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Scratchbuilders!
Built a model or part from your own materials lately?
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Scratch building – how to begin?
UM83CANES
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: May 01, 2007
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 09:30 AM UTC
Scratch building – how to begin?

Hello everyone, I’m consistently amazed by the scratch built models and modifications I see around here. As someone who fascinated by IDF armor I’d love to know how to scratch build some of the modifications the Israeli’s have added to their AFV’s.

The problem is, I have no idea how or where to begin. How did you learn to scratch build? Are there manuals dedicated to the art of scratch building?

My local hobby store is full of Evergreen sheet plastic etc but what are the essential tools I need to begin working with it. Any general information, guidance, or techniques you can share with me as a total beginner would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Noah
okdoky
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Member Since: April 30, 2007
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 09:59 AM UTC
Hey BARV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you going to do that DVD we all would love to buy????????

He is one of the Gods on here for scratch!

Nige



barv
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 11:33 AM UTC

.....thats all I need Nige .......flogging DVD'S -------then having to pay VAT...... ..and TAX .... -----on my pension...
Sheeesh !! taking me all my time to FIND TIME to build things for myself ....would take an age and a half to cover the aspects concerning "The Dark Art "
Dont mind explaining some of my *twists*occasionally ...but to do a dvd is not really a "go-er "--- to plan what ""MAY "" be 'some people 's' requirements and miss out stuff 'others' may wish would be detremental ...nae ...'wrong '.........plus I only have a vid cam to start with --and that means a lot of extra work to transfer to dvd and and edit then lay -down
I have given out help in sketches in the past and will do so again if its requested .........as for starting ---
***"Scratching " is visualising the shape in its 3D form and applying the techniques ,of breaking it down to its basics and by utilising the materiels available and at hand ***
Speak to me after Xmas ----I may get a DVDcamera from Santa
I think not
I am allways around --feel free to call
aye
BARV
(GOSMG)
okdoky
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 12:03 PM UTC
I won't tell the TAX man if you don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyhow I got so many issues with the TAX man myself. Oh how they screwed up our family tax credit . As for data protection,,,,,,,,,don't get me started!

I will just need to get to the next IPMS show and do my own.

You were talking about the Stirling IPMS club. Is it still on the go and do you ever get over there? I am tempted to visit and see what like it is.

Maybe Noah could look up clubs in his area.

Nige
Murdo
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 12:14 PM UTC
Hi Noah,

Basically all you really need is the same as for every model. Some plastic, a sharp knife, glue and some plans. The only difference is that the plastic is not pre-shaped.

Start with something easy that doesn't involve too many acute angles. A Missile is a good start as it's mainly tubes and flat card. Or use an old kit chassis and change it to something else. You learn as you go along.

There are some excellent scratch builders who haunt this site. Steve (Barv) who has already posted is an amazing builder.

Start easy and work up.
AJLaFleche
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Massachusetts, United States
Member Since: May 05, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 12:22 PM UTC
Research, research and more research.
Find as many pictures and drawings as you can, especially side, front, back and top drawings so you can get the proportions right.
Your essential tools are the evergreen you mentions, GrantLline bolts, a drafting compass, a straight edge, lots of #11 blades, and a calculator and a bit of your high school math to scale the dimensions up or down from the drawings.
Before scratching Israeli conversions, check to see if Legend products has a conversion for what you want and if so, if the cost is worth the work time you'll put into a conversion. Also check AEF designs. Their conversions are good guides to scratchbuilding, even if they're nearly useless otherwise.
The math you need is a cross multiplication that essentially read if x=y then a=b. X here is the size of a roadwheel in the picture and y is the roadwheel of the kit. A is then one dimension of he part you're scratchbuildind as measured in the picture. B will be that same dimension for the model. Multiply x*b and a*y for a resulting fraction (xb) over (ay). divide the upper number by the lower number and you have the dimension of the part for the kit. It's best to take your measurements in the metric scale so you're not truying to convert inches and feet.
dbudd
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Pennsylvania, United States
Member Since: March 23, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 01:00 PM UTC
Visit the site below, this guy scratch builds some awesome stuff and give a lot of descriptions on how.

http://www.jbadiorama.com/
BM2
#151
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: November 19, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 04:56 PM UTC
Gather all the pictures drawing and plans you can find then draw it out and scale it to the vehicle you wish to modify -think of it in assemblies of shapes -square ,rectangle, sphere and build up the components . Most of all -patience! Heres a good start-
http://idfmodelling.free.fr/imv.html
just scale them for 1/32 or whatever
http://www.cheyl-shiryon.com/article_m113chtap_JoshuaWeingarten.htm
http://www.geocities.com/joritwintjes/index.html
this will help on the scale conversions-
http://www.printmini.com/calc.shtml
Cougar
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Gauteng, South Africa
Member Since: October 21, 2004
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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 10:05 AM UTC
Hello Noah,

I've found these items to be of some use:

- Clutch Pencil
- French Curve
- Erasing Shield
- Vernier Caliper
- Drawing Stencils (Circles, Squares, Triangles, etc)
- Stainless Steel Ruler
- Scribing Tool (A pin chucked into a pin vise or knife holder works nicely)

All of the items you should be able to find at an Art or Hardware Shop. If possible, purchase stainless steel French Curves and Drawing Stencils. The plastic ones tend to take a beating after a while.

