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How many people still scratch build?

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Dr John Booth08/03/2009 20:36:39
90 forum posts
1 photos
Hello everybody 

Are we loosing the ability to scratch build models?

This is a question that has been bothering me for some time especially since retirement and thus having the time to take a good long look at the present state of our hobby.

We have all witnessed the recent rise in so called ready to run models and of course the insidious presence of on line auction site where somebody else’s work can be purchased for buttons and I just wonder how many modellers are taking the time and effort to design and build their own models.
Looking at the site I can only identfy a handful of members who still do this, or am I wrong?
Paul T08/03/2009 20:46:46
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles
Hello John
Speaking for myself I prefer scratch building over kits and havent time for rtr.
But I can see the point of ready to run as there are some people cant build but can enjoy the friendly fun of sailing by buying one of these models.
Bob Abell08/03/2009 20:53:53
9337 forum posts
2985 photos
Hello John and Paul
There`s still plenty of scratch builders about!
Proof of the puddin` was at Ellesmere yesterday!
After a quick think, I`d say about 10% of our club scratch build
Paul T08/03/2009 20:58:05
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles
Hi Bob
I can see Johns point, if you compare model boat building from the 50s and 60s to now there has been a huge change in the way models are built.
David Meier08/03/2009 22:44:12
205 forum posts
81 photos
I am all for scratch building. For me a huge part of the enjoyment is in the building of the model, especially the hull. It is also fun trying ideas out when building a fast boat, to see what really works well.
Colin Bishop08/03/2009 22:54:29
5194 forum posts
6120 photos
421 articles
I prefer scratch building myself but, as Paul has said, there has been a huge change in the way the hobby has developed over the last 20 years or so. However, you can't turn the clock back so any type of model boating is to be welcomed.
I do think scratch building should be encouraged as to my mind it is the natural progression from kits. I think a lot of people are put off as they consider it to be too "difficult" but in reality it is just a development of your skills and, as David says, it is ultimately much more satisfying.
But people want different things from the hobby. Whilst some of us derive the greatest pleasure from the building process, others just want to get on the water as soon as possible and have fun. So it's "whatever floats your boat" really.
neil howard-pritchard08/03/2009 23:19:54
2260 forum posts
2759 photos
I must admit, i enjoy both mediums.
i enjoy scratch to hone my skills,but if i fancy building a certain type of model and one similar is on the market as a kit, i feel it is pointless building my own and developing new fittings when i can buy something where someone else has done all the hard and expensive work and i can then modify to my own desires.
David Wooley09/03/2009 00:26:08
599 forum posts
702 photos
8 articles

As Bob observed scratch building is alive and well but  perhaps not  at the level  it may once have been. Interestingly this very topic regarding the strengths   or otherwise of scratch building within our hobby was indeed a point that was raised on more than one occasion over the resent weekend at  Ellesmere Port.  On this subject   competition could be regarded as one of the great engines of scratch building ,   broadening  the skill base ,  increasing the value of  genuine research and  encouraging  a wider  choice  of subjects  for modeling .I  know from personal experience that  this  topic  has at  times  divided modelers in their opinions as to the value of  competition at any level.  Yet  competition was one of  the  major corner stone of the hobby  either at club level or internationally at   Naviga . In the UK national events  such as   The  Model Engineering Exhibition, the MPBA scale championships , and   shows  like the  Windermere weekend ,  The David E Owen competition , which was part of the old convention ,   promoted , attracted  and encouraged  scratch builders in   large numbers . Unfortunately over the years attitudes towards competition have changed from the grass roots up  and perhaps this is reflected in the numbers prepared to embark on projects that require, good levels of research in every aspect of the build. Add to that the skills required and the desire to learn such skills then perhaps there are good reasons to understand why attitude and needs have evolved to fit different requirements. As Colin has said   you really can't turn the clock back but you can adapt and make the best of what you   have.

Dave Wooley >>

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Rick Fryer09/03/2009 00:36:27
36 forum posts
I'm a scratchbuilder for two reasons:
1. Few manufacturers produce kits of late Victorian warships;
2. I'm too mean to pay the upfront price asked by the few that do - but it costs me about the same in the end!
Having said that, model-making is full of compromises - in both accuracy and materials. I prefer the compromises in my models to be my compromises and not what someone else feels is the best way to get round a particular problem. In fact, I derive far more satisfaction from the research and problem-solving that goes into a model, rather than seeing it perform on the water.
ashley needham09/03/2009 06:53:20
7645 forum posts
159 photos
You cant buy things like rubber band boats, Sunderlands or Biplane flying boats, not to mention Eckranoplans (later)   without scratch building!!   Ashley

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