SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Price increases a big incentive for scratchbuilding!

7817 views
25 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Price increases a big incentive for scratchbuilding!
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, January 31, 2011 8:36 AM

Boy, the prices I am seeing on some of the new kits seem like a big incentive for scratchbuilding.   Seems the prices are going up much faster than inflation. I suppose it could reflect declining value of dollar, but whatever the reason, it is sure an incentive to scratch build.

I used to do scratch projects more frequently in order to model a subject with no kit available.  I believe in the future the price of kits will be a major factor.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by Harshman II on Monday, January 31, 2011 8:51 AM

But I believe most of the scratchbuild stuff still involves lot of aftermarket PE or stuff which still cost lots of money..

I give you one example. A set of pit road USN and JSDMF pennant number decal set can cost $20 USD. It can almost buy a kit.

I seriously doubt most of the scratch build can achieved totally out of unwanted plastic and paper sheets.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:15 AM

Not for me,I have no scratch building talent !!

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Tornado Alley
Posted by Echo139er on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:26 AM

I know!  

I been out looking at kits trying to replenish the stash. I cant believe the prices!  I going to try something here.  I am going to buy cheap kits like AIRFIX.  I know they fall short on detail and fit, but it will give me the opportunity to build on the details myself and save me some money.  

We'll see how that goes.

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by Harshman II on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:33 AM

anthony2779

Not for me,I have no scratch building talent !!

With a heart and determination, you can do it too. Yes

I suggest go with warship first. They are the easiest to scratchbuild out of 3 catergories (ship,aircraft and armour)....

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:36 AM

Harshman II

 anthony2779:

Not for me,I have no scratch building talent !!

 

With a heart and determination, you can do it too. Yes

I suggest go with warship first. They are the easiest to scratchbuild out of 3 catergories (ship,aircraft and armour)....

Hey thanks for your endorsement  Yes,but I will be more selective on purchases,and work on the stash

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Neenah, WI
Posted by HawkeyeHobbies on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:38 AM

As a long time (really long) modeler I have accumulated a vast stash of spare parts, tools, decals and material to scratchbuild stuff. However, if you are just entering or were one who never foresaw the need to keep all those extra bits and didn't collect tools and material as well as kits along the way...you'll find acquiring all that you need more expensive in the short run versus purchase kits and aftermarket accessories.

Some out there can draw others can't properly put draw a stick figure well enough to play Hang Man. Those lacking creativity and good abstract design and mechanical reasoning will be challenged to scratchbuild even the simplest of items. Probably the reason they didn't stockpile the spares or salvage everything going into the trash for scale modeling resources.

Will more modelers do more with the resources they have on hand...yes to some point but as long as there are aftermarket parts and accessories they'll prioritize their purchases to continue to acquire said items. Old habits are hard to break...and many an old dog has no interest in learning new skills.

What does the increase in costs mean to me? An excuse, as if I need one, to delve into my spares stash to create more What-Ifs and Conceptual models!

I may return to working on my Project Joe...building a cockpit out of PVC pipe for a GI Joe figure...

Joe sits for a test fitting.

Ejection mechanism.

The seat gets fitted with its bang tubes?

Rudder pedals.

All this and more gets added to a piece of the appropriate diameter PVC pipe...including all of the other cockpit fixtures and plumbing. No plans...just imagineering.

 

 

 

 

Gerald "Hawkeye" Voigt

http://hawkeyes-squawkbox.com/

 

 

"Its not the workbench that makes the model, it is the modeler at the workbench."

  • Member since
    June 2010
  • From: Austin, TX
Posted by DoogsATX on Monday, January 31, 2011 10:31 AM

Don Stauffer

Boy, the prices I am seeing on some of the new kits seem like a big incentive for scratchbuilding.   Seems the prices are going up much faster than inflation. I suppose it could reflect declining value of dollar, but whatever the reason, it is sure an incentive to scratch build.

I used to do scratch projects more frequently in order to model a subject with no kit available.  I believe in the future the price of kits will be a major factor.

Which kits, exactly?

Sure, some newer kits cost a pretty penny, but for every Tamiya Spitfire (saw they've got a XIV coming out soon) or Tasca Sherman, there are still quite a few solid values to be had.

