Build a Card Model of Henry's Cabin

Thoreau Reader:  Home - Walden - Full scale replica of Thoreau's cabin


A few miles southeast of Phoenix, a small company is using the internet to help resurrect the hobby of card modeling, which had sharply declined with the introduction of plastic model kits in the 1950's. Card model kits once had to be manufactured and shipped like other models, but now they can be downloaded, and then printed on cardstock by your computer. Chip Fyn's Fiddlers Green sells mostly airplane kits (including Snoopy's Sopwith Camel and the Red Baron's Fokker Dr-1 Triplane), but the kit most likely to interest a Thoreauvian is a two by three inch model of Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond. It's not an exact scale replica, but it may be the only three dimensional version available outside of Massachusetts. 

Walden cabin kit in miniatureThe graphic image is free, but you will need cardstock to print it on, and a color printer. The cabin will print in black and white, which might be acceptable on beige cardstock, but the color version is really much better. Staples sells a HammerMill cardstock labeled "74 lb Cover" or "110 lb Index" that should work for most printers. 

The downloaded kit looks like the image to the left, except that it just about fills an 8½ by 11 inch page when printed. If you don't have the Adobe Reader utility, the first step is to download the free version, and install it. After Adobe Reader has been installed, you can download the Walden cabin PDF file from the Fiddlers Green Walden cabin page (this may take several minutes), then print it or save it to print later. Print more than one copy, so you have a spare if you accidentally slice through Henry's chimney. 

To build the model, you need a sharp hobby knife for cutting out the pieces, a metal ruler for guiding the knife and helping with the folds, a flat work surface, some white glue, to be applied sparingly with a toothpick or small brush, and a fair amount of patience. A brown felt tip pen is handy to color the edges of the cut cardstock. You should be able find all this stuff at an office supply store, except for the toothpick and the patience. 

This model could be constructed outdoors. Now you can build a cabin in the woods. 


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