Card Modeling Makes Precision Modeling Easy

Card Modeling or paper modeling is artform being used to create scale models with paper. Models are built up from appropriately colored, cut, and folded pieces of paper, usually a stiff cardstock. Many models are available as kits, with pre-printed pieces to be cut out and assembled by the modeler. It's also possible to build entirely from scratch.

Among the benefits:
  • Low cost option for multiple buildings
  • Tool requirements are minimal.
  • Detail impeccable
  • Materials easily located
  • Models easily modified
  • Structures weigh nearly nothing
  • Techniques easily mastered
  • Buildings easily duplicated
  • Corrections easy


I have just gotten interested in card modeling for model railroad buildings and believe me, there are a trainload of options.  There are kit producers working in almost all scales and in almost every era and region.

The above video, posted on YouTube illustrates the realism possible with this medium, a realism present in many of the kit offerings. 

But there is also the Do-It-Yourself versions with software to actually build your building the way you wish and in the scale you desire.

You produce the separate walls with doors and windows where you want them.

Once you have the individual walls set the way you wish them to be, simply print the page on 80# to 110# card stock.

Models are designed for speed of construction: most cuts are straight line cuts. Use a straight-edged ruler to fold corners. Glue all the tabs to their corresponding sides or into their corresponding slots, and your model will be complete in a very short space of time. Use a white glue (normally used for paper) for your construction -- white glue usually bonds within a minute.

Here are some examples of models available in kit form:

Now that I have had a chance to work with Model Builder Software and Evan Designs, its developer I find the aspect of being able to build the structures I need to the dimensions I have available one of the greatest benefits of card modeling.

For so many layout applications, I have tried to stretch plastic models to cover an area or cut the base or top of a model to fit it into a scene that I realize how great it is to have the flexibility of being involved in the design process.

Card Modeling Kits

Now, instead of butchering a beautiful model to wedge it into too small a space, I design it to fit the available space, much like architects did with the prototype.

Take A Laugh Break

In the layout I am working on there is a piece or real estate between two tracks that is triangular in shape because of a switch machine. I have always found the flat iron style building really neat. Now I can design it the way I want om my computer.

You can learn more about Model Builder software by clicking on the image below.