Author Topic: How to print and prepare one of my models.  (Read 1971 times)

Dave Winfield

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How to print and prepare one of my models.
« on: December 08, 2012, 06:56:36 PM »
I am currently communicating with a fellow who is interested in one of my Mustang kits.
But its been a while for him, and he is (very wisely) asking many questions about printing
the pages and what types of paper and card to use, etc.

I thought maybe I could do up a quick tutorial on the printing and preparations required
with a basic this case, I will refer to my 1/33 scale P-51D Mustang "Hubert".
(Since that is the model he is interested in)

But this information will generally apply to any downloaded digital card model.


The P-51D Hubert kit has 12 pages
...however the first page is the Cover.
(I try to create an informative and attractive cover that can be used
as a display item for me in the store and for the builder, if they would
like to print out a little poster or display image.)

Pages 2, 3, 4 and 5 are your Instructions. You can leave these on your computer
...or if you want them at hand while building, just print on regular weight paper.
No need to waste any fancy papers here.

Page 6 is your Internal Former parts.
These are necessary to be at least 1mm thickness and fairly stiff.
I recommend printing this page on regular weight paper and then laminate (glue) it to some heavier card. 
I like to use Cereal Boxes. 
I save the side panels and I glue two layers together.
(Glue the shiny printed sides face to face, but sand them first to make sure they stick!)
Then I glue the printed paper page to the cardboard and cut out the parts.
That gives me about 1mm thickness for these parts.

Pages 7 thru 12 are the Parts pages. These are usually designed for a specific card or paper stock
(which is often indicated on the pages or in the kit somewhere).
In this case, I recommend 65lb (or there abouts) plain bright white cardstock, for all the pages.
Some people like using heavier cardstock (110lb) but I save that for large panel parts that require a little
more rigidity and don't require much curving or creasing. (Heavier cardstock does not crease cleanly)
[Note: 65lb cardstock is about .23mm-25mm thickness]

Some of my models require different Parts pages be printed on different weight papers,
and in this case I indicate right on those pages what paper weights are recommended.

**I have been asked about printing this model at an enlarged scale...roughly twice the size...
and I am  recommending that the thickness of all the parts be upscaled by roughly the same amount to compensate.
Internal Formers should be laminated to 2mm thickness and all the "skin" parts of the aircraft should be
at least 110lb paper. 
I might consider using a heavier cardstock like "Bristol Board" especially since you will need larger sheets
to print the upscaled pages on.  "Bristol Board" is also known by other names, and is available in most
stores including Dollar Stores and comes in a variety of colours. It is commonly used by Students as a
Project Board substrate.

If you were downscaling this model, you could apply the same downsizing to the page thicknesses.
But many builders (like me) still like working with 65lb cardstock, even with smaller scale models. Its
only when upscaling that rigidity and strength become a concern with the model design.

Some Printing information:

Printing on most papers and cardstocks is the same...however with thicker Cardstocks and Cardboards,
you must be aware of the capabilities of the printer being used.
Any printer that feeds and ejects paper from the same side, will require papers flexible enough to go
through the rollers and curved feed paths without jamming.

Flatbed feeders and those Printers that feed and eject from opposite sides of the machine, can usually
handle heavier papers.

Large Format Printers are designed to print on bigger sheets of paper and card and can usually deal with
thicker papers as well.

When printing at the Model's intended Scale, try to set your printer to Print "as in the document".
If you need to reduce Margins, then do so, but try to avoid using "fit to page" settings.
"Fit to page" means the printer will reduce or enlarge the image to fit the printable area of the paper.
This will not always be consistent from page to page and this will result in a scale size difference
between pages.

If you need to alter the printed page to fit the paper, then reduce or enlarge your output by a specific
%amount...apply the same %amount to each printed page to preserve scale consistency.

*If you are having a Printer or Print Shop handle your printing for you, make sure they don't make
the same mistake. Specify a print percentage or "print as in the document" to avoid any problems.
Remember, they are not paper modelers and may not understand the need for scale consistency.

Artists (Spray) Fixatives are a great addition to your Supplies.
Spray your Inkjet printed Pages with fixative to protect and preserve your parts.
In some case the fixative will increase colour vibrancy and quality.
It also creates a surface that is more resistant to moisture and easier to clean.
Helps with those glue mishaps!


Thats all for now...I hope this helps...I'll continue to add more as issues come up or when questions are asked.
Happy modeling.


the mole

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Re: How to print and prepare one of my models.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 11:24:39 AM »
When useing Artists (Spray) Fixatives does it effect the strength of the glue joints?

Dave Winfield

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Re: How to print and prepare one of my models.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 11:38:50 AM »
You know what, I think the matte Artists fixatives, if applied normally, shouldn't do too much.
You don't need to saturate the paper.

But I do agree that some of the heavier clear coats and preservatives could interfere with
water based glues...because they make the paper waterproof.

A solvent based glue should not have a problem.