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Creating a papercraft Link


OoPA: How are you doing?
PaperCraft: I'm doing well, am in school so I am just studying often.

OoPA: College?
PaperCraft: Medical school.

OoPA: And you find time to do projects like the Link statue?
PaperCraft: I had time between graduating from college and starting medical school.
During that time... I drowned myself with papercrafts.

OoPA: Very cool. I notice you have plenty up.
PaperCraft: What do you mean?

Link1   OoPA: The different Links, you have several different art styles available, like golden Link and such.
PaperCraft: Oh yeah. Those are different textures that someone from nintendopapercraft forums (Vert092) found. He posted the textures, and I applied them to my model template so builders can have more options to choose from!

OoPA: Very cool. Not many people would do that.
Would you like to start the interview? I don't want to keep you from studying.

PaperCraft: Sure, lets start. I've done enough studying already.

OoPA: It will be worth it when you graduate. Would you like to introduce yourself to everyone?
PaperCraft: OK. Hey everyone, my name is Haywan Chiu. Hmm, I'm 24, and I like to make paper models for fun I can talk for hours, so is there anything you'd like to know? lol

OoPA: Why paper for your art form?
PaperCraft: Several reasons:
1) Papercraft has variety, plastic models, you are limited to what you can buy on the kits.
2) I've been playing with cardboard and paper since I was 5, so papercraft was natural for me.
3) my ambition is to become a surgeon, so hand-eye coordination and dexterity is important to me, so this is a way for me to hone my skills even before I start residency those are the reasons I can think of for now.

Link4   OoPA: Very cool.
What are some of your interests in games?
Obvisously Link is one are there others?

PaperCraft: Actually, my favorite game is Starcraft, and am very anxious for Starcraft 2 to come out. Link was however my favorite game as a kid I wanted to make an ambitious life-size and detailed papercraft model. I didn't really care what it was, but I figured everyone knew who Link was, so I chose to make Link, and the 3D model that I found on the internet it had all the requirements I was looking for in my project, which was good textures, and lots of detailed parts (i.e. sheath, sword, fingers).

OoPA: The detail was amazing, you did Link's fingers and other details that most people would have just ignored and kept from showing in pics.
PaperCraft: Thanks.

OoPA: What was the hardest part of doing Link?
PaperCraft: The sheath. The 3D file was made in a way where the gold pieces were solid
and ran across the sheath. I'm new to editing in 3D, so it took me a long time to edit the sheath into something buildable.
However even after all that editing, the sheath was still difficult to build because since i wanted to keep all the details intact, I didn't want to let the gold pieces of the sheath go flat, I wanted them to pop out slightly.
However, that slight edge that pops out is very thin, maybe like 5mm thick, so folding that on 250gsm cardstock, and gluing it onto the sheath was difficult. Other than the sheath, everything else was pretty straightforward.

OoPA: Talk about dedication, you really went all out with it.
PaperCraft: Well I figured, I only had 3 months of my summer before I had to leave for school which 6hrs by plane across America. In those 3 months, I wanted to do something that I probably would never ever have time to do in a long long time, which was just to build a really cool model.

Link4   OoPA: You definitely accomplished that.
PaperCraft: I really enjoy papercraft for the process, because I like the challenge presented by details. It's really a cool phenomenon because when you focus really hard on detail, time flies by.
Then when you take a step back to see the detail as part of a whole, it really amazes you what your eyes can see up close and your hands can do.
It's like the painstaking task of laying mosaic tiles and then taking a step back and looking at the whole picture/window. For me, the gratification of the whole pictures greatly outweights the disgratification of struggling through the details. That is a characteristic that's difficult to get.

OoPA: Any plans for another project similar to Link in the future?
Maybe during your next summer break?
PaperCraft: Probably nothing big like a life-size Link. I'll be making papercrafts probably even as an adult and maybe even as a parent, but they will be small models.

OoPA: I see you have made some that move,
how hard were they?

PaperCraft: I've only made one, the BBoy dancing papercraft doing a headspin.
It was hard because of the flaws of the design. I think making papercraft gears is easy, but to make them function is hard because function often requires your gears to be sturdy and precise.

Link7   OoPA: So no papercraft Transformers that can transform huh?
PaperCraft: There aren't a lot of papercraft models that have mechanical parts, so that's still a new area that not many people have experience in.
No Transforming paper transformers might be out of the league of papercraft, because papercraft is mostly filled with amateurs.
Some of the best designers I believe are on their way to being professional 3D editors, so it is up to those people to pave the way for mechanical papercrafts.

OoPA: About how many hours went into making Link from start to finish?
PaperCraft: It took me 3 months, and each week I spent about 10 hours... so... if I do the math,
that's 120 hours maybe? I'm not sure if thats a good estimate because it sure feels like I spent more time than that. A lot of the time spent was also just sitting there thinking and strategizing about how I'm going to design this or how I'm going to buidl that and anticipating if I need reinforcements anywhere or if I should do this part before that so I don't end up screwing myself up in the end. I would say 30% of the time spent gluing was instead just me sitting there thinking about my next step. Sorry that doesn't really answer your questions.

OoPA: Nothing to be sorry about, it answers them quite well.
PaperCraft: It's really hard to keep track of the time because I try not to think about how much time I spent on it and instead I focus on the task. Time isn't that important to me, it's more about getting it right.

