Customs: Scratchbuild or Kitbash

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by SwitchPrime, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. SwitchPrime

    SwitchPrime Wrecker

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    i really want to scratchbuild of kitbash a TF but i dont know where to start. i think i should buy a TF that i can take apart and use for parts, but im not sure. plz help
     
  2. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I don't really like vague threads.

    Anyway, what exactly do you want to make?
     
  3. SwitchPrime

    SwitchPrime Wrecker

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    I want to make someon that is transformable and close to the size of most ROTF toys
     
  4. John_Force

    John_Force 16xNHRA Funny Car Champ TFW2005 Supporter

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    Kitbash. Scratchbuilding, for a novice, is no easy feat.
     
  5. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

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    Yeah, it's kind of hard to give you advice on where to start when we don't know your end goal. (Aside from the Tutorials section)

    But I do have to say that scratch-building with styrene isn't even easy for experienced kitbashers.

    I say, start with repaints and bashes with minor mods (head and parts swapping and such), then work it up.
     
  6. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    I haven't even begun yet my self, but I entirely agree with Kusanagi's statement. Start with repaints, then simple modifications, and go from there. You really want to get your painting down just right cause when you do scratch building and/or kit bashing, you'll want to be painting it for that finished touch.
     
  7. SwitchPrime

    SwitchPrime Wrecker

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    ok guys thanks, ill hold off on the scratchbuilding and major kitbashing for now; but how do you swap parts
     
  8. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I think the above are both great posts with excellent advice (thanks, guys!). We designed our tutorials section to be conducive for any level of artist: http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tutorials-how-tos/201900-table-contents.html

    I'd highly recommend becoming well-versed in the "Introductory" section. This section is designed for someone who has NEVER physically altered a toy before.

    Additionally, I think one needs to answer this question when considering customs of any level: "Should I?"

    While the answer may seem simple ("I want some awesome customs! Of course!"), one may figure out that it's just not for them. On the flip side, the answer to that question may lead one to have some of the most fun ever. For those of us who answered the latter for ourselves, we've found a hobby within our hobby that we truly love :) 

    I think one of the best ways to have a litmus test for answering this question is make a custom Transformer from start to finish. I'd recommend buying a relatively cheap figure ($10 or under, depending on your budget), and one that you have no qualms about utterly destroying. From there, develop a plan. "I want to make X figure into Y!" (filling in X with your base figure and Y with your planned custom figure) From there, go to it. Start simple. Many (like myself) started out with a project that required very simple modifications, but enough to end up with a completely different toy than starting out with.

    Take your time. If you have the patience and attention span that's shorter than 1 minute, I think it'd be safe to spare yourself some disappointment. While there are certainly projects that require little from the artist, most work ends up taking some serious time. Another facet of the question I propose is whether or not this time investment is worth it for you.

    I've mentioned it once, but I'll repeat: Complete the project. Get the experience of making one project start to finish, no matter what. Sometimes even the simplest of projects can have their down sides, but bust through it to the end!

    Also, after your finished, take some time and thoughts to reflect on your work. Was the process worth it? Is the end result worth it? Did you enjoy yourself? Do you want to make another? What did you learn the first time around that you've found useful?

    Each of those will lead to answer, "Should I?"



    Well, should you? :wink: 
     
  9. SwitchPrime

    SwitchPrime Wrecker

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    THANKS A BUNCH Superquad, that reallllllly helped. but do you guys think i should start with a walkthrough befor trying to do my own?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  10. DanHibiki

    DanHibiki Dan Couga Mellencamp

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    I think you should start with an idea before you do anything. Why do you want to kitbash? Just to do it?

    Pick up a transformer. Look at it. Does it need a new paintjob? Have you ever painted anything before? If not, start small. Don't do a full blown color changing repaint and don't do any weathering on your figure. Start by adding paint to sculpted details. Learn how thick or thin paint needs to be and how loaded your brush needs to be. Learn how to prevent strokes and bubbles in your paint. Learn why your paint didn't stick; was it the type of plastic or was it residual mold release? Keep going. Little by little. Get comfortable with that and then move on to priming and painting the whole figure. You can't rush it. A number of the big customs you see are done by kitbashers that have a lot of time under their belt assembling models, painting miniatures, sculpting, etc. Not to say, you couldn't pick it up and be a natural, but if you dive in head first you will probably get frustrated.

    As for kitbashing/scratchbuilding, start by taking your transformers apart. Look at how it goes together. Find something you don't like. One of the most frequent mods seems to be replacing hands with articulated ones or the simple headswap. I'd recommend a headswap first. Find a body you like, find a head you like. If they don't have the same connector, now you get to be a kitbasher. Let's say the head you are working with has a disc style connection while the body has a ball and socket joint. What I have done in the past is unscrew the head, place the head in front of the ball joint and shot a quick spray of paint to outline what needs to be hollowed out. This isn't exactly the size, so don't just carve out to the line. This is what you are going to pick up on. You are going to experience a lot of trial and error. Once you've carved the socket out, pop it on the ball and admire your handy work.

    One other thing, don't go crazy and purchase a lot of tools. Keep it simple for now. Go buy an xacto knife and some super glue. If you already have a dremel, great. If not, try some small projects before spending money on one.

    So having said all that, do you have an idea?
     
  11. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    You're very welcome! I really hope that you'll be one of those who takes things and becomes a great artist here :) 

    The other thing I'd suggest is continuing what you've already done here: soliciting the advice of others. There are a TON of Radicons here who love nothing more than to give advice (hXcpunk23 immediately comes to mind) and to help others.

    Also, we've already mentioned the tutorials section, so do your reading. Also, use the search function in Radicons and Creative General Discussion. Often times, some one has already asked a question and good responses have been given. Threads asking things like, "what paints should I use?" have been asked a few times over, and even answered in the tutorials. The internet is a great tool if one knows how to use it well :) 

    I think this is great as well. I can't stress enough how much love I developed for this hobby simply by starting out taking my G1 figures apart with the simple goal of restoration. After I became really comfortable with this, I got involved in Radicons as a lurker (way back in the Yahoo! Groups days). I even went so far as to print off the original FAQ! From there, things just grew for me :) 

    I hope it can for you and others as well :) 
     
  12. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    Here's what I would do...if I could do it over again.

    1. Paint a junker bot (or parts) to get some practice painting. Try different types of paints to see what you like to work with.
    2. Repaint an existing bot, head to toe.
    3. Do some simple part swaps, like heads or hands.
    4. Build animated Fort Max from scratch.
     
  13. SwitchPrime

    SwitchPrime Wrecker

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    Ive done steps one through three, so now i will start to look into Fort Max
     
  14. DanHibiki

    DanHibiki Dan Couga Mellencamp

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    Oh! One last thing, make sure you have a thick skin. If you don't, get one. People aren't going to like what you like and for every 10 posts, 8 of those are going to simply say "Cool", while 1 will have a character building diatribe dissecting how your custom is not original and the remaining post will be a positive post describing how you can improve in the future.
     

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