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Scratchbuilders!: Armor/AFV
This is a group for armor scratchbuilding questions, topics and projects.
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Scratchbuilding Starter Kit? + project
Thivi11
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 12, 2011
KitMaker: 219 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 02:56 AM UTC
I'm looking for a helping hand from all you fantastic scratchbuilders out there!

I want to put together a Scratchbuiding Starter Kit of sorts for myself, basically consisting of various sheets of different thickness styrene, maybe a textured piece, and some different gauge styrene rods for fuel lines, electrical, etc etc.

My Osprey Masterclass: Armour Modelling book has a section on a build where someone uses 20-thou rod for certain details so that's one thing to get this "kit" list started.

My question is what are the usual thicknesses of styrene used? And what gauge rods are usually used? I do have some copper wire, and metal gardening wire but would like to expand my scratchbuilding skills.

The first use for this "building kit" will be to make an M51 quad .50 trailer:


I have a leftover quad mounted .50 from an M16 Gun Motor Carriage project that was abandoned and I'd like to scratch the trailer. Either the dual-axle trailer or the single, not sure yet. I have read some great tutorials in the Masterclass book on making weld beads and numerous other things that I'd like to put into practice!

Thanks for all your help expanding my skills!
It is GREATLY appreciated!
windysean
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: September 11, 2009
KitMaker: 1,917 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 03:38 AM UTC
I scratchbuild some. What I find I use the most are my cutting mat with grid lines for help in getting square corners, a metal straight-edge (a 6" ruler in my case) to pull a #11 hobby knife (or scalpel) along when cutting shapes. When you butt your styrene shapes together, reinforce behind the corners with square-section lengths. I don't often use round rods-- square or rectangular as matches the size of the original, or to build a framework.
I also tend to work on a sheet of graph paper on my desktop, so I can jot down notes or sketch out shapes to build against.
I hope that's some of what you were looking for!
Cheers!
-Sean.
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
Joined: March 05, 2004
KitMaker: 3,784 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 04:14 AM UTC
yes, what he said ^

and when I scratch build, it is usually as accurate as my own drawings which were logical visual, close enough, estimates. So with that said I use a range of thicknesses of styrene from .010 - .020 - .030 - .040

then for thicker materials, I'll start cutting up old audio cassette tapes* and tape cases for the square angles and flat parts. These were all various acrylic plastic blends similar to 'Plexi-Glass" or clear parts in car kits. CD jewel cases are a similar material

don't forget various other detail parts sources from products such as disposable lighters, mechanical pens, etc...



Thivi11
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 12, 2011
KitMaker: 219 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 06:14 AM UTC
[quoteSo with that said I use a range of thicknesses of styrene from .010 - .020 - .030 - .040[/quote]

This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks so much!

Thanks also for all the tips!

Any other ideas are welcome...
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
AeroScale: 25 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 09:50 AM UTC
Well jaredt all the thicknesses of styrene could be useful. In my opinion you should add to the list 0,6 and 0,8 mm for the structural parts (which have to do stiffer than the others) and sometime I use also a sheet 2mm thick (which is very hard to cut...)

Also all the roads could be useful it depends on the model that you're going to depict. Don't forget that they are on sale also roads with different shapes like T, C , L ,H. For many detail reproductions they are irreplaceable

Other important stuff for a scratch builder are the epoxy putty, a professional CA glue, Epoxy glue (for stronger bonding) metal sheets, wires...

To work in a cheaper way you can use also plastic parts used in packagings or obtained from "junk" objects. There are a lot of ithems that you can recycle in your projects. Be creative!

You have just to pay attention to the type of plastic that the item was made.

For exemple you can't glue or paint PP or PET (Polypropylene and Polyethylene) so they don't are useful for your needs
You can bond with CA glue or epoxy the PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
PS (Polystyrene) are the best plastic to use (actually all the kit are made from Polystyrene)


Usually packaging are labeled with a tag which show the kind of plastic.
if you don't know what kind of plastic was used for a part that you would use, you should make a very easy test: apply a drop of plastic glue on the object and look at the effects; if plastic melts, the material is Ok. If glue don't damage the object, you'll throw away...

