I’ve been experimenting with some World War 2 paper vehicles. I have made several now and would like to show the results. I’ve purchased so far from two companies and found one item free on the web.
First up is a diorama offering from Best Paper Models. The item comes with a Matilda and a Panzer III. These tanks were pretty easy to put together. Simply adhering to some paper modeling “best practices” and you could get these together in about 4 hours each. This includes, cutting, gluing and touch up painting. The results are quite nice. A side note, I felt that the colors were a little bright so I toned them down, making the Panzer III a bit more tan and the Matilda a bit more earthy. The latter’s colors were clearly influenced by the Matilda at Bovington. The gun barrels are supposed to be rolled paper. I managed to roll the Panzer III gun barrel pretty easily. The Matilda gun barrel is a simpler piece and should have been even easier to roll. However, for some reason I could not roll the paper into a gun barrel for this model. I used a toothpick instead. The last thing I want to mention is that these models are actually 1/87th scale. I pasted them into a PNG file. The graphics are actually very high resolution. I had to shrink the files to 28% size.
On a side note, I did look up measurements for the vehicles just to make sure they were close to scale. I use www.wwiivehicles.com for most of my needs since the web site owner has done most of the research for me and even lists his sources. All measurements varried but the Matilda II varied the most, especially with the length of the vehicle. The difference between the smallest and largest measurement was something like 3 feet!
The second purchase was from paper Tiger Armaments. These vehicles are very nice. The coloring is, perhaps, not quite as nice as those from Best paper Models in terms of texture and detail but a very good model never the less. There are more details in parts, especially in the track area. I was not up to the task of assembling the tracks a wheel at a time so I used the tracks from the PZIII from BPA. I recolored them further to give them a near match to the PTA Stug.
The final model is a Universal Carrier from J. Friant and is available on his web page. This was a pretty easy model to build. There is a good bit of white space in the interior when you look down and at an angle into the drivers compartment. This can be fixed with some appropriately colored paint. The coloring scheme is very basic so it would be easy to re-skin it to anything you like before printing.
Paper tanks can be slow to build. I suspect that the process can be somewhat sped up by building multiple tanks. I have not tried it yet though. At 4 hours per tank, this is probably a bit slower than preparing some of the quick build plastic models for the game table. The advantage is the cost. You can purchase a tank image for $2 to $5 via the web and then build as many as you need.