Ok guys, this is my last one, I promise. Scratchbuilding. I started it fairly late into my modelling career, and it definately made the whole process much more enjoyable. You can customize you kit how you like, you can convert vehicle A into vehicle Ab, it is endless fun. My rant - similar to my 'scales' rant - is about how scratchbuilding (and even conversions) are perceived, and how they are portrayed in modelling magazines. Why? Because this is what put me off from trying it out earlier. Returning again to the same modelling magazine as in my previous rant. They had a scratchbuilt Bison (a civilian lorry with a concrete pillbox loaded on the flatbed). Which was potentially very interesting... until I saw the word 'plasticard'. Everything any modeller does seems to be done with 'plasticard'. It took me a long time to find anywhere that I could buy this wondrous material (I was without internet), and when I located it I also saw the price. What took me longer to see was the marked similarity between 'plasticard' and common household items, like credit cards. The only advantage that plasticard has is that it can be glued with poly cement. Other than that, I'm happy cutting up bits of old plastic cards and saving myself money. If I need a really thin bit I use cut-offs from a laminated sheet, or on one occaision paper that I coated in PVA glue (gives a lovely smooth finish without bulking it up). Furthermore, If you read through an article on making a model, they often add little bits to the kits, and typically they say 'I made (gismo x) from plasticard and lead wire'. And that is as helpful as it gets. As a young modeller I seriously thought that scratchbuilt models could only be made using specialist products by very experianced modellers. Similarly, I was under the strong impression that converting a kit could only be done by purchasing a conversion kit, usually at great expense, usually in resin (a bugger to work with) and usually for bigger scales than 1/72. And then I discovered that you can use almost anything, along with a little ingenuity. Fuse wire is excellent for a number of things, from aerials & wires to cigarettes & bullet cases. Ordinary electric wire stripped from an obsolete cable or aerial do just as well. Twist a few strands together and you have a towing cable. Credit cards, or any plastic card at all makes great building material. Filler is the king, your best friend. As is your spares box.