08 Dec, 2013
I have long wanted to get started with scale model building. Unfortunately I'm still taking medication that's causing my hands to shake far too much, and quite frankly, I don't really have the money to spend on equipment and paint at the moment.
So I was quite happy when I stumbled upon Paper Posables and the Poplocks system. These are paper models you print on card stock, cut, fold and put together. Perhaps not a real alternative to scale models, but still a lot of fun and very rewarding to build.
The beauty of the Poplocks system is that the models require no glue or tape, can be moved, posed and (carefully) played with. It's also easy to take apart a model if mistakes have been made.
Most (all?) of the models are licensed under Creative Commons NC SA and the PDF files can be imported into Inkscape with no problems. Very handy if you want to make any customisation or simply recolour a model.
Oh, if you intend on scaling the models (up or down) you need to keep the square-cube law in mind. I didn't and scaled the print of one of the models down by 50%, the actual completed model was of course a lot smaller in 3D...
Requirements are pretty low, a printer, a pair of scissors, an X-acto knife (with fresh blades) and preferably a 5/8" (16mm) hole punch. I started out with an old fashioned punch and hammer, this turned out to be a slow, noisy and bothersome operation. I recommend buying a cheap craft hole punch, like this one, if you intend to make more than model.
Thicker paper works better with the Poplocks, I bought 160g/m^2^ which is the maximum thickness supported by my printers. (Thicker paper might damage the printer drum).
A lot of new models are being published on the Netroid Universe blog.
If you feel like making seasonal papercraft instead, check out Star Wars snowflakes by Anthony Herrera.