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Scratchbuilding vs. Kitbashing


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#1 Harry P.

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

After reading a few posts here today, I see that the definitions of "scratchbuilding" and "kitbashing" vary among some of you.

IMO, kitbashing means combining existing parts from different kits to create a model.

Scratchbuilding
means creating components (or an entire model) from raw materials (sheet plastic or brass, structural plastic, brass or aluminum shapes, tubing or rod, wood, etc... not only modifying existing parts.

Of course, scratchbuilding and kitbashing can be combined.

Using two (or more) existing kits (and maybe a few parts box pieces) to create a model is an example of kitbashing.

Using raw materials (for example, the way Peter Lombardo carves his own body bucks and vacu-forms the body from sheet styrene) is an example of scratchbuilding.


Those are my definitions, FWIW.

#2 element

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:42 PM

How could it be any different? If you made the part, it is scratch-built. If a model company or resin caster made it and you used it / modified it to fit your model it would be kit bashing.

Just because I opened a cake mix or defrosted pre-made rolls doesn't mean from scratch. The cheesecake I spent 3-4 hours on that started out as just 2 & 1/2 lbs of cream cheese and a few other items, now that was made from scratch. :) BTW, it was delicious.

#3 Karmodeler2

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:48 PM

After reading a few posts here today, I see that the definitions of "scratchbuilding" and "kitbashing" vary among some of you.

IMO, kitbashing means combining existing parts from different kits to create a model.

Scratchbuilding
means creating components (or an entire model) from raw materials (sheet plastic or brass, structural plastic, brass or aluminum shapes, tubing or rod, wood, etc... not only modifying existing parts.

Of course, scratchbuilding and kitbashing can be combined.

Using two (or more) existing kits (and maybe a few parts box pieces) to create a model is an example of kitbashing.

Using raw materials (for example, the way Peter Lombardo carves his own body bucks and vacu-forms the body from sheet styrene) is an example of scratchbuilding.


Those are my definitions, FWIW.


Thanks Harry. There have many here who use the term scratch-built when it is definitely kit bashed. Those of us who use sheet plastic, brass, aluminum, stainless and the like,( also in the rod, tube, and bar assortments), get pretty testy when we see "kit bashing" being done and called scratch-building. And we are the ones that get chastised for bringing this up.
Thanks for putting this out!!
David

#4 Steve Keck

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 05:09 PM

Right you are, Harry. And thanks for taking the time to clarify the difference for all of that visit here.

I, for one, have never scratch built an entire model. Not that others haven't but, I can only bring to mind Mr. Lombardo who has. No offense to those I over looked.

And to follow on David's statement, we don't accept that claims of scratch building were innocently confused for kit bashing in build descriptions

Maybe you can keep this at the top?

#5 sdrodder

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 05:19 PM

you know what....nevermind



So i cant say my tractor grill shell for my 34 ford truck is scratchbuilt cause i used some kit plastic sections(like 55 chevy truck roof corners and some 32 ford hood sections) and some raw plastic. Oh well in my opinion its still scratchbuilt. If you cant tell what i started with i think it would still be scratchbuilt.

#6 highway

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 05:42 PM

After reading a few posts here today, I see that the definitions of "scratchbuilding" and "kitbashing" vary among some of you.

IMO, kitbashing means combining existing parts from different kits to create a model.

Scratchbuilding
means creating components (or an entire model) from raw materials (sheet plastic or brass, structural plastic, brass or aluminum shapes, tubing or rod, wood, etc... not only modifying existing parts.

Of course, scratchbuilding and kitbashing can be combined.

Using two (or more) existing kits (and maybe a few parts box pieces) to create a model is an example of kitbashing.

Using raw materials (for example, the way Peter Lombardo carves his own body bucks and vacu-forms the body from sheet styrene) is an example of scratchbuilding.


Those are my definitions, FWIW.

Ok, Harry, you got me confused, and believe me, that's not hard to do! :D I'm sure you remember seeing a pic or two around the forum of the custom Ford LTL 9000 truck I'm currently working on, and to help jog your memory, it's this one.

