Sunday 23 August 2015

More card:FAB1 and M969OJB


Last week, I published pictures of some card models that I built whilst on holiday: here.  These were all downloads from Dave's "Cut and Fold" Card Creations site and a wonderful resource it is!  I also mentioned in passing that I had started (but not finished) a 6-wheeled, pink Rolls Royce.  Well, I've now completed FAB1 and here it is!  There's also a nice, simple bonus model that only took me a short while to make.


As all fans will know, FAB1 is the name of Lady Penelope's vehicle from the Thunderbirds TV series by Gerry Anderson.  She was described as International Rescue's "London Agent" and was a cross between a super-spy, a diplomat and a high society debutante.
In keeping with her extremely glamourous position, Lady Penelope was driven about in this flamboyant and brightly-coloured Rolls Royce by her dour butler/chauffeur, Parker.  Parker was a reformed criminal whose underworld contacts and burglary skills often came in useful, but his driving of FAB1 was near-legendary as well.
The limousine was not just a luxury transport, though.  FAB1 had more gadgets than one of James Bond's rides, including multiple weapons, defensive and anti-pursuit measures.  Heck, it could even drive on water at up to 50 mph!  Mind you, I don't like to think too much about the fuel consumption it must have required...

  • Size: this paper model measures about 10.5cm .  That works out at 1:60 scale, which is a tad small for 28mm figures such as the Crooked Dice "Daredevil sister" shown in the picture.  A purist might want to scale it up by 6% or so, but it's close enough for me.
  • Issues: Like many of Dave's paper car kits, the wheels are just single-thickness disks.  For gaming purposes I prefer to make them a bit more robust and so I've added treads to them.
    The clear, domed hood looks like a real pain to build from card.  Actually, it was much simpler than I had expected and went together quite easily.  It still shows a few rough edges, though.
    The "flying lady" hood ornament was described in the kit as "optional".  No kidding - it was far too small for my level of skill - and it would have been very vulnerable as well.
  • Overall: 4/5.  Another fine model of an iconic TV vehicle.  The canopy is slightly odd, but given the limitations of paper as a modelling material it is surprisingly effective.


At the other end of the price & luxury scale, we have another car from Dave's Cut and Fold site.  This is the much-rubbished Reliant Robin and unlike FAB1, it was a real vehicle which sold in considerable numbers!
It was often criticised for not being much of a car (to put it mildly!), but that's really missing the point.  The Robin was designed to fit with the lesser requirements of British license and tax regulations that more usually applied to motorcycles.  I'm simplifying a bit here, but the result was that it was much cheaper and simpler to run than a 4-wheel vehicle.
This particular Reliant Robin was made famous after it appeared in an episode of the BBC's Top Gear motoring programme.  In that, I believe M969OJB was driven by (and lambasted by) Jeremy Clarkson.  This kit has a small image of Mr Clarkson in the driver's window.

Oh, look - he's rolled it...
  • Size: I calculate this Reliant Robin model as 1:52 scale.  Like FAB1, that's about 5 or 6% wrong for 28mm models, though in this case it's too large.  Still, it's not enough of a difference for me to care.
  • Issues: none, really (other than the picture of Jeremy Clarkson - I'd have preferred not to see him in the window!)  There were a number of very small optional extras in this kit, such as more detailed wing mirrors and "anti-roll" bars (a Top Gear addition and not part of the manufacturer's specification for this vehicle, I suspect); I left these off.
    The wheels for this model are necessarily small; that may give trouble to some model-makers (indeed, I nearly lost the rear wheel treads several times!)
    Note that I have adapted my build of this kit somewhat.  Dave's original has a separate underbody, but I've just taken the printed "chassis" and attached it directly to the outer shell.  I think it works pretty well that way!
  • Overall: 4.5/5 .  This was easy to build and is very suitable for my gaming needs.  I think I'd have given it 5/5 if it didn't have the separate underbody and the picture of a grinning idiot in the window!


What can I say?  These are both fine models in their own ways.  FAB1 is the epitome of 1960s glamour, chic and hope for the future, whilst the Reliant Robin was a very easy build.  I hope to use both of these in my games, in due course.  Probably not in the same game, mind.


  1. FAB1 looks great but as with your Captain Scarlet vehicles I'm going to stick with my die-cast model instead. I agree with you that the Reliant Robin would be far better without Clarkson's ugly mug pasted on the side.

    1. Well, if I had a diecast FAB1 of the right size myself then of course I would use that instead. But the card version does offer a possibility for anyone who needs FAB1 on the cheap :-) .

      I did consider editing the face from the window of the Reliant Robin, but in the end I built it without such a modification.

  2. Now doesn't want a six wheeled, pink Rolls Royce? A lovely bit of card stock.

    1. Thanks, Michael. It was always a favourite vehicle of mine too :-) .

  3. 2 Nice additions. Very good to see them both!

    1. Thanks, Clint. It's amazing what you can find on the internet these days!

  4. Awesome card modelling skills dude! Great additions to the fleet.

    1. Thanks, bob (though I think that "awesome" is perhaps a little overblown :-) ).

  5. Great card-fu C6, I'd have got rid of the Clarkson in the window with a quick photo-shop.

    1. Thanks, Joe. Hmm, I suppose that I could just print out an empty window onto paper and then cover over the picture?

  6. Heh heh ... if it was me I would stick to die cast models. I'm lazy that way. :)
    Admittedly they do look good.

    1. Well, die-cast models are great if they exist and you can find them (and afford them!). But card has its advantages too :-) .

  7. hello, My name's Paul, and I'm seriously new to card modelling, so need a little of your sage advice.
    What thickness card do you use to make the cars/ships etc in your sci-fi section,, as I want to build those vehicles for my 25/28mm war-gaming sysytems.
    Also, how do you scale the images up to the correct size for the figures, as I'm also new to computers, and am very limited to just a laptop right now, but can get the plans printed at the local office supplies store.
    Also, do you use a hot glue gin to stick the parts together, or some cyanoacrylate glue?
    You can email me at : if you reply, as I use email more than blogs. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. Paul, I'm very flattered that you've asked for my advice; I'll do my best to help.

      I use cheap, white "craft" card, typically from a high street retailer such as WH Smith (in the UK; I don't know where you are based): . I think that this card is about 240gsm weight, but it's not actually printed on the packet and so I cannot be certain. The main criterion is that it has to be thin enough to feed through a regular printer!

      Scaling up (or down) is a bit of a black art. If you're printing the sheets yourself then most printer drivers will allow you to choose a scale, though obviously this can cause problems if a scaled-up model won't fit onto the size of paper/card that the printer will accept.

      Otherwise, you'll need to copy the content of the source document (typically PDF) and save it as an image. Images can then be scaled, cropped and otherwise manipulated through an image editor. I use GIMP for this; it's free and powerful, but the user interface is a bit fiddly. Remember that with a separate image you may need to edit its properties to set the number of dots per inch (DPI); this won't necessarily be correct for an image that has been copied from a PDF document.

      As always with these things, it helps if you can print multiple test shots onto cheap paper to check that you have the result you desire before committing to the card version. This is especially so if you're uncertain which scale to use, or if you aren't sure that the scaled model will fit onto the printer sheet.

      When gluing paper or card, I would strongly advise *against* hot glue or cyanoacrylate! I use PVA (also known as "white glue" or "Elmer's glue"; it can also be found in a slightly more potent form called "tacky glue"). The trick with this is to spread it *very* thinly on the surfaces to be glued. As it's a water-based glue, too much PVA will cause the card to warp or distort (and if you print with an inkjet then the colours will run as well)!

      If you have any further questions then please don't hesitate to ask!