Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review - Paper Buildings

Paper Craft Buildings

I thought I would give my review on paper craft / card buildings.

First we'll start with Stoelzel's Structures. These are my favorites.

 If you are new to paper crafting buildings as I was until very recently, you may be a bit skeptical. You hear card or paper buildings and your first impression is "cheap and flimsy". However this is not the case. The buildings you can design and create are extremely sturdy. The printouts aren't just cut and folded. They are meant to be glued to 5mm foam core giving them increased strength. Once all your wall plates have been glued to foam core you simply hot glue the four walls together to create your building. That's the bare basics of it. There are a few other techniques that add even more strength such as rabbeting some of the wall or floor plates. After you've created a couple buildings it's very easy. You can have blocks of buildings springing up in no time. As an added feature, Stoelzel's buildings are also designed so you can enter and game in the buildings as well. Interior design printouts are included with all the buildings they offer. They buildings are suitable for any 25 - 28mm gaming and are perfect for All Things Zombie, aka ATZ by Two Hour Wargames.

I may produce a video showing step by step instructions on a few of these buildings. If you would be interested in seeing one please let me know. If I get enough followers and requests I will do them.

Next up we have Warm Acre.

Warm Acre offers a few very nice buildings such as "The Club" but they are exterior builds only, meaning they cannot be entered and gamed within. However, there is nothing to stop you from creating your own interiors. You can use interior printouts from Stoelzel's Structures or any other source. They also offer a printout set for "Road Sections" which are suitable for 28mm gaming.

Next is World Works Games.

 These builds are the first paper crafts I seen that got my attention. I was searching for terrain and came across Vampifan's Blog and his awesome use of these builds. He put's so much detail into his buildings and they look fantastic. After looking at Vampifan's city layouts like a kid in a candy store I was hooked and had to have a city of my own. I purchased a few sets starting with "The Armoury" and began my journey into paper crafting. After printing out a few of the walls I noticed that they seemed smaller then what I expected. After studings Vampifan's builds and looking at my printouts I noticed that they were indeed smaller. The walls I printed were 2" high by 6" wide. Vamp's looked taller, so I contacted him and he kindly responded and advised me that his building walls are actually 3" high. He also advised me that his buildings are actually an older version that WWG offered and no longer have. They redesigned the scale for the Terrainlinx system. As much as I love the look of the graphics they are a bit small for my liking. I really wish they would offer all the builds with a 3" wall version. So with that I decided to go with the Stoelzel's Structures. However, WWG buildings do come with a bunch of  props and accessories that are very useful. I would still recommend these builds if you aren't picky about the wall heights as I am.

After doing a bit more research I found many more companys that offer paper builds. Here are the links:


Paper Models International

Dave Graffam Models

These are just a few. I'm sure there are many more out there. If you know of any others please post them.

The last thing I'd like to discuss about paper crafting is the cost. You may think "Hey, this sounds good and I can make tons of building cheap". Yes, but the biggest down side is the printer ink. You will deplete your ink cartridges very very fast on just a few buildings and as you and I know ink carts are not cheap. You can get the refillable carts but then you have to get the needle out to refill each color and make sure you don't over fill them messing up the cartridge and having them they leak all over. All happened to me =(.

So what's the solution? Well, after doing a bit more research this time on refillable ink carts I came across something called a "Continuous Ink System". Sounds great already doesn't it? I won't go into much detail about it but it's like having endless ink. Cost $49.99. The link will go to CICINKS home page where they have a video explaining the system. This solved my running out of ink problem. It's what I was looking for but it's not compatable with all printers like my Lexmark model of course. I decided to buy a new printer that would work with the CIS system. I figured in the long run I'm going to be saving a ton of money on ink carts so why not. After even more research ( yeah I do alot of research I know) I chose a Brother MFC-J835DW and purchased it at BestBuy for $150 minus $25 in rewards coupons I had. I also ordered a few extra bottles of refill ink ($20) along with the system. Now I have enough ink to create tons of buildings without worries about replacing cartridges.

Once you get past the ink costs everything else isn't so bad.

Glue Gun $5 - $20
Glue Sticks - Pack of 25 - $10 or so
Spray glue - $5 a can. One lasts a pretty long time.
Stock paper $15 (Ream of 250 sheets) @ Staples. One ream is enough for alot of buildings
Utility Knife / Box Cutter $1 or 2
Extra Blades $1 or 2
Cutting mat. $5 - $30

This is all more or less a one time buy so once you have everything you can have your own city in no time.

I hope this was helpful to anyone not sure about getting into paper craft builds as I was.

Let me know you thoughts.


  1. That's a very solid introduction to the art of car modelling. Great work!

    A couple of card modelling companies you may like to add are Fat Dragon Games and Finger and Toe Models, both of whom make contemporary buildings in addition to models for the sci-fi and fantasy genres.

    1. Thanks Vampi, I'll take a look at them as well. I'll create a tab with links to all of them so anyone else looking to get started will have a nice selection to choose from.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Morbius. I'm glad you are enjoying our products, and I think your city is coming along nicely. I look forward to seeing more.

    And Vampifan is correct, FDG and F&T deserve a look.

    Cheers, Carl

    1. Hi Carl,

      You are most welcome. I really like the scale of the builds. Would you consider creating an interior accessories add on pack. You wouldn't have to change the size of the walls or floors for all of the buidlings just more options. As an example for floors: Carpeting and Marble in a few different colors/shades, another wood flooring color (Mahogany). Same for the walls. Different colors, textures. It would give the current builds or buildings created with the blanks so many more mix and match choices. A few more exteriors would be really nice too. Cider block, Siding and a couple large factory type doors, windows, etc. If so I'd be the first to purchase =).

  3. The MUCK was a pretty great seller (in the small scope of things thus far) so I definitely intend to follow it up. Originally it was planned as a 100 page set or so, like my other modular sets, and it just sort of blew up. I had to put an end point as to what I put in it, just in case people didn't want to commit to a 1 gig download, as it was, I surpassed the size limits of Wargames Vault's new standard upload engine.

    My plan for the expansion was to focus on raising the heights of the buildings to give vertical diversity, with some new style buildings. Your texture suggestions are pretty good, and I'm sure I'll try to get them all in.

    1. Hi Carl,

      I just purchased the Local Pub and a few others for my collection. The Pub looks fantastic and I'm getting to work on it today. Keep up the great work. Can't wait for others. Thanks

    2. Thanks, I'm glad you like the Pub, it was a smash to design. Just make sure you have the updated the file (I updated it after the first two sales, and added a repaint option for the upper floors in case you don't like the plain brick look but would prefer to extend the wood trim up there. Anyway, looking forward to the pics. Great looking table and horde developing.

  4. Good article on cardstock modeling. I'm very interested in the CIS. I have an old Brother MFC240C, I'll have to see if it is compatible. I see a nice potential Father's Day present here. Oh, btw, maybe add to your list of supplies a few more things: a steel ruler with cork backing, a fondant roller to burnish the printouts onto the foamcore, black magic markers for edging the printouts, and a rabbet cutter.