Over the past year, a few that spring to mind:

1/48 Zvezda Bf 109F-2 - got mine for $23 the week it came out

1/48 Eduard Hellcats - got the Hellcat Mk. I/II Dual Combo, two complete kits with PE, masks, tons of marking options, for $37

1/32 Cyber-Hobby Bf 109E-4 - Brilliant kit, excellent detail, PE, 5 marking options, $44.

1/32 RoG Arado Ar 196A-3 - $35

And these don't include the bargain Revellogram repops that cycle their way through.

Yeah, if you want all of your kits under $20, you're mostly SOL when it comes to new kits, but you can usually snap them up for a bargain at vendors' tables. 

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

Blog/Completed Builds: doogsmodels.com

 

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, January 31, 2011 10:50 AM

I think the main reason for the cost increases on kits is because plastic is made from petroleum products, and you know what's been going on in that market lately!  And the cost of a barrel of crude is now rising steadily because of the unrest in the Mid-East- again!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Neenah, WI
Posted by HawkeyeHobbies on Monday, January 31, 2011 11:24 AM

Cadet Chuck

I think the main reason for the cost increases on kits is because plastic is made from petroleum products, and you know what's been going on in that market lately!  And the cost of a barrel of crude is now rising steadily because of the unrest in the Mid-East- again!

Actually many mfrs will tell you that the plastic is cheap compared to the price of paper to make and print the boxes the kits are packaged in.

Tooling costs is the major cost at producing a kit. Transportation is another.

As a mfr I see the cost of shipping which increased again this year and will increase again as gas prices continue to rise. Carriers pass along fuel surcharges which make an otherwise affordable shipping fee, beyond acceptable for those already on a tight purchasing budget. It is a cost that has to be passed on to the consumer as there is less margin in the products themselves to absorb it.

 

Gerald "Hawkeye" Voigt

http://hawkeyes-squawkbox.com/

 

 

"Its not the workbench that makes the model, it is the modeler at the workbench."

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 9:17 AM

Harshman II

But I believe most of the scratchbuild stuff still involves lot of aftermarket PE or stuff which still cost lots of money..

I give you one example. A set of pit road USN and JSDMF pennant number decal set can cost $20 USD. It can almost buy a kit.

I seriously doubt most of the scratch build can achieved totally out of unwanted plastic and paper sheets.

Some of these new very expensive kits do not include PE anyway.  Even when I buy PE sets, I find I am spending considerably less on a scratch project than on a kit.  Also, when I build a scratch model, sometimes I can't find a specific PE set and buy generic railings and such.  In this case there is often enough PE in the set to do more than one model.  I also save all PE on ship-specific sets where I don't use it all because of options or whatever.  This gives me stuff to use on scratch projects.  So far PE is about all I buy for scratch ships other than rigging fittings for sail projects.  Again, the price of sailing ship models is high enough I still end up spending less.

BTW, I did buy one of those Micro Mark PE making sets. It did work, but making PE is still so much of a project I avoid it unless there are truly unique fittings that no commercial set has.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Harlan, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Posted by robtmelvin on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 11:58 AM

Personally, I've found myself keeping a supply of old 1/48 Revell war bird kits in my stash for several reasons, one of them being to have a platform to practice and polish my scratch building skills on fairly economical kits that, if I screw up, I don't get suicidal as I would screwing up an $80.00 top of the line kit.  Since they are pretty bare bones, particularly in the cockpit area, you can do a lot of playing around with different scratch building ideas.  I also find that those kits make good breaks during longer, more drawn out builds with lots of after market PE and/or resin which stretch out for weeks, or even months.  If I find myself bogging down in one of those epic builds I can pull an old Revell kit out of the stash, spend a weekend or several evenings on it and have a finished product.  For me, that usually helps to recharge my enthusiasm to get back to the epic build.

Bob

Just launched:  Revell 1/249 U.S.S. Buckley w/ after market PE and guns.

Building: Italieri 1/35 P.T. 596 w/ Lion Roar PE.

