Free Paper Model House Kit Worth a Look
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Free Paper Model House Kit Worth a Look

The free download paper model kit of an American prototype tract house from the American Paper Buildings Project is an inexpensive way to get started on building a model railroad housing tract.

While there are a lot of paper models for free download in the Internet, there aren’t many that look like American prototype tract houses. That’s the idea behind the models at American Paper Buildings Project. According the website, the paper model designers plan to create a series of models that let you build a whole housing tract from just a few simple kits.

The free kit download at American Paper Buildings Project is pretty easy to build. It’s a single story, stucco tract house that, according to the site, could have been designed in Southern California during the 1960’s.

This is papercrafting, here, so the quality of the final print depends a little bit on your printer and ink circumstance. But the initial design, which you download in a PDF, looks pretty sharp.

The L-shaped house features a big garage in front and an interesting front door treatment – a multi-panel wooden door surrounded by what could be pebble glass insets. The rose colored house is set with dark pink trim.

The kit builds easily enough, although the instructions may be a bit sketchy for the first time builder. One hint: make sure you “super-fold” the roof – even though the pitch is slight (indicative of the house’s Southern California origins) the complex final shape will fit much better if you do.

The finished model looks nice. It wouldn’t take much to “super detail” it by adding dimensional pieces, such as doubling the door and window frames. As you’ve downloaded the kit, you can print up multiple copies, cut out the details and glue them on top of the finished structure.

An unusual feature to this kit is the Internal Former, a simple paper structure that, when assembled and inserted into the finished kit, results in a surprisingly stiff little house. This Internal Former feature eliminates the need to build the kit with wood bracing in the corners to ensure a square tract home.

Now, here’s the cool part. This house is for free. You could download this paper model house and print as many as you’d like. But those will be cookie-cutter prints of each other. You could also download GIMP, a free image manipulation program, and modify the colors and floorplan of your downloaded house. The end result is a limitless assortment of nearly-the-same houses, just like most modern housing tracts.

The guys are American Paper Buildings Project say they’ve saved you that trouble by offering two models in each of their kits – each a different color and reverse of the other – for an MSRP of $3.95. That ends up being a pretty big neighborhood for four bucks.

If the design quality in their other houses matches that in their free San Simeon kit, that seems like a pretty good deal.

You can learn more about the American Paper Buildings Project by visiting their APBP site. Learn more about GIMP, the free image manipulation software, at the GIMP site.


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