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Why do you scratch build

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  • #61
    I'm sorry because this is certainly a really dumb question. But can someone tell me where the hell one has to click to be able to see the proposed answers and to vote?


    • #62

      Originally posted by Frederic Testard

      I'm sorry because this is certainly a really dumb question. But can someone tell me where the hell one has to click to be able to see the proposed answers and to vote?

      Hi Frederic,

      The poll is the first post back on page 1 of this thread.

      However due to a quirk in the forum software if you look at the results before you vote then you loose your chance to ever vote.

      This is true for all polls here on RR-L not just this one.
      <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


      • #63
        My first introduction into scratchbuilding occured while in my early teens . My parents took me over to Greenfield Village in Detroit ....the recreated 19th century village ....and we wandered around marvelling at all the sights , old buildings , cars, trucks , locos etc . Then we happened into a shop with a glassblower who was making all sorts of items ...sailing ships , vases , decorations heating glass and working with it . I was hooked . I must have stayed to watch for two hours or so and missed most of the rest of the village .

        I never did give glassblowing a try , but slowly delved into crude wood model ships and then into AMT kits , trains , structures etc.

        There is a different sense of satisfaction building things from scratch . I'm working on my Hulett Ore Unloader with a fairly easy medium - styrene . I can only wonder how the earlier modelers built their brass locos from scratch .....truely modeling masters.



        • #64
          I think a certain amount of it comes from age, growing up in the 40's and 50's most kits such as airplanes where wood and train cars wood and cardboard, and engines of cast zemac etc. Having very little to no money meant your imagination and hand skills and using whatever was around the house or garage to build stuff was the only way you could do it. Even in those days my paper route money would not touch those expensive Lionel trains on the second floor of the hardware. So you built it, and I think it just stayed with me.I love the kits but sometimes it seems harder than starting from scratch.On some I spend as much time trying to figure out the instructions as building........Jerry


          • #65
            I scratchbuild when I can't get the right kit - to model an actual structures from a specific location, to get something from an architectural genre that isn't commercially available, etc. With modules that travel, there's also the case where there is a kit, but the materials won't stand up to repeated handling (why I use styrene on Rowley). Some fine Sunday in the middle of the week, I might have enough time to choose scratchbuilding because I enjoy it...


            • #66
              Dave Mason


              • #67
                Great to have another scratchbuilder on the forum.


                Originally posted by mabloodhound

                ....... And then I bought the set of five different store buildings,...........

                Which kit is this?




                • #68
                  Tough question since the real answer for me is:

                  All of the below and it's a lot more fun! Scratchbuilding also provides an outlet for my OCD that balances out my ADD,

                  Very few kits available for my era or scale. True!

                  I want something unique for my layout or diorama. Don't we all?

                  The prices of kits from manufacturers are too high and I can scratch build something for a lot less. Probably true, but not always, but then few kits build the way I build...

                  I really like to design and build my own structures. See above....
                  In a time like ours seemings and portents signify. Ours is a generation when dogs howl and the skin crawls on the skull with its beast's foreboding.


                  • #69
                    For me scratchbuilding is about control. For example, I've had otherwise nice kits that have a really bad streak of sapwood on the wall sheets. These are hard to cover even with paint and weathering, and make me a very sad ostrich indeed when the building is supposed to be weathered raw wood, since that one bit of full-size grain destroys the whole scale effect. I have a number of kits from one manufacturer where all of the sheet pine has prominent out-of-scale saw marks. I know it is impractical for kit manufacturers to hand-select every piece of wood, but I can go to the hobby shop and select sheetwood with clear, straight grain without undue trouble. Similarly, I can trim out any bad sections of stripwood that might give away the ruse.

                    To me, the point of a kit is to minimize work. If I have to scratchbuild replacement parts, that defeats to a degree the purpose of buying a kit. In my opinion, too many kits have holes for windows in places where windows ought not go, in shapes that windows ought not be. If I cut the walls myself, I can put the right windows exactly where I want, or omit them entirely, and I don't have a costly leftover kit wall lying there lost and forlorn every time I open the scrap box. I also don't like how some otherwise nice kits cannot be rearranged without surgery and sleight-of-hand.

                    Laser cut parts with the grain oriented perpendicular to prototype practice* are (to put it politely) frustrating.

                    [:-irked] [:-weepn] [:-censored] :erm:

                    Another reason I build from scratch is that there simply aren't kits available for what I want to build. I can't flap a wing without hitting a representation of a ramshackle western gold mine or a quirky New England factory, but I've never seen a kit for a turpentine still or a phosphate mine. Log structures were very common in my part of the world, but one rarely sees a log structure kit, much less a realistic log structure kit (I am curious about the false-front store from Wild West, though).

                    I hate to air what might appear to be negativity on such a wonderfully supportive website (the involvement of both the members and the industry players on RR-Line is amazing), but old ostriches are ornery and set in their ways. Nobody forces me to buy kits, and the kit producers are free to bring whatever designs they like to market, and a lot of people really like them. And that's just fine with me. I may not buy many kits, but I'd be lost without Grand and Tichy windows, and pre-cut siding and stripwood, and Rusty Stumps' incredible shingles, and all those little cast details, and lifelike figures, and Jordan wagons and buggies . . . .

                    * This seems like a common enough malady that it deserves an acronym, may I propose "p3?"


                    • #70
                      John, if you have an itch you have to scratch it.



                      • #71

                        but I've never seen a kit for a turpentine still or a phosphate mine.

                        What does a turpentine still look like? Any pointers to good pictures on the web?

                        Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)


                        • #72

                          What does a turpentine still look like? Any pointers to good pictures on the web?

                          To my mind, this is the archetypal turpentine still.

                          Here is a better view of the works: a circular brick still setting with a firebox and chimney, and a large cooling tub made from cypress wood in the form of an open-topped truncated cone. The workers have several buckets of raw pine resin up on the deck, they appear to have paused for a photo while filling the still tub. The support poles are raw logs. Notice how small these structures can be.

                          This is a different still, but it observes the standard design conventions. Rough log pilings, circular still setting, cooling tub. Here we can see into the open firebox door, and also note the goose neck at the top of the still that leads to the coil of tubing that runs through the cooling tub.

                          Here is a larger still complex adjacent to a rail line. It appears to be associated with a semi-permanent camp. The note reads:

                          Am going to Springs tonight, if have time. In court today. Busy. 8/16/10

                          From a modeling standpoint, The naval stores industry that existed in the southeast from the end of the Unpleasantness until the Depression is absolutely fascinating. I've no idea why nobody is modeling it, except that the industry is almost entirely forgotten today. This amnesia is probably deliberate. The industry was very ugly and destructive to the resources and workers, and the ones who made fortunes from the exploitation of the land and its people generally took the loot back up north and washed their hands of the mess. Nobody has any incentive to recall it, I suppose, except for those of us who like to model in uncharted waters.


                          • #73
                            Oliver, I'm not seeing the pics?? Pat


                            • #74
                              They were there earlier when I made the original post, Belg.

                              After I put those up, I went hunting for more images, and it appears that the Florida Photo Archive went down for maintenance about half an hour after I made the post. If you right click the image boxes and select "Properties" there are the URLs for each individual picture. If they aren't up again soon, I'll see what I can do to fix 'em.

                              The first image is reproduced fairly often. I found a colorized version on another site:

                              ETA: As soon as this post went through, the B&W images from the Florida Archive were back up!


                              • #75

                                No problem on my end. Some great photo. If you still can't see them, let me know and I'll forward them to you.