Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some Fun - Some More Fun

Some More Fun With Computer and Printer

That first article on fun with printing things to build using computer and printer left me a bit dissatisfied. It was pretty good and what inspired me to be thinking about the subject at that time. Of course it isn't the first time I have thought about paper models and toys.

I went on a search for more and using a search engine I found a page that I think I had found a while ago while looking for traditional patterns for paper airplanes and sailor caps and the like for the museum I volunteer at.

Paper Toys at has a fairly unpresuming page which links to a large number of paper models and such. They call them "Paper stuff for kids and grown-ups". The models are completely free, though I note a few ads mixed in on the pages, but they are ads that you might find of interest. Its what you call topical advertising, I think, room for a whole other article.

I do wish I had a printer in operation here at the old Gnomestead. I would like to print and try making some of those models. I nearly bought a nice colour laser printer last fall, but it wouldn't have interfaced well with the MacBook I was intending on buying - and indeed have bought - for my primary computer.

Taking a quick look at the models... one of the first is a new one for them, a "Sprinter Van". Upon looking at that page you find a page with a cut out model of a van in full colour. You can email copies of the van as a gift to friends and if you click on the image of the van you can download a PDF file which is a file format that makes for a more predictable printout for you to use to cut out and construct your model from.

...strangely in this case it leads you to a model of the "Capital Building" - and while quite spiffy isn't what it was supposed to be I don't think... LOL and like many things is a bit "Ameri-centric". It's not our Capital Building in Ottawa for us Canadians, nor for the British, nor French, nor... I guess it is acceptable considering it is on a site on an American web server. I do see structures such as the Sydney Opera House, Dubai Clock Tower, and Eiffel Tower and they are willing to make others if they are asked.

The Tyranosaurs Rex (T-Rex) - FREE paper model - looks interesting and there are options for different colours and an uncoloured one. Looking at the pattern reminds me of a pattern I was creating for a stuffed fabric dolphin I wanted to make. If you don't have a colour printer, or if you don't care for the colours or using a photo editor to edit the image's colour, I might suggest colouring the model with pencil crayons or markers before assembling it. I might be careful not to colour the tabs or where they join in case the glue won't stick. I figure the creative can also figure out how to print it both larger or smaller or edit some details. Paper is pretty cheap for experimenting with.

There seems to be a fair amount of educational value as well. I am looking at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre at the moment and remember someone building a model of it for an english class back in high school. The model of Angkor Wat is interesting though not highly detailed.

On a different subject area, the Harley Davidson motorcycle would be a different sort of project. I note a suggestion that you print only a single page on your printer. You can make it larger by using a photocopier to enlarge it.

For a look at what models look like check out the Photo Gallery. I note that someone is using them for custom Christmas ornaments!

~ Darrell

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