461: Lang’s Butterfly

Originally I was approached by a blog reader who wanted to know how a particular part of this model worked. Given I had never folded it before I had to admit I did not know, but would love to find out:

This is a torturous model by Robert Lang from his book “Insects and their Kin” – torturous because most of the detail originates in the MIDDLE of the sheet, via some astonishingly complicated manipulations. We tease 6 legs, abdomen, 2 antennae from the middle of the page, leaving large expanses of largely un-folded paper for the 2 pairs of wings.

I have wrestled with this for an age – not sure the instructions are very clear (particularly layer management late int he piece) and certainly are not noob friendly.

As a first fold I am very happy with the result – not sure I wold fold it again, I do not really like the way the body sits and the clumsy layering at the wing junctions but it was a fascinating exercise in accuracy none the less. I say clumsy but I know of the design genius to engineer such a shape, so please Mr Lang do not rake this as a criticism, I remain in awe of your paper prowess.

Folded from a 35cm square of really thin crisp Kraft via a brutal diagram sequence, I could not imagine folding it smaller nor with thicker paper – the number of layers and tendency, due to the thickness, for reference points to drift make this a difficult model to control.

In the end, however, it is recognisable, really detailed and has taught me something to boot so it is a win-win really. Hope this helps Will – a little late I know but it has been busy times of late – summer holidays soon so lots of opportunity to mangle paper coming up.


4 thoughts on “461: Lang’s Butterfly

  1. Great job for a first attempt, and certainly looks better than my first try with some thick craft paper. I tried to re-fold this model with a 24cm square of MC’d tissue paper I had laying around, but it was way too small to finish. Especially when I got to point of pulling out all those ‘loose’ flaps to make the legs. Thanks for looking at this one!

    1. yes, Lang went through a stage where every model had horrendous “unsinks” and this butterfly is fairly brutal with layer management but ingenious by teasing all the legs from the middle of the sheet leaving maximum paper for the wings – not a fan of the odd box-pleated gussets on the wing junctions, would think they are hideable however

    1. Sim, há muitas etapas, algumas muito mais complicado do que precisa ser. Eu acho que pode haver borboletas lá fora também melhor forma. Procure o trabalho de Michael LaFosse.

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