Posted Image

Now, obviously, the sleeper and frame both have been heavily modified. I used the kit's front and back walls, as well as the roof panel, but have added both structural and sheet plastic (and a lot of Bondo :lol: ) to achieve the finished product, as seen in these rough in progress pics.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I have also used structural stock in the lengthening of the kit's original frame. Would this not be scratchbuilding, especially since parts from other kits never were used? I can see my also heavily modified front bumper being considered mostly kitbashed with a little scratchbuilding for shaping, because the stock Ford bumper was used along with a roo bar from an Australian truck kit, with a little plastic strip added to box the bumper some. I'm only asking your opinion because, especially in the case of the sleeper, I have been saying it is scratchbuilt.

#7 Jeff Sauber

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 05:44 PM

Then there's the term "scratch-bashed"...

This means that a "pre-existing" part has been PARTIALLY scratch built in order for the item to fit a particular application...Alot of folks tend to "stretch the facts" when it comes to this term and practice.

#8 Harry P.

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 05:49 PM

Matt, scratchbuilding and kitbashing can be combined, as in what you've done.

My point was that taking a body from one kit and a chassis and interior from another kit and an engine from the parts box and putting them together doesn't qualify as "scratchbuilding." Just my opinion, of course, and all others are welcome (and expected!).

#9 highway

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:05 PM

Matt, scratchbuilding and kitbashing can be combined, as in what you've done.

My point was that taking a body from one kit and a chassis and interior from another kit and an engine from the parts box and putting them together doesn't qualify as "scratchbuilding." Just my opinion, of course, and all others are welcome (and expected!).

Thanks, Harry, you just had me lost with the "kitbashing" part. I get what you mean, now, it would be like me saying this beast was scratchbuilt!

Posted Image

It clearly isn't scratchbuilt, but it's the perfect example of kitbashing at it's best, a Revell 34 Ford with an AMT Hemi from the 70 Coronet Super Bee Pro Street!

"Scratch-bashed". A great way to describe some of what I'm doing with that 60 Chevy SD kit, as well as what Matthew did with that sleeper.

:D

Mark, I kinda like Jeff's description, too. That's the first time I've ever heard of it!

#10 Harry P.

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:10 PM

Thanks, Harry, you just had me lost with the "kitbashing" part. I get what you mean, now, it would be like me saying this beast was scratchbuilt!

Posted Image

It clearly isn't scratchbuilt, but it's the perfect example of kitbashing at it's best, a Revell 34 Ford with an AMT Hemi from the 70 Coronet Super Bee Pro Street!


Exactly.

If someone were to post this in finished form and claim that it was "scratchbuilt," I don't think that would be an accurate statement.

#11 Eric Stone

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:28 PM

So.. What brought this on- just general occasional misuse of the terms, or is there a particular incident?

#12 Danno

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:42 PM

Exactly.

If someone were to post this in finished form and claim that it was "scratchbuilt," I don't think that would be an accurate statement.



Precisely. And it is totally dishonest to claim that it is scratchbuilt.

I vividly recall an incident at GSL a few years ago. There was a model that was claimed by its entrant to be entirely scratchbuilt. It was a nice model, but clearly based on an injection molded kit as ejector pin marks were still visible in some places and many parts were obviously taken from various common kits. But the entrant insisted it was "scratchbuilt" and it was quite the topic of derision.

You have to wonder if someone trying to claim modified kit parts as "scratchbuilt" is trying to deceive others or trying to deceive himself.

Scratchbuilt is what Gerald Wingrove did; what Dave Cummings does. Augie Hiscano's models were largely scratchbuilt but he never claimed the kit-based bodies were scratchbuilt. I dare say David Morton's semi and Mark D. Jones' Catherhams, as well as many other exceptional creations that are largely scratchbuilt have far more scratchbuilt content than most models and yet those builders claim only the parts they created from raw materials are "scratchbuilt" parts.

And, Harry, you are right. There are some people who seem to think adding filler or additional pieces of plastic to kit parts qualifies as scratchbuilt. It does not. There are some people who seem to think creating some parts from raw materials makes the entire model 'scratchbuilt.' It does not. It's like saying a cubic zirconia is a diamond because it looks like one.

#13 Harry P.

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:47 PM

So.. What brought this on- just general occasional misuse of the terms, or is there a particular incident?


No specific incident. I just figured I'd throw it out there and see what you guys think.