About glues, look at this armorama tread

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=173970&page=1

It could be very useful for you





FAUST
#130
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: June 07, 2002
KitMaker: 8,797 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 10:34 AM UTC
Well if you want to start scratching you never can go wrong with Evergreen. I think I have most sizes and shapes and thicknesses. Everytime i visit a shop that has it in stock I will take 1 or 2 packages with me and so the collection grows.
A good knife like a Exacto 11 is a definate YES to have.
Furthermore copperwire like what florists use. Available in several thicknesses. And very cheap. Wire as thick as a hair can be found in electronic appliances.
Have several glues. My favorite for glueing styrene to styrene is Tamiya Extra thin. For all the rest I pretty much use CA glue.
A good sharp pointed tweezer
A fibreglass pen to attack gluestains
Watchmakers files
A ruler
A good pencil

Above is pretty much what I usually use when I am working on a scratch/Kitbash/Detail project. well that and a lot of reference. And my two hands those are still my best tools... and i have them for a long time
Thivi11
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 12, 2011
KitMaker: 219 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 11:56 AM UTC
Thanks everyone for the responses!

Here's my starter kit as it stands now:

Evergreen Styrene Sheets:
=> .010 - .040mm thick
=> .6 and .8mm for structural strength
=> various gauges of square and round rods
+ a selection of shapes I see fit (T, L, H, C)

Tools:
=> sharp tweezers (a set of cross action should be at my house any day)
=> fiberglass pen
=> look at epoxies

I have some knives and blades, a couple nice steel rulers, pencils(grease pencils are great too, also called China Pens), and a set of sharpies. I also have liquid cement (Tamiya extra-thin) and some CA.

Anything else I'm missing?

I had hoped this thread might be useful for others just getting into scratchbuilding as well so let's keep it going!

As another note; how do you do all your calculations for size and lengths of things etc? Does someone have an easy formula for figuring out if its to scale or not?

I know this is probably an easy equation that I could figure out on my own but I'd like to know for sure I've got it right, rather than build something that's 5mm too big on every side!

THANKS AGAIN! ALL THIS INFO IS GREAT!
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 06:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text


As another note; how do you do all your calculations for size and lengths of things etc? Does someone have an easy formula for figuring out if its to scale or not?

I know this is probably an easy equation that I could figure out on my own but I'd like to know for sure I've got it right, rather than build something that's 5mm too big on every side!




Well, actually is easy Jaredt. You have just to multiply or divide

For exemple if the actual lenght of the trailer that you're going to reproduce is 1600 mm (1.60 meters) you'll divide 1600 by 35 to obtain the scale lenght. (about 45,7 mm). Otherwise if your sheet is for exemple 0,8 mm thick, to obtain the actual size you'll have to multiply 0,8 mm by 35 (28 mm, 2,8 cm) and so on
But anyway, usually you don't have to calculate, you have just to follow (or to do...) good technical drawings in scale
If you're lucky you'll find drawings in 35 scale.
Otherwise youll'have to resize (doing scaled copy, using a computer or re-drawing) your blueprints. To do that you'll use as references the quotes..


Or (...bad luck indeed) just the dimensional datas which you know
Pics will be useful to reproduce the details

Cheers
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
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Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 08:52 PM UTC
A last important thing to know
Looking for references for your projects you could find drawings with dimensional quotes in inches or in mm
Probably you'll need to convert the dimensional datas from inches to mm and vice versa

Remember:

1 inches = 25.4 millimeters
1 millimeter = 0.0393700787 inches

Anyway you can find some useful conveters on internet

http://www.convertunits.com/from/mm/to/inches

http://www.convertunits.com/from/inches/to/mm

http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/inches-to-millimeters.htm

http://www.industrial-enclosures.com/html/inch-mm-calculator.html

http://mdmetric.com/tech/cvtcht.htm

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/inches-mm-conversion-d_751.html

Thivi11
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 12, 2011
KitMaker: 219 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, April 04, 2011 - 12:12 AM UTC
Awesome, thanks a lot Mauro.

