Posted by: Jeoss | July 27, 2008

and here it is…

So I’ve been busy at the art camp and away from the internet for the past two weeks… my inactivity on the forums has drastically dropped my view count so here’s my effort to get a few more in before the month ends.

I folded a really rough full version of my sulcata tortoise design out of some larger-sized Japanese foil I ordered from Japan. It worked wonderfully, but I’ve found my style of designing is pretty lousy when it comes to efficiency. When I say lousy, I mean about as bad as it gets. The whole model is pretty much between three to eight layers thick. Needless to say the foil didn’t make the design very presentable.

So, I decided to try out good ‘ol tissue foil again. Its thinness works well with my design, except pleats I have between the scutes on the shell aren’t as prominent compared to being folded out of thicker paper. This’ll have to do for now.

Model: Sulcata Tortoise
Designer: Geoff Mayhew
Folded from 44cm Tissue Foil

I started off folding the scutes and spurs by box-pleating, resulting in this base:

And here’s the result after using a second (non-boxplteated) base:

And here are the crease patterns for both of the bases:

Base 1 (48×48 grid, divide into thirds, then each third into half four times)

Base 2 (not actually perfect square, but 20 units wide, 22 units tall.

Well, I’d appreciate any comments. As with my hawksbill design, I am working on a folding sequence that will minimize the number of extraneous creases (which might actually turn out to be fairly easy for the sulcata) and possibly use a different kind of paper.



  1. I think this is a really nice tortoise. I didnt thought that youll include the spikes in legs. Nice work. By the waym, there is a function in Oripa (I use version 0.26) in menu Edit that is called “edit contour”. That should be enough to work on a rectangle, triangle, hexagon, etcetera.

  2. Hi, I love this tortoise. Im a bit stuck on the first cp though. Ive managed to fold everything except the central tesselation-please help.

  3. Hey there. I’m glad to see your interest.
    Let me see if I can find some time this weekend to make a quick guide on how to fold the scutes. It may take longer to get that done though. Check back in a bit!

  4. Hamza Sardar, If you send me your e-mail I can more easily get back to you with a photodiagram.

  5. okay its deleted

  6. Hi, me again. I feel a bit stupid asking this, but how do I make the details?

  7. What details are you asking about? Are you on the second base now? All of the details should be in the creases shown, shaping is accomplished in part through the second base and when rounding out the shell/forelegs.

  8. yeah ive done the second base now. i realized what my problem was- my paper as too thick. tried it again with tissue foil and the shaping became possible.

  9. So you’ve folded the whole thing then? You should post a link of a picture of it!

  10. i try to make it but failed… can u make video how to fold the cp of the scale/box pleating?

  11. Hey, Muhammad Firdaus Aman,
    The scales on the legs are simply preliminary bases with the one of the layers on the inside flipped to the other side. You could also use plain preliminary bases as well.

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