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Paper Model
House Sparrows

Author: Lutz Pietschker
Version: 2010-12-31

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General Information

This is one of the famous life-size bird designs of Johan Scherft. It is the first I built, and I am enthusiastic about the quality of the design.

For comparison, here are pictures of what the actual birds look like (from Wikipedia):

site impression

These were fun to build. With many parts I was suspicious how they would fit, and the answer was, in all cases: Perfectly. I admire the art of the designer.

Building is pretty straightforward, and if you keep your table organised you can build both birds in parallel. Use PVA glue, it works better than UHU or the like (see building hints). To give a finishing touch to the models I coloured the cut edges and other parts showing white or gray with aquarell colours.

Picture Gallery

(Click image to show it in large size in a new window.)

The male one the left, the female bird on the right.
I think the female actually looks better- the male does not show much face, because it is pretty dark around its beak.
Take a look at the finely modelled talons and feet.
The birds in different settings from the front...
side, and back.

Building Hints

It is highly recommended to strengthen the legs with wood or wire. I used hardwood toothpicks for the upper parts of the legs and straightened wire from a paperclip for the lower. This also helps forming the legs. I glued the wood/wire to one edge of the cut-out leg, let it dry and then rolled the cardboard around the wood/wire. You can trim both ends of the lower legs after that, and also the upper end of the upper legs, but you must leave the hollow at the lower end of the upper leg open, otherwise you are in trouble when you try to mount the bird on the lower legs.

When I first looked at the "stone" bases I assumed that something was wrong, but in fact it was my fault. Take a minute to understand the design, then it works perfectly well.

I used PVA (white carpenter's) glue for most parts of the model. Take care not to use too much glue, the cardboard is thin and warps easily! On the other hand some parts only gain enough flexibility to "mould" around other arts correctly when wet with glue. And PVA glue does not show as much as "glossy" glues do when some glue comes into places where it should not be. Which is unavoidable in this model, I am afraid.

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Written and published by Lutz Pietschker. Please send comments about technical problems to the site master.
-Made with a Mac!-

, last change 2011-03-12