Scratch Built & Conversions

Several kits out there provide the drop-down option. Though not really scratch-building, here’s an example… Old build of the ‘Sd.Kfz.7 8 ton Half-Track’ towing a ‘5cm Pak 38’ (Both OOB DML kits).




Most every Opel Blitz will accommodate this and I assume the new Das Werk farm wagon kit will as well.

I was politely booted out of a Stationery store after I’d unscrewed maybe 20 different types of biro in vain looking for the right spring. I was going to say “…even though I re-screwed ‘em all” but…well you know what I mean :face_with_peeking_eye:


Nice work.
I used some thick elastic cord, such as is found as drawstrings in fleeces and outdoor gear, for the ducting on a HobbyBoss AAVP7, I only added details, such as the ducting, the hanging ropes, but I did scratch & correctly stow the slave cables and broom!

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Wish you would repost that truck /garage dio again on here. It is both amazing and insprational!

The level of realism you achieved, plus the quality of your lighting and your photography is nothing short of mind bending.

You and @Dioamartin should start an ILM/Wetta Workshop type model business of your own together!

Working now on converting the new MiniArt 1 1/2 ton Chevy Cargo truck to a fire truck. (Which of course means they will be coming out with this variant in the very near future.)

So anybody happen to have any reference on one of these trucks maybe having been bomb damaged and turned into a single axle trailer???

I am going to have the entire rear cargo body left over and as I say I have plenty of leftover Italeri chassis parts and even a few Tamiya Deuce wheels/tires laying around to build a salvaged motor pool trailer out of?

I thought perhaps I might be getting a bit too deep into this vehicle as a build thread so I started oa thread of its’ own over in the “WWII Allied” section.

Here is the link:

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A model building tip that might be news to some but old hat to many others.

I once was in a real Amish furniture shop and I ask; "What did cabinet makers use before the invention of sandpaper to smooth the wood used for their cabinetry panels? The tool the man showed me looks much like what your Mother might call a “Dough Cutter.” A straight bladed piece of heavy steel with some sort of rolled handle and a machine ground and sharpened knife edge opposite the handle.

This implement was forcefully PULLED along the surface of the wood, some times held at a 90° angle to the work and was used to knock off the high points in the wood panel to eventually smooth it down.

It was then I realize I could use the blade of my hobby knife, dawn along a surface or a panel edge to smooth it. Or when pressed harder it could even shave significant material from the edge of a plastic model panel.

Used gently this is perfect for removing mold lines from plastic parts. (Such as the inside curve of most all vehicle leaf springs.) Or used heavily it can slowly shave significant material off the edge of a vehicle floorboard to alter it’s size or profile to better fit into the vehicle’s cab.

Please Note: If this post ends up being seen as just one great big “No Duh” by the group then please forgive me for wasting your time. :relaxed:

Intended Sincerely


@165thspc Michael, it’s a great technique with the right blades and a little practice in my experience. Excellent post!

I prefer a #15 scapel blade in a #1 hobby handle. Testor’s #11 also work pretty well when a triangle blade is needed.

I always swear by the old #11 blade for both model work AND unintended finger surgery.

My motto: “Brand New Blade Means . . . there will be blood!”

Don’t you mean “unintended finger surgery”? :grin:

No clue on the truck-based trailer BTW, unless you want to go the civilian “bubba-fied” route…


I’m thinking of going the “back country, get er done” route on that trailer - I hate to see good plastic going to waste - but still trying to do it with some military GI polish.

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@165thspc @Armor_Buff

The cutting edge of the knife or nr 11 will be dulled by using it as a scraper.
The back edge of most nr 11 blades have sufficiently sharp corners to function
as a card scraper for seams. I used to dull and destroy many scalpel blades
with this practice.
Fairly easy to sharpen the back edge to a 90 degree angle though …

The tips about “sharpening” a card or cabinet scraper can be applied to the
back edge of a knife blade as well, just be aware that such a corner/edge
functions as a knife and will easily draw blood.

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Never thought of using the back side of the #11 blade for this. Good call.

Still I have had no problems with dulling the #11 blades when used on the standard soft model steyrne.

(it’s those sharp blades I’m bloody stupid around, don’t cha know!)

I used to consume a lot of nr 11 blades.
Then I started using side cutters to remove parts from sprues.
Then I started scraping with the back edge instead.
Then I got myself an assortment of needle files and the
“burn rate” for the nr 11 blades reduced even further.

A positive side effect of using side cutters and files instead of
nr 11 blades is that the abrasion rate for the skin on my right
thumb has gone down. Never any deep cuts drawing blood but
the “fingerprint” area felt like the edge of a pack of cards.
Another advantage of the files is that it greatly reduces the risk
of cutting to deep into the plastic. Top quality files isn’t strictly
needed as the styrene is soft, filing metal obviously requires better tools.

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Yep - I agree with that progression. But I still only need to look at a fresh #11 blade to make the pointy tip break off!


Robin, my use of #11’s was very similar! Thanks for the card scraper tips using back of blade. Many scaple blades will last longer!


Modeling Tip ~ Dashboard Gauges:
Place the gauge decal first, allow to dry and then put just a drop of Future on each gauge and allow to dry to represent the glass.

As seen here above on the German Telemeter from Bronco.

I even placed a tiny droplet of Future in each black rubber viewfinder with a toothpick to represent the light reflected off the ocular glass.


Just showing this “what if” scratch & conversion to give this thread a bump and keep things moving.

Appologies that the photo quality is so “all over the map.”

This is a combo of a Jagdpanther, plus Bergepanther, plus a scratch built boom, haul back, block & tackle and the tool crib. (The forward plow is a modified spade from the Recovery Famo AM set.) An individual track link set has also been added.

I call this my Sd. Kfz. M88


Wow, that’s a cool idea! Great execution too!

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