I just started my Schwimmwagen wreck(the one from the Swedish forest) and an scratching most of the interior bits. I have tons of photos and will post some progress shots to see how I'm doing soon!

I've run into another problem. Because I'll be ordering my stock from SprueBrothers, and there are no pictures of the items, I do not know what I'm ordering.

For instance, there are many thickness sheets(thats easy), then there are "strips" that are measured .020 x .040 (I do not know what shape this is, or how big). I have on my list what everyone has suggested I get, but not measurements.

I know this is annoying I'm sure as if I was at a LHS I would be able to just look at it and decide whether I needed it or not. Please lend a hand!
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2011 - 03:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text


For instance, there are many thickness sheets(thats easy), then there are "strips" that are measured .020 x .040 (I do not know what shape this is, or how big). I have on my list what everyone has suggested I get, but not measurements.



Inch or mm?

Anyway they are strips with rectangular cross section


Here you can find what is on sale

http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/index.htm

http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/Shapes.htm

http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/Strips.htm

http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/Sheets.htm

http://www.plastruct.com/

http://www.plastruct.com/Pages/Catalog.html#DL

http://www.plastruct.com/picat/PLAIN_PATTRND_SHTS_9.pdf

http://www.plastruct.com/picat/STRCTURAL_SHAPES_FTGS_9.pdf

http://www.plastruct.com/picat/STRIP_ROD_9.pdf

As you can see Plastruct company has more items than Evergreen

cheers
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - 08:34 PM UTC
Hi Jaredt

If I were you i'd look at the Nige's posts

http://www.armorama.com/user.php?op=userinfo&uname=okdoky

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=search&sortby=&req=result&page=1&srchfid=all&srchuname=okdoky&srchterms=any&srchtxt=&srchin=both&startedby=me&totalposts=1003

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=171690#1441269

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=161240#1353620

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=155238#1301225

In my opinion he's one of the best scratchbuilders here on the site, you can learn a lot following his treads

cheers

Samantha99
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Alabama, United States
Joined: September 02, 2019
KitMaker: 2 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, September 02, 2019 - 06:57 AM UTC
Yeah! I use MM to Inches for conversion
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 443 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Monday, September 02, 2019 - 08:54 AM UTC
Tamiya Craft Tool Series No.91 P Cutter

https://www.amazon.com/Tamiya-Kraft-cutter-Plastic-74091/dp/B01LXPHFMY

you'll find it handy.

this, too:

Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper (or similar)

https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-01407A-Electronic-Digital-Stainless/dp/B000GSLKIW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=dial+caliper&qid=1567457567&s=gateway&sr=8-5

you don't need a 200$ caliper. we're not doing rocket surgery.
Samantha99
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Alabama, United States
Joined: September 02, 2019
KitMaker: 2 posts
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2019 - 07:41 PM UTC
Yes they have become old. Here is the faster one - MM to Inches MM to Inches
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 443 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2019 - 02:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

ordering my stock from SprueBrothers, and there are no pictures of the items...



the manufacturers website can help, and you can print to benchside reference: https://evergreenscalemodels.com/

I have found plastruct to be grainy like 3d printed parts. and save yourself some headaches and don't buy the gray stuff - it's pvc I believe. and you'll need different solvent.

for good service & selection, try Scale Hobbyist: https://www.scalehobbyist.com/index.php in new Hampshire, USA.

I've ordered from Sprue Brothers and they are not the most communicative, moderately priced, or quick to ship company I've ever dealt with - you can read between the lines.

Michigan Toy Soldier https://www.michtoy.com/ is also a good company to trade. they will price match if you can support your claim. send them an email first and establish a relationship.

good luck; it's a journey!
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 443 posts
AeroScale: 15 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 01:44 PM UTC
I thought some good information here:

http://www.rebelscale.com/techniques/scratch-building-basics/
lone-ronin
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Mississippi, United States
Joined: January 31, 2006
KitMaker: 147 posts
AeroScale: 13 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 03:51 PM UTC
A small machinist's square and an inexpensive set of digital calipers. Most will do conversions between fraction and metric, as well in thousandths of an inch. They are useful for scribing sheet styrene as well.