Whether you are new to scratch building or an expert hoping to hone your skills,
I am hoping this site will have exactly what you need to turbo charge your hobby.
I have created a series of ten videos that are an introduction to the art of Scratchbuilding. The best way of getting into it is to sign up to my mailing list and you will get these over the next ten weeks. It is the best way to start! No cost either
Click here to view some of my "taste tester" movies!
As a teaser..
For The Novice
If you are new to scratch building, and love trains and boats then the starting place is Scuffy, or the train videos if you prefer.
Scuffy is a Finnish harbour tug. The plans are on the website and we start from the beginning but I make sure to tell you about not only this boat, but the process. You could start with another plan if you wish and build a boat alongside me. You can email me if you wish! In fact I really enjoy hearing about people’s progress and the ideas they have. You will need to buy motors, speed controllers, some raw materials and you will need some tools. I make everything but you may need to buy a propeller, for example. The best way to start is to watch all the videos in the Scuffy series and take it in, then start to plan for your build. It took me four months to build Scuffy using weekends and some evenings. Depending on your skill and how reasonable your partner is, think a bit longer. Plan for six months.
For the Experienced Builder
So if you have already built a boat or partly built one, you will be ready to really try your hand. I hope I inspire you to get a small lathe, and some silver solder, and some unusual materials like aluminium flashing, and make something really gorgeous. I think you will agree my boats look lovely and operate beautifully. Make them real eye catchers. Weather them to the point that people will ask you with concern, as they have me, whether you are going to fix the rust on your boat as they can see it has been ‘in the weather..’ Of course that is such a joy to hear, but for me the joy is that I did that with coloured pencils and a brush. Remember, we be scratchbuilders .. right?
For you I would suggest Scuffy as the template, but take another boat and start creating. Build everything. You will need six to eight months, or more if you choose a hard to build monster, so be choosy. The Lady Shirley plan is on my site and she is the loveliest project I have ever done. Try it!
Also, maybe the challenge for you is to automate something. Build a boat that holds a course, go beyond me and get it to follow coordinates, or make a crane on the stern just sing. (I have not done this yet!) Or build a boat with a turning camera on the waterline. Lots for the experienced modeler.
For the Expert
Submarines are a bit like Everest for the scratch builder as the degree of modelling required and the complexity of the inner workings are.. really out there. Many people buy hulls and buy the gear to in them and the cost of this is thousands of dollars. Not for me. I have two complete scratch-builds on this site and I don’t expect you to follow me, but I challenge you to do so. Also I program them with arduino for depth keeping and managing the ballast systems. The ‘how to’ of all of this is on the site as are the plans, circuit diagrams and the code for the arduino. Can you imagine how incredible it is to have a beast like this working at your fingertips. Arduino is great because it is cheap cheap cheap and will do as much as you can imagine it to. It is a scratchbuilding project in itself, but the ideas are in the code and the electronics. (I profess I am not expert at either!)