Kitbashing

millennium-falcon

Kitbashing is a practice whereby a new scale model is created by taking pieces out of commercial kits. These pieces may be added to a custom project or to another kit. For professional modelmakers, kitbashing is popular to create concept models for detailing movie special effects. Professionals often kitbash to build prototype parts which are then recreated with lightweight materials. Although it has a long history, kitbashing came to the attention of a wider public via the fine modelwork seen in TV series such as ‘Thunderbirds’ and the films ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Star Wars.’ Many of the spaceship models created for these programs incorporated details from tank, speedboat and car kits. Another example is the Tumbler from the 2005 film ‘Batman Begins.’

An important aspect of kitbashing in model railroading is the reconfiguration of structure kits, most often to fit the geometry of a specific space. Walls can be shortened or lengthened, and/or corner angles changed to fit a given location on the layout. Another application is to use the wall parts to create a ‘flat,’ or shallow relief model to be displayed against the backdrop. For example, since it isn’t needed in this case, the rear wall can be abutted to the front to double the length of the building; usually, but not exclusively, done with industrial structures. Plain sheet styrene or other material is typically added to the rear to strengthen the resulting model.

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