Papercrafting Tips for Paper Car Models
In Japan, there is a little something called ‘papercraft.’ You may think you already know what papercrafting is. Sure, you folded a bunch of origami cranes in 3rd grade and may have dabbled in scrapbooking, but you don’t know how serious papercrafting can be until you’ve pulled out an exact-o knife and toothpicks to tackle a Japanese masterpiece.
Fortunately for us here at The News Wheel office, cars are a popular model for papercrafting, especially Japanese manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Honda. Since papercrafting is such a hot item in Japan, these companies actually provide official designs to print and build.
As we sliced, folded, and pasted our way to paper glory, we discovered that not all papercraft methods are equal. Here are our tips for assembling the best car a tree can produce.
Take Time to Cut
Releasing your brand new car from the paper void is going to take up the bulk of your time. But good cuts are important, so be patient. Pay special attention to cut lines vs. fold lines, and make sure that every single tab is accounted for. For the love of god, don’t use scissors. Get a cutting pad (or a lightly-used & clean cutting board from the kitchen) and an exact-to knife to do the job.
Roll that Pencil, Hunny
For those sexy curves on a hood or even ASIMO’s face, utilize what your momma gave you; a pencil. We’re assuming that she handed you one somewhere along the way. Curl curved parts around the barrel of a pencil to give your papercraft car another dimension and to keep it from looking so, well, papery.
Glue Dots Instead of Glue Don’ts
Use a toothpick and a bit of decoupage glue to stick everything together. Bumbling around with a paintbrush is likely to get glue in every place that you don’t want it. Toothpicks can offer precise glue application, a great poking tool for wayward tabs, and worry-free popcorn consumption after the model is complete.
Some Models Just Don’t Work
Depending on where you get your papercraft printable, results can certainly vary. While some designs can include maybe too many tabs, there are some that are hastily designed without enough instruction or space allowed for dabs of glue. Beware papercraft models that have very few parts, or those that don’t offer photos of the finished product. Also, check the difficulty level to make sure that you’re not setting yourself up for frustration.