OoPA: Right the first time, you don't have to go back and redo it.
PaperCraft: That's correct. The worst feeling as a "papercrafter" is to glue things backwards or to have glued something where you wish you hadn't because you needed that "space" to work with. The hardest part in papercraft is strategizing how you're going to close the model. The closing is the trickiest because you have the least amount of space to work with.
The entire template layout, glue-tab layout, and build order revolves around that final closing tab, because that can make or break the model. Not many crafters realize the importance of this, but it's really difficult to teach this in a tutorial other than to show some examples as I have in my youtube account.
So it's just something that comes with experience because you have to know what you're capable of in order to plan around where you want the final and most difficult part to be. Should it be in the ear? The hair? Or the shoes?

Link9   OoPA: Where did you close Link up at?
PaperCraft: Most modelers start from the bottom and work their way up, even some of the best modelers work like that. I honestly don't know why they do it. It doesn't make sense to me.
I always work from the head first and end with the feet. I start in the head, and end that on the neck. Link's head was its own separate model, so I could leave it aside and work on the body. I like to have my "closing" on the bottoms of the model, because obviously those parts are more concealed than the tops of the model, so if my skill fails me, it can still be concealed. I rather have the top of my model's head be wonderfully put together than the bottom of his shoe to be wonderfully put together. That is how I built Link, from top to bottom.

OoPA: Very smart and interesting, I have never done anything like that other than in sheetmetal and then not in the league you are in (plus, I could always weld where needed).
Is it harder to make smaller models than it is larger ones like Link, or are they about the same?

PaperCraft: There are different challenges in the two extremes. I feel the smaller models are harder because it can get to the point where you can barely see what you're doing. I have built fingers that are as small as 3mm thick and to close its last piece which is where the nails are, having to use a pair of tweezers to glue a flap thats smaller than 1mm onto another glue tab thats even smaller... I could barely see what I'm doing and just have to guess.

That model was Toon Link, a version I built was half the size of the version I released.
The challenges that comes with a large model would be dealing with the sheer weight of the paper. Some joints of large models require reinforcements, such as shoulders and ankles.
However, there are random places where you need to reinforce, because if you don't, it might become concaved inward as you handle it, and you won't be able to pop it back out.
Or it'll bend from the sheer weight of the model.
So in summary, building tiny requires a tremendous amount of skill, and building large requires a tremendous amount of anticipation.
Both extremes are very different than one another and require practice. I practiced for the life-sized Link by gradually building larger, first the Toon Link, then Captain Falcon.
I know one person, ConSmith, one of my youtube subscribers, was able to build the life-sized Link, and I don't think he practiced as much as I did, but he did build his Link wonderfully!
Both extremes are very different than one another and require practice. I practiced for the life-sized Link by gradually building larger, first the Toon Link, then Captain Falcon.
I know one person, ConSmith, one of my youtube subscribers, was able to build the life-sized Link, and I don't think he practiced as much as I did, but he did build his Link wonderfully!

OoPA: I will definitely be checking yourYoutube channelout.
PaperCraft: Great!

Link10   OoPA: One of the last questions I really have is could you just do a quick walkthrough of how you assembled Link?
PaperCraft: The videos show a good part of it, but I can summarize
hat, hair, forehead, face, neck, collar, right arm, left arm, reinforce shoulders, middle body, reinforce wrinkles, bottom of body. Legs are pretty straightforward, boots, reinforce everything in ankles 3 times, then everything in the shoe 2 times.
Failure to do so adequately will result in a falling Link. Then arms, hand, sword, shield sheath in whatever order you feel like.

OoPA: Did you make all of those various paperarts in the gallery on your site?
PaperCraft: No, those are images and links to papercraft templates created by others.

OoPA: OK, I was going to say you have been busy!
PaperCraft: Papercraft Museum is a database of all these different templates found on the internet, but placed together in an organised way
My little brother made the layout, but all the content (and thus all the hours spent updating it) was my work. In a way it's my present to the community, because I feel this is a great hobby, and people should know more about it. This website serves as a tool to surf for papercrafts.

Link10   OoPA: Would you like to say something for your fans out there?
PaperCraft: Sure. I want to encourage them to try to enjoy the process than to enjoy the product. It sounds weird but that's the trick. If you feel like you're forcing yourself to work on something, that's not right. You should put it off for until you feel like you want to continue.I call that papercraft burnout. People that want to enjoy the product often start something then force themself to try to finish so they can see the end product, but then they get sick of it and start another project.
Eventually, they have 5 half-done models and are so overwhelmed by their desire to see it finished
that they quit the hobby in general. I've seen this happen to many builders, even experienced and skilled ones, and it's such a shame. That is all.

OoPA: You have been great man, I appreciate everything you have done with the paperartform and hope to hear more from you in the future (either as a great doctor or continuing paperart,
I will take either).
PaperCraft: It was a pleasure! Thank you.

OoPA: Thank you so much for your time and the work you have done. I hope to see your name someday as a famous doctor.
PaperCraft: Your most welcome, thanks and good luck with your work!

OoPA: Thank you. Goodnight.

For more information on Haywan's work and a lot more pics than we posted here you can visit his site,Papercraft Museumand for vids, Youtube channel.
We are working on bringing more interesting content like this to the Out-of-Print Archives so stick around, there is more coming. Why not discuss this in ourforumsand let us know if you have attempted to bring Link to life too.


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