So I'm building the Italeri 1/72 AC-130 at the moment and to be fair the detail is...frugal to say the least . It got me thinking about scratch building. My skills are fairly non existant in this area. Obviously you need to have some decent subject references but are there any good books on the actual "How to?" of scratch building? And essential tools etc?
There are books etc which will tell you how to do things like vac forming plastic etc, but I’ve not read them. That means I’m still stuck in the old school. I don’t really have the resources anyway, but that’s not really an excuse. The main thing you need is a good eye. Look at what you want to make, break it up into smaller sections you can make and start from there. You also need some good rulers, a calculator and patience. Different types of knife blades is very useful, and lots of pin drills an led files too. I’ve built up a large array of all these by trial and error, but I won’t list all of them as everyone will gather what they want to use personally. Tube cutters and circle cutters are also wonderful. I still want to learn to solder things properly as well. Just jump in have a go and start easy. Building up to large scale interiors is far better than trying to start with them.
Nosferatu wrote: So I'm building the Italeri 1/72 AC-130 at the moment and to be fair the detail is...frugal to say the least . It got me thinking about scratch building. My skills are fairly non existant in this area. Obviously you need to have some decent subject references but are there any good books on the actual "How to?" of scratch building? And essential tools etc?
Not sure what you wish to scratch build, a plane, landscape, diorama, or all the abovel.
I am only a beginner, but here are some tips: The plane requires skills like ship builders, both start from a skeleton and finish with a skin. The skeleton has to be spot on or the skin will show all the faulty framework. The landscape requires much looking at the real thing, or photographs of. See the land close up as well as from a distance, especially distance, because all observers of your model will come from a distance. The diorama requires a drama of sorts. Funny, serious, shock, sadness, etc. It is the emotional aspect of your model. Must get into your own emotions about what you wish to present, and transfer that emotion into your model. The all the above requires knowledge and a good eye for composition, balance and harmony. Rearranging parts of a diorama (plane, landscape, figurines, choice of background, and even the display case/framing, becomes important. As Bishop said: "The main thing you need is a good eye". Psychologically, don't limit yourself by negativity from yourself or others. Remember, nothing is impossible, what seems impossible is only our lack of understanding of how it can be possible. Embrace challenge! Don't compromise! Don't always look for easier options, be prepared to go against the grain, where all the awesomeness comes from. Experiment. Do lots of experiments and tests first. Get the feel and confidence of what you want to achieve, then when you feel some confidence/certianity of what to do, then do it on your model. I use lots of test strips. Sketching is a means to testing. Draw your scene, or collect Internet images of a similar scene. Have these images and plans around you when working on your model. Research. I am still working on my first model for aver a year now. I still research the Internet on a daily basis. The first part of researching is to gather what you want to create. The second part of researching, which I feel most modellers lack, is for familiarity. If you want to build a diorama for a C-130 then you need to know everything about the C-130 (how it lands, takes off, length and width of runway, taxiing the plane, boarding the plane, air drops, etc. etc. This takes a lot of research. After a while you will get to know the C-130 so well, you will instinctively know how it ought to appear in your diorama. Skill set can take a long time, but here is a very important tip. Most skills people utilize are transferable. Example, I recently worked on some foam for the first time. My previous skills of using a knife for whittling, and a rasp file, on wood helped me to realize that those two methods could be used on foam. So I experimented on a test strip of foam. It worked wonders. Internet Teachers, and the current amount of DIY information and video clips is phenomenal. YouTube, and the like, is full of instructions. Forum members. ASK forum members how to do things, and ask for their opinions. If the advise /opinion sounds negative - take out what you can learn from it and ignore the rest! Books, are good for beginners, but never use one as a bible, or you will limit yourself. Keep researching. Don't forget to look into your local library, and even museums, and historical society. There are plenty of resources out there. I remember taking home DIY pamphlets from the hardware store. Secondhand bookshops with old magazines other than modelling 'popular mechanics' etc. Once again, keep researching! Materials, gather materials that could be used for scratch building. From doing all this continual research you will have in mind a plethora of images, shapes, sizes, textures, etc in your subconscious. So when you may go into a second-hand shop you may spot something that could be utilized. WARNING, don't let your pride get in the way. I once bought all the second-hand knitting needles at 10 cents each. Among them where all sizes of plastic and aluminium rods. Even made plastic screwdrivers from some of them for electronics.You won't believe what gems can be used. The local Salvation Army store throw out lots of broken and spoilt material, and toys, and fabric (for cleaning rags). All sorts of possibilities arise from such junk.
Hope some of these tips will be of help.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bishop, 1/35th Battalion, Nosferatu