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 Why do you scratch build
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Section Hand

Posted - 06/25/2009 :  7:00:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Although cost was the factor that drove me to explore scratch building, I must admit that it's a little addictive and that now I get the most satisfaction from "doing it myself" although I still build the occasional kit.

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Posted - 08/29/2009 :  10:34:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit andykins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
building a kit, is a bit like the final job on a production line, the parts have been made, and now thay need to be put together

but with scratch building you can do what ever you want from things that are often just chucked out.

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 4279 Go to Top of Page

Dave O
New Hire

Posted - 10/30/2009 :  11:13:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heh, like most, I settled on something close -- option four: "I really like to design and build my own structures. This is the most fun for me."

But, actually several of the other options were just as viable. I am modeling a specific place, therefore I need specific structures. So why didn't I choose that option? Well, part of the reasons I model a specific place is because I enjoy the modeling aspect of the hobby. If I did not like the challenge of gathering the information, studying photos and drawings to get the details as close as my tools and skills will allow me; I expect I would be modeling something else. :)

Country: Sri Lanka | Posts: 19 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 10/30/2009 :  12:18:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do scratch built buildings for a couple of reasons.
1) I want to scratch build structures for a modular club display module to show to others that it is not hard to create a scene with scratch built items.
2) I like to use magazines and the wonderful plans included in the magazines. This is one of my main reasons for taking the magazines. I'm planning on a club module which will feature only structures built from Gazette plans, and will be include the plans on the modular display somehow.
3) Scratch building provides an opportunity to try out or refine techniques which I have learned elsewhere, like in a kit or on this forum.
4) It provides the opportunity to research a given area or scene an then try to reproduce it.

I really like the high-end craftsman or 'super-kits' with all the detail casitings inculded. I find that I spend as much money trying to detail a scratch build a structure/scene/diorama as compared to a craftsman kit, but with the kit there is a lot less time spent trying to find detail castings to fit the build.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7234 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 01/08/2010 :  01:18:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit altterrain's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I voted other because its really "All of the above". There is a dearth of unique kits in large scale for various reasons (small marketplace and a mish mosh of scales). On top of that I started kitbashing as a teen when I did HO. I often repeated kitbashing articles from MR and RMC. I have to say I am a bit of a structure snob but after going to garden railway layout after layout or seeing layout pics with the same dozen structures, can you blame me?


Country: USA | Posts: 63 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 05/10/2010 :  10:33:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As the poll results are visible on the first page I'll simply give my answer here.

I choose door number 4 as my reason to scratch build since all the others apply. My greatest reason when I first started was space limitations. Most of what I liked in kit form turned out to be way too big. Now I'm addicted, and find it hard to think in any other terms. I'm thankful for all the manufactures that offer scratch building supplies and that is everything from simple basswood to detail resin or metal castings.


Country: USA | Posts: 663 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 05/10/2010 :  11:51:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I scratch build because it is the only way to get some things I want. Also it is fun to build things, I am a member in good standing of the Dark Side.



Country: USA | Posts: 6444 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 05/18/2010 :  11:25:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a note why I scratch build, as of late there are a lot of great kits out there that I still enjoy building , I am redoing some areas and changing structures to more off the wall manufacturing companys like nail and screw,hand tools and the like. I also beleave I get more detail into something you create your self. Tom

Country: USA | Posts: 3082 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 09/06/2010 :  09:49:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I made a good living for 42 years working with my hands. Scratch building is something to keep your hands and mind busy.

bobby pitts

Country: USA | Posts: 86 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/18/2010 :  4:13:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wolfgang's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Scratch building has many points for me.
I get the structure, ... I want.
It's for the first part cheaper than a kit, but you have to buy many other parts later.
I like it, especially building turnouts.
Last but not least: it's fun and you get some satisfaction with a finished project.


come to us
Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Country: Germany | Posts: 306 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 01/16/2011 :  3:01:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Number four for me. From cutting my own scale wood, to staining and then buildingis rewarding for me and I get a unique structure. I still use kits and modify some of them, but the more I scratchbuild, the more ideas I get for future projects.


Country: Canada | Posts: 61 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer

Posted - 01/16/2011 :  10:38:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
#4 for me too, Roy. It's fun! Scratchbuilding allows me to express my creativity in a three dimensional way. I guess you could call most scenery making "scratchbuilding" although I've done a number of structures. It's a lot of fun when someone asks me, "Who came out with that kit?" when they point to one of my scratchbuilds on the layout. I sometimes tease a little and ask the visitor which manufacturer they think it is! (Yes, I'm a bad boy, at times!)

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Posted - 02/16/2011 :  10:29:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love it.
A couple of years ago I won our Popular Vote Contest, which our division has every month, with a scratchbuilt Forman Pickle car. Since our LHS wanted to show this car at the shop for a month, in the interest of promoting car kits and kitbashing, I was ok with that. He had it on the shop layout and got numerous questions of where they could get the kit. I guess they backed off when told it was scratchbuilt.
Regards, Vic Bitleris
Originally posted by Mike Hamer

#4 for me too, Roy. It's fun! Scratchbuilding allows me to express my creativity in a three dimensional way. I guess you could call most scenery making "scratchbuilding" although I've done a number of structures. It's a lot of fun when someone asks me, "Who came out with that kit?" when they point to one of my scratchbuilds on the layout. I sometimes tease a little and ask the visitor which manufacturer they think it is! (Yes, I'm a bad boy, at times!)

Country: USA | Posts: 1442 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/16/2011 :  1:51:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Bbags

While I voted other for All the reasons listed factor in some what. I model early rail (1880's),
there's little available. And I do enjoy the planning, procurement and build of the structure. I need to save money, especially in this "new" economy (= poverty), but I just want my stuff to be MY stuff. Not my collection of stuff.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5535 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/06/2011 :  12:34:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit CN6401's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I scratch build for a number of reasons.
1)When I was much younger, in my teens, As a family we did not have a whole lot of money to spend on kits, plus there wasn't much to choose from. So I learned to do the best with what was available. We used to live near an art gallery so when I was old enough to work I cleaned floors for scraps of mat board and watercolour paper. I got good at building in card stock and paper.
2)I do it now because I like it, I really enjoy working with my hands to create something no one else has on their layout. So now I do it because I can and I like to.
3)Now that I'm older, I still like it and can now afford the specialized materials for the fine details. I also kitbash a lot as well.

Country: Canada | Posts: 1503 Go to Top of Page
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