444: Wolf Spider

I have these lovely bits of Lotka and was looking for something to be my first fold with this new paper:

I chose Brian Chan’s Wolf spider partly because I had not folded it before and partly because the “milk chocolate” fibrous nature of the paper reminded me of the natural colour and texture of the spider itself.

The first cut is more painful than the first fold on a sheet that is roughly rectangular – the issues with most hand-made papers include rough edges, uneven thicknesses, odd fibre bundles in unfortunate places and a lovely mottled colour distribution.

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438: Jason Ku’s Bicycle

Perusing a Tanteidan, I noticed a crease pattern challenge, set by Jason Ku, and filed it as a “that’s impossible” fold:

Needing to unwind from a hectic and punishing term at work, I cut a 55cm square of light weight Kraft paper and set about working out, geometrically, where the myriad of creases were.

Although there was some regular geometry to place landmarks, there were some “mystery meat” creases that I just sort of fudged really – professionals would have measured it but I know I am an amateur.

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437: Perambulator

When I first saw photos of this model, I could not believe it was folded from a single sheet, without cuts, folds only:

In case you were wondering, this was WTF (What’s That Fold?) # 8. I was determined to give it a go. Noticing it was made from hundreds of pleats, and given the crease pattern folded down to 64ths in places, I upscaled the suggested paper size (to a 70cm square of 80GSM brown Kraft) to allow for my fat, clumsy fingers to make the creases.

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414: Sopwith Camel

I have been asked many times by well-meaning people whether I can make paper air planes:

The honest answer is “sort of” – I love fantastically complicated and detailed Origami models of actual planes, but cannot make one that can fly for shit.

This little beauty was a right bastard of a fold but closely resembles, at least in intent, the Sopwith Camel – a famous dogfighter in WWI. A fantastically detailed little model with propellor, machine gun, pilot, landing deat abd a lovely set of supported twin-wings.

Designed ingeniously by Jose Maria Chaquet from a bird-base within a bird-base, I mis-judged how dense the paper would become and started with too smaller a square I think – 40cm was not big enough, but still, battled on with the Kraft paper and think the end result is pretty nice for a first fold.

If I were to fold this again, I think 50-60cm would make the final modelling easier. As the fuselage is so dense I had to “cheat” and use some small bits of double-sided tape to hold it together and stop it unfolding itself in the humidity but I will not tell anyone if you do not.

395: Showing Off

Our local council library has a large glass display case that usually has things on show for a month. I cautiously asked one of the librarians if she thought some origami would interest patrons and she was very enthusiastic:

There are around 200 models now on show at Holland Park Library for June and I am quite chuffed about that.

Dragging 3 large tidy-tubs of models, most of which I had left over from the 365 Origami Auction, they fill the case rather completely.

You can see models designed by me amongst designs by such luminaries as Kade Chan, Robert Lang, Eric Joisel and many others.

In addition, I was asked to run a workshop in the first week of my school holidays for interested folders (10 years old and up) – see the Holland Park Library website for details and bookings if you are interested.

The only question that begs answer is what the floop I do with these lovelies AFTER the month on show? Suggestions welcome … dear reader?

375: Bugatti Royale

I am not normally a fan of fiddly modular figurative models, preferring geometrics instead but this design by Halle caught my eye:

Made from 41 tiny bits of paper, various sizes and fold techniques, it turns into a 3d jigsaw from hell near the end. Amazingly however it all slots together (although I needed to use a little double-sided tape to stop it from popping apart again due to paper tension).

You can see radiator, bonnet, wheels with hubcaps, mudguards, cockpit and canopy – amazing really.

I like that it is an attempt at a fairly faithful rendering of a real car – car geeks agree it looks a lot like the actual model and my rendition, first fold, is a lot like it should have turned out.

The ingenious system of interlocking cubes, half cubes and trays that slide inside each other is a masterpiece of design. Scale and accuracy is a problem and I fear copy paper is the wrong material because it wants to unfold – I guess something like tissue foil would be better because once folded it stays put. I have done another Halle model – the computer guy for Chris the computer guy and it too was a lot of different bits of paper assembled later.

