It’s fun to have a pet, but, as people are always quick to warn you, they are indeed a lot of work. And some are just too big or too dangerous to hang out with you on the couch in the evening. Paperwolf’s 3-D models might be a practical solution to this animal conundrum.
The man behind Paperwolf is Wolfram Kampffmeyer, a playful designer based in Stuttgard, Germany, who studied computer animation in college, then decided to bring his computer creatures into the world of touch. He explains why he crossed over from virtual design to modern yet traditional paper model-making:
“If you are sitting in front of the computer all day watching your virtual models, you start wishing to hold them in your hands,” he says. And one look at his creations helps you understand that impulse.
The detail is extraordinary, and although you realize each model is a paper construction, you may swear you see ears twitch or tails swish. This is all part of the Paperwolf master plan, of course. “The line flow follows and emphasizes the anatomical features of the animal, each polygon is placed by hand with care,” Kampffmeyer says.
We love the backstory for each animal, too, as it’s clear from them that Kampffmeyer enjoys his work. The pair of aardvarks are called “Annabell, she’s the one looking up because she heard you, and Erwin, he’s the one looking down, searching for insects,” for example.
The designer explains that he created his bright-green chameleon from a live subject: “I copied this from the real chameleon Fritz, which sat as a model for me for this sculpture,” he says. “This sculpture will need to grab an edge of your shelf, then it will sit happy and motionless, waiting for the next fly.”
Paperwolf models are assemble-at-home kits that arrive at your door as a flat pack. All you need to make your model is glue, plus a heaping helping of patience, a lot of time and preferably a friend to assist and mop your brow.
Be warned that these are not models for children: Kampffmeyer says it will take about four hours to assemble the smallest model, the meerkat, and you should budget 10 to 12 hours for the unicorn or moose. “If somebody helps you, you’ll be finished much faster and have more fun,” he advises. Sounds like a project to have on hand for the next blizzard or even a family gathering where you want to keep everyone engaged and not dozing off in front of the TV after dinner.
Some of the animals and birds are stand-alone models, but others are styled after trophy heads that you’d expect to find in an old hunting lodge or museum. It’s easy to mount your model trophy on the wall, since the paper sculptures are so light. Each trophy has a small adhesive hanger with a metal hook, so you just attach it and then pin it to the wall.
Kampffmeyer is upfront about the patience and steady hands many of his models require, and he gives extra tips for assembling the particularly tricky bits. Still having trouble? Just email him—he sends you his email address with every kit. Now that’s customer service.