The Barge: Scratch Building with Styrene

If you have followed my work, then you know that primary material for making models have been paper – for a long time. Though I have used variety of materials throughout my life to make models, this time I decided to build something only with Styrene, barring the fine details.

I needed a barge for my gran facility at Wrightsville Port – that is the only piece that’s left to complete the scene for quite some time. So I thought I’d take a break from making trees and start with that project.

For this build though, I thought I’d give it a try to document every single step in extreme detail. Anyone who does detailed builds know how difficult it is to pay attention to recording the video and building a model at the same time, especially when I am attempting to build something with fine scale accuracy in N Scale (Yes, you read that right!). But I did it anyway, though it meant twice the time to build, and a great many hours to make the detailed instruction videos – in my rough estimate, well over 100 hours.

It generated over 250 GB of raw video files, all shot in 4K to be able to get as close to the miniature action as possible. The 3 part series will focus on 3 major parts:

Episode I – Scratch building: Stock styrene supply and styrene alone! No kit, no reference model, not even any reference guide. Take a reference prototype, conceptualize as per the scene, design and plan the build and then it’s all about the sweet white shine of styrene!

Episode II – Painting and Weathering: As much as I would’ve loved to have an elf barge on my layout, I decided to go for realism. In this episode, I will be focusing on some ultimate scale weathering. Let’s face it, nothing is a better subject than an old barge for weathering, and nothing beats a blank canvas like something made of white styrene!

Episode III – Fine Detailing: This episode is to bring some real character to the scene – getting into detail of what’s going on down to that minute, the characters, the tiny little components that make it a part of a real scene.

So Episode I on scratch building is already here. Grab a cup of coffee since it will be detailed, and full of some great model making tips and tricks. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, don’t you think?

Now before I go, here are a few pictures of the end result:

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The bow of the barge – the rust effect definitely helps bringing the aged look
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The barge with all its details
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Crew removing the tarp in the second hatch

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