359: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

You better watch out. You better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He’s making a list. And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

This is a David Brill tableau, scaled down to teeny weeny because … well, because … because I could? I have a packet of shiny small origami paper so used that for the micro-reindeer – they sort of determined the scale for the remainder of the figures.

There is much to like about this festive scene – The sleigh is full of water bombs (the perfect summer gift), Santa sits, the reindeer seem animated and Rudolph has a lovely red nose, courtesy of a suggestion from “she who must be obeyed” to use a glass headed pin – good call.

I hope this post finds you enjoying family, fun and festive cheer. Our Christmas Origami display is as you see it here – most of these models are available for you in the auction house for a limited time only.

297: Taxi!

In old Chinatown, when someone wanted to travel in style, they hailed a “coolie” pulling a rickshaw:

This picture was common in days gone by, these days the hustle and bustle of bicycles, motorbikes and tuk-tuks has replaced the hard work.

This is Neal Elias’ “Coolie and Rickshaw”, designed in1967. An ingenious box pleat using a square and tidily fashioning a running man and a 2 wheeled buggy behind, replete with lovely conical hat, wheels and canopy.

I have been wanting to try this for a while, just because really. Taken from “Selected works 1964-1973” by British Origami Society. I am happy with this as a first fold. I modified the body and legs a little to add a sense of movement, and re-worked the wheels so they were round (the original design had them nearly square).

295: WALL-E

I am an out and proud Pixar fan, they make movies where animation is almost amazing as the story telling and characterisation:

This is Brian Chan’s WALL-E – a lovely model that has taken me simply an age to complete for all sorts of reasons.

I started with a 52cm square (yep, over a half a meter) and a dodgy folding guide (as opposed to complete diagrams) in RUSSIAN and quite frankly I struggled with this one. I must find a way to buy a book that has this model in it, to see how Brian Chan suggests you fold it because I ended up improvising when there were no instructions that I could follow.

I walked away from this model 3 times, unfolded and re-folded the most complex parts a total of 4 times as I tried to make sense of the next stage. That said, I think the final model is quite remarkable. He is free standing (on stunning caterpillar tracks), has the most amazing head/eyes, is just under 10cm tall and I am totally chuffed with how he turned out.

That you can coax a square of paper into such an intricate and completely detailed model is nothing short of amazing – even if it did take me 5.5 HOURS – yes, that is actual folding elapsed time. Words fail me to express the delight when I finally realised he was going to work (having seriously contemplating abandoning the model twice).

This, for me, is a REAL achievement given how much I had to just work out for myself. Folded from my last piece of lithographic paper (thank you school art department). There was NO paper fatigue and that is astonishing given the lengths that the design requires you torture the paper. I must have some more.

263: Enterprise (Micro Machine)

Those who know me know that I am a bit of a trekker, always on the lookout for Star Trek related stuff:

When I saw this simple model I knew I would give it a go some day. Tonight my mate Mike and I watch some retro Trek (Original Series) and I thought it opportune to roll out the micromachine version – not sure if you remember the concept – there was a sort of “matchbox” to that was tiny versions of other things – this looks a lot like the micro machine version of the enterprise.

At this scale it was very fiddly indeed – tiny little folds in a very dense mid-section, but it figuratively represents the model so I am happy enough with it. If I were to fold it again I wold start with a much bigger sheet of paper.

Cute saucer-section, nacelles in more or less the right place, I even fashioned a deflector dish in the right place – cute if torturous.

Space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise …

243: Cessna Plane

I have had this model, described via hand-drawn diagrams for ages and thought it a good one to finish the month with:

This is a tidy little plane, named Cessna after the style of modern single engine aircraft it is modeled on. I am not, however, sure who the designer is – can anyone enlighten me?

A clever use of the bird base with some ingenious accordion pleating to liberate the wings and some interesting pucker pleating to form tail and propeller, there is some very dense folding to shape the fusilage and a cute domed cover for the cockpit, even some vestigial landing gear underneath.

