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Wills and Ratio plastic - Scratchbuilding. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue May 21st, 2019 08:30 am
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Passed Driver
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 Hi All. I am doing my best, but, when I “ enter a model shop “ and purchase Wills and Ratio brick sheet or fencing, isn’t that straying from the ethos of Scratch Building? Or is that part of scratch building? And what you make of, and how you assemble and paint the parts? And when it comes down to paint , one false stroke of the brush could ruin the job. I don’t think that I have that much time to learn the true art of scratch building with balsa wood, cornflakes boxes, or even Plasticard , so I will do my best with Wills and Ratio. But I must learn to paint plastic so that it doesn’t look like plastic, but wood, steel, or Precast Concrete As favoured by the Southern.  Best wishes Kevin 
  PS. As often as I replace blades, would someone please tell me how I cut the Wills brick type plastic sheet, bare styrene is easy,  one cut and it snaps cleanly in a straight line, along the line.



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2019 09:36 pm
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TeaselBay
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Do what ever you feel comfortable doing Kevin! I’m using Wills kits as I’d never be able to make something that detailed and I don’t have the patience or time! 
My station is a Wills Kit, as is the occupational bridge and brick walling. Assembling can be tricky at times with fat fingers but I seem to do it!  For cutting I use a sharp stanly knife but gently score and repeat many times before it comes away with a little folding. You aren’t likely to get a nice accurate cut if you go for it in one!

Hope that helps a little!



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2019 09:45 pm
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Hi Chris.   Thank you for your reply.  By faffing around , I have found a solution ? I score a line on the plain side, then I make a razor saw cut at each end , then I can cut from the brick side without causing any damage. Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 03:29 pm
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Scratch building is making something from raw materials Kevin - such as embossed plasticard or any other medium.

Kit buiding is, as it's name suggests, assembling a kit, although some of them can be quite challenging !!

I think buying Ratio fencing would be classed as either kit building or "ready to plonk".

Painting doesn't change the above one way or the other but I'd agree, it is a skill to be learnt and can, in my case usually does, ruin any model .........................



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 04:08 pm
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Hi Petermac Thank you. But is that not how I began the thread. When I enter a model shop etc. Isn’t that like straying from the ethos of Scratch Building etc etc etc. If I had stayed with the hobby 50 odd years ago then I would have built everything by hand, instead of trying to play catch-up.  Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 04:33 pm
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Petermac
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If you don't go into  model shop Kevin, how are you going to acquire the materials you need for your build ?  Unless you grow your own trees or have your own oil wells, you have to buy the timber/card/plastic somewhere....................

I suppose you could boil up some roadkill for the glue ........................ :hmm



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 05:33 pm
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Hi Petermac. Thank you again. But a lot of Modellers manage with cornflakes packets, pritt-stick and a scalpel with a supply of blades. And if I was an expert I would do likewise.    Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 07:38 pm
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Gordon Curtis
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Hi Kevin,

I wouldn't worry too much about terms like 'scratch building' or 'kit building' – just find something you want to build, and build it with any materials you find that might do the job.

I think people tent to do 'scratch building' where there is no available RTR model or kit, or if the available products are either too expensive or not good enough.

A lot of professional model makers (I am into sci-fi, so I am thinking Battlestar Galactica and the like) will raid kits or find they can lay their hands on to get a part that will do the job.

Don't make it hard work for yourself – unless you really want to?

All the best

Gordon

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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2019 07:45 pm
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Hi Gordon. Thank you. But it does feel like cheating. Really though I am just happy playing trains , until now that is. Now I am playing catch up.  Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2019 07:49 am
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Passed Driver wrote:

Hi Gordon. Thank you. But it does feel like cheating. Really though I am just happy playing trains , until now that is. Now I am playing catch up.  Best wishes Kevin 


Hello Kevin.  'Cheating'?  Cheating who?  Who makes up these imaginary rules?  Do whatever it takes to complete the model.  I made this windmill from 'scratch' using card.  But I didn't make the card.  Is that cheating?  The model was made mainly from artists' mounting board, cereal packet card, postcard, and plastic for the sails.  I didn't make any of those products, but fashioned them together to make the finished model using adhesive which I didn't make also.  However, most people would consider the model to be scratch built.  And if they don't, I don't care.  I have a finished model and I am satisfied.



If you wish to learn how to scratch build, my advice to you is to start with a kit, say a card building kit (I started with a Scalescenes kit).  Get to understand the techniques involved in making the card building kit and then make a small building yourself, not from a kit, but using the same techniques as if you were building a kit.  Once you have mastered the techniques involved, you can make anything.


You could also try building an existing kit, but altering it in some way, to gain confidence in branching out and not slavishly following the kit instructions.  This Scalescenes' small station building kit has been altered by the addition of plastic gutters and downpipes, metal doorknobs and a valance cut from styrene sheet.



Once you have gained confidence in making these changes, it is a small step to building a complete building from scratch.


Terry

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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2019 07:27 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Kevin

I agree with all of the above - Rule 1 applies here - its your railway and you can/should do whatever you want  to.  In reality, we all buy and plonk, make kits as they are meant to be, modify kits and build some stuff from scratch and often, all together...........



This is a Wills signal box kit with levers operated by a "RTR" signalman.  The base and the back wall, along with the waist rail on the back wall are bits of plastic card - scratchbuilt if you will.  Likewise, the shelf unit for the instruments is built from scratch.  The whole thing will live in a Hornby Scaledale buy-and-plonk signal box.

I am not professing to be any different here from anyone else - I buy the things I cannot/can't be bothered to make, use kits where required, bits of old kits (ALWAYS keep any unused parts from kits whatever they are) and make things.  That combination makes each of our layouts unique.

The secret is to have a go - you will be amazed how amazing you can be!!!!!

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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2019 07:30 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Oh and one last thought...

When someone looks at your layout and picks up a particular detail that you modified/kit-built/scratchbuilt/kit-bashed/etc, you get the satisfaction of saying "I made that".

Barry

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 Posted: Sun May 26th, 2019 11:09 am
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Gordon Curtis
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Hi Kevin, and everyone else!
An interesting debate this has turned into! (Some nice creations too!)

A couple of thoughts that have occurred to me:

1st, I tend to read more about modelling than I actually produce, and I cannot recall ever reading that when scratch-building, you should make all the parts yourself.

2nd, as modellers, when we look at someones layout, do we ever think "He did not make that brickwork himself, that's cheating!"? No, we are far more likely to think, "What has he used to create that nice brickwork? It's worked really well, I must have a go at using that product myself!"

Well, that's how I see it!

However you model, may it be enjoyable.

Gordon :-)

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 Posted: Mon May 27th, 2019 04:07 am
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Hi Kevin,

Scratch building is building from raw materials. Which is a very narrow definition. Is styrene sheet a scratch material or modeler's aid? Ditto PVA glue. Making ballast by pounding rocks with lump hammers would be scratch. Using commercial products such as granulated nut shells would be aids.


For me the list is scratch materials, building aids, kit bashing/modification, and RTR. Forget the definitions, use what works for you. As Barry showed, a model can encompass the whole range. Cornflakes packets to plonk um downs.


Nigel



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