27 May 2022
Michael Russell shares techniques for constructing a paper-based model building kit from Canadian manufacturer, 3DK.
This downloadable brick office kit from 3DK is a low-cost way to make your first building. All you have to do is visit the website, pay a small fee for the kit and download a PDF file to print out at home or at your local printers. There’s no restriction on the number of times you can print the kit, making it an economical way to make repetitive buildings, such as terraced houses.
Generic instructions are provided as well as specific ones for each model. This kit was professionally printed onto 1mm card and plain paper, but a better option is to print onto A4 self-adhesive labels, then apply this to 1mm card, when required.
What you'll need:
Steel rule, cutting mat, scissors, the kit printed onto self-adhesive white labels, 1mm card, a craft knife, felt tip pens or acrylic paint, fast-setting glue like 'fast tack'.
After making a cut, use the handle of the knife to burnish any raised edge caused by the cutting process. Be careful on freshly glued surfaces as you can tear the paper.
When gluing walls together, ensure they’re square and that sides that made up the box of the building are all the same length. Cut slightly into the brickwork to achieve this. Don’t forget to remove equal amounts from each gable wall end to avoid disrupting the roof alignment.
Windows and doors are the most difficult are to cut out with this kit. Cut away from the corners, not into them and tackle the door first – it’s easier than the windows.
Painting exposed cardboard surfaces, such as around windows and doors, is a small task that has a huge impact on the appearance of a cardboard building. Use neat Burnt Umber acrylic paint straight from the tube for brick areas.
When fitting the corner covers, mark the centre line with a pin on the printed side. Then, turn over and score between the pin holes. Ensure you get a straight fold and be gentle when handling. Once in place, slide gently until the brick courses align.
Get paper wraps into place quickly when gluing. Use a seam roller to get an even finish without any rucks.
Use rubber bands to hold parts in place while glue dries.
At the end of the build have a close look for pieces of un-coloured card or paper. The inside of the bargeboards had been missed, so this area was touched up with a matching acrylic paint.
To make a cut, use a steel rule and make several light passes with the knife. You need to hold the rule steady to ensure it doesn’t move while pressing down lightly with the cutting blade. It’s a bit like patting your tummy and rubbing your head at the same time! It’ll soon become second nature.