Happy with this as a first fold, can see myself trying to refine it so it is tidier – am sure I could tease some wheels and maybe master the propeller a little better in subsequent folds.

242: Trainset

Now when I was a kid I did not have a trainset – you know, one of those Hornsby jobbies with the locomotive, carriages and transformer-powered track:

Not sure if I actually wanted one, but there you go – I had friends who did, right down to the chemical you put a drop of in the smokestack to generate puffs of steam in a (from a kids eye perspective at least) realistic way.

This is a set of folds based on the same box-pleating trick, and really there is little to stop you making a whole swagger of types of carriages using it – I made 3 variations but can imagine more. An interesting cross pleat and collapse was used (in some cases many times) in each model, useful to remember.

Although these are technically separate models, I present them as one as they would, individually, be uninspiring.

194: Messerschmitt

I have been invited to a 4-person dogfight match tonight and thought a plane wold be the best model for the job, so found a rather nice Messerschmitt BF 109K:

With relatively few folds a lovely propeller-based warplane emerges from a flat sheet. I like this model a lot (so much so that I folded 4 of them – thought each of the “pilots” in tonight’s game might like one as a memento of the battle)

Nice fat fuselage, three blades on the propeller, cockpit and nice tail-plane, if anything the wings are a little short but given how they are gathered from the sheet they are good as they are.

189: Roller

Now in posh car circles, a Rolls Royce is called a “Roller” – how do I know this? Well, I don’t, but that is what it is called on the telly. I am going driving today, so thought I would do it in style (at least in my head):

A tortured and fiddly design that hints at a sort of grandeur (notice the grille and fancy flaring of this boxy, limo-type body).

When I casually regarded this model I thought “yeah, that should only take a few minutes” but in reality it took me an age which meant I was late setting out for my long drive – I did not account for the poor diagramming and almost random steps half-way in or the annotations in colloquial French – you get that.

In truth, I would not really enjoy this sort of car – too frightened to drive it unless someone dinged it, unable to pay for servicing etc – I like my little zippy car that runs on the smell of an oily mechanic.

162: A Train and Carriages

wow, no I mean WOW! I saw this box-pleating exercise and initially put it in the “yeah, prolly not” pile, but dug it out after I found a roll of nice butcher’s paper and wondered how it would fold:

Train carriages, engine complete with smokestack and lovely billow of smoke – far my favourite vehicle to date

An exercise in eighths with a 10×1 rectangle, each square initially divided in 8 horizontally and vertically, then collapse, pleat and crimp from there. The paper was 1m long and 10cm wide, meaning the smallest crimps were 5mm, making it lucky I have a bone folder really as my fat fingers were hopelessly inadequate.

I really like this one, proportions and technique. I added a “crumple” to the smoke – I think it works well. Must investigate crumpling (a real origami movement, some lovely stuff there also).

You too can have a go: train

Should I decide fold it again I would go longer – add another carriage and a caboose at the end. Quite chuffed with it, although it was not really that complicated, just a bit of planning prior to folding. You may applaud politely now, thank you.

158: Little Plane

Stuck for something to do, honestly, so decided to try and make sense of a set of instructions in Spanish with hand-drawn diagrams and hola:

This is a little plane – most likely a cesna or similar – remarkably little effort to make a fairly detailed plane

Nice landing gear, good wings – it glides! No propeller or back tail flaps, but otherwise a satisfying model – amazing really because the instructions sort of run out well before a plane-like object is formed … so I “winged it” – hahaha – soz, it is late, I am tired and you should be impressed I folded anything at all.

When translating, I get to a point where it says “important it is that white side upmost is facing” … that would be FINE if I was not folding an all white model – lol. I have yet to learn to swear in Spanish, so I resorted to verbose and guttural Klingon.

151: Gav’s New Car

you all remember that feeling, right – the “new car” feeling, right down to the upholstery smell and the plastic covering the seats:

A mate, Gavin, recently bought his first new car – a white Subaru Impreza (or something similar) so I decided to make him a paper version to remember the occasion

I like this model a lot – preliminary fold with some clever sinking to form the roof, windscreen and windows

Long may it avoid dings – congrats mate.

