Marc Barris started building models at a very young age, and soon progressed to scratch building his own designs ... Here he shares his story ...

Marc has written a book to inspire modelers world wide take a step into building their own models from scratch ... 

The purpose of this site is to inspire modelers to take the next step – building your own aircraft from scratch. The techniques I’ve used aren’t necessarily the only way of producing the finished model, but they show as simply as possible how the processes worked for me.

Like all model builders, I started building models at a very young age, by buying kits from all the well-known manufacturers out there. Inevitably, this involved building all the iconic aircraft - Spitfires, Me 109’s Fw 190’s and Hurricanes amongst others available on the market. Generally, this involved following the kit instructions, starting at the cockpit and building from there. This soon became repetitive and predictable, so I started scratch building and detailing gun bays, engines and cutting open hatches and inspection panels to add a little detail and make the model more interesting to look at when it was completed. There are amazing, but sometimes costly, aftermarket detail sets available to make a model more authentic. I built my models like this for a several years, and then I started to do a lot of conversions - a Spitfire Mk 5 into a Mk 9, and a Fw 190 D9 into a TA 152, all in 1/24 scale.

I wanted to build models that were not available from the mainstream manufacturers. Resin kits from manufacturers like Fischer Model and Pattern, Silver Wings and Icarodesign seemed to be an answer, since this gave me the chance to do more exotic aircraft, something different from those shown at various modelling shows and exhibitions. This was great for a while, but then started to get expensive. I realised that even these kits were not really what I wanted to build. To keep my interest in the hobby fresh and alive, I needed to find a completely different approach.

Browsing the internet one day looking at civil aircraft, I came across a scale drawing for a Piper Pawnee 375 Brave, a crop duster that I’d always wanted to build. I downloaded the scale drawings, went out and bought a roll of 0.5 mm plastic card, and fired up with inspiration started the project.

First, I took the downloaded drawings to a print shop scaled up to 1/32 scale and got started.  The bug bit. I’ve not had so much fun in many years and the satisfaction of seeing the final, completed model was amazing, knowing that I built everything from scratch.

From then on, I started looking for subjects that I always wanted to build and tried to locate drawings and reference material. These days, I spend more time gathering the information for a project than the actual build itself. I then started and continue to do commission builds for companies and private collectors looking for something different to add to their collections  , such as the Pilatus PC 6 as shown in the gallery and the How To book that is available here on the site. This book describes the process that I go through to build a model and I hope you find this an inspirational tool to try something new. Who knows? You may also get bitten by the same bug, or, if you would like me to build you an aircraft for you private collection or business, please don’t hesitate to drop me a mail.

Marc Barris