Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

21 June 2013

Out of the comfort zone: Kingfisher!

 In need for a quick result and something else than aircraft and space related stuff, I decided to leave my comfort zone and do something new.
Besides aforementioned tech items, I also really like birds. Not so much that I would go out in whatever weather to seek and find some rare species never seen before in this area, not so much that I can name any bird by its call but enough to have a Peterson's European bird guide close at hand and really enjoying looking at birds.

This one I have seen only once. I was somewhere on a big estate in an area rich in rivers and streams. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little blueish silvery shape darting over the stream and disappear in the shadows. When I started to look a little better I saw it was a kingfisher. I think it's one of the prettiest birds around and I just adore its colours. The little peeps it makes. And to see it diving for sticklebacks is just fascinating.

Dutch designer and artist Johan Scherft has made a lot of very beautiful and very realistic bird models out of paper, all in 1:1 scale. Some of them he made into kits to sell. Some of those he gives away for free on his website. This kingfisher is one of them. He also has a wren, a goldcrest and a pair of superb birds of paradise available for free download. Check out his non-free models too, they really are worth the (small) price.

Here is where I started with, the rest of today's pictures are after the jump.
Clearly seen here already is the complex shape of the bird's body part. It needs to be carefully folded and glued, tab by tab. It was recommended to print it on regular 80 gram printer paper, so that's another out-of-the-comfort-zone sensation for me, who builds everything in 200 gram paper.

All folds originally have kind of pointy ends where the paper folds onto itself. I tried to ease the pointy bits out with some tender ball-embossing tool action. Successfully.

Kingfisher's body in state of almost readiness.

The little tail caused some confusion, there is not a very detailed instruction coming with the model. In the end I found out it consisted of two layers, one smaller inner tail piece a bit off-centered and one bigger tail part in which the smaller piece is glued. This combined tail part then is placed and glued in the bird's rear end. Note the white dot for the legs. There also is a small stickleback fish coming with the kit but I still am not sure whether I will add it to my build.

Another part that bothers me a little: how do the wings end up? do they have to stay loose like this or should I gently try and glue them to the rest of the body? 
For now, I'll leave them loose, it looks like it should be like that.

The kingfisher's little head. I painted a thick layer of transparent gloss on the eyeballs to make them deep and shiny.

head and body joined. Now all there is to do is its feet. I'll wait until tomorrow with that, it's a little too late to continue today.

Little wrinkle in the throat. I took the crease out with a knitting needle I carefully inserted through the wing openings. 

This is where I am now. A legless kingfisher. It's a small bird. 
All in all I can say this is a beautifully crafted model. I am very much enjoying it. After finishing this one, I'll return to the SCA and the shuttle.
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