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 12:16 PM

Hi DON: That,s one of the reasons I try to do my ships in as built  condition . I will not, spend the money on any kit over a given price (usually$80.00 ) and then buy photo-etch too .  Some of the kits I have mentioned in this forum have been gifts that I would NOT have purchased , given the price . I prefer to scratch-build as that keeps the skills sharp and keeps me flexible as to the ability to build things . I have found that by scratch-building I will try things that I wouldn,t have some years back .  The real challenge in scratch-building is to find what works and what doesn,t . That,s how I found out about the practicality of empty medicine bottles and LEGOS . Yes I said LEGOS .They have parts and pieces that work well and keep a builder from getting bogged down making certain small parts. It,s true that scratch-building isn,t for everyone .  There are some model builders that really don,t want to go that far . Considering what you and I have probably built over the years in our particular categories ,  it,s easy to see why there aren,t more of us. It takes a certain personality to sit at the bench and do a work intensive project . That drives many would be scratch-builders away .That and doingALL the research !!   Well , DON keep on ,keeping on.      tankerbuilder

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:59 AM

tankerbuilder

  There are some model builders that really don,t want to go that far . Considering what you and I have probably built over the years in our particular categories ,  it,s easy to see why there aren,t more of us. It takes a certain personality to sit at the bench and do a work intensive project . That drives many would be scratch-builders away .

When I started modeling, kits were wood (before plastic era) and non-flying models (and ship models) were blocks of balsa  or basswood and un-tapered dowels.  So even if you only built kits, you were acquiring the skills that transferred to scratchbuilding.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2006
Posted by daiguma on Sunday, February 20, 2011 9:47 AM

Not really true. I wanted to build a 1/32 P47. I have 5 of Hasagawas' all 3 Trumpeters and a full resin kit and a boat load of aftermarket add-ons. Well I also have a couple of old Revell kits at about $5 each. So instead of building one of the shake-n-bakes or using a lot of aftermarket suff I decided to redo one of the Revells. Scratch built the whole cockpit, U/C and detailed the engine with epoxy putty, scrap plastic and brass bits. I also rescibed it and recontoured the tail, front end and cowl. In additiona I made/printed my own decals for a checker board tail and most of the other markings.

My goal was to build a kit with least amount of expense and to stretch my scratch building skills.

I have also built a couple of sci-fi ships using nothing but left over unwanted plastic. As I get older(46yrs) I find I want to do it my way('60's - '70's oldschool) and not far east/eastern Europe add ons. Not that that's bad, 'cause I have hundreds on beans invested in that stuff, it's just more fun to sctratch build and problem solve sometimes.

"Live life to the fullest and die without regrets"

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:11 PM

That's PVC?

You mean gutter pipe?

WOW!!!

How big is it?

James

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: between the computer and workbench
Posted by forest gump on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:38 PM
well, the local high school history class builds models, then i get to keep the scraps and parts, along with any models they dont want, so my scrap box is full for the moment. i just seem not to be able to find any use for some parts. On top of that, i have a few 1/76 and 1/72 scale kits just itching for me to make. my only problem seems to be paint. its five dollars per bottle of testors model master at my local hobby store right now. my wallet for modeling already has a burn hole from my last purchases, but checking on ebay you can find kits, only problem there is that they can be damaged
  • Member since
    March 2011
  • From: USA
Posted by Aeromedical on Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:36 AM

I see huge price differences in the different manufacturers.  I'm a civilian helicopter model builder and I always find reasonable prices with the Revell Germany line but the Dragon and Panda line in my opinion are rediculous.  I've been involved in mold design, part design and plastic processing in my career of all kinds and I just scratch my head sometimes.  I have lot's of theory as to why that are possible and lot's of questions.  Who knows.    I agree that embarking on scratchbuilding is not only fun but can also stand you out above the crowd making a model that's not out there for the general public.  I'll take model building over watching TV any day. 

John

-The more I'm around people, the more I prefer the company of birds and animals.

-It's sad when animals a far more forgiving than humans..

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:21 AM

HawkeyeHobbies

 Cadet Chuck:

I think the main reason for the cost increases on kits is because plastic is made from petroleum products, and you know what's been going on in that market lately!  And the cost of a barrel of crude is now rising steadily because of the unrest in the Mid-East- again!

 

Actually many mfrs will tell you that the plastic is cheap compared to the price of paper to make and print the boxes the kits are packaged in.

Tooling costs is the major cost at producing a kit. Transportation is another.