#14 Modelmartin

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:23 AM

It's like saying a cubic zirconia is a diamond because it looks like one.



Wouldn't that be a "scratch built" model of a diamond? B)

Related pet peeves of mine are when someone says that they "scratched" the part when they meant to say they "scratch built" it. The other one is making it one word when it should be two. I guess that makes it a scratch built word! :lol: :P

Edited by Modelmartin, 02 August 2010 - 12:25 AM.


#15 David G.

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:51 AM

Ok, Harry, you got me confused, and believe me, that's not hard to do! B) I'm sure you remember seeing a pic or two around the forum of the custom Ford LTL 9000 truck I'm currently working on, and to help jog your memory, it's this one.


Now, obviously, the sleeper and frame both have been heavily modified. I used the kit's front and back walls, as well as the roof panel, but have added both structural and sheet plastic (and a lot of Bondo :lol: ) to achieve the finished product, as seen in these rough in progress pics.


Posted Image

I have also used structural stock in the lengthening of the kit's original frame . Would this not be scratchbuilding, especially since parts from other kits never were used? I can see my also heavily modified front bumper being considered mostly kitbashed with a little scratchbuilding for shaping, because the stock Ford bumper was used along with a roo bar from an Australian truck kit, with a little plastic strip added to box the bumper some. I'm only asking your opinion because, especially in the case of the sleeper, I have been saying it is scratchbuilt.



I'm sorry, but I, along with most of the modelers I know would define this as a kitbash. Though you've added some panels and beams to the sleeper, the majority of the unit's character is defined by the end pieces which came from a kit. Had you used raw styrene to form and replace the blue pieces provided by the kit, that would be scratchbuilt.

Please understand that I'm not trying to detract from any of the work you've done. There's a lot of work involved in a modification like that, but, as I see it, when most of the identifying characteristics of a model come from pieces that were provided by a kit, that's kitbashing.


David G.

#16 highway

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:56 AM

I'm sorry, but I, along with most of the modelers I know would define this as a kitbash. Though you've added some panels and beams to the sleeper, the majority of the unit's character is defined by the end pieces which came from a kit. Had you used raw styrene to form and replace the blue pieces provided by the kit, that would be scratchbuilt.

Please understand that I'm not trying to detract from any of the work you've done. There's a lot of work involved in a modification like that, but, as I see it, when most of the identifying characteristics of a model come from pieces that were provided by a kit, that's kitbashing.


David G.

Thanks for the opinion, David, and that's exactly the reason I asked Harry my question on the subject. :rolleyes: My definitions have always been, in my opinion, like this:

Kitbashed: Using parts from more than one kit to produce one subject, such as the 34 Ford I later posted.

Scratchbuilt: Building something from sheet plastic, etc.

You can see by my definitions why I was confused by the modifications I've done to the sleeper as being kitbashed, mainly because I have been using only that kit's parts in the build, with the execption of the front bumper. I think Jeff said it best, though, with his term of "scratchbashed". That is what I now consider the work I've done with the sleeper and frame.

#17 Danno

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:15 AM

I'm sorry, but I, along with most of the modelers I know would define this as a kitbash. Though you've added some panels and beams to the sleeper, the majority of the unit's character is defined by the end pieces which came from a kit. Had you used raw styrene to form and replace the blue pieces provided by the kit, that would be scratchbuilt.

Please understand that I'm not trying to detract from any of the work you've done. There's a lot of work involved in a modification like that, but, as I see it, when most of the identifying characteristics of a model come from pieces that were provided by a kit, that's kitbashing.


David G.



Hear, hear! I'm in complete agreement with you, David.

#18 Art Anderson

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:10 AM

Ok, Harry, you got me confused, and believe me, that's not hard to do! :) I'm sure you remember seeing a pic or two around the forum of the custom Ford LTL 9000 truck I'm currently working on, and to help jog your memory, it's this one.

Now, obviously, the sleeper and frame both have been heavily modified. I used the kit's front and back walls, as well as the roof panel, but have added both structural and sheet plastic (and a lot of Bondo :D ) to achieve the finished product, as seen in these rough in progress pics.

