It’s a verb that means to build a scale model of (something) from scratch, that is, from raw materials. I use polystyrene sheet, rod and tube, aluminium and brass sheet, rod and tube, steel wire (on rare occasions) and phosphor bronze wire to build models or parts of models from scratch. If you’ve never created a model from your own imagination, or of something no one else makes, there is a joy when you complete it. You build skills, use new tools, learn new techniques, solve problems and create solutions. Making art and science work together is what scratchbuilding is all about for me.

Why would I do that?

There are many reasons why you’d go down the path toward becoming a scratchbuilder.  Among these may be:

  • The part you must have, yes that critical part without which your model is not complete, well no one makes it, or is ever likely to make it, commercially
  • Costs are prohibitive, and this is true whether for a single part, many parts or a whole kit
  • You want to build your modelling skills with a new material

If you ever meet these modelling challenges then it’s likely that it’s off to the scratchbuilding races you go. Here I’ll be posting builds using the techniques described above.


  • Using junk and old kit parts to build starships

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