Model Building Construction

This section covers the construction of scale model buildings and other structures of all types. I can produce your model in any scale for which a suitable plastic or metal kit is available, or in many cases also from scratch, and finish it in the colour scheme of your choice. The resulting models are for static display only, but I can also provide a number of options to help you to display it effectively, from simple display bases to complete dioramas; see the Display Options page for more details.

The rest of this page gives detailed information about my model construction service with specific reference to model buildings. Some of the more general aspects of my service are only summarised here, and described in detail on the Modelling Services introduction page. Also see the How To Order page for full details of how to order your model(s) from me, and if you have a specific model in mind, please enquire or request a quotation for further information about what I can do for your specific model.

Build Options

Many kits are supplied as standard with options to construct them in different ways. For example, additional parts may be supplied for fitting as alternatives in order to cover different prototypes, or parts or sub-assemblies maybe fitted in different positions. The range of options is then extended in many cases by the availabilty of accessories and/or conversion kits from other manufacturers (or sometimes the same manufacturer), either to increase the range of different prototypes covered, or to improve on the level of detail for the standard kit.

Some kits also provide features or panels that are intended to be moveable or removable in the finished model, for example to reveal additional internal detail. Such features often result in excessively large gaps around them in the closed or covered state, or unsightly hinges. Therefore, if you do not wish to retain the (re)moveability of such features in your finished model, I can improve its appearance by permanently fixing them in the closed/covered position, and then fill the gaps to match the rest of the model.

Other common options applicable to many building models include:

  • If you do not have space for a complete building, and, for example, where the model is to be incorporated at the edge of diorama or model railway layout, I can cut the model down to 'low relief' so that only part of the building is actually modelled. This can be particularly effective where the building is to be placed against, and appears to disappear into, a painted or printed backdrop.
  • Where not supplied as standard with the kit, I can provide an interior for your model. This can range from simple partitions to prevent inappropriate viewing straight through the model, through simple representation of internal detail and/or window furnishings such as blinds and curtains, to a fully detailed interior, optionally complete with figures.
  • I can provide your model with interior lighting for some or all of its rooms, for a night time viewing effect or to enhance the viewing of internal detail. Separate rooms can be wired into different circuits that can be switched independently to vary the effect in the finished model.
  • Where the building is to be incorporated into your own larger landscape model, such as a railway layout or diorama that you are building yourself, I can provide extra 'footings' that allow the model to sit on a hidden flat surface with space for an uneven ground surface to be built up around it. Please specify how deep you want these footings to be; typical depths can range from a few mm to several cm. The larger depths can be useful where the model is to be bedded into a hillside.

Beyond these 'standard' build options, if the model that you want is not covered by readily available kits and accessories, I may also be able to produce it by combining parts from two or more standard kits.

Where your model is based on commercially available models and/or accessories, you also have the option of purchasing them yourself, and supplying them to me for construction, or I can purchase them on your behalf. The latter option has the advantage that I can contact the supplier directly should there be a problem with missing or damaged components, while the former option will allow you to examine the instructions to help you select which build and finishing options you want me to implement.

You will need to specify exactly which options you wish me to use before I start working on your model. You should also give an indication of which options you are likely to require when requesting a quotation, particularly where these will have a significant effect on the amount of work I will need to put into constructing your model. In some cases I may not be able to give a firm quotation until I have the kit(s) and accessories in my possession. In these cases I will give you a provisional quotation, then firm it up (and request your approval) just before starting work.

Some of the more extensive or non-standard modification options (such as those for which a commercial conversion kit is not available) may require considerable preliminary research to find candidate commercial models and/or accessories to work with, and assess the feasibilty of modifying or combining them. If you are unable to do this, you are welcome to commission an initial research project from me; see the Modelling Services introduction page for details.

Finishing Options

Just as many kits include options for constructing them in different ways, even more provide instructions and decals or transfers for painting and finishing them to represent different specific prototypes. The range of finishing options is further expanded by the availability of alternative decal sets from other manufacturers, either for specific kits or as generic sets, for example for a specific railway company at different periods. You will therefore need to specify which colour scheme and decals you want me to apply to your model. Although I don't need precise details in order to produce a quotation, I do need an indication of the complexity of the colour scheme you are likely to choose, since highly complex schemes will take a lot more time to produce than simple ones.

In addition to the basic colour scheme, I can also apply a final finish to your model to represent the degree of use the prototype being modelled has seen. This can range from a pristine, 'straight out of the factory' finish, through to a heavily-used, extremely dirty, grimey and rusty, even damaged in some way. The degree of such 'weathering' you require for your model will significantly affect my price: the heavier the weathering, the more time it will take to produce. You should therefore specify this when requesting a quotation. A pristine or lightly weathered finish is likely to be most appropriate for a model that is intended for display on a simple base, whereas heavier weathering is likely to be necessary for a model to realistically fit into a complete diorama.

Display Options

As an extension to my standard diorama display options, that are intended for stand alone display, I can also build your model building(s) into a mini-diorama or module that is intended to be fitted into a larger model landscape, such as a model railway layout. With this option, I can arrange for the modelled ground surface finish to 'fade out' towards the outer edges of the module to make blending the surface into the larger landscape easier. You will need to specify the overall size of the module, including the ground depth at its edges. The module also need not be rectangular in plan view and can be arranged to fit significant contouring of the surrounding ground level. In the latter case, you will need to supply me with appropriate paper or card templates for me to follow