I have also used structural stock in the lengthening of the kit's original frame. Would this not be scratchbuilding, especially since parts from other kits never were used? I can see my also heavily modified front bumper being considered mostly kitbashed with a little scratchbuilding for shaping, because the stock Ford bumper was used along with a roo bar from an Australian truck kit, with a little plastic strip added to box the bumper some. I'm only asking your opinion because, especially in the case of the sleeper, I have been saying it is scratchbuilt.


Highway,

Technically, your project is "modified" from kit parts, with some raw materials used, added to get the final result. While this did involve some techniques used in scratchbuilding from the same basic materials (styrene plastic, putty and so on) it really wasn't done from scratch (meaning primarily from raw sheet and strip styrene in this case) so "scratchbuilt" doesn't quite describe it, nor does it do your fine work justice either.

A lot of the terminology here comes from scale modeling hobbies that predate our Model Car hobby--principally model railroading, where scratchbuilding was the norm rather than the exception 60-80 yrs ago, until kits for buildings, bridges and rolling stock became widely used by the middle 1950's. The same is true of the flying model aircraft hobby--it started as a scratchbiulding hobby, very few flying model airplane kits were produced until after WW-II, those early fliers did their thing with a set of plans, a pile of sticks of balsa, some sheets of tissue paper, glue and dope.

It's pretty hard, I suspect, for modelers much under the age of say, 40, to remember a time when scratchbuilding scale models was common--that sort of faded out pretty much as a major way of doing things by the end of the 1960's, although it never did quite die out, and is pretty strong today. Now, "kitbashing" is something we older car modelers should remember very well! Back in the 60's, when so many of us were teenaged modelers, we took bits and pieces from this kit, that kit, and the one over there, and created our own rods, customs and dragsters (even a few roundy-rounders!). That was kitbashing, even though we didn't know it as that quite yet.

Hope this helps!

Art

#19 Art Anderson

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:20 AM

With the exception of the wheels (sourced from Grandt Line, and modified by me) every part of the 1904 Knox Waterless Truck I am building is made from raw metal stock (brass strip, angles, square tubing) and both aluminum and brass bar stock turned on my lathe, or shaped on my vertical mill.

When it is done, you better believe I will say it is "scratchbuilt" with the added disclaimer that certain parts (identified in the description) will have been modified production parts. That I believe would be the most truthful description possible.

Now, to describe my 1959 Chevy Biscayne 2dr Sedan, I would say that it's a resin piece, cast from a kitbashed body shell (Monogram '59 Impala Convertible, AMT '59 El Camino and a JoHan '59 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special 6-window sedan), which is again an accurate description of the car. If I had simply built up the body shell into the completed model rather than casting it, the proper description would have been "kit-bashed" as I "bashed" body panels & parts together that came from several different sources (existing kits).

Art

#20 highway

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:25 AM

Highway,

Technically, your project is "modified" from kit parts, with some raw materials used, added to get the final result. While this did involve some techniques used in scratchbuilding from the same basic materials (styrene plastic, putty and so on) it really wasn't done from scratch (meaning primarily from raw sheet and strip styrene in this case) so "scratchbuilt" doesn't quite describe it, nor does it do your fine work justice either.

A lot of the terminology here comes from scale modeling hobbies that predate our Model Car hobby--principally model railroading, where scratchbuilding was the norm rather than the exception 60-80 yrs ago, until kits for buildings, bridges and rolling stock became widely used by the middle 1950's. The same is true of the flying model aircraft hobby--it started as a scratchbiulding hobby, very few flying model airplane kits were produced until after WW-II, those early fliers did their thing with a set of plans, a pile of sticks of balsa, some sheets of tissue paper, glue and dope.

It's pretty hard, I suspect, for modelers much under the age of say, 40, to remember a time when scratchbuilding scale models was common--that sort of faded out pretty much as a major way of doing things by the end of the 1960's, although it never did quite die out, and is pretty strong today. Now, "kitbashing" is something we older car modelers should remember very well! Back in the 60's, when so many of us were teenaged modelers, we took bits and pieces from this kit, that kit, and the one over there, and created our own rods, customs and dragsters (even a few roundy-rounders!). That was kitbashing, even though we didn't know it as that quite yet.

Hope this helps!

Art

Thank you, Art. Your comment I highlighted really best describes the possible overuse or misuse of the term today, and some of the confusion as well. I'm 34, so I fall directly in that category!