Model Railroad Philosophy: What constitutes Scratch Building?

Ben,
In my opinion, scratchbuilding can be defined as building anything that isn't a pre-made kit.
Dave -- From: Benjamin Barby ( snipped-for-privacy@sympatico.ca)
Subject: Model Railroad Philosophy: What constitutes Scratch Building? Newsgroups: rec.models.railroad Date: 1999/03/10
I was just wondering how 'scratch' something had to be for it to be scratch built.
I wanted to scratch build a car, so I went and bought some nice metal trucks and wheelsets for it, but someone told me that it wasn't scratch build because I purchased parts. So I went to make my own; I got some metal stock and just as I was about half way through, someone told me it wasn't scratch because someone had manufactured the metal. So I went out and got some ore and smelted my own metal, cast it in to ingots, & rolled it down into stock and sheets I could use. OK so far. (There was some grumbling though, because I hadn't made my own lathe)
Then I went out and purchased some scribed wood to use on the car itself. Welll, you can't do that, it's purchased; someone else did the work; so I went and bought plain stock and scribed it myself. Not good enought. So I went and purchased a 2x4... Same thing. So off I went to the forest, and chopped down my own tree, dragged it home and started to dress the wood, when someone informed me that it didn't count, because someone else had grown the tree. So I took a seed, went outside, planted it.....
Years later I was informed that my efforts were in vain because even though I had put the seed in the ground, someone else had created the seed. Not only that, but it wasn't me who personally made the seed grow, it was God, so it didn't count any way.....
So I'm wondering, how scratch does something have to be before it's scratch built?
Benjamin ;-)
I've got waaaay too much time on my hands! :-)
-- Benjamin Barby
snipped-for-privacy@bbqsympatico.ca
Please eat the tasty Barby-Q provided in the e-mail address! That way I don't have to eat the spam later! :-)
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As long as we're into philosophy ...
Is major kitbashing scratch-building?
Norm
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Norm Dresner wrote:

Not in my mind. Check the NMRA web site under contests for definitions for what they consider scratch building.
Howard R Garner NMRA Lifer
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It is actually at the NMRA web site under "Achievement Program." http://www.nmra.org/achievement/def.html
Scratchbuilt: To be considered scratchbuilt, a model must have been constructed by the applicant without the use of any commercial parts except: Motor Gears Drivers and wheels Couplers Light bulbs Trucks Bell Marker and classification lights Valve gear Car brake fittings Basic wood, metal and plastic shapes
The term "scratchbuilt" carries the implication that the builder alone has accomplished all of the necessary layout and fabrication which establish the final dimensions, appearance, and operating qualities of the scale model.
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snipped-for-privacy@mathu.com (Mark Mathu) wrote in message

I suppose when I'm worried about the NMRA I'll follow those rules. I had a grand old time snapping the plastic for my walls, cutting the rectanges for my door and window castings, and fabricating my shingles for the roof from card stock one strip at a time. My major cheat was hiring a laser cutting firm to fabricate the intricate eaves ornaments.
Yes I used castings for the chimnies, but the little spire, the station sign and the trim on the building were all me and strop styrene.
Dave
Anyone wants a looksee, click here: DL&W Franklin station in northwest New Jersey, U.S.A.
http://dlw-sussexbranch.com/Modeling/Plans/Franklin/great-one.JPG
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: I suppose when I'm worried about the NMRA I'll follow those rules. I : had a grand old time snapping the plastic for my walls, cutting the : rectanges for my door and window castings, and fabricating my shingles : for the roof from card stock one strip at a time. My major cheat was : hiring a laser cutting firm to fabricate the intricate eaves : ornaments. : : Yes I used castings for the chimnies, but the little spire, the : station sign and the trim on the building were all me and strop : styrene. : : Dave : : Anyone wants a looksee, click here: : DL&W Franklin station in northwest New Jersey, U.S.A. :
http://dlw-sussexbranch.com/Modeling/Plans/Franklin/great-one.JPG
Very nice job Dave! Thanks for sharing.
--
73 de KTT
Bob Schwartz
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snipped-for-privacy@nac.net (Dave Rutan) wrote:

Excellent job! Thanks for the pic.
Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
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Absolutely not. Kitbashing is kitbashing, no matter how extreme, and is based on starting with existing walls or wall sections (in the case of a structure) which are being modified to a new purpose. Scratchbuilding is a different animal altogether, where the modeler's starting point is nothing but basic structural parts such as boards, timbers, structural members (angles, beams, columns), etc.
It's a comparison similar to that of purchasing a modular home and somewhat re-arranging the sections or constructing a stick-built house from the foundation up yourself.
CNJ999
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What was interesting and head scratching for judges some time ago was; A person who bought a FSM kit. He put the kit in a sack and bought wood parts. He then used the plans and the wood parts to build with. A total scratch built building. So insued a large discussion? (shouting match) as to whether this was a kit or a scratch built building. If I remember correctly as he had the original parts and the receipt for the wood it had to be considered "scratch".
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Jon Miller posts:

I thought story in this response particularly interesting since I followed the same practice in building an FSM piledriver for an NER NMRA model contest. The judges never even blinked an eye nor posed any question about the model being in fact considered scratchbuilt.
Incidentally, I'd regard building many of FSM's kits as essentially scratchbuilding projects since they are sometimes nothing but piles of stripwood accompanied by detailed instructions. Other more modern AMB, Bar Mills, etc. laser kits are, however, far, far less along the lines of "scratchbuilt" items than those by FSM.
CNJ999
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A "piledriver" is also the name for a drink consisting of vodka mixed with prune juice. :-)
Dieter Zakas Constipation, NJ
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scratchbuilding projects since they are sometimes nothing but piles of stripwood accompanied by detailed instructions< One of the reasons that points have been shifted from the old days. There are now more points to be earned with prototype accuracy!
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Forgot, this model was on display at a LHS for many months.
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What did you do about the metal castings in the original FSM kit?
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Mark posts -

For the most part I frabricated similar items out of styrene and wire. The steam boiler alone required something like 37 separate parts/pieces.
CNJ999
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yes i have seen this done before.
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JBortle wrote:

Hmmm, but you buy ready made windows and doors, bricks and kitchen fittings ...?
Regards, Greg.P.
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based
structure)
starting
structural
somewhat
fittings ...?

Personally, I have always let the contractor build the thing. Cant find one 1/2 tall, though.
Jim Stewart
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No doubt this will start something<G> Scratch-building involves using detail parts that are purchased as well as making your own - maybe. There are specific guidelines set out by the NMRA that define what percentage of a model, kitbashed or otherwise, must be built from raw materials in order to qualify as scratch-built. The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it must meet certain criteria to qualify as an official, NMRA sanctioned scratch-built model. It depends on whether or not you want to use the official NMRA criteria to fit your definition. If you want to be recognized and published in the hobby press in the USA, you will conform to the requirements. From what I have seen and derived on my own, they are even stricter in western Europe and the Antipodes than we are in the States and Canada. There are some Brits who maintain that you must make all your own castings and such to qualify. The only way the question can be answered is to refer to the governing authority under which you will be exhibiting your model or making your claim. It is not something that is open to opinion- unless- you are un-sanctioned. In that case, it doesn't matter anyway. One opinion is as good as another.
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I avoid the whole problem by using the word scratchbashing :)
--
Jason Davies
Master Gizmologist
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