do you scratch build?

bremner Oct 2, 2017

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do you scratch build?

  1. yes

    31 vote(s)
    63.3%
  2. no

    2 vote(s)
    4.1%
  3. only when I need to

    12 vote(s)
    24.5%
  4. I don't, but I would like to learn

    4 vote(s)
    8.2%
  1. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Within the last year, I have started to learn how to scratch build, starting with a simple concrete tilt up warehouse. I built this warehouse since I could not find a typical tilt up, let alone one large enough to handle 1980's freight.
    [​IMG]

    I then decided that I truly wanted to model the Pacific Electric, a railroad that ceased passenger operations in 1953 and freight operations in 1964, when it finally merged with it's parent company, the Southern Pacific. I decided that a freight heavy branch needed a freight station.
    [​IMG]

    I based this station off of the one that was in Santa Monica, CA. This is a picture from 1953, right before the end of passenger service, and the only time that a PCC car went down the Santa Monica Air Line
    [​IMG]

    Since I had the freight station, it was only common sense to build a lumber company, based off the one right down the street, so up went D'Amato Lumber, based on Fisher Lumber (who was the last rail customer on the Santa Monica Air Line in 1989)
    [​IMG]

    I started scratch building out of a need for what is not available, and I see it as a way to be a better modeler than before, so, do you scratch build, and if yes or no, why?

    John
     
  2. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Absolutely. I see scratch-building as fundamental part of Model Railroading. If no one scratch-built, every layout would look like some cookie cutter variation of Woodland Scenics Scenic Ridge; same buildings, slightly different track plan.

    Of course anyone wanting to model specific scenes/locations must be a scratch-builder. I could wait 100 lifetimes, and guarantee you no manufacturer would ever release a ready-built model of Roca Grain Elevator for my purchase. So scratch-build it is.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Likewise, if you want to model an overpass either you use Rix Products overpass and have the same cookie cutter model as 95% of other modeled overpasses, or you scratch-it to look exactly like the prototype.

    [​IMG]
    (Still a bit to go on this one)
    [​IMG]


    Lastly, I dabble in T-gauge... enough said?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Mark, that is some great work there
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Holy Moly!!! That is some great scratchbuilding there!! I model in Z-scale, so some basic stuff just isn't out there yet, commercially available, so I gotta' hit the plastic!!:rolleyes:
     
  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Thanks Kurt
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I usually scratchbuild structures when nothing suitable is available in kit form, but now that I'm retired I hope to do more. The work above is excellent! The two shown here are freelanced in N Scale, a yard office and an anthracite coal breaker. The breaker was great fun to build. Looking at a portfolio of prototype photos, I carefully built up a model in cardboard to get the proportions right, then proceeded with Plastruct and commercial windows and doors. I painted it and my late friend Ken Waller skillfully weathered it. I'm hoping I can find suitable locations for these buildings on my new layout.

    DSN Yard Office - for upload.jpg

    DSN Coal Breaker - for upload.jpg
     
    bremner, SLSF Freak, SP-Wolf and 3 others like this.
  7. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just beginning to do simple stuff, but getting more adventurous slowly but surely.

    Trey
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    My N scale scratch building has been minimal. My tastes being rather simple, much of what I have desired could be had via commercial kits, or factory built up items.
     
  9. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    The pleasure of scratchbuilding is probably one of the only reasons I’m still in this hobby. I’m not an expert but I’ve scatchbuilt every structure, a caboose and the steam powered dredging equipment on my prototype HO scale Zalma Branch layout. The era is 1915-1920ish which really encourages scratchbuilding.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  10. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    198C138E-7763-4305-B240-F05BCC832F09.jpeg Just a few examples. Not perfect but makes me happy. Rule #1 6D5C85A8-7B19-486A-B263-2C99D83A178F.jpeg 7CDC5AEB-DF9C-4497-ACEE-D771181B8446.jpeg 8339736B-5D89-4796-9054-393D07382927.jpeg F4F563D6-80D4-4142-AD88-9C81CAA4DC21.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  11. wombat457

    wombat457 TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, I have scratched built a bit of stuff for HO using wood; however, I am now getting into styrene (plastic). Cutting wood is easy, a micro saw, safety knife etc but cutting plastic is new to me. I've tried using a fine jig saw blade and a dremmel cutter but they seem to "melt the styrene" more than cut it.

    The obvious question then is - How do you guys cut your styrene so cleanly?
     
  12. Yannis

    Yannis TrainBoard Member

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    Great work everyone!

    Yes, i do scratchbuild. I started off with a plate-girder bridge a few years ago. Now all my buildings (in the making) are scratchbuilt. I have a few kits but they were practice items which eventually will be placed in the back rows of the layout's urban part.
    Wombat457: A scriber can help a lot in making precise cuts in sheet styrene. Also a mitre-box is essential for cutting rods, strips, beams etc.
     
  13. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    Score with a sharp xacto or single-edge razor blade, using a steel straight edge. Make multiple light passes, then snap the plastic. It'll come away clean.
     
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  14. gary60s

    gary60s TrainBoard Member

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    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?24957-S-E-R-B-holder-mod-1
     
    wombat457 likes this.
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Cutting out N Scale structure window locations from sheet plastic is a bear. I do it from the backside, as the knife always slips and scores past the window corners, but it's tough to make progress and get them square.

    Maybe I need to borrow from woodworking and drill a hole near each window corner and insert a saw blade to make four straight cuts.
     
  16. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Silhouette Cameo cutter is one of my top 5 best hobby purchases. Does all that precision cutting for me. :cool:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. wombat457

    wombat457 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks gents for the advice.
     
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  18. gary60s

    gary60s TrainBoard Member

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    The best way to cut out window openings is with a corner punch. They are pricy but work great. Available from micromark in 2 sizes.
     
    Rocket Jones likes this.
  19. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    I bought the smaller corner punch from Micro-Mark and it works great. Biggest hassle is taking it downstairs to my drill press because it works so much easier than trying to tap it with a hammer. That makes all my little parts dance on the workbench. LOL
     
  20. wombat457

    wombat457 TrainBoard Member

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    Mark,

    This cameo cutter does look great but at $250 you would need to be scratch building everything I think.
     

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