Regards,
Cougar
samkidd
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Alaska, United States
Member Since: January 06, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 03:45 PM UTC

Noah,

Hope you don't mind me putting in my bit too. Like you, I was first attracted to scratchbuilding by the realization that the stuff I wanted to model wasn't offered commercially and not likely to ever be.
One of the fundamental lessons I learned early on was how to look at an object differently. The Vickers K machine gun I recently did is a great example (used on the SAS jeeps of the desert). The gun itself is pretty daunting from a "make it from scratch" standpoint and when you add in the big drum magazine on top it could get down right scary.
But try looking at it and analyzing it this way. Pick just one area or part to begin with, remembering that most everything is made up of sub-units, layers and pieces. In this case the gun's body is mostly just a rectangle, so a piece of strip styrene is a good starting point. A little work with a file can yield a more exact shape.
Now look at the object in terms of it being made from layers. Using my shaped piece of styrene as a base, what shapes would I have to add to make the next layer of detail? Are these shapes readily made in a different piece of strip styrene or round rod?
A quick look at the real gun's picture tells me that I can use some .010 x .030 strip stock to make this detail or that one and a bit of .005 stock cut or grooved and glued on top of the last one would yield the shape I'm looking for. And so you can build things up with consecutive layers and achieve some amazing results.
Most of all be patient and don't give up just because you can't seem to get the results you're looking for, that takes time. Ask specific questions of these guys and you can learn a tremendous amount. But don't get discouraged as most of us have areas where we just haven't been able to get the best results.
Personally, I have some pieces in my arsenal that I am pretty proud of, like a really good 1/24 scale German Luger. You would think then that an American 5 gallon jerry can would be an easy little project. Wrong. Over a year (working on it off and on) and a good 15 hopeless pieces of junk later I have one that is usable but still not quite like I'd like it.
So go for it. Get some references for your chosen subject and start combining those layers and details. Oh and by the way, welcome to the dark side. There's no going back.

Jim
Large Scale Armory
Whiskey6
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: August 15, 2006
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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 - 04:06 AM UTC
Barv -

I stand humbly in awe of your work. I have many questions about how you do it.....but my most pressing question is how you accurately move from just a couple of photos (some even fuzzy photos) to workable 1/35 scale drawings?

Assuming that it is not magic, can you share your secrets...or direct me to a place that I can begin to learn?

Thanks,
Dave
barv
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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 - 05:01 AM UTC
David,
If you can 'hang-fire' until after the "fire-fight fotrnight" I will ---(if Jim will let me steal some 'air') -----put some bits and pieces together to try and answer questions that I have been being asked about the mystical art ....

Guess if this is read by anyone then I might have enough questions in my e-mail -[email protected] ---------to do a mini series ---working on getting my vid-cam onto bench --- ...............but thats for later

At the moment I am up to my ears in tinsel and fairy-lights ....and shortly it will be .so time is on holiday
Need to go and dig out all my little snippets ....my file system is not the best

Aquiring sizes ......will be one of the first aspects ...so 'hang -slack' for a couple of weeks .

I do PROMISE that it will happen (If allowed)...so send in your questions and give me something to work around and I will see the areas that are a problem .......
Just finished a real--'OFF-THE WALL' build from pics ....that I may use to illistrate some aspects .....but cannot show at moment as it was built for a client as a Xmas gift and they may see /hear before they get it

[ CHRISTMAS comes but once a year ....but a Scratchbuilder is for Life]

MERRY XMAS ....may all your presents be big plastic ones ...
aye
BARV
(GOSMG)
(GOSMG)
Hisham
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Al Qahirah, Egypt / لعربية
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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 - 05:20 AM UTC
How about a basic lesson covering how to look at a line drawing (Front - side - top views) and taking the measurements and at what angle two parts and connected. I think if we can get the basic idea of plans and implementing them, then the rest would be a developing process depending on each person's skill.

Thanks
Hisham
Whiskey6
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North Carolina, United States
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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 - 09:04 AM UTC
Barv -

As an old artilleryman, the term "Hang Fire" makes me break out into a cold sweat.......but I will try to be patient.

In the meantime, I hope that you and yours have a blessed Christmas....fairy lights and all!

Semper Fi,
Dave
Hodson
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: February 11, 2007
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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007 - 09:37 AM UTC
I find vernier calipers very helpful, for measuring and for scribing a line parallel to a straight edge. I also cut pieces out of paper to test and trim-to-shape. Then I use these as templates.

Ted
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