Paper/Card vs. Plastic Models
Pros and Cons of Cardstock Paper Models
- Being constructed of sheet-type material -- like the original ships -- the models can look more realistic than models cast by filling molds.
- I can make these models whenever I want ... at whatever scale. (1:1250 seems to be the smallest practical scale. 1:300, for destroyers, is the largest scale I have attempted so far.)
- Their materials are inexpensive in comparison to plastic and metal model ships. (A 5-inch -- 12.7cm -- long 1:700 injection-molded plastic kit of an American destroyer escort now sells for as much as $30.00. Resin kits are even more expensive and can sometimes be chemically and structurally unstable.
- Their construction material is more environmentally (and avocationally) acceptable: cardstock and "Elmer's Glue" (tm) are nontoxic and made of renewable resources.
- Box construction cardstock models are surprising light and strong. I have dropped mine to the floor with little damage, since their weight:structure ratio is so small.
- Box construction cardstock models are also surprisingly resistant to warping, unless exposed to wetness and not treated against that.
- Finally, constructing your model ship literally from the keel up ... with transverse and longitudinal bulkheads, hullsides, and deck ... is very satisfying to watch ... and a more realistic modeling experience than a ready-made plastic or metal kit.
Return to Destroyer Escort page.
- Construction is usually slower than with plastic or metal, depending on how much detail the modeler desires. The hull, especially, must be constructed with patience and care.
- Cardstock construction is an entirely different technique, from modeling with wood or plastic.
- Structure with compound curves ... such as the sterns of Dutch and German cruisers, which curve under as well as around ... can be disastrously difficult to assemble correctly ... and fatal mistakes are sometimes only apparent after construction.
- Detailed parts/equipment must be fabricated, unless you purchase special "extra parts."
- Unless waterproofed, cardstock PAPER models can be vulnerable to moisture and staining.