I enjoy scratchbuilding. It’s a mental as much as engineering or artistic endeavour. I recently found the site highlighted today and just had to share this for those of you unsure how to begin or for those who’ve begun but need along their scratchbuilding journey.
While this site deals with cars, and car related projects, the series of tutorials provide a great set of skills totally applicable to all modellers.
It includes extensive styrene tutorials in both flat and curved surface projects and there’s another outstanding tutorial on a project in brass. And this guy knows his scratchbuilding business.
There are downloadable templates, lists of tools and supplies to complete the model; in all a very comprehensive site and full of ideas for those of us interested in bettering our scratchbuilding skills. I learned a lot from reading all the tutorials.
As the author makes note of on his website: “Styrene when used to represent wood in the model world eliminates the limitations of wood. Wood has its own grain and color. Styrene is a blank palette which can be manipulated“. I agree with his sentiment wholeheartedly.
Site 1: Making styrene look like aged wood
This great tutorial shows you how to use plastic card to simulate wood in many ways. It’s a great tutorial and worth the time to read.
Cutting Costs and Styrene
The costs of buying sheet styrene has gone up a lot recently. Let me say that I love my Evergreen styrene; I could not model what I model without them. I recently updated and added to my modelling stash of shapes for upcoming projects. Luckily I found a local supplier who is among the cheapest in Victoria for Evergreen.
However, when you need a lot of sheet styrene buying multiple packs of 40 thou (1.0 mm) and 20 thou (0.5 mm) styrene gets expensive very quickly. A business friend bought the local plastic company here in town a couple of years ago and he has these thicknesses of styrene I use most often (called HIPS in the trade in Australia) available in 8′ x 4′ (1200 x 2400 mm) sheets. At around $A22.00 for that size of 20 thou sheet and double that for 40 thou sheet you can see that there is some serious savings to be had buying that way.
Site 1: General Plastics Ballarat [+ Link]
Dale, the owner of General Plastic in Ballarat, is always helpful to modellers and a lot of modellers use his services to get what they need in the Western Victorian region. Dale has a full set of products and can get whatever you need. More importantly Dale has added a Laser Cutter and can cut whatever you need directly from your CAD file. If you live close by drop in and say hello.
Site 2: Harper’s Hobbies and Collectibles [+ Link]
Harper’s’ Hobbies in Wendouree is becoming a really great place to visit. Ballarat is not short of good model sellers. What makes the difference is that Harper’s has the basics you need to scratchbuild, along with a really good tool choice. That makes a difference. Also they have begun to stock the Warhammer 40K range of kits that my son is right into.
While the sites are really Western Victorian focused today, perhaps you’d like to share your favourite modelling suppliers. Leave a comment and share.
If you buy larger sheets of styrene, one big problem is storage. Here’s what I do:
- Cut the sheet into 4 pieces across the sheet with shears of large scissors
- Using plastic clamps, join all four sheets to keep them under control.
- That way when you need it you simply cut off what you need, and then rehang the remaining pieces.
Talk to you later.