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 Why do you scratch build

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Bbags Posted - 02/11/2005 : 10:34:08 PM
Why do you scratch build structures or rolling stock.
Remember if you peek at the results you will loose the ability to vote yourself.

Please feel free to comment or your choice or lack of choice.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Anna-Carin Posted - 11/12/2020 : 07:44:21 AM
I chose #4, though #1 and #2 apply too.

Above all, I enjoy the process of researching, designing, planning and building. Also, there are few kits available for my era and scale, plus I want something unique.

I think scratch building encourages using a wider range of supplies than many kit makers might choose to use. E.g. a laser cut kit might use the same thickness of wood throughout while with stripwood I choose whatever dimensions I prefer for each piece.
CNE1899 Posted - 11/11/2020 : 1:12:14 PM
I chose #1. I am building in Z scale and in an era where steam and rolling stock is not represented at all.

Dizzy Posted - 12/15/2019 : 11:48:50 AM
I like to scratch build to see what I can design out of what scraps I have.
SAFN SAAP Posted - 07/03/2019 : 12:41:40 PM
I know that most everyone here is talking about structures, but I prefer building cars. I have amassed a large collection of LaBelle, Scotia, and Juneco's, along with a few of the others out there, but frankly, I am not satisfied with the level of completion from kits. I am upping my game to extremely kitbash my cars or scratch-build them.

Since I work off of prototype photos, I want the ultimate realism, getting as close to the prototype as I can. Now I am not a prototype guru, because I know that because of the constraints of the hobby, and size, we do not have all the parts, and some parts are not accurately sizes, etc., so you have to compromise. My goal is to put it up against the picture of the prototype and have it look as close to the real thing as possible.

I want to see floor boards under the car. No one will see them, but I want them there.
I want to have the right trucks under the car, though smooth operation is a must.
I want to accurately display air lines, but I may not be able to always use the magnetic auto coupling air lines.
I want the height of the car to be correct. Width may not always be, unless a specialty.
I want the hardware to be correct: Doors, grab irons/ladders, brake wheel, etc.
I want graphics to be correct. (Oh I miss Art Griffin decals).

I would like each car to be special, each on its own merits.

As for buildings, I may have to totally scratch build. Being on a fixed income, kits are difficult to afford unless I can snag for a song and dance, or work with someone on split payments. I don't want a "me too" layout where everyone says "This is that, and that is this."

Just my thoughts at .03 over the rate of inflation.

CN6401 Posted - 07/03/2019 : 12:50:13 AM
I scratch build to avoid the similar plastic models that everyone else has on there layouts.
I scratch to challenge my skills.
I also will kitbash and add to a scratch built model.
Just to be different.
BurleyJim Posted - 04/21/2018 : 12:01:53 PM
Because it's a mental challenge, it's a skills challenge, it's an artistic challenge, it's a lot of love / hate relationship with the idea. But most of all, it's fun!

Bill Rose Posted - 04/20/2018 : 3:56:20 PM
I like to scratch build, as it is the best theropy for idle hands, but I injoy building models from kits also. So far i have built about 540 structures which include toonerville trollys, fr. and passanger cars industrial, farm, waterfront shanties etc.etc
MarcusF Posted - 04/02/2018 : 08:50:03 AM
I would have answered two equally: I want something that's not readily available, and I find the craftsman kits, while offering lots of detail and an easy build, are really quite spendy for my hobby budget.

For folks with limited time or patience, the kits provide good value for money, but I've got lots of time, patience and a laser cutter.
Nelson458 Posted - 04/02/2018 : 08:29:03 AM
Originally posted by Railrunner130

I voted Other. I built Bar Mills Staton Marine inside out and put planking on it, so it looks nothing like the original.

OMG, that is an excellent idea, I love it. May have to look into that one day. Never thought of that scenario. Thank you.
Piotr Bein Posted - 10/20/2016 : 12:07:49 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Scott

Scratch reaches to the depth of your passion, your imagination, the piston and driver of your abilities behind implementation. It's the difference between a musician performing his or her own song versus that of another artist. It tests your mettle, ability to improvise, hurtling obstacles to reach simple goals that collectively can, on occasion, produce a masterpiece. And doing so, you often walk alone to the end of the journey, but are greeted by an audience of admiration. If you're really good, perhaps one of them will pick up the gauntlet and go with it, and a new artist is born.

