Model railway scratchbuilding and kitbashing

Peter C

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Now - I've spent all day staring at bits of paper and track on a layout baseboard, so I've gone a bit barmy. If this isn't coherent, that's why. ;)

Earlier I was cutting up bits of card boxes to create sheets which could then be used for scratchbuilding when I next get a grand idea to build something massive from the ground up. It got me thinking: how many others on here scratchbuild their own buildings - or even engines or rolling stock? I've seen those done before and they look really cool.
For those who don't know, scratchbuilding is a railway modelling (and probably miniature modelling in general) term used to describe building something from scratch, often using materials such as plasticard or wood. Materials can also include card, cardboard, and paper, which are my personal favourites as they're easy to source (well that depends how many breadsticks and boxes of cereal you eat really, but that's beside the point).

This could also be expanded to include kitbashing (i.e. the process of modifying kits to produce a desired and custom end result). Have you ever kitbashed? Do you know someone who has? Do share! Having spent quite a while trawling through the interwebs, turns out there's quite a sizable community out there focusing on kitbashing/modifiying Triang "Nellie" models, Dapol "Pugs", and Hornby "Smokey Joes" into all sorts of custom designs. I'd be really interested to hear if anyone on here has turned one engine into another in this way. Kitbashing card kits also counts. :)

-Peter
 
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Joshua483

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Now - I've spent all day staring at bits of paper and track on a layout baseboard, so I've gone a bit barmy. If this isn't coherent, that's why. ;)

Earlier I was cutting up bits of card boxes to create sheets which could then be used for scratchbuilding when I next get a grand idea to build something massive from the ground up. It got me thinking: how many others on here scratchbuild their own buildings - or even engines or rolling stock? I've seen those done before and they look really cool.
For those who don't know, scratchbuilding is a railway modelling (and probably miniature modelling in general) term used to describe building something from scratch, often using materials such as plasticard or wood. Materials can also include card, cardboard, and paper, which are my personal favourites as they're easy to source (well that depends how many breadsticks and boxes of cereal you eat really, but that's beside the point).

This could also be expanded to include kitbashing (i.e. the process of modifying kits to produce a desired and custom end result). Have you ever kitbashed? Do you know someone who has? Do share! Having spent quite a while trawling through the interwebs, turns out there's quite a sizable community out there focusing on kitbashing/modifiying Triang "Nellie" models, Dapol "Pugs", and Hornby "Smokey Joes" into all sorts of custom designs. I'd be really interested to hear if anyone on here has turned one engine into another in this way. Kitbashing card kits also counts. :)

-Peter
I some times do but normally not. I have made a distance signal into a fixed distance signal, the kit in question was a ratio kit.
 

Peter C

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I some times do but normally not. I have made a distance signal into a fixed distance signal, the kit in question was a ratio kit.
Ah interesting - a fairly straightforward conversion, I assume, but still useful and enjoyable I expect. :)

-Peter
 

Joshua483

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Ah interesting - a fairly straightforward conversion, I assume, but still useful and enjoyable I expect. :)

-Peter
It was because I broken part of the signals pivot so I made it a fixed distance in a few hours. The fixed distance I plan to make a heritage and mainland model railway with colour signal and by having a fixed distance it will let me have a more prototypal terminus style interchange station.
 

Cowley

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Yes I think I’ve probably made about three quarters of the buildings on my layout from scratch and the rest are made from kits although they’ve pretty much all been altered in some way or other to personalise them.
Some of the ones I made first I’d like to improve upon at some point but I’m still thinking about how to do that.
 

Peter C

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Yes I think I’ve probably made about three quarters of the buildings on my layout from scratch and the rest are made from kits although they’ve pretty much all been altered in some way or other to personalise them.
Some of the ones I made first I’d like to improve upon at some point but I’m still thinking about how to do that.
I was thinking of your layout when I wrote that original post @Cowley - you've really done an excellent job on your buildings: even more so considering they're N gauge and the detail on them is tiny!
Improving existing buildings has got me stumped (not surprising really, most things do): I suppose it depends on what needs doing and how you made the building originally. If it's a wooden design, it might be harder to change than something made out of card I guess. What kind of improvements were you thinking of making (if you've got that far)?

