Scratch Building

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#1
I'm sure you guys all know them but I'm looking around and having trouble finding some solid resources that help beginners with scratch building really learn the ropes. Whether it be books, websites, whatever, please any places you guys have would be really helpful :) (Ive been trying to wing it and go based on what little I have been able to find and my first building looks awful) :) Thank you :)
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#2
Kyle, your first building always looks awful. :) The first ten or so scratchbuilt cars and structures I built are in a landfill somewhere. If you do a search on "model railroad scratchbuilding", you'll find lots of sites with infromation, videos and books on scratchbuilding. My experience is that, once you have the basic understanding of construction techniques, it's just practice, practice, practice. There's no magic formula that I know of. Keep building what catches your fancy and be prepared to either hide or dump some of them. It's just the way it goes. With time you'll get better and start being happier with your work. No matter what, you'll still find some way to improve, from the first structure you build all the way to the last.
 

NH Mike

CEO & Wheel Cleaner
#4
At first it may be a matter of what material you are most comfortable working with. For some it may be wood and for others it may be styrene. My first few projects that I scratch built way back when were wood simply because I had been working with pre cut wood kits from Campbell and Fine Scale Miniatures and had a pretty good feel for it. Believe me they were nothing big or fancy just a few simple sheds and platforms. At one time the local hobby shop used to run a series of seminars each Fall on all the different aspects of model rr'ing. One night it was on scratch building with styrene and I decided it was worth a try. I now scratch build with both materials on a limited basis. Like any new skill it takes time to learn and improve your skills and techniques so hang in there, you'll do fine.
 
#6
You might find that modern steel or precast concrete walled buildings are a good place to start if you can use them on your layout. Usually they have clean lines and simple doors and windows, none of the ornate architectural details that you see on older buildings. For example, many people model modern skyscrapers by building a plexiglass box and gluing cutout window facades to it.

I would not start off with an early 20th century gingerbread or art deco passenger station.

Just my opinion...
 

relic

New Member
#7
scratch built

Since poverty is the mother of invention,I make as much stuff as i can.The buildings are card stock,roofing tin is tinfoil pressed on computer wire,grass is homemade in a blender,used to be the back seat of an olds 88,trees are estilbe or ,I forget.
any questions
 
#8
I'm sure you guys all know them but I'm looking around and having trouble finding some solid resources that help beginners with scratch building really learn the ropes. Whether it be books, websites, whatever, please any places you guys have would be really helpful :) (Ive been trying to wing it and go based on what little I have been able to find and my first building looks awful) :) Thank you :)
Kyle,

I found it the easiest to copy a structure that someone else has constructed from scratch. To this end I studied the photos of Lance Mindheim's "Voodoo & Palmettos" East Rail layout. I estimated the height of his structures in relation to rolling stock setting near the structures. Since most of the warehousing in the Miami area are constructed of poured side walls, using sheet plastic was the way to go.

Learning to scratch build is a slow and gradual process of finding what works and what doesn't. I am still circular filing structures that don't meet expectations. Lance told me never to keep what you don't like. I have included Lances website along with Kurt from Germany who is doing his own version of East Rail. Kurt is a expert modeler that incorporates several of Lances techniques and then has several of his own. Both are good instructors.

Larry


www.lancemindheim.com


http://www.the-gauge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=169&hilit=kurt


http://www.the-gauge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=1661
 
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#9
I would start by building some kits to learn how they are built and then go to scratch building. I learn a lot about how to work/build with wood when I build a Campbell kit and now I would scratch build any wood building without a thought. Now I started building hydrocal buildings without any hydrocal kits first since a kit will not teach you how to make casting or carve a hydrocal casting.
Dave
 
#10
I would start by building some kits to learn how they are built and then go to scratch building. I learn a lot about how to work/build with wood when I build a Campbell kit and now I would scratch build any wood building without a thought. Now I started building hydrocal buildings without any hydrocal kits first since a kit will not teach you how to make casting or carve a hydrocal casting.
Dave

Dave,

If you haven't already, check out Kurt's Hydrocal constructed warehouse. It consists of several castings.

http://www.the-gauge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=169&hilit=kurt

Larry
 



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