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Prototyp : News : 11 NOV 2002 : Model Cars Magazine
Paper or Plastic
Introduction - 1 2

Prototyp's paper models began with a Sauber C9 plastic kit super-detailing project gone way off on a tangent. Frustrated by the kit's omission of many structural components, research was done on the chassis design of the C9 to create paper templates as a basis for parts to build up the monocoque inside the model. While most F1 kits capture the architecture of the vehicle with a true stressed chassis and full monocoque underneath removable bodywork, most closed-body sports-car kits skip the internal structure and leave body panels moulded together, only occasionally including an engine and driveline. The very kit-ness of the models often leaves out any deeper insight or understanding of the car's design.

As more and more hours were poured into researching and modifying the precious one-off Sauber kit, the idea came about to develop a way to share the results. The template specifications could be reproduced easily enough but the ideal would be to create some form of kit. Not familiar with the methods of resin casting or photo-etching, Prototyp creator Ryan Hicks continued working with paper, an experiment which developed into a complete model; a full structural tub, bodywork, engine and all done entirely in paper.

The result is relatively crude, but inspiring enough. It could be done. All that stood in the way is a mastery of what paper can be tricked into doing.

Following the C9, the Jaguar XJR-11 was chosen as a starting point to develop the Prototyp paper model design process, beginning a steep learning curve to producing a full model kit. While the C9 was essentially a paper copy of the Tamiya kit, the XJR-11 is a fully-scratchbuilt model (not to be confused with the XJR-9, also produced by Tamiya). More unique subjects are in progress; Toyota Eagle MkIII, Courage C60, Audi R8 and a few others are in various test-building phases.

Creating Prototyp... > >