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Why do you scratch build

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  • 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!

    Take the red pill


    • 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.

      Growing Old is Mandatory
      .... Growing up is optional!


      • 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.



        • I like to scratch build to see what I can design out of what scraps I have.
          John Gillespie


          • I chose #1. I am building in Z scale and in an era where steam and rolling stock is not represented at all.


            • 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.