scratch building tools & materials ?

10-17-2011, 09:24 PM
What tools & materials would you guys recommend for a beginner? I've done very little of it but would like to be able to start trying it out. Just wondering what kinds of things I should have on what do you commonly use, ect

10-18-2011, 05:41 AM
The usual model making tools like knives, files, and sandpapers, plus;
Various sizes and shapes of styrene sheet, pipe and rod by Evergreen, Plastruct and Tamiya.
K&S brass sheet, brass and aluminum pipes and rods
Tamiya basic putty, Tamiya epoxy putty, Bondo automotive body filler
Styrene glue, super glue and epoxy glue.
Bottled Mr. Surfacer 500 and 1000, and Mr. Surfacer 1200 spray

10-18-2011, 08:56 AM
What sizes of styrene do you use a lot? I bought some sheets of .060 thick but it seems hard to work with. If I order some stuff I'd like to make sure I cover the bases ;)

10-18-2011, 02:39 PM

I use 0.5mm (0.02") as my stock go-to styrene sheet - it cuts easily enough with a knife, snips, compass-cutter, etc, but it's stiff and strong enough to be 'structural'. I use a little 0.25mm too, but - for my 1/8 projects - it's more for adding variety or getting a specific effect. The thickest sheet I've used is 1mm, but even this is getting hard to work with - it has it's uses, though!

Personally, I don't use a lot of brass sheet, but I agree that a selection of brass and ali tube / rod can be very useful. I've used aluminium knitting needles as raw material, and fire-extinguisher flexible hose too! Whatever I could find to do the job! A selection of small-diameter cable and wire is also worth having - whether you scavenge this from old computers or hi-fi's or not is up to you!

A compass-cutter is good for making larger discs, but a hand-held punch with a rotary head has proved extremely useful. It covers from 2mm to 4.5mm, and I'm now on my second one! You can get sets of individual hand punches, but I wouldn't necessarily rate these as an essential purchase when starting out.

Have fun!


10-18-2011, 03:50 PM
Just the kind of info I'm looking for, thanks!

10-19-2011, 04:02 PM
Also don't get trapped into the thinking that scratchbuilding has to start with stock from a shelf. So many everyday household items have scale value, from blister packs to paperclips.

10-19-2011, 04:50 PM
your phantasy and the little things people uses to trash ;)

the rest is just super glue....

10-19-2011, 06:03 PM
Yup, I'm always keeping my mind open to using everyday items. I think the compass cutter sounds good as well as thinner sheets the the .060 stuff I tried. Not yet sure what I need to scratch build yet, but I've just started a big project, so it'd be nice to have some mat'l & tools handy ;)

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