Discussion in 'Introductions' started by AbsoluteSciFi, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member


    I am a SCRATCH-BUILDER. I design, or draw, then build my model from by hand from scratch. I don't use models, hardly any, not even for greeblies. Most of my parts are scavenged out of the trash, bottle caps, or medical supplies, every so often I take apart an old VCR, watch or some other electronic... but the main structure of my model is always made custom. I only have interest in realistic futuristic space craft.

    I began modeling in the late 80's to early 90's, using card stock and cardboard. All my models since have evolved up to what I am doing now.

    This is the GlassDragon model that I finished in February, which is also featured at Starshipmodeler, where it won first place under the "scratch" catagory of the "JustGlueIt" contest.




    This is my last finished build, and others are on the way...
  2. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    Something seems to be wrong with this post- this is a test... see if it works this time...

    I am a scratchbuilder with a passion for science fiction. I enjoy making my own designs and building them from scratch, I don't use anything other than my talents to make the structure for my models. I started off making models from only bristol, card stock, illustration board and Elmer's glue. I love making paper models, but find the multi-media more fluid for my design needs these days.

    This is one of my last completed models, The GlassDragon, as some of you might have seen elsewhere on the web.



    I will upload images of things I have done in paper later.
  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Active Member

    Thats really good! What do you use on the finish to give it that great look? It sure doesnt look like normal printed paper. Paints?
  4. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    No- this is my most recent work, it is not paper- it is made on a plywood base, and ribbed with paint sticks and expanding foam, then skinned by sheet styrene. My old works, that ARE paper, are made with illustration board and then painted... quite frankly, I cannot tell the difference in my work unless you get really close. In the GlassDragon, you can see the influence that making folded models has had in my construction of the nose area.
  5. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Active Member

    Really? How do you shape the styrene? never worked with it myself so no idea...
  6. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    The styrene is a lot like paper, but harder. I think of it like the structural version of paper. It glues up nicely with superglue, and bonds forever to itself using superglue. So, if you have a curved form, you can bend the styrene to conform by gluing it into place. All the panels on top of the model are glued using superglue and pressing them down and holding till the glue cures, which is about instantly.

    Most modelers, (plastic modelers) are using sheet styrene to augment their models, and the kit models themselves are usually made from a type of styrene. There are three types of kits: styrene injected, resin molded, vacuformed (usually styrene). Resin kits are mostly custom kits, sold by smaller companies, while production kits are tooled for injection molds done with melted styrene; Revell, Monogram, Hasagawa, Testors, and Tamiya all represent companies doing production models of this kind.

    I personally use some other types of plastics too, such as a low density polyvinyl, (or an extruded PVC) which basically offers thickness over density. I can shape it rather quickly, but the material offers little hardness over styrene.

    My latest model is made from polystyrene foam, (insulating pink sheet foam) which I sealed using woodglue and then skinned with a layer of resin for strength. The result is great for a base to build on.
  7. jmich17513

    jmich17513 Member

    That's a really good model. You do nice work!
  8. Tirick

    Tirick Member

    That is a fantastic model! It looks like it contains some kitbash elements as well, but its hard to tell. I like the little details like the open hatch at the top and piles of greeble detailing.

    Awesome work!
  9. heroking

    heroking New Member

    the ship look like its part millenium falcon
  10. AbsoluteSciFi

    AbsoluteSciFi New Member

    There are only about six model parts from other models in this entire model, I have no need for them as I find and take apart trash that suits my needs just fine. All of the structural and detailed areas are made by me. Most of the details are of carved plaster, and a few are just junk that I found... good luck on finding anything in it from a kit... This model was entered on the StarshipModeler's "JustGlueIt" contest, where it won first place in the scratchbuilt category. This is the Bio and text I wrote for it, it may explain the resemblance to the Millennium Falcon:

    This is a ship designed by the same manufacturer as the YT-1300f, or the Millennium Falcon, as seen in Star Wars. The Corellian Engineering Corporation created more designs for ships than any other manufacturer combined. This design, originally a small freighter, was the predecessor of the competing design of the YT-1300 series, which out sold and ultimately was the demise of the GlassDragon's line, the PB-4200e or PB-4200 series.

    The GlassDragon was specially outfitted as a private shuttle of Draymen Goruus, a privateer of Tatooine, who, along with being a great businessman, held special rank with the Hutts. His ship boasted a faster- than-light drive, and special maneuvering thrusters along with upgraded shields and armor.
    My goal for this model was to design and build a model that would seamlessly blend into the Star Wars Universe without being noticed as out of place. I have a strict code of ethics that prevents me from “designing” around the parts of another model, or simply “building” a model from a convenient arrangement of parts. My designs are deliberately chosen from a few tiny sketches, drawn, and then built. So, I began with, one of the drawings which I refined into a believable design that I could in fact replicate given my, then, current skill level. Since building this model I have come to note the importance of designing something that can be built using relatively simple techniques. Extra care can be focused on the detail, and not the structure of the model.

    The materials used are extensive, but limited to: plywood (as Base), extruded PVC (in the form of salvaged blinds), sheet styrene, any small plastic part (in whole or part, used as detail), aluminum pipettes, Super Glue, expanding foam, and Evercoat Polyester Spot Glazing Putty.
    To put the model together I used ¾ inch plywood as a base, ribbed with eighth inch plywood, and then skinned with styrene.

    I cut the plywood into the shape of a pan handle, and then began to attach the ribbed shapes that add dimension to the hull of the craft. Between the ribs I shot expanding foam then shaved it down to the height of the ribbing, sanded it all smooth then began to skin using sheet styrene. The hull overlapped the plywood by ½ inch around the sides to provide a place to noodle all the techno-garb that makes up the GlassDragon’s machinery. Some of the components are carved plaster, other parts of it are built by hand and finally there are some found parts that I tooled to fit just for a certain place. The entire model was painted with primer gray. I used dark primer for the undercoat, then light gray primer for the top coat. Sanding back into the dark gray gave weathered look. Dry brushing followed for metallic areas.

    The hardest part of the entire model to build was the top insert and the cover doors. Each door is a perfect insert piece to the surrounding hull- a very tenuous bit of cutting. The hull plating took forever to get right, and every piece needed to be sanded and then super glued down very carefully, the slightest misalignment would stick out like a sore thumb. I used several techniques for getting it right: the tape, glue and flip; and the “cut one piece out and tape both down then glue one” method.

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