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Old 07-15-2016, 07:26 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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Working with Hoops - Building a Paper Wheel (C-130)

I'm doing this tutorial for a couple of reasons;

Some people seem to like my tutorials. lol Don
These new Paper Wheels for the C130 model are a not an easy build.
Working with Hoops, Ringed construction, and tabbed joiner strips is common in my models.

The C130 Paper Wheels I created are tough to build.
Mainly because of scale (1/48)
At this size, the strip parts are thin and small.
But, with patience...and a little should be able to get through it.

lets go!
Do me a favour, and wait until the end of the Tutorial posts to leave any comments.


1. I start by scoring all my fold lines.

In this case I'm only building one wheel, so thats all I have printed.
Normally, I would tackle an entire sheet of parts and prescore all the fold lines.
I use a blunt Hobby Knife (ground down to flat on a stone).
There is another thread here regarding Scoring Tools - look for it!

2. I use a straight edge wherever possible...for scoring and for cutting.
Unfortunately, when building round things, there are few straight folds,
so a lot of scoring will be done freehand.
In this case, its just the tabbed joiners that need some scoring.

Just take your time...patience, as usual, is your friend.
He says while pulling out the last of his hair!

3. Now I cut out all my parts.
I use both Knives and Scissors...and I take my time.
I cut as close to the part as possible, but not inside the edge lines.
This gives me room to trim if needed.

You'll find your own method to cut out multiple parts...find your own rhythm.
Cutting all the little tabs on the Joiner Strips is tedious and time consuming.
The C130 has six wheels...that means eighteen of those tabbed strips! mwahahaa!

4. Study the parts and how they fit together before you jump into the assembly.
I personally tend to lay out my parts (OCD much?) so I can see where everything fits
and so I don't get confused with part placement or assembly order.

For these wheels, I have provided a "former" disc to help the wheel hold a nice round shape.
This is an optional part.
For a larger scale wheel, the tire parts will have more width and rigidity,
and the wheel would be big enough for you to get your fingers inside to work the connections.
(A former would be in the way)
A wheel this small needs some help just to stay in a circular shape.
The former has more benefits than hinderances.

In the photo, you can see, that I have laminated (glued) the Former to three layers of card.
Not too much to cut out, but enough to make it a rigid insert.


Last edited by airdave; 07-15-2016 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:43 AM
airdave's Avatar
airdave airdave is offline
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5. Edge colour the parts before assembly.
I like to use Art markers.
Yes, they bleed into the paper.
You have to learn how to be quick and light with the Marker to apply colour, but not too much ink.
I also have a large set of colours, so I can match the colour more closely,
but mostly so that I can choose a lighter shade of colour which will not show as badly when bleeding into the paper.

Other builders use paints, pastels, pencils...

6. Attach the Joiners to all the hooped parts.
Since the Wheel is made up of a series of hoops - ringed parts, its best to pre-assemble all those hoops.
Each one will need a little joiner tab.
Sometimes these tabs are not coloured.
Its best to colour them before assembly so that they don't show through any gaps in the final part.

7. Preform the Parts.
The more you pre-form and pre-shape parts, the easier they will fit together.
It also helps when gluing, if a part wants to hold its shape and position.

I use round objects, like dowels, pens and pencils...of various thicknesses and sizes,
to roll and curve parts into the proper shape.

Even the Joiner Strips get pre-shaped!

8. Connect the Hoops.
Join the opposite ends and connect all the hooped parts.
Its important to line up ends properly.
If you haven't cut out the parts carefully, this is where it will cause you a problem.

9. Install the tabbed Joiner strips.
I have glued in place, the three tabbed Joiner Strips into their respective Parts.
Preshaping the parts helps a lot here.
The tabbed strips need to be carefully lined up within the hooped Parts.

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Old 07-15-2016, 07:48 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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10. Fit the center Former.
This is where I install the center Former.
My Former fit perfectly...but you might have to sand and trim a bit to get yours in.
A snug fit is best...not tight...just enough to form the shape of the wheel,
not enough to stretch or distort the outer parts.

Center it...get it aligned...and then put a few drops of glue here and there.
Just enough to lock it in place.