-Peter
 

BRblue33

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I'm replacing most of the old card kits that was on the layout. Like superquick made back in the 1990's. Plus some Scalescene kits. I now use Slaters Plasticard or Wills plastic sheet. There are a few Wills kits as well they take a while to build Not a easy kit to make. Wills pub kit 1617809527261.png
 
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Peter C

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I'm replacing most of the old card kits that was on the layout. Like superquick made back in the 1990's. Plus some Scalescene kits. I now use Slaters Plasticard or Wills plastic sheet. There are a few Wills kits as well they take a while to build Not a easy kit to make. Wills pub kit View attachment 94006
That looks really good @BRblue33 - although if it's a pain to make than I expect you might not see it in the same way! :)

-Peter
 

Cowley

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I was thinking of your layout when I wrote that original post @Cowley - you've really done an excellent job on your buildings: even more so considering they're N gauge and the detail on them is tiny!
Improving existing buildings has got me stumped (not surprising really, most things do): I suppose it depends on what needs doing and how you made the building originally. If it's a wooden design, it might be harder to change than something made out of card I guess. What kind of improvements were you thinking of making (if you've got that far)?

-Peter

Thanks for saying that, it’s always nice to have a bit of positive feedback.
I’d never really made much before apart from the odd retaining wall out of wood and brick paper so the first thing I did was make the station building which was two cheap Kestrel kits cobbled together and butchered. That turned out quite well so the next thing I tackled was the bridge at the Exeter end of the platform and I made that out of balsa wood and Slaters plasticard that I bought from my local model shop.
As it went on I found that I built a stockpile of various bits and pieces so that I can make stuff out of just odds and ends now and I suppose I’ve improved as I’ve gone along too.

The warehouse buildings have a few issues including the fact that some of the fronts are just printed and I’d like to make the windows more 3D. Unfortunately there’s about 22 windows over two of the buildings that need tackling and I’m still trying to come up with a plan that’s achievable with my skills!
 

Peter C

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Thanks for saying that, it’s always nice to have a bit of positive feedback.
You're very welcome :D

I’d never really made much before apart from the odd retaining wall out of wood and brick paper so the first thing I did was make the station building which was two cheap Kestrel kits cobbled together and butchered. That turned out quite well so the next thing I tackled was the bridge at the Exeter end of the platform and I made that out of balsa wood and Slaters plasticard that I bought from my local model shop.
We seem to have started out in scratchbuilding in similar ways then - I originally made a few small things and then went up to the big engine shed. I remember reading about your progress in making the station building in your layout thread.

As it went on I found that I built a stockpile of various bits and pieces so that I can make stuff out of just odds and ends now and I suppose I’ve improved as I’ve gone along too.
I think that happens to everyone who starts scratchbuilding: I've got a Frosties cereal box full of bits of card just waiting to be used in some random project!

The warehouse buildings have a few issues including the fact that some of the fronts are just printed and I’d like to make the windows more 3D. Unfortunately there’s about 22 windows over two of the buildings that need tackling and I’m still trying to come up with a plan that’s achievable with my skills!
I wonder if you could add some detail/relief to the fronts of the warehouses by using plasticard strips? I seem to remember the buildings (or one of them at least) had some sort of mock-Tudor design to it, and maybe putting some bits of plasticard on to make those lines stand out could work? Though having said that, mock-Tudor buildings tend to have the timbers set into the wall, so how that would work I don't know.
I've seen people use black card behind windows to make them look decent from a distant without the need for an interior, so that could maybe be something? That or little bits of plasticard around the edges to form the frames. :)

-Peter
 

Cowley

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How do you make good looking platforms for a BR southern Region layout?

Well Peco do the concrete platform edging (along with other SR concrete stuff) in both N and 00 gauge:

It’s pretty easy to use and looks good. All you need to do is make the rest of the platform up which can be achieved in various different ways.
Have you made a platform up before?
 

Peter C

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How do you make good looking platforms for a BR southern Region layout?
Well Peco do the concrete platform edging (along with other SR concrete stuff) in both N and 00 gauge:

It’s pretty easy to use and looks good. All you need to do is make the rest of the platform up which can be achieved in various different ways.
Have you made a platform up before?
Metcalfe also make a card platform kit, which could be used for the top of the platform: https://www.metcalfemodels.com/product/po235-00-h0-stone-platform-kit/

-Peter
 

BRblue33

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There looks to be some other good things available on there as well - thanks for sharing. :)

-Peter
No problem we all need to help out if we can. The scalescene models are good. You need to add some extra detail just to finish them off like gutters. Alf
 
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