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Scratch building model is an art

8 replies
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  • Member since
    April 2013
Scratch building model is an art
Posted by Freemodeller on Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:10 AM

Hello everyone I am new in this community. My hobby started by scratch building aircraft model using paper 50 years ago, it becomes my job when I grow up. In my humble option, model marking is an art and I still try to perfect it. All my model are made from raw material, no CAD, no 3D painting, no injection molding Just hand made, very traditional so that I can it an art. Scratch building give me the freedom to produce kit of my specification,aircraft, ship or armor, big or small, working or static.

Although many model kit around today and some are very good, however most are still having problem in design accuracy, and many flying machine yet to be kit.

As a FREEMODELLER, I am free to build any thing I want as long as good reference available Benchmark for my model is very simple, at the end of the day it has to be look like the real thing in photograph, that's what I want just to please my eye. I hope more modelers will take up scratch building because it is very enjoyable. Attached here are photos of my scratch build helicopter model, hope you like it and thanks for looking.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 27, 2013 9:50 AM

I would say that any good modeling job is art, even stuff built from a kit.  I know modelers who spend as much time on a kit project as I do on some of my scratchbuilt stuff.  

My local art museum has a model ship in its collection- that is justification for me claiming models are art.  To me they are a subgenre of sculpture. While the ship in the museum is undoubtedly scratch built, in art the final appearance is the main criterion for beauty, regardless of the origins.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by RichO on Monday, April 29, 2013 1:48 PM

Don, 'nough said.

  • Member since
    April 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:51 PM

Darn tootin', Don


On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    May 2006
Posted by thunder1 on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 2:44 PM


What a beautiful helicopter, you might wish to share some photos of your building techniques (if not top secret LOL). I do a little scratch building, you are correct in your statement that it is an "ART".

In my experience through, most of the non-builders look at your work and ask if you bought it at Meglo Mart. Worse still, at a contest the kit building "judges" view your time consuming one- of- a- kind craft and consider it  on par with a "a kit". I've entered a few contests with scratch built models and never won anything, they don't put much store in a scratch build...or maybe the fix was in.

  • Member since
    September 2009
  • From: Guam
Posted by sub revolution on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 3:15 PM

Good point, thunder.

That being said, very nice work! I agree, I would like to know more about hows you did it. Especially how do you make the clear parts?



  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by Freemodeller on Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:10 AM

Hell everyone, thank you for your comment. I take part in modelling competition and win the award each time in the early day. But I decide to stop participating and think that's no fair to other because I consider my self a pro modeler. I was a judge for the model competition and that suit me well since I had much of the model working experience, knowing both kit build and scratch build.However after a few season I stop doing that because the loser away think their work had not been judge fairly, at the other end the winner think they are above all, no more spirit of competition, no more respect for other.

I can understand how frustrated if your scratch build model was not judge fairly. It is not easy for some one to appreciate your hard work  especially the judge never scratch build. I came across that.

Link for some of my picture:

Normally I don't take picture during the construction its just my routine, but I do take a few for reference.

My model which you see here are build from my own kit, using cast resin including the clear part. In fact I would said the clear part is the most challenging and difficult part to made.To made then you can do injection molding,vac form and casting,each has its pro and con and problem.For casting of clear resin. you need equipment and know how in order to cast then successfully. Once you able to do that,no aircraft you can not build especially for the helicopter has a lot of clear part.

Many modeler had ask me how to scratch build and It is quite difficult to explain the technical know how here. Perhaps to answer this is to write a complete manual on scratch building. But that will only happen when I stop building because I still discover new technique now and then.

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by Freemodeller on Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:12 AM

Link to my picture:

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by Freemodeller on Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:17 AM

My link:


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