Scratch Building Models – The Basics

A bit about me:

I am not the expert on model making or scratch building. I’ve really only done a handful of things in the last few years, so much of what I’m going to share here comes from watching videos and learning from others.

However, I did make several scratch-built RC aircraft out of foam board and hot glue following plans and tutorials from

However, I’ve been drawing robots and things assembled from ‘junk’ for years, so it’s kind of me. 🙂

First, let’s do a few quick definitions – my own, possibly flawed definitions.

Scratch Building – Making a model of something not using a model kit of the target object.

Kit Bashing – Using parts from model kits to add detail or structure to a model.

Trash Bashing – Using ‘junk’ to make models. – Turning “junk into funk” as Andy_Mecha calls it.

Shapes / Source parts

  • Plastic cutlery
  • Bottle lids
  • Wire
  • Deodorant Containers
  • Ping Pong Balls
  • Beads
  • Cheap Toys
  • Pumps and spray bottles
  • Electronic components
  • Cardboard
  • Paperboard
  • Styrene Plastic

Surface Prep

  • Sanding / Scratching / Filing
  • Heat annealing 
  • PVA / Modpodge (eva foam)


  • Super glue / CA / Cyanoacrylate
  • Hot melt glue
  • Epoxy
  • UV Resin

Shout Outs:

Here is a list of creators you might want to check out in no particular order.
Andy Mecha’s Scratch Build Basics Videos