11. Pre-fold the glue tabs.
Because of the small scale size of these parts, I'm going to assemble the entire side of the Tire/Wheel.
In a larger piece, you might attach one ringed section, at a time, to the center ring.

Just like preforming the parts, it helps to preform the glue tabs.
Bend and fold the tabs into the correct position to match the part they will connect to.
With the tabs already at the correct angles, positioning the parts will be a lot easier.

12. Assemble the Hooped parts.
I assembled each side of the Tire/Wheel, made up of three parts, including the flat face center disc.
This allows you to work from the back side as well and get the best connections.

I use a glue that gives you a good grab, quick drying time, but affords some time for positioning and adjustment of parts.
Dry fitting the parts before you glue, helps you understand the fit of the parts and preplan your assembly steps.

TIP...with a build this small (scale), the tabbed Joiners can be a lot of extra material.
Not only is this causing extra "layers" of paper/card,
but the small tabs can be too long, and are actually wider than the hoops they are attaching.
As is the case with the thin outer hooped ring.
Before assembling the parts, you can trim the tabs down with scissors, cutting them a lot shorter.
You don't need much of a tab really, to glue the next part in place.
The shorter you make them, the better.

13. Burnish.
I like to try to smooth out joints and seams.
I also like to put more curve into curvy parts.

You can do this with round ended tools...of various sizes.
Just apply pressure, from the inside/backside of parts...against a hard surface, like your cutting mat.

In this case, I am mainly stretching out the small parts, to give the tire a more rounded shape.
(C130 tires have a more ballon shape to them)

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Old 07-15-2016, 08:05 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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14. Final assembly of the Sides and Center parts.

Down to three parts now...the two sides and the center Tread.
Once again, I prefold the tabs to the correct positions.
I'll also trim the tabs shorter...just enough to leave a shelf for the adjoining parts.

Dry fit, and test the assembly...then apply glue.

15. Gently fit and massage the parts into place.

It can take a bit of patience to work around the adjoining parts, tightening up the connections,
massaging the shape, and applying enough pressure to hold the parts together...
until the glue has finally taken hold of the parts.

Normally I would glue parts a little at a time...working my way along a connection.
But with this assembly, I have to apply glue all the way around the part and fit the entire assembly in one step.
Its hard enough avoiding excess glue mess!


16. End
Hopefully, you haven't dented, creased or flattened the Wheel during assembly, and your Wheel still looks like a wheel!
At this point you can use a fine marker, pen, penil or paintbrush to touch up any gaps, or visible edges.
You can also pick, scrape, tweez excess glue from the surface of parts.

If you "seal" your printed parts before assembly, it aids in the cleanup of glue messes.
One option is to spray seal your printed pages with fixative, photo sealer or clearcoats.
Your local Hobby or Craft store can probably recommend a spray sealer for you to use.
Just tell them what type of printer (inkjet or laser) you are using, and what type of paper/cardstock you used.



Some wheels require a mounting hole to fit an axle or mounting part.
You can precut that hole before assembling the parts...its easier that way.
If the hole is small enough, you can poke it afterwards...or use a drill.

The larger wheels on this C130 kit are glued flat to Brake Drum parts,
so they don't actually require any holes.
The smaller front wheels (on the C130) do require an axle hole.

Oh...did I mention...the front wheels? They are even smaller than the one we just built! LOL
Good luck.

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Old 07-15-2016, 08:20 AM
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mbauer mbauer is offline
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Great photos and explanation! End product looks great!

Thanks Dave!

Constructive criticism of my builds & comments are welcome!
Cardstock Property Tables and Terms
Flying Cardstock Models
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:58 AM
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MacSongLi MacSongLi is offline
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Great tutorial Dave. Thank you very much!

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"
- Wyatt Earp
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:19 AM
dirtbilly1 dirtbilly1 is offline
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So that's what I was doing wrong. Thanks, this tutorial helps me a bunch.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:30 PM
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Wad Cutter Wad Cutter is offline
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I always enjoy your tutorials Super Dave. It answers a few questions I had but now you've made a lot more clear. Many thanks Dave. Love it. wc
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:50 PM
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whulsey whulsey is offline
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Great tutorial. Wish I'd had it before I build my first wheels.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:02 PM
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herky herky is offline
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will try this on my next herc
Carborundum Illegitimi Ne
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