149: The Black Pearl in a Bottle

…so my Wife and I went to see the fourth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” (admitting to be fans) and discovered Capt’n Jack’s beloved “Black Pearl” had been imprisoned in a bottle by Blackbeard (amongst other piratical stereotypes trotted out this adventure):

So I got to thinking about ships, and found a lovely “fully rigged ship” by Patricia Crawford, in the book “Origami – Step by Step”

I had previously made a bottle as designed by David Brill so put the two together and got a satisfying rendition of the classic “ship in a bottle”, which counts as my ONE model today, given the bottle has previously been folded, and the ship stand (Designed by Fred Rhom) do not count (cut me a little slack here).

I learned a LOT folding this thing – scale matters (had to scale the bottle to fit the model AFTER it was finished), cellophane (which the bottle is made out of) does NOT like being cut straight nor folded, nor does it intend to ever stay folded (I resorted to anchoring it in place with sticky tape – so sue me) and finally how jolly hard it is to photograph something INSIDE a bottle made of cellophane.

Still, I think the Black Pearl may well survive to sail another day, the scene after the credits (that few of us theater patrons hung around for) would indicate the adventure continues.

143: Moped

Now it is my brother-in-law’s Birthday today (Happy Birthday Robert!!!) and he loves all things Motorbike (especially high powered zoomy ones), so I thought I would make him a Moped:

This is doubly hilarious because this little dinky model looks like it would be slower than walking

Made with some simple (if compact and intense) box pleating – no cuts nor glue, this is a well proportioned and fun to fold model.

You should have a go at this yourself – take care, 32nds are a pain to fold on a small piece of paper – Instructions are in Austrian but the diagrams make plenty of sense.

141: Biplane

Now I had relegated this model in to the “yeah, prolly not” pile but on a whim this morning thought I would give it a whirl:

The detail here is amazing – propeller, landing gear, double wings with strut to keep them apart, tail, engine, reasonably shaped fuselage

I would like to pretend this model came easily – it did not – so many obscure instructions, torturous collapses and closed sinks (often only to discover they were inside the body of the model and would not be seen anyway). It is a paper engineering marvel that I nearly gave up on 4 times.

In the end, an A3-cut square collapsed down to a tiny plane that is 10cm long and has a wingspan of 12cm – wow! Accuracy was a real problem as the model is so oddly shaped getting corners sharp on deeply fatigued paper was tough – copy paper is NOT the ideal medium for this model, still remarkably it held up (with some very gentle coaxing towards the end).

I am very happy with this, the first fold. Should I decide to fold it again I would do it much smarter. I will, however, accept discrete applause now, thank you.

Jetzt wir singen zusammen die Geschichte
Über den schweinköpfigen Hund
Und den lieben Red Baron

After the turn of the century
In the clear blue skies over Germany
Came a roar and a thunder men have never heard
Like the scream and the sound of a big war bird

Eins, zwei, drei, vier ….

Up in the sky, a man in a plane
Baron von Richthofen was his name
Eighty men tried and eighty men died
Now they’re buried together on the countryside

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
The Bloody Red Baron was rollin’ out the score
Eighty men died tryin’ to end that spree
Of the Bloody Red Baron of Germany

Left, two, three, four ….

In the nick of time, a hero arose
A funny-lookin’ dog with a big black nose
He flew into the sky to seek revenge
But the Baron shot him down “Curses, foiled again!”

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
The Bloody Red Baron was rollin’ out the score
Eighty men died tryin’ to end that spree
Of the Bloody Red Baron of Germany

Now, Snoopy had sworn that he’d get that man
So he asked the Great Pumpkin for a new battle plan
He challenged the German to a real dogfight
While the Baron was laughing, he got him in his sight

That Bloody Red Baron was in a fix
He’d tried everything, but he’d run out of tricks
Snoopy fired once and he fired twice
And that Bloody Red Baron went spinning out of sight

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more
The Bloody Red Baron was rollin’ out the score
Eighty men died tryin’ to end that spree
Of the Bloody Red Baron of Germany

Well, ten, twenty ….