Who of you, love building kits?

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#1
As a known Curmudgeon, i can discuss this topic; again, without fear of reprisal from the RTR crowd. Next April I will turn 69, a youngster compared to some of old timers. However, starting at age 6, I have been involved in Model Building of some sort; or, the other. Started with small-simple plastic airplanes. Got involved in plastic sailing ships, cars more bigger and sophisticated plastic airplanes, HO model trains, Balsa flying models. During my teens, i became involved in building Radio Controlled model airplanes although I could not afford R/C equipment, when I graduated high school and started working, one of the first things I bought was an R/C system. I have dabbled in the hobby of building and flying R/C airplanes ever since! Now I'm back into Model Railroading and love building kits of all the things needed for my layout. I have Athearn and MDC Roundhouse locomotives I have owned for 30 years which I still run on my layout and almost all of the 160-170 pieces of rolling stock on my layout have been built from kits. There are maybe 5 or so RTR freight cars on my layout and even when I buy a RTR car, it likely gets torn apart and modified, so that I feel it is more mine than the manufacturer's

What I am getting at is I love to build models and ready to use models are very low on my list of things I want! I know that many of you do not see any significance in using RTR; or, kits to represent freight, passenger; or, structures on your layout and that is fine! The hobby is what it is to each of us. I'm interested in making contact with those of you who are like minded about kits vs Ready to Run, Roll, Operate, Use! In other words: Do you love to build kits? If so, I would like to hear from you!

I will even talk to those of you firmly in the diesel era, if you love building kits!
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#2
Building kits is my favorite part. Electronics NOT!! I like both rolling stock and structures. I even scratch built a few Norfolk And Western specific models when no kit was available. Including a "Lubritorium". I'd rather do structures than scenery, but scenery is fun too. I've built over 150 trees. UGH! I prefer the Westerfield kits mostly. I've even included a "Psyco House" and Munsters house in the residential area. I also like the challange of building the Jordan vehicles. The Erie B-2 steam shovel was my favorite.
 
#4
I really enjoy building kits. Unfortunately i went from scale airplanes (1/48) to model trains in an era where almost everything is RTR, and great (to me) looking kits like Branchline (blueprint series), Proto etc... are hard to find (i am in Europe). In some cases i end up buying RTR, breaking it down to kit form and rebuilding it in a different prototype/detail level etc.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#5
I feel your pain! I also loved the Branchline Blue Print, P2K kits, Intermountain and Red Caboose type kits!
 
#6
I build kits, modify/kitbash, scratchbuild and use straight RTR to get what I need. It's not really an either/or.

More good quality RTR offerings means more time freed up to concentrate on the really unique stuff.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#7
I build kits, modify/kitbash, scratchbuild and use straight RTR to get what I need. It's not really an either/or.

More good quality RTR offerings means more time freed up to concentrate on the really unique stuff.
O.K.; but, I have a lot of pride in the fact that almost everything I have has been built from a kit; or, from scratch! There is no pride derived from RTR!
 
#8
O.K.; but, I have a lot of pride in the fact that almost everything I have has been built from a kit; or, from scratch! There is no pride derived from RTR!
I have plenty of pride in the things I have kit-built, customized, or scratch-built but see no need to spend the next 50 years building copies of what manufacturers have provided for me for the sole purpose of saying that I did every piece of equipment myself. That's not my goal.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#9
One doesn't have to model steam to build kits. I am a diesel era modeler. I enjoy kit building as that is how I was raised in this hobby. Well over two thirds of my 800± freight cars are kits, mostly Athearn Blue Box, MDC Roundhouse, P2K, older Walther's and Accurail; as well as several dozen from lesser known manufacturers. Many are moderately modified. All received metal wheels and most have Kadee couplers, I will use the Accurail ones (operating, not dummy) until they fail (none yet). Just prior to retiring in 2015, I purchased 48 Accurail kits to keep busy. Had nearly 100 on the layout already.
Yes I use some RTR, the recent tankers (last ten years) from Athearn, Intermountain and Atlas have detailing that I cannot duplicate. Pride in detailing, whether RTR or modified kits is apparent only to me as no other modelers visit my layout since I am too far removed from civilization.
More than that I like structure kits, especially the laser-cut craftsman kits. Of the 260± structures currently on the layout, only one is pre-built, clearance price - couldn't refuse. I construct paper, cardstock, plastic, metal, resin, Hydrocal and wood structures. My favorite are laser-cut wood of which I have 26 on the layout with a few more on the shelf. I include in this many background structures (as well as complete structures) made from DPM, Pikestuff and Walther's modular components.
I mainly showcase them over in the Coffee Shop if you want to see some of them. I posted many pictures in the May 2018 version, as well as other shops. At some point I hope to start a photo gallery or a separate thread with many of them.
 
