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Old 06-14-2011, 04:00 PM
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B-Manic B-Manic is offline
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Real paper modelers don't need tabs.
Sometimes I feel like a tab sometimes I don't.

Last edited by B-Manic; 06-14-2011 at 05:19 PM. Reason: more cowbell - actually Tab ads on youtube from 80's
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:47 PM
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Airliner Art Airliner Art is offline
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It's easy enough to make your own tabs...I think Darwin pretty much summed it up. Depending on how strong you need the join determines what thickness of paper you want the tab you cut out to be. Tubes and cones require you roll the tab to conform to the part to be tabbed. "Darwin's box in a box" (or tube within a tube theory), is required many times for strength,... especially when upscaling. I build large aircraft mostly. I've found that internal structure and spars many times can be eliminated entirely using this method and build times are decreased.

Good luck
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:34 PM
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peter taft peter taft is offline
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I attached a drawing - this kind of says what the other guys here have told you, but in picture format. Best regards. Pete.
Attached Thumbnails
Models with and without tabs!!!!!!??-joints.jpg  
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:18 PM
codex34 codex34 is offline
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To Tab or Not to Tab......
I think the major difference is the thickness of the material, paper or card.
Paper models usually have tabs whereas Card models don't.

Tabs are great for easy building (for kids), rapid building or prototyping, in my paper designs I Always use alternating tabs to allow me to align parts better, because the thickness is less, the step problem isn't that much of a problem really. In my prototyping white card models tabs are used and glued to the outside to make a cleaner mold.
I also design paper models without tabs, they do look alot better, but you need to take more care when building them if they contain alot of curves, get it slightly out of line and you mess the model up completely, which is heartbreaking if your close to finishing. Paper tends to warp more than card when alot of glue is applied.

You can cut the tabs off if you don't want them, alot of people do that.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:53 PM
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OgdenBob OgdenBob is offline
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I think it's one of those individual preference kind of things, both on the part of the designer, and the builder. Sometimes I use them, sometimes they get in the way and I cut them down or off. It's an interesting subject for debate though, subject to the situation maybe?

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:17 PM
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Inky Inky is offline
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I'm a butt joint man myself, I like the clean smooth look.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:16 AM
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ThunderChild ThunderChild is offline
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I have found that a tab-less model could be confusing to figure out without tabs, particularly when it's a complicated shape.
As a designer my decision was to include tabs. For the simple reason that If you want tabs, they are there and if you don't, just cut them off. For me they just help making sense of the model before cutting. As for using them, it's builders choice.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:17 AM
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Rapidtox Rapidtox is offline
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Personally depends greatly on the designer, if the model is tabbed respect the wishes of the designer is armed with his indications, the opposite case ocurrs when no tabs brings, some liked and others not.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:29 AM
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Retired_for_now Retired_for_now is offline
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One really good reason for tabs is bond strength. Unless you're using a gap-filling glue like epoxy, the strength of the glue joint is proportional to the area you are gluing.
So, if you glue two pieces of card edge-to-edge the glued area is very small (card thickness times length of joint). If that's strong enough for the application, go with it as this can be the least visible joint.
If you glue using a joiner strip (butt-block in carpentry/boatbuilding) you have plenty of glue area for a strong connection (strip width time length), but you also produce a hard spot where the card thickness is doubled. The hard spot can be a factor when gluing curved surfaces - but this does produce a smooth seam.
Tabs provide plenty of gluing surface and are capable of joining sharp angles (wing leading edge) but tabs produce that "step" where the parts join. There is also a potential hard spot where the tab has doubled the card thickness. You can hide the step if you crush the seam by squeezing it or by rolling it between a stiff rod and an appropriately shaped backer.

The beauty of modelling in paper/card is that it's your choice. Use the tabs if you like (or design them in) or cut them off and replace with strips if you prefer.


Last edited by Retired_for_now; 06-15-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:33 AM
Maltedfalcon Maltedfalcon is offline
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I can see where from the New modelers point of view, if some models are designed with tabs and some models are not, why don't the models without tabs have the strips already included.

lately I have been including the strips in my designs, to include the color that would show under any gap. especially if the strip is a curve or complex shape.

In a larger model it is surprising how much room strips take up on the page. So to save costs I'll leave them off to lower the amount of ink used and number of pages required for the model. especially if the tabs are simple straight strips.

So for new modelers, making strips or adding tabs, is a skill that is almost immediately required to learn, as is scoring your folds...
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