Scratch building detail was something that I used to avoid. It wasn’t a fear of messing up really. It was more of a lack of ideas. I’d see some thing I wanted to replicate, but I’d just look at it, and think “where do I even start?”
A friend solved the dilemma for me with some very simple, practical advice. It was so simple I had a genuine Homer Simpson “DOH”! moment.
He simply said “Look at the individual shapes. Just make those.”
Yeah…. you’re thinking “Duh, how hard is that?” And I agree with you. But I’m not Captain Obvious. I’m more like Colonel Oblivious. My mastery of overlooking the obvious is quite refined.
But as soon as he said it, suddenly that part that had seemed a mass of complexity became two cylinders, a rectangle, some triangles, and a bit of wiring.
How hard is that?
Scratch Building Detail
Now, I did find it helps to equip yourself with some basic items. Knives and scribers are a must. A pin vise drill helps, and a punch and die set are quite nice too. Scribing templates help keep things need. And a wide assortment of plastic card and rod, in various thicknesses and diameters is a must.
Of course, there are plenty of other tools and material that are available. But those basics will carry a modeler quite far. Add in various bits and bobs from the spares box, and you have quite a wide range of options available.
The rest is just cutting out shapes, and then fitting it all together. In so many ways it takes me back to younger days playing with my Lego blocks. Back when I was a kid we pretty much had squares and rectangles. But given enough imagination, those little things could be slapped together into so many wonderful little creations.
That’s really what I love about this hobby. No matter where I start, I’m always transported back to my childhood. And as long as 10-year-old Jon is happy, I’m happy.
Take a look at other topics in the Basic Skills Series.
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