#10
Echoing what Chris said, if there is an existing accurate RTR for a prototype i want (and it is not a locomotive), i am ok with RTR, in order to have more time to build the stuff that does not exist. For the latter, kits are a better and quicker base to work with. In any case though, i enjoy kits more than RTR.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#11
Echoing what Chris said, if there is an existing accurate RTR for a prototype i want (and it is not a locomotive), i am ok with RTR, in order to have more time to build the stuff that does not exist. For the latter, kits are a better and quicker base to work with. In any case though, i enjoy kits more than RTR.
The purpose of this thread was not to discuss RTR vs Model Building/kits, the purpose was to link up with others who feel the same way I do!

(From the second paragraph of my original post):
What I am getting at is I love to build models and ready to use models are very low on my list of things I want! I know that many of you do not see any significance in using RTR; or, kits to represent freight, passenger; or, structures on your layout and that is fine! The hobby is what it is to each of us. I'm interested in making contact with those of you who are like minded about kits vs Ready to Run, Roll, Operate, Use! In other words: Do you love to build kits? If so, I would like to hear from you!
 
#13
I've always preferred assembling kits, kitbashing (especially making larger, different locos from Mantua steamers), and scratchbuilding some structures. I do some electronic stuff, but don't particularly enjoy it.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#14
Yannis said: I am with you, that is why i said "in any case though, i enjoy kits more than RTR". :)



Sorry Yannis, I was only attempting to head off the model building as opposed to Ready to Run"bone of contention" that can crop-up on occasions!
 
#15
I get too wrapped up in kits. I've probably got 100 waiting to be built between buildings and rolling stock. I've found value in the RTR or sometimes more accurately, pre-built used items. If I only bought kits, I'd have about 30 built and that's about it. That value I speak of is time. Between work, kids and whatever else is going on, my time is very limited. However, RTR generally lacks character. Some of that can be fixed with some weathering. The kits have character that can be more easily addressed. I refuse to "make it look like the box".
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
#16
I definitly love building kits. I've been a modeler since about age five (1960) I've built (and still do) cars, planes, ships, (modern and sailing), figures, buildings etc. Only stayed away from amour, doll house (no interest in either) and RC (too expense) That said, my rolling stock is either ready to run or Athearn blue box. I never considered the BBs to be models. More like 'some assembly required' items. To me, it's like the difference of assembling Ikea furniture and being a cabinet maker.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#17
Gary B, Yes the Blue Box Athearn kits where easily built in 10-15 minutes, about the time it takes me to get a RTR removed from it's packaging! (This would include my changing the couplers to Kadees and switching out the plastic wheels for metal).
 
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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#18
One doesn't have to model steam to build kits. I am a diesel era modeler. I enjoy kit building as that is how I was raised in this hobby. Well over two thirds of my 800± freight cars are kits, mostly Athearn Blue Box, MDC Roundhouse, P2K, older Walther's and Accurail; as well as several dozen from lesser known manufacturers. Many are moderately modified. All received metal wheels and most have Kadee couplers, I will use the Accurail ones (operating, not dummy) until they fail (none yet). Just prior to retiring in 2015, I purchased 48 Accurail kits to keep busy. Had nearly 100 on the layout already.
Yes I use some RTR, the recent tankers (last ten years) from Athearn, Intermountain and Atlas have detailing that I cannot duplicate. Pride in detailing, whether RTR or modified kits is apparent only to me as no other modelers visit my layout since I am too far removed from civilization.
More than that I like structure kits, especially the laser-cut craftsman kits. Of the 260± structures currently on the layout, only one is pre-built, clearance price - couldn't refuse. I construct paper, cardstock, plastic, metal, resin, Hydrocal and wood structures. My favorite are laser-cut wood of which I have 26 on the layout with a few more on the shelf. I include in this many background structures (as well as complete structures) made from DPM, Pikestuff and Walther's modular components.
I mainly showcase them over in the Coffee Shop if you want to see some of them. I posted many pictures in the May 2018 version, as well as other shops. At some point I hope to start a photo gallery or a separate thread with many of them.
Yes, Willie, please start a thread showing your wares!
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#19
I'm seeing that people have very different reasons for being involved in the model railroading hobby. Some feel that the building of models interferes with their goal of completing a model railroad! Some, myself included, feel the reason for the hobby is to keep themselves occupied doing what they love to do, being involved in the hobby of model railroading and the act of having a layout therefore, becomes secondary to the process of building it and assembling the models which are a part of the whole.

I do operate my layout and I find it fun to do for a while. However, the act of building models I have always found to be fun. I am retired and no longer think in the terms of having goals. Yes, I like to complete projects; but, don't think of them in terms of being goals. I'm just doing my thing!

Of course your aspirations will be completely different than mine!
 
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rlundy90

Armchair Engineer
#20
I have been a kit builder for over 50 yrs now. I work mostly with wood models. I build wood structures, rolling stock, RC planes and wooden ships. I enjoy improving my skills with each model I build usually being more challenging than the next. The only RTR I have is the locomotives. Pretty much all of the HO locos will be kit bashed into On30 stuff. I too, stocked up on kits, but have started scratch building stuff, which I like even more than building kits. Here's some of the model railway kits I have to build. Should keep me busy for a bit. Ron
 

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