1/300 scratch building ( Why and how )

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sergei S 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #166682

    invisible officer
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    I was asked about scratch building. , there are many reasons for scratch building.

    The most obvious one is that many interesting vessels are not available commercially.

    Another is fun, yes, I’m one of those crazy peoples that like building a model from research to finished model. Not just assembling one out of the box.

    Not to forget detail. Commercial wargaming models tend to be designed for rough handling and easy casting. That is an advantage for many but I prefer a more delicate type of models. I add details to the commercial ones anyway, so why not doing the rest too?

    Well, I did only models not available by Warlord.

    Hmm, a secret. 😉 There is another advantage: Price. The material for all my scratch built 1/300 WW II and Napoleonic naval costed less than 50 pounds. And there is a lot left for more models.

    I need no special tools. A saw, files, sand paper, a modelling knife, things the average wargamer owns.

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    #166686

    invisible officer
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    The reason for that thread is to encourage you all to try it.
    OK, scratch building is not for the lazy or the few with two left thumbs. But it is far easier than many think. Start with something simple. Like a pontoon or something else that has no complicated shape.

    Following research I normally start with doing 1/300 deck and side plans.

    Many I draw myself but you find plans in books and internet.
    If I got ready made plans I have to bring them to 1/300. For that I go a simple way, I use my computer with Word.
    Scan or photo is inserted in Word page. For that I set the page on screen so that it shows the page in true size. My printer is set on A4 and so I check on monitor with an A4 sheet of paper. On my Laptop it’s not 100% but 105%. Just try.

    Now I use a 1/300 ruler to bring the picture/plan on monitor to 1/300 scale. (I know the length in meter the item has in reality and the ruler is in meter in 1/300)
    Then I can print it.

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    #166688

    invisible officer
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    Normally I do the hull in Balsa wood. A rough sketch of the shape, cut out with saw, knife and files. Later sandpaper. If I take away too much, no problem. One can ever add material with wood filler, I use water based one by CLOU.
    I also use cardboard. From the litter box, the printed one from some sweets is ideal. (And the chocolate helps in research and building….) Others use plastic sheet. But in hobby shop here it is expensive and not better.
    For some designs I use metal foil. It too comes from stuff in the litter box. Today toothpaste comes in plastic but other stuff still comes in that metal foil.
    Scratch builders use to check carefully before throwing something into the litter box. Call it recycling and your wife will accept it.

    My masts are made from wire, plastic and wood sticks. Warlord offers a range of guns, I often do the guns by scratch.

    My assembled model gets a washing with wood filler. It closes small gaps and makes the surface more smooth.

    Sandpaper and file makes it even more smooth. Followed by a washing with white wood glue and a bit more sandpaper use and the model is ready for priming.

    Everything from now on is done like with commercially plastic or resin models.

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    #166693

    invisible officer
    Participant

    The main problem with scratch models is acceptance by the other gamers. The model is not from the company and you have no official datacard? Heresy! Bring the soft cushions!

    For my friends that is no problem. But at “official” games it may be.

    My pals would moan if someone brings a model that is not good enough to make clear at first glimpse what ship it is. Like the first ones I did long ago. But they would also moan if someone comes with a badly built and painted commercially one. We are a bunch of nerds.

    You and your friends decide what you like. Just try it!

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    #166697

    Corso
    Participant

    Great post!

    I confess of being a nerd too……and proud of it!

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    #167424

    Sergei S
    Participant

    Nothing wrong with scratch built. I did some models, mostly ot of metal, so I can cast them too. With ships it is harder, since they are sometimes larger, so basswood and otyher materials are fine. I sell a line of ships in 1:2400 for predreadnaught, all are metal castings, but those are much smaller. My problem now is with time availability. Working 70-75 hr weeks can be taxing. Now I have a month respite, so started painting again. Plus my other hobby and house stuff. Have some projects in mind, hope to get to them before more work starts.

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