Beyond Basics: Information Sources For Kitbashers/Customizers

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by REDLINE, Jan 28, 2008.

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    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

    Dec 2, 2004
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    Information Sources For Kitbashers

    Credit for this goes to Ops_Was_A_Truck:

    I want to stop before I get into the resources and strongly advocate something. This is half-soapbox and half-instructional, so bear with me.

    I don’t think Transformer kitbashers/repainters have an idea about the types of resources that are readily available to them. What follows is a VERY abbreviated and simple set of resrouces for kitbashers.

    A. Other Model Builders

    Transformers kitbashing is, by any other name, kitbashing. It has gone on since plastic G.I. Joes hit the scene years ago and will continue to go on for as long as there are plastic toys. However, I think a lot of Transformers kitbashers – novices and advanced ‘bashers alike – are not aware of the model-building community and its interest in the very same stuff: Changing plastic miniatures so that they look like/do something else. That is why I recommend, before anything else…


    Sure, some of the folks at these places are a little weird. Sure, they know a little bit too much about the paint-detailing on one certain type of plane. However, there is one thing they all share a common passion, and that is for creating accurate and believable model kits. Not all of what they’re doing transfers over to the world of Transformers kitbashing, but there’s a high likelihood that if you can’t find an answer here on Radicon’s or on Transtopia or anywhere else, you can find it by asking model-builders in person.

    I’ve been part of the IPMS (International Plastic Modelers’ Society) for three years now, and I’ve enjoyed every meeting I go to. The best way to get answers at a meeting is to ask your question to some of the members who have a whole lot of kits on display and just listen. Be an observer. You will likely hear more shortcuts and simple “how-to’s” on painting, detailing and kitbashing in one model-building meeting then you will have a chance to process.

    The IPMS’s global website is There are other model-building clubs and agencies out there, some of which are local, some of which are state- and nationally-organized. Another way to find a local model chapter, particularly for IPMS chapters, is to search the name of your region/state/county and “IPMS” on a google search. For example, searching “IPMS Northern Virginia” brings up

    If you’re any sort of kitbasher, you will have loads of fun at a model-building meeting.

    Sure, you’re all internet-savvy and you think everything is accessible at the tip of your google-search-clicked finger, right? WRONG. There are a lot of great, “actually-written-on-pieces-of-paper” books out there that explain the kitbashing process I outlined above in much better detail. Get to the library and check ‘em out. Two of the ones I’ve used for years are:

    1. Bob Hayden (ed.) Styrene Modeling: How to build, paint and finish realistic styrene models (2000). Evergreen Scale Models, Woodinville, WA.
    2. Creed, Roscoe. How to build Plastic Aircraft Models: A Complete How-To-Do-It guide to basic and advanced modeling techniques (1987). Kalmbach Books, Waukesha, WI.

    C. Web sites

    A google internet search and some digging can be the be-all-end-all answer to a lot of the basic “how do I?” questions when it comes to kitbashing and repainting. However, there are some sites on the ‘net that are more particularly worth visiting.

    For Styrene Tutorials: Evergreen Scale Models

    For just about any spaceship or science fiction kitbash/repaint project, check out: – Starship Modeler. The name says it all. They also have an AMAZING references section.

    Not surprisingly, a google search for “kitbash” will give you plenty of Transformers kitbash sites as well.

    I have a feeling that all of these lists will grow exponentially over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes on this thread. Until then, have fun making new toys from your old ones.
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