Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Stoelzel's Structures Vehicles

As promised in my last post, this one will go into more detail about the vehicles I have been making from Stoelzel's Structures. As I said before, all but the RV are from the Auto Park Playset, and the RV is from Trailer Town Playset, both of which are excellent sets BTW.

Before I share pics of the models, I thought I'd share the process behind making them with you.  As I print my models on a colour laser printer, which AFAIK, will not print onto card (and I'm not able to do so, even if it could), the first stage of all my builds is to cut them out from the A4 sheet. 

Then I glue them onto thin card using a glue stick, before cutting them out (again) from the card sheet. Note that the tabs on the model should NOT be glued to the card. I've tried this, and while it does give stronger tabs, the card makes it very, very difficult to get a tight enough crease on the tab.

The next step is the bottom of the model. Back in my post ebbles-card-vehicles, I mentioned that I added a piece of 2mm thick card (aka mounting board) to the model to give it added weight and stability. With these models, I've evolved that a step further by adding a piece of foamcore on top of the piece of card. This doesn't noticeably add to the weight, but it does give the bottom edge of the sides something they can be stuck to as well as allowing you to squeeze them together as the glue takes hold. Also the tabs on the bottom edge of the sides can be glued to the card instead of trying to glue the bottom of the model onto tabs that you can't get to. The underside part of the model is then glued onto the card.

This method is especially easy with the Stoelzel's models as the underside is a seperate piece - thanks for that Carl!

And finally the wheels ... these have been a real pain. I developed a process for these when making the Ebbles models referred to earlier. What I do is to take the print of the wheel, cut off the piece that wraps around the wheel so you just have the tyre's side image and stick that to foamcore. I then cut this out with my knife - never yet having achieved a round cut-out - and then glue the bit that forms the outside edge of the tyre to the foamcore. All that remains is to edge it with black marker. I found the little triangles that are supposed to glue under the tyre's edge far too fiddly - they stuck to my fingers more often than the tyre :(

So that's how I make them, and now onto the pics of the models I've made so far. 

First is the estate

Then we have the Luton van. Although this looks very fiddly when printed, it was easier to put together than I had feared. These pics show quite clearly that I used the wrong shade of red when edging it :( I will have to find a darker shade.

Now the ... I'm not sure what it is actually; is it another estate? or a hearse? perhaps Carl can tell me. Whatever, it is a nice model, although you can clearly see that I have yet to edge it. This clearly shows on the bonnet edge in the second pic

The green sedan arrives next. As with all the models in the Auto Park Playset this comes in multiple colours and I can see that I'll be making quite a few of these

And the same with the next model - the SUV

And finally the RV. As you can see this is a big model.

What I found with the RV, and the body of the Luton is that the sides are long enough to bow inwards once assembled. This meant that I had to carefully slice the RV open and insert a brace (scrap foamcore) to keep the sides pushed out. Having discovered this with the RV, I braced the van as I was assembling it, obviating the need to cut it open. Even with the brace, the sides of the RV are still slightly concave as I hope you can see in the pic below where I rested a flat piece of foamcore on the side of the RV.
This 'concavity' doesn't really show in the finished model - you can't see it in the 2 pics of the RV above and they were taken after the opening & bracing, but the strange thing is, that you can really feel it when you pick the model up ...

Anyway, if you make these models - i.e. RV & Luton - then put a brace in.

I'm not sure if it comes across in this post, so I'll specifically state it here; I enjoyed making these models, and the "trial of my patience" that I mentioned in my last post  because of the steps I outlined above and not because of the models themselves!

Next time ... the car park


  1. All of your vehicles look very good, Colin. The hearse type vehicle that you were querying is just a posh station wagon.

    I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed making them, otherwise it's a chore and no one enjoys doing chores.

  2. As Bryan said, I am very glad that you enjoyed the building. If I make something that ISN'T fun for you guys, I'm dong you a dis-service. Definitely can't have that.

    The car in question is not hard to identify the inspiration, since you didn't choose an alternate color. That particular inspiration is a a Cadillac Miller-Meteor, which I believe is a sort of hybrid (meaning BOTH you and Bryan are correct), I've seen described as a "limo style endloader combo car" an "ambulance conversion", and an "ambulance/hearse combination", I just call it the Echo 9.

  3. They look great Colin nice work and some useful tips as well especially about the wheels and the bigger vehicles 'bowing' Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the car park.

  4. Thanks for this, I've always had problems with my cardboard models and this helps allot. Good work, very smooth, keep it up.

  5. Very cool cars, i want to try my hand at this again, the wheels put me off, but with your tip in mind ill have another bash

  6. lookslike I'm going to have to haveanothergoat card vehicles then. Idefintely need at least one police carandan ambulance. Some good tips Colin. Experimen using a large file on the wheels.

  7. These all look neat and tidy, very serviceable. I wonder if the Ghostbusters are any good against zombies :-) ?