As a mfr I see the cost of shipping which increased again this year and will increase again as gas prices continue to rise. Carriers pass along fuel surcharges which make an otherwise affordable shipping fee, beyond acceptable for those already on a tight purchasing budget. It is a cost that has to be passed on to the consumer as there is less margin in the products themselves to absorb it.

 

Very true, and the cost per unit is the other major reason...the model companies have to sell a lot of any given kit to recoup their investment and then turn a profit, if they can't sell a lot of 'em then the price per unit has got to be high...despite what many of use modelers think, very few people (as a % of the general population) buy plastic model kits as compared to other items; ergo, they are going to be expensive, relatively...

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Third rock from the sun.
Posted by Woody on Sunday, September 4, 2011 11:24 AM

I can see where high kit prices would drive more people to scratchbuild. I still have several thousand kits in my stash but I haven't built a kit since 2005. I found it was the satifaction that drove me to scratchbuilding and oh yeah the money that pattern mastering brings is pretty nice too. Wink


" I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Saturday, December 10, 2011 10:32 AM

HAWKEYE has made some valid points here .As a manufacturer of 1/96 scale modern warship masts , radars and rails , I too have seen my costs to ship to the kit mfgr go up exponentially .The last time I shipped 40 rail units (they are 36 inches long) it cost me almost sixty bucks ! The BRASS I get from K&S has gone up too. When I see the price of a kit ,It helps me decide which stuff in my stash will go bye-bye To accomodate acquisition of the new kit . I don,t do this often , but , with 1/350 ships going for more than a c-note something,s gotta give ! I have some 1/700 stuff but the size is difficult for me (vision mainly) so I prefer 1/350. When I bought my last 1/700 kit I ws shocked at the price. The kit with the extra P.E. (TOM,S ) came to sixty five bucks !! I guess we won,t see reductions soon ,if at all . There are a lot of catalogue specials (they must not  be selling well and someone got overstocked ?) I guess I won,t buy as often . Maybe I will just buy P.E. when I need it and start building out of my stash.                   tankerbuilder

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 11, 2011 8:11 PM

hay woody, ssm has remade your baton rouge model and renamed it,  no cash to you?

  • Member since
    January 2011
Posted by Bugatti Fan on Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:18 AM

To date I have 2 scratchbuilt model cars under my belt, a Bugatti Type 29 in 1/16th scale, and the Andre Dubonnet Hispano Suiza H6C in 1/12th scale both of which took about 18 months each to build.

I have built quite a number of kits in my time, but wanted more of a challenge upon retiring. Scratchbuilding is not as difficult as it may seem. It is just that you have to have a different mind set and the patience to make every piece yourself so the timescale naturally is a lot longer. Also you need to get your head around how to actually make things to fit and what materials lend themselves best to it. Basically, you are making all the bits yourself to make a super detailed kit without instructions when you come to build the model.

It is difficult to describe the amount of satisfaction from doing a scratchbuilt as opposed to building from a kit. To be able to say 'I made that!' instead of someone else designing and making all the parts  in a kit  to put  together for me was a personal achievement.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:24 AM

Scatchbuilding was a lot more common in the pre-plastic days.  A static scale model was several hunks and sheets of balsa or basswood.  The fuselage was cut by saw to profile- the higher priced kits sometimes had fuselage sawed in planform too.  The kit usually included die-cut cardboard templates to help carve the fuselage cross section.  In the higher priced kits the wings and tail may have been cut to planform.  In the cheaper kits the wings and tail surfaces were rectangular pieces of sheet stock, usually quarter inch stock.  You were expected to carve the airfoil.

Model mags often had three views and articles about some scratch project, usually a project each month.  The work of building one of those wood scale models duplicated the skills needed for scratchbuilding, like carving, so scratch modeling was much more common then.

There are one or two companies that duplicate some of these old "solid model" kits.  If you want to learn how to scratchbuild an aircraft, I suggest you buy one or two of these kits.  Penn Valley Hobbies is about the only online/mail order firm that carries those kits- they do have a decent web site.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:42 AM

stik is the master of scratch building stuff. LOL!

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by detailer 1 on Saturday, November 29, 2014 6:38 AM

I do ho scale locomotives,yes a lot of the stuff is rtr with a big price.got into make whole bodies,frames,and parts need with resin.alot cheaper and easy to work with

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.