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Random Thoughts: Scratchbuilding

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  • Random Thoughts: Scratchbuilding

    Well, as I was working on some models the other day, I completely destroyed some photo-etched parts and was extremely frustrated.

    Instead of chucking the model across the room (yes, it's happened before), I pulled out an assortment bag of Evergreen plastic I purchased a while back. I proceeded to recreate the destroyed photo-etched parts in the plastic, and I had a blast!

    I'm starting to get better at it, and will likely include a bit of scratchbuilding in my next project...also my first "diorama".

    Anyway, now that fall is moving in and winter will soon be upon us, I will be relegating myself to my sparse man-cave for some intense modeling goodness. I can't wait!

    Enough of my canoodling. Back to work!

  • #2
    I don't know if it qualifies as scratch building, but one of my favorite things is pawing through my parts boxes for a chance to get creative.
    After 30 plus years of modeling I've amassed a huge assortment of this, that and the other all in 1/35 scale and get a charge out of building something out of nothing.
    Off the top of my head I estimate I've built about 20 munition trailers, waffen limbers, generators and so on. I was even able to build a complete PzKw III munitionsschlepper (possible only because Dragon once packaged an extra hull in one of its kits) totally out of spare parts.
    I can spend hours matching up parts that in a previous life had no connection and cut, sand and putty them into field stoves, tool boxes, ammo cases and what have you.
    I'm wondering if any others out there have found that a full parts box can be a treasure chest of possibilities.
    ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug


    • #3
      PE parts are handy in some ways, but, they won't fix all of our problems. I sometimes think PE is over abused in some cases. And in some cases, a PE part is no more "accurate" than something in plastic, even if the plastic part is over size. Because PE is for the most part, flat in surface. And sometimes the real thing wasn't flat.

      I've worked with an architech, and the reality of scratchbuilding, is your parts can be made virtually out of anything, as long as the end result looks proper. And I've certainly made parts out of some unlikely things.

      My buddy has the prize for oddest though. He's made some incredible things out of the foil you get, when removed from the paper backing, from packs of cigarettes. Yes, every time you toss an empty pack of smakes in the trash, you're actually throwing out foil you normally pay good money for eh.
      The neatest creation, was a rose he made out of 32 individual pieces of this foil. It looked virtually like a real flower. Petals, leaves, thorns the whole thing. Scaled for a common sports car scale (can't recall which).

      One of my fav things to save, is the clear plastic disc on the bottom of blank cd/dvd spindles. Why pay for clear styrene eh?
      Life is change. Built models for decades.
      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
      I didn't for a long time either.


      • #4
        I use to do alot of scratchbuilding mainly because alot of the things I wanted you couldn't buy. That has changed now but I still utilize a spares box to create anything I might not have. I'm not much for PE but a sheet of Evergreen styrene is my friend. I think using household items in your models is all part of modelling. You should seen my neighbor when I started taking the lichens off of the wood he was giving away. Modellers are a strange breed....
        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.


        • #5
          I'm a pretty lousy scratch builder but what little I've done I've enjoyed. I find I have to be hyper vigilant about my standards though. I'll make ten parts and use the best's easy for me to think that near enough is good enough. Aircraft modellers such as myself tend to have smaller spares boxes I think...although I do have an entire Ju88 and an almost entire FW190 both in 1/48 in mine.
          The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
          Sideshow Bob.


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