Paper Model Tools and Materials

Paper Model Tools and Materials

Why so many people prefer to build papercrafts? Compared with other models (such as the wooden model, plastic model, etc.), there is an unparalleled advantage: Its access threshold is very low. In short, Simple! Basically as long as you have scissors, knife and glue, you can make a decent paper model. But, with the most basic tools you can only complete a few simple entry-level paper model. If you want to build a perfect paper model you have to get more tools. Here I will give you a list as much details as possible about the needs of the various tools for making paper model.

Papercraft tools - PrinterPrinter

  • Color inkjet printer: Epson and Canon inkjet printers are a good choice, good effect, inexpensive, but drawings fade;
  • Color laser printer:┬áCompared with inkjet printers, color laser printer is better on printing effect, no fade, more suitable for long-term preservation, but laser printers are more expensive.

Cutting Tools

Papercraft Cutting Tools

  • [1] Scissors: For cutting larger part or component outlines, it's recommended to prepare two pairs of scissors (Bigger and Smaller);
  • [2] Knife: This is one of the most frequently used tools;
  • [3] Pen Knife: For cutting and finishing small precision parts, such as widgets on very detailed ships and vehicles [Buy Basic Knife Set];
  • [4] Circle Cutter: For cutting round parts or digging holes;
  • [5] Punch: For cutting small or micro circular parts;
  • [6] Cutting Mat: To avoid scratches of desktop by blade, also protects the blade. There are two sizes, A3 and A4. If you want to make detailed papercrafts, A3 cutting mat is better.

Detail/adding Color Tools

Detail Color Tools for PapercraftsIf you want to make a perfect paper model, colored pencils and marker pens are necessary. You may need to add colors on edge or folding line of the parts.


Ruler for Paper Models

  • [1] Steel Ruler: Used in conjunction with a knife for cutting a straight line;
  • [2] Vernier Caliper: Used to measure the size of the parts when you make precision models.


paper for papercrafts

  • [1] Copy Paper: Printing templates, there are a variety of thickness (75~240g/m2), you need to select the appropriate paper according to the actual situation of the model;
  • [2] Colored Paper: Most commonly used for Gundam paper models or Mecha/Robot paper models;
  • [3] Cardboard: Used for keels of the ship and aircraft paper models, also thickening vehicle paper models.


Glue for paper modelsWhite Latex Glue is the most commonly adhesive for paper models, but it is likely to cause deformation of the paper because it contains water. You can also use a glue stick. Another choice is the all prupose adhesive, recommened to use UHU Glue For Craft. Sometimes you also need super glue (suitable for micro parts of detailed paper ships, vehicles and airplanes.) It can also be used as a curing agent for increase the strength of the paper, most commonly for making tank suspension, wheels and tracks.

Buffing Tools

Grinding Tools for Paper ModelsIf you are building a paper model using cardboard, polishing tools are necessary. Sandpaper is the most commonly used tool, I suggest you prepare three sandpaper: Medium Grit, Fine Grit and Very Fine Grit. Medium grit sandpaper could be replaced by smooth file.

Color Improving Supplies

Color and Patch Supplies for paper models

  • [1] Fixative: Acrylic Coating Aerosol Spray is useful for protecting your paper crafts. Permanent moisture resistant and smudge proof.
  • [2] Varnish: Varnish is highly resistant to discoloration and offers superior clarity and durability.
  • [3] Clear Matte: This spray provide protection for your paper models, provides a permanent, non-toxic low sheen protective coating.
  • [4] Modeling Putty: Patch the defective part of your paper model, you have to re-paint after use.

Other Supplies

Pointed Metal Rod for paper modelsThis is a Pointed Metal Rod, you can use a nail to DIY. Gently draw following the line on the back of the template, then you can fold it very easily.

Forceps for paper modelsTweezers are necessary tools when you make a paper model. Fix the glued part using a tweezer, you can stick it more firmly. You can also pick up a small part with a tweezer, protect the paper from glue.

pointed small stick for papercraftsA pointed small stick can be used to smear glue, also be used to support the more fragile part (such as propeller shaft). You can also use a match to make one.

Clip for paper modelsClips to secure or strengthen the bonding surface. Sometimes you need to fix big parts using clips when waiting for the glue to dry.

Pins and Paper ClipsPins and Paper Clips: For drilling or making metal parts (such as railing, ladder and antenna).

Small Drill for paper modelsPrepare a Small Drill, it can help you to drill.

More supplies (such as Pliers) according to your own needs.

Hope these will help! Love paper models and have fun!


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