Originally posted by Bbags

To Bruce Scott -- is this a modellers' forum or poets'? :) Beautifully said. JGDurand says it even more compactly :)

I don't have skills (nor eyes anymore) for locos and rolling stock, so the following concerns everything else, except most of my road/construction vehicles, boats and ships (at least the hull is from a ready-made thing).
The reasons in the Q's plus:
- I don't follow era/area/company protos, just develop my RRRailways empire :) as I go, often on the spur of the moment (additional constraint is the terrain and sq. ft. I got on the perimeter of 1 acre lot).
- Once I decide on "land-use plan" for a sub-area, I just build what's missing, with occasional ready-made stuff (asembled or not), but always bashed in case of buildings. My buildings, structures don't follow any protos, but some may resemble them, incl. work by other modellers. I do not draw plans, but build as I go, which I find more interesting and open to additional ideas as thy creep in.
- A piece of junk or such could instantly inspire a model, eg. the shape of plastic stool inspired a harbour management centre; related models and empire areas followed (2 lakes and connecting river w. a hydropower system on it, irrigation of the real garden from the lakes on the order of the Over-boss :))

KomodoTurkey Posted - 04/12/2016 : 09:00:40 AM
I scratch build/modify things because I hate the factory look. If I can modify it I will.
quartergauger48 Posted - 03/29/2016 : 11:18:03 PM
Great discussion'..It's not even the excessive costs of the more affluent kits'.
To me, it just doesn't make sense to spend substantial funds for something that I can build my self. Build it exactly the way I want it. Not have to worry about missing parts,
and parts that don't fit correctly. Plus, I like using my imagination. And it's just plain fun to start with basic items and build a structure.

As Tony has stated, I too buy and build the occasional kit. I have also scratch built models, that after adding up the cost of special detail parts have actually cost more than the kit would have'...and then some.:-bigeyes]
Railrunner130 Posted - 03/29/2016 : 10:16:36 PM
I voted Other. The reason is because I prefer a combination of several of the selections. While I have built many kits, I've found some inexplicably expensive, although that's not completely the driving factor. I usually modify the kit in some way anyhow, just so it doesn't look like the box. For example, I built Bar Mills Staton Marine inside out and put planking on it, so it looks nothing like the original. I do occasionally scratchbuild because I have an idea and there's no kit of it.
Nelson458 Posted - 03/29/2016 : 4:56:08 PM
Well, to update my earlier post, which I see was some 5 years ago!!!! (but only on the previous page), I still enjoy scratch building much more than a kit build, and again, partly I do it because there isn't a model out there that fits what I want to do, and to be unique, but even more importantly, the cost. As times change, so can incomes, and expenditures have to be kept in check. Apart from the supplies of wood, brass and styrene, it cost a lot less to make my own model.

Now, having said all that, these last 2 years, I have actually built 3 kits. Oh my gosh, after way too many years to count, I broke down and did something different. One was the Sierra West Service and Loco shops, another was Feller's Garage from Monster Modelworks, and a small one from Wild West Models. However, if you've seen my models, they were altered a lot, especially Feller's. I managed, through some friends on the web, obtain some photos of the garage so I can add the second lower story, and a lot of details that were not in the kit, also, I changed the shorter side wall of the Loco shops, scratchbuilt the crane, water tower and small shed, and altered the oil tank. With the WW model, I had 2 kits (I bought an extra by mistake at a convention), so I changed the look totally in the front and rear of one.

I can still say I have something unique, even though I used a kit as a beginning for what I wanted to do. And I think that is what I wanted to add to this discussion, the kit can still be used, but changing it all around will make it different than the other kits of the same, and that is also just as enjoyable as scratch building, and I can have the best of two worlds.
Harry O Posted - 03/28/2016 : 9:43:18 PM
I too voted OTHER.
I like 2 and 4 plus.
I enjoy making things unique to my idea of what is correct for the era and location I model.
I set a date of June x 1942 and the location from Colorado to California.
a lot of the 'kits' are either early or way to late sooooo I either mod or scratch.
harry O

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