Let me explain how we ended up with one of the coolest paper crafts I ever played with: a DIY Paper Cruiser.
Before you read any further, note that the Paper Cruiser is exclusively and instantly available for our Patrons.
My next Paper model is going to be a Land Cruiser Troopy
I can’t remember exactly where I read those lines. Must have been on Twitter, I guess.
I started to investigate and got in touch with the man behind the Paper Cruisers: Jesse. He had been working on a long-wheel-based Land Cruiser so I sent him some or our images to help him get more details on his paper model.
Got Stuck? Make Another!
A few days later I received an email with a construction kit for a Land Cruiser BJ45. Accompanying the file was a note:
Hey – Have fun with this. It’s very easy to construct paper roof racks, bumpers and things out of strips of black paper. If you get stuck, make another. The trickiest part are the front fenders. Print on heavy paper.
Send me a picture 🙂
As soon as I had the model printed and started cutting the lines, my creative brain geared up. I was having so much fun scoring the fold lines that I felt like a little kid again.
If I was enjoying building this model, then why shouldn’t our friends and fans enjoy building one?
Better yet, why not let them build a replica of our own Expedition Land Cruiser! I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted on there and started designing add-on items that characterize our BJ45.
A few days of printing, cutting and gluing passed and our own paper model was in beta phase. A little wobbly on its feet, but there it was. I shot some images and sent them to Jesse as requested.
I love the photos and I like the addition of the jack mounted to the side. Very good work on that.
This then sparked various emails back and forth with images, ideas and improvements. However, I soon realized that my skills faded in comparison with the Paper Cruiser man and I was going to need a lot of hours to get where we wanted, so we made a deal that he would complete the model and I would compensate him for it.
This way we all benefitted from it: generating some income for Jesse and I would get a high-quality Paper Cruiser.
Landcruising Adventure Paper Cruiser 2.0
When Jesse sent in his first batch of modifications I was impressed. Such elegant and simple solutions for things I had envisioned much more complex. Sure enough, our man had a long-standing tradition building paper models and he knew what he was talking about when he wrote, “Coen, we can’t do that, that’s too complex.”
The second sheet for all the goodies and extra items that our Troopy carries was added to the package. We made a huge step forward, adding 3D wheels to give the Paper Cruiser a better look but also to prevent the model from sagging too much.
Now our Landcruising Adventure Expedition Paper Cruiser is ready to take on the world. Wouldn’t it be great if you could build one too?
Well, you can!
It is be part of our Patreon content. What that is? Find out here and join us in this new adventure. We’d love to have you on board!
Tips & Tricks?
Below I collected some tips and instructional videos from Paper Cruiser’s website.
Did you know Paper Cruiser has recently made some free paper rock models that would suit the Landcruising Adventure Paper Cruiser perfectly. Get them here and be sure to check out the other free models as well.
General instructions for building a Paper Cruiser:
- Print on heavy (card stock) paper.
- Cut out parts. Use a hobby knife and cutting mat (or another hard surface) for the small parts.
- Score all fold lines, pre-fold all folds before gluing.
- Use common white glue, spread thinly, and pinch until it sticks.
- Start at the back, begin to glue the tabs.
- When the body is complete, build chassis (if applicable) and glue to the bottom of the body. Use alignment arrows.
- Make fenders and wheels. Attach to body.
- Cut out and build bumpers. Attach bumpers.
- Cut out and attach the remainder of the small parts.
- With a matching-color marker, color the fold and cut lines for better appearance.
How to build the Toyota BJ45 Troopy Land Cruiser paper model
How to cut out small parts demo: using a hobby knife instead of scissors.
How to make a 3D wheel: cutting, scoring, folding, bending, and gluing:
Thank you very much, I will build it for sure. This summer I am thinking about to make my first smaller expedition on my Toyota 4Runner (or Hilux Surf). Enjoy your drive on the nicest car in the world :)! ~Miso, Slovakia
(Originally published in 2012 / Updated in 2019)
Where do I get this awesome Paper Cruiser?
The Paper Cruiser is exclusively and instantly available for our Patrons.