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How to Make Tentrolls

OK, the following trick is actually quite easy and probably more professional modelers know this teqnique already but it's good for the younger modelers starting out. I made this small tutorial about making “tent-rolls” (hope I spelled that correctly or that it's an existing word). It's super easy to make and when you have nothing to do you could make a supply of it.

On to the tutorial:

  1. First thing you take is a roll of toilet paper.
  2. You tear off one sheet, that's more than enough for what we want to make.
  3. Take a little bowl with water and make the paper wet. Now you have to handle the paper like it's your own child or else you will tear it apart and you will have to start over again.
  4. Fold the sheet as shown in the illustration.
  5. Than roll it up.
  6. Take 2 strings of sewing thread and tie them on to your roll.
  7. The result should look a bit like this.


Then you let the "tent-roll" dry. When it's dry you can paint it in every colour you like. You can also experiment with different sizes or a different way of folding to make the roll longer, shorter or thicker. You will see it for yourself. These look good on dioramas, tanks or where-ever you want to use them.

©2002 - Text and image by Robert Blokker. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

About Robert Blokker (FAUST)

Started modelling when I was about 7 or 8 years old had a little break in between (school, girls partying) and eventually returned when finding this site in 2002. Main interest WW2 German army, wheeled vehicles and radio and communication troops or every other thing that manages to catch my interest...


For advanced users of TP :-) : there's quite a few ideas on this subject in the scratchbuilding forum, too. Jan
JUN 16, 2002 - 10:51 PM
I don't use toilet paper, but use the kind of tissue paper used for wrapping presents etc. You don't have to handle it so gently when wet, and it dries to a nice semi-stiff consistency like canvas or some other heavy fabric. Great pictures with the article! Andy
JUN 18, 2002 - 10:44 PM
Thats what i use as well herberta. Married to a woman who is infatuated by new shoes, I make the most of that. The paper stuffed into the shoe to keep its shape is perfect. Its like some sort of tracing paper.
JUN 18, 2002 - 11:07 PM
I use ordinary facial tissue; Kleenex or similar products. I have found that it holds together much better, and has enough wight to drape realistically. Toilet paper is made to dissolve, making it far more fragile than the shoebox tissue mentioned above or facial tissue. Being easily frustrated, I use materials least likely to give me grief! :-) :-) Greg
JUN 20, 2002 - 04:43 AM
Yes, tissue paper has worked well for me but I am going to experiment with other papers and try gauze out as well... MSW
AUG 17, 2002 - 08:31 PM
I just used this to make some rolls and they turned out better than I thought I could make. On some of them to make them I wraped it around paper towels to make it thicker just for some variations. The finish on this type of paper seams to me to be more to scale for material, you don't get the particles sticking out that you get with regualar tissue (at least thats what happened when I tried to use it) and it isn't as coarse yet still has some texture. My digital camera was left at my brothers on vacation but as soon as I get it back I will post some pictures. I finished them off with oil paints and model ship building rope.
AUG 21, 2002 - 06:56 AM
WoW !!! Short and simple, but yet very easy !!!! What else can you ask for..... I really liked your article, FAUST.....
AUG 21, 2002 - 07:14 AM
A great article and it inspired a good discussion. So even those who have done this before probably learned something. I'm glad you posted it. Thanks
AUG 21, 2002 - 08:29 AM
Thanks for the tip, it helped alot. :-)
AUG 22, 2002 - 12:17 PM
I'd also read that "bathroom tissue" was too delicate and was designed to dissolve. I always use whatever type of Kleenex we have inthe house. I typically apply watered down white glue to this with a wide brush rather than soaking it. As someone else said, much more control in the amount of water. I've used this extensively for mantlet covers and made a couple jeep sides and tops for my M-151 collection.
AUG 23, 2002 - 12:03 AM