Digital Card Models is one of many mom-and-pop sites dedicated to providing paper plans for scratch-built models to be constructed from paper.
DCM provides the kits as PDFs, as in the sample kit Bristol Scout and Fairey Swordfish. One of the interesting features of the earlier planes in the kits is that roughly through the end of WWI, plane designs were actually engineered in miniature. Thus the thin-section wings on most WWI planes. Small-wing airfoils are more efficient in thin section; it turns out thick section works better at actual airplane scale. This error means that small models of these designs are frequenty quite flyable as gliders. Of course, it’s important to carefully balance the plane, but it’s quite do-able.
With proper care, these kits can look nearly as convincing as those old plastic Revell kits persons of my age grew up making. Mind you, that’s with proper care. Any impatience whatsover will ruin the build and require starting from scratch.
There are a ton of other interesting resources on cardmodeling, which is by no means restricted to planes, or even machinery – I’ve built kitted birds, such as this hawk (which I’m currently working on).
Here’s the Cardmodeling FAQ. Here’s Fiddler’s Green, another airplane house but one of the oldest and largest of the American companies supporting this hobby. Info about conventions is at the cardfaq.org site (the bird pic is from shots of the ’98 convention), and this scanned catalogue for a British supplier, Marcle. Some of the European models can be obtained via Oregon’s Paper Models International, and the Europeans sell the PMI kits too.
Long-time readers will be pleased to learn that there are a variety of decent models of dirigibles
I would respectfully submit that having designed and built my own flying scale card models of both a Fokker triplane and a Nieuport 17 might possibly make this an even more geeky entry than one previously cited by one of my readers as the geekiest thing he’d ever read. All that remains to be noted then, is that I do hope for a comprehensive, in-depth series of careful, exegetic reviews of the entire ouvre of Dave Sim from that correspondent.