Over the coming weeks we’ll be compiling a list of your card modelling questions & doing our very best to answer them for you, to help you get more out of the very rewarding hobbies of Railway Modelling & Card Modelling. So please feel free to post your questions up via the comments form below and we’ll get onto turning them into a useful resource for us all to share!
Don’t be shy… any question is a valid question, from downloading & printing, to knife blades, to glues, paper types, where to find resources to print kits, how to fold stuff, cut stuff…. you name it… Ask away!
Card Modelling F.A.Q.
Q: What glue(s) do you recommend?
A: It all comes down to personal preference, but I (Justin), tend to stick to 3. Regular Uhu that comes in a tube for card to card construction work, particularly large parts. For small, detail work, I use Deluxe Materials Roket Card Glue. It comes with a fine nozzle for applying just a tiny bit of glue to small parts and it grabs really quickly. For glue texture sheets and paper wraps & use either UHU liberally spread over the entire unprinted side of the paper, let it dry for a few seconds, then smooth the paper into place, or I use Pritt Glue Sticks. I’ve tried the cheap ones but can’t get on with them. Proper branded Pritt seems to work well.
Q: I always have trouble getting roofs to stick on to my buildings… Any tips?
A: This probably comes down to the glue you are using mostly. I’d highly recommend the Roket Card Glue as it grabs very quickly. Then once it’s got a hold, you can run a bead of glue round the entire roof joint on the inside of the building.
Q: What’s the best way of adding weathering to finished buildings?
A: Artists pastels & chalks are probably one of the best materials to use. You can grind them up to make fine weathering powders by rubbing them on a piece of fine sandpaper, then apply them with your fingertips. Use them sparingly to build up the weathering rather than plastering it on. Practise on scrap card & paper until you get the desired effects, before attempting it on a finished model.
Q: Why does my laminated cereal box card bend when I stick brick paper on to it ? I use UHU glue.
A: This could be happening for a number of reasons and we’ve had it happen to us too. If you’re just laminating a texture sheet (brick paper etc) onto a single layer of cereal packet, always apply a weight if possible to the sheet while the UHU dries. Pop the sheets under a couple of heavy books or magazines for a few minutes and that should keep things lovely and flat.
If you’re laminating multiple layers of cereal packet card together, think of them like plywood… alternate the finishes as you glue them so put two unprinted sides together or two printed sides together. This means that as the glue dries, both surfaces shrink in the same way leaving you with a nice flat laminated piece once it’s dry.
Q: What knives do you recommend for cutting card?
A: Having a sharp knife to cut your card is absolutely essential when it comes to getting clean, crisp lines on your models, and unfortunately nothing blunts knife blades quite as quickly as cardboard! The type of knife you use is really down to personal preference, and each one has their merits.
- Surgeons Scalpel (Swan Morton) – These are extremely sharp – the sharpest of them all, and the blades are very low cost when purchased in bulk
- X-Acto Knife – These are American made craft knives but the blades are more expensive than the surgeons scalpel.
- Swann Morton Handle No.1 & A.C.M. 11 Blades – Identical to the Xacto Knife but made in England. Again, blades are quite pricey.
- Snap-Off Plastic Craft Knife – I’m not a big fan of these to be honest. They’re very sharp and great value but something about snapping the blades scares the living daylights out of me!
Q: What’s the best way of cutting out window apertures?
A: Windows can be very tricky to cut out, especially when working with thick card at small scales such as N and smaller. The most accurate way we’ve found is to cut lightly from each outer edge to the centre of the window frame, gradually making your way through the card. If you try and cut through too far too quickly you’re likely to either slip & end up with a cut that wanders, or worse a broken blade! Use the knife point to pinpoint the exact corner of the window opening, then cut to the centre of the window frame or just a little further. Then repeat from the opposite corner. It does take a while, especially on thicker card, but the extra effort is worth it.
Card Modelling Tips
- Print texture papers & coloured texture wrap sections of the kits onto A4 labels. It saves lots of messy gluing & they will stick to most clean surfaces… Steve
- Knife tip! Use the snap off blade knives and regularly snap for new cutting blade for nice clean cuts, especially when cutting card… Brian
- To keep buildings square, always fit a ground floor base and ceiling under the roof. Also add triangular braces added to internal corners for added strength… Brian
- Print on matt finish photo paper as this has less tendency to smudge and has better water resistance than regular copier paper… Brian
- If fitting lighting, plan for it before starting building as sometimes it is difficult to install at the end… Brian