Saturn V paper model (1:96)

Tips & tricks

Tips & tricks: Paper tubes ⌀ 0.7 mm

To build LES lattice in 1:96 scale one needs tubes with 0.7 mm, 1.0 mm and 1.1 mm diameters. It is possible to create such tiny tubes from paper in acceptable quality using this procedure.

WARNING: during described procedure, we use some potentially dangerous tools such as razor blades. Does not attempt to follow our procedure if You are not experienced enough to do it safely. If You decide to follow it, then You are doing it on Your own risk. Described procedure is not suitable for kids modellers.

WARNING II: our procedure is in some sense incommunicable. Some steps needs experience to be done properly. You may expect dozens of damaged and unusable tubes before you will be able to build one in satisfactory quality.


1) To build paper tube ⌀ 0.7 mm, 40-50 mm long you will need following tools and material: 100 mm piece of straight steel wire ⌀ 0.5mm, micropencil 0.5 mm, ~1 mm wide strip of 100 g paper 200 mm long, ~0.4 mm wide strip of 160 g paper 100 mm long, gel superglue, white glue diluted by water, brush, sharp knife, syringe, hypodermic needle 0.4 mm.

Wire fixed in pencil

2) Fix the wire into pencil. End of wire must be rounded to allow easy removal of finished tube.

First turns

3) Start to coil the 100 g paper strip around the wire. Fix several first turns to wire with superglue. For now, does not worry about regularity and space between turns.

Whole strip coiled

4) Continue to coil the paper around wire. Does NOT glue the paper to wire. Compress the tube axially during coiling. You must create regularly coiled screw with tight but not overlapping turns.

Fix the lower end of paper strip to wire using superglue.

Rolling between rulers

5) Roll the wire with coiled paper strip between two rulers to smooth the surface.

Paint with white glue

6) Apply thin film of diluted white glue. You must use the minimal amount of glue sufficient to cover the whole surface of tube.

Roll again between rulers

7) Roll it again between rulers. Timing of this step is crucial. Doing it too early with wet film of white glue may introduce glass-like defects to surface of the tube. Doing it too late with white glue film completely dry may lead to destruction of tube. It's better to roll it with two pieces of ordinary office 80 g paper laid between rulers and tube.

Paint with white glue

8) Repeat the step 6.

Roll again between rulers

9) Repeat the step 7, then let it dry well.

Draw tube down from wire

10) Remove end of tube from wire.

Remove all remainders of superglue - end of wire must remain completely smooth.

Cut the tube and draw it down from wire.

Insert paper strip into tube

11) Insert thin strip of 160 g paper into tube. One end must be hidden ~ 5 mm into the tube.

Inject white glue

12) Inject diluted white glue into tube, assure that it leak around the strip inserted in step 11 to full length of tube.

Let it dry

13) Let it all dry well on straight surface.