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Scratchbuilding: What's your philosophy?


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I usually use my Fordom drill press as a lathe and it's attached to a variable speed control. I used my Dremel pistol tool as a replacement when my speed control died. The Dremel tool is pretty fast even at its lowest speed setting so I used wet/dry sandpaper and kept it damp when sanding the final finish to prevent melting the styrene. I DO actually turn other things than light bulbs! :rolleyes:

Great info here, good topic Virgil.

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Thanks for the input and eye candy, Chuck. It's always great to hear from you, my friend. The work you do is AMAZING.

If anyone is interested in checking out Mr. Doan's work, they can pop lots of popcorn and have a field day here:

http://members.fotki.com/ChuckDoan/about/

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Here's some examples of my scratch-built pieces. In many cases they are parts that on the finished model will go un-noticed, but IMHO will work together to make the whole car look more real.

The frame brackets on my 427 Cobra...

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Cobra Dash with separate gauge bezels...

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Correct Battery for 427 Cobra...

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Aluminium hood and doors, along with wheels done from a scratch built master.

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Scratch-built Ferrari V-12 engine block for Hasegawa Ferrari F-189

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It's fairly easy to scratchbuild the small stuff. What amazes me is these fellows who can scratchbuild a complete BODY! And make it correct too. That just blows me away. One of my good modeling friends is a fella by the name of Talal Chouman. I met him 20 years ago and we became friends and he taught me a lot. But this guy is a master. He scratchbuilt a number of complete military vehicles in 1/35 scale before they were kitted by the manufacturers. And he completely scratchbuilt a 1/16 scale Bradley Fighting vehicle complete with an entire interior AND the turbine engine and bay. This thing was fantastic. He took it to the 2001 IPMS Nationals where just because something is big and scratchbuilt...no extra points are awarded because it's scratchbuilt. Mistakes still will bring a piece down. Well he not only took the class, and Best in Class...he took Best of Show with it too! Wish I could find a good pic of it.

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Dr. Cranky,

Great thread and answers by all! As I build mostly scale emergency vehicles, I guess that I do a liitle bit of everything. I am attempting to scratchbuild tires and wheels for a P-19 airport crash truck.

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While I would love to have a lathe and mill, I do not have the funds to do so. So, I used the poor man's lathe, a drill, bolt, washers, and nuts. So far, so good. I am working out how to do the irregular tread design now.

Don't know what you would classify this project as - cab, tires and wheels are resin, everything else is scratchbuilt.

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This next one is a kitbash, as it began as the Jurassic Park Hummer, with heavy modification and fabrication...

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All are ongoing projects... I am "engineeringly challenged". I do have a big fear of making mistakes - along with a pile of models to prove it. But, seeing and communication with other builders has given me the courage to try as well as not being afraid of making a mistake. I have also learned that sometimes things turn out a little different than what you planned on when you started. This is such a project...From this:

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to this:

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I am really enjoying the MCM forums! Keep up the great work fellas(and gals if there are any posts that I have missed)!

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Guest Dr. Odyssey

It looks like this subject might have had a change mid-stream but I'll jump in and hope to be swimming the right direction.

I do a little scratch building if needed and I do a lot of kluging things together to make what I want.  I think some call it kit bashing.  

I have a lot of respect for those people that make what they want from raw materials.  I.E. real scratch building. Conversely I find it insulting to the real scratch builders when anyone says they scratch built something when all they did was to modify some thing.  Like it's a cry for attention but false.  I don't like it when people who don't know the difference praise this type of bragging either.  

I also find it odd that some times a true scratch built part gets a ton of praise even though it is sloppy.  No matter what it is it should be done to a certain level of basic quality before it is praised.  Otherwise that guy might not ever build any better. But I digress… Maybe I should lay off the coffee now…

I can't scratch build a full car body (yet? ever?) but I can make other things.  I see no need to make something the hard way when I can modify something into what I want.  In fact I think it is cool when someone says "I made this doohickey from this and that, two muffler bearings, a Bic pen and a toothbrush" and it looks like it came from a Revell kit.

I guess my bottom line is if it looks right, it is done; whether it is truly made from scratch or modified.  The end part done well is more important than claiming it is scratch built.

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One thing that kind of blurs the line between scratch-building and kit-bashing, is the use of parts from an existing kit for their shape, but not for their original purpose. for instance taking a roof section that just happens to have the right curvature you need to build the rear under car ground effects tunnel for your Lemans race car. Is that any different from using I-beam shaped Plastruct for it's shape?

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Guest Dr. Odyssey

<p>

One thing that kind of blurs the line between scratch-building and kit-bashing, is the use of parts from an existing kit for their shape, but not for their original purpose. for instance taking a roof section that just happens to have the right curvature you need to build the rear under car ground effects tunnel for your Lemans race car. Is that any different from using I-beam shaped Plastruct for it's shape?

From your description in this example I would say there is a difference.  One is using a compound curved non-off-the-shelf piece of material not necesarily available to any one. Not a "stock item". The other is an off-the-shelf standard raw material in a generic shape.  But that is just my take on it.
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  • 9 years later...
On 2/8/2012 at 4:09 AM, ShawnS said:

Oh man, great tires. Fantastic work.

 

I don't think that scratchbuilding needs a literal definition. There's scratch building parts or accessories and there's modification of an existing part. Heavy modification of an existing part should fit into the scratchbuilding category.

 

I love scratchbuilding. It's a great feeling to make something that wasn't previously available in kit or resin form that keeps you coming back for more.

 

I've been known to make parts for projects that I have no intention of finishing any time soon. Sometimes things will just go 'click' in my head and I'll just start working on a part and won't stop until its done. Here's two examples. I made a Morris 850 grill for a project that I really wasn't into at the time. For me it was more about learning how to approach and conquer the problem of 'How To' than it was any attempt to finish something that I had started. Once I figured out that I wasn't going to use the grill any time soon I decided to give away a couple of casts of it to another builder.

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/7466/pa030275.jpg

He asked me If I was going to do some wheels too so although I had lost interest in my Morris model at the time I made those as well.

I have always got something brewing in the back of my head just waiting for that click.

Scratchbuilding to me is sort of like those learning to draw books where things start off as circles, squares, cones etc.. I start with those shapes and add extra details from there. Once you start you won't look back.

 

Cheers

ShawnS

Old post - but how DID you make that grille Shawn?  Is it photoetched somehow?  Looks GREAT!

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Thanks Jim.

No Photo etch just styrene. I did this tutorial in 2013 to show how I went about the basics of the grille but turning that into the Morris grille meant a few extra steps that I didn't record at the time. One thing about the tutorial that I need to amend is don't use liquid cement as it keeps affecting the styrene long after the job is finished and you will end up with a warped grille. Use slow setting CA glue instead.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, ShawnS said:

Thanks Jim.

No Photo etch just styrene. I did this tutorial in 2013 to show how I went about the basics of the grille but turning that into the Morris grille meant a few extra steps that I didn't record at the time. One thing about the tutorial that I need to amend is don't use liquid cement as it keeps affecting the styrene long after the job is finished and you will end up with a warped grille. Use slow setting CA glue instead.

 

 

 

That's a great tutorial - thank you so much for (re)sharing Shawn.  You do nice work!

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