´s too red, you make it more cyan. And if it´s too blue, you make it more yellow, and vice versa.

    Here are some links to free card model web sites - the easiest file formats to print are JPG (a compressed file format), and PDF (which requires that you have the Acrobat 'Reader' freeware installed in your computer):

    Cardmodels FAQ - some of thesew links do not work anymore, though:

    MarsCenter models (in Italy) - real space models, for example very detailed and accurate space shuttle models:

    More space models - very nice ones from Dutch designer (and member) Erik te Groen - click "Modelbouw" in the left margin:

    More real space models still - Jonathan Leslie´s amazing site (Jon is also a member of

    The Iceberg free links page - any kind of model, look under the headings:

    Canon Papercraft- relatively simple but colorful and very attractive card models:

    I think this will keep you busy for a while - good luck!

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:

    PS. If there is anything else, don´t hesitate to ask. I´m glad to help out, if I can.
  4. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

    Jul 18, 2006
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    This link Paper Weight - Conversion Chart will help you correlate card in pounds and in gsm (grams per square meter).

    Welcome to the forum by the way!