Austin Powers reference. Only eighteen years late...
I know one question a lot of people have about paperhammer stuff is “but how durable is it?” We hear paper and think of fragile origami birds and the soaked, floppy newspapers we just primed some models on. Nobody wants to spend two or three long weekends building something that won’t even survive getting painted, let alone moved around the tabletop for one game.
Speaking for myself, I almost never build with paper, always with cardstock. So the models I’m building are very rigid and solid in that sense. Some of them I even reinforce a bit more with very simple supports. Everything I’ve ever shown here at In The Grim Cheapness of the Future... is pretty close to its plastic counterpart as far as sturdiness goes.
But there is another process I take some models through. It adds a few bucks to the final cost, but makes for an even sturdier model in the end. Behold...
This Imperial Knight might look like it got wet, but I’ve actually given it a coat of thin superglue. The glue soaks into the cardstock, dries, and the resulting material has the consistency of plastic. I try to hit all the joints, broad surfaces, and the points that are going to get bumped on a regular basis.
Helpful Hint—make sure you’re using thin superglue, not regular and definitely not the thick, gap-filling stuff. It needs that watery consistency to flow smoothly and soak into the cardstock. Thicker glue will just sit on the surface and form blobs or runs.
Now, a word of warning. The superglue will make all the surfaces rigid. If there’s some coarse or ragged spots where the cardstock peeled or a paper template didn’t come off in one piece, the glue will make them like that permanently. I’ve used this to my advantage a few times, turning those rough areas into patches of rust or battle damage (on the Plaguereaper, for example). But if the end result’s supposed to look super-clean, it’s worth taking some extra time with a hobby knife to scrape and polish all the surfaces.
Helpful Hint II—Thin superglue gives off some powerful fumes. Hard to believe I know, but... they’re not healthy for you. At all. When you start a project like this where you’re going to use a lot of glue, make sure you’re either outside or in a well-ventilated area.
A bottle of thin superglue is about five or six dollars, depending on where you get it. I used about half a bottle on the Knight, maybe 3/4 of a bottle on the Plaguereaper, and a whole bottle for all the different Gargant components. Add that to the dollar or two that some of these paperhammer models end up costing (or even the higher Gargant price tag), and you’re still getting a fantastic deal on a model that would usually be $75 or more.