Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Making paper model trains

These paper steam trains (printable files here, here, and here) were easy to make, since they are basically just paper boxes. But they started a larger trend. I told the boys I had seen more complicated paper models, but they took more time and precision to make, so we weren't going to do them right then. After they begged and begged, I finally said maybe we could try them another day. 

These more complicated models are of the TGV (high-speed train in France and other parts of Europe) and building them took a little more supervision from me at first. They are really cool, once built---much more detailed and realistic than the other paper trains we'd made.
Abe's TGV
Sebby, especially, became more and more obsessed with them. Once he had built a few, they weren't too hard, although he used tape instead of glue for the trickiest folds. For several weeks he was working on one of the TGV cars during every spare moment! He even added the pantograph to the top (the paper model omits that detail, to Seb's disapproval) . . .
and made a system of track and catenary wire for them to run on.

He experimented with making his own models too.
But eventually, he came back to printing out model after model from this site, which has dozens to choose from.
The models have all the different cars to print for each type of TGV, so eventually he got an entire train assembled, and then another. I think now he has made nearly every type on the website. It was really fun to watch him getting better and better at it as he went along.
Eventually Seb made a display case (with informational panel) to hold his favorite TGV power cars. He includes the proper pronunciation (we pronounce it the French way, "tae-zhae-vae") since he does NOT approve of saying "tee-gee-vee"! :)
Here are the power cars resting on their high-speed track, with lovely mountain scenery in the background.


  1. my favorites are:
    La Post, the Acela express, speedrail, and Thalys!

  2. Sebby forgot to put the beginning and end cars that connect to the Locomotive and the Dummy car.

    1. hey, you're right! I'll make sure to tell him. :)


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