Hi everybody! Stella has asked me to write a little bit about my hobby, so I guess I'll tell you what it is first: Tomb Raider papercraft.
"Tomb Raider" is the game you love playing so much, and "papercraft" is where you print a page of parts (preferably on some thicker paper), cut them out and fold them, and then glue them together to make your very own 3D model of your favourite game/anime/movie character/whatever.
And I really mean "whatever", because you can really make just about anything out of paper:
At first, I only built other people's models that I found on the internet, but later I also started making my own. Nothing fancy though: I didn't have the skills or tools then that most papercraft designers had, and I just drew the parts by hand, testing and adjusting them each time until they would fit the way I imagined.
Later on, I discovered a tool called Pepakura Designer, which lets you import a digital 3D model and unfold it into a 2D template that you can print and cut out and build!
You can imagine the suddenly endless possibilities I saw...! ;o)
Nowadays papercraft has become pretty popular online, with many people creating their own papercraft models and even more people building them. I think most people know me because of my Zelda models: my young Link model still seems to be many people's favourite, because he really looks like he jumped straight from the game onto your desk!
Because it's so popular, maybe that's why many people think it was the first one I made using the computer, but that's not really true. The first model I made using Pepakura Designer was actually the Venetian motorboat from Tomb Raider 2!
As far as Tomb Raider goes, I still love the classic trilogy, especially the blocky style that made up Lara's world. With some work, it makes excellent papercraft material. Whenever I make a papercraft model from one of those older games, I always try to retain the polygonal/blocky look in the paper model by making sharp, crisp folds along the edges, to make it look like it comes right out of the game!
In the next-gen games though, Lara's 3D model got much more complex and "realistic". Being the papercrafting Tomb Raider that I am, I wanted to see if I could also recreate the new, curvier Lara.
Ignoring most of the fold lines, Legend Lara is made up mostly out of cylinders, which is probably the easiest papercraft shape there is. With a much more curvy look that I later used on many of my newer models, she looks pretty good, but she is a bit lonely amongst the other more blocky looking models.
I guess I'll have to make another "curvy" Tomb Raider model soon.... ;o)
Well, I think I'll leave it at that for now. I could go on for ages, but I don't think Stella would appreciate me taking over her weblog completely.
I hope you get inspired by the pictures. Sometimes people feel intimidated by the many pieces that can make up a papercraft model. Cutting out and shaping all those parts before glueing them together often is a lot of work.
Most people find (sometimes to their own surprise) that they have a much longer attention span than they thought possible when it comes to recreating their favourite heroes in paper form though, so should you want to try it out some time, here are some links to get you started:
- www.kickme.to/ninjatoes (my own website, with a Tomb Raider section, but also a lot of other models)
- www.saschacraft.blogspot.com (the weblog of a fan who liked the idea of Tomb Raider paper models so much that he decided to make his own! ;o)
- www.geocities.com/orcberto (with a regular Tomb Raider II Lara and Lara in a Chinese dress for download)
papercraft/howto/index.html (this motorcycle company has a section on basic papercraft techniques, you'll understand why when you see it ;o)
- www.paperkraft.blogspot.com (like I said, there are many more things you can make out of paper, and this site collects the links to most of 'em ;o)