Many people view scratch building with a mixture of awe and terror. Sure, scratch building is harder than putting together the latest tamigawa shake'n'bake kit, but it's really not all that hard. It's just a matter of getting to grips with a few basic principals. Once you know how to use the materials, and you know what can be done, you can apply the same techniques to more and more advanced projects and produce more and more complex shapes.
A good place to start is a nice, large project. Not a huge project - save those for when you have more time and confidence, and not a small project because those can be fiddly and require greater precision. Start with something fairly big so you can get the hang of things without getting the hang of eyestrain!
The 15mm shuttle to go along with our space port is a perfect place to start. It's a very simple shape, it's a nice size, and it doesn't require too much by the way of special materials. All you will need is two sheets of 1mm plasticard, a sheet or so of some other stuff (you won't use all of it), some large I Beam, two hose adaptors (cheap from a $2 shop) and a Hasegawa Panzer IV. Why a Hasegawa Panzer IV? Well, it's a brilliant donor kit - it's got almost two kits worth of parts in it! There will be plenty left for other projects.
Once you have all the materials and your staring at them on the modeling bench, your sure to think to yourself 'How hard can this be?'
Well, Jeremy Clarkson might not be able to do it, but a Hippo can!
What did I tell you? It's easy!
The trick here is that the sides of the inner hull parts go on the outsides of the top and bottom plates, while the top and bottom plates of the outer hull plating go outside the side pieces. This means you don't have to compensate for material thickness (something I am REALLY bad at doing and remembering!)
Here are the plans for the hull and plating. The detailing is up to you!
I started work on this at 8:00am, and finished it by 8:00pm... okay I am on holidays, but I also spent about two and a half hours watching DVDs, and a lot of time staring vacantly into space, so the whole project can be done in about eight modelling hours!
Stay tuned for the next instalment of 15mm Fortnight - since I can't get the figures to paint until Friday, it's going to be a surprise instalment!