Why would a model railroader alter or change a perfectly good kit that he or she just purchased?  The answer is actually not very complicated if you’ve been involved with this hobby for awhile.  Where it may be true that there are some well made kits available and a huge selection to choose from, it is also true that many of these kits do not meet our specific needs for our layouts.

With that said, it is also not unusual in spite of the impressive number of structure kits out there that you just can’t find what you’re looking for.  Therefore, the model railroader is only left with the choice of creating his or her desired structure through combining parts from a variety of kits, and of course by bringing the power of imagination into play.

There is one other possible reason for deciding to kitbash, and that simply involves the desire to do something creative and uniquely different.  After all, that is what this hobby is all about!  Joining creativity with technical know how and building the model railroad that is your personal vision.

According to Wikepedia kitbashing is when a modeler takes pieces from other commercial kits of one type or another and creates a completely new scale model.  What kit bashing also represents is a time saving process versus bringing an original idea to fruition by building something entirely from scratch, which is where the term scratch building is derived.

There are no limitations for what a model train hobbyist can create when they choose to undertake a kitbashing project.

With that said, and the understanding that kits which are sold at hobby shops as well as model train hobby shops often lack the unique characteristics which serious model railroaders require and in fact demand, kit bashing is the only acceptable solution to this problem.

Additionally, the benefit of combining parts from more than one kit aid in creating a one of a kind layout which is every hobbyist primary goal.  The hobbyist is only limited by his or her imagination when it come to creating the final result.

One of the more common types of kit bashing  projects, for example, is kitbashing structures, and these are most typically made of plastic.  If this is something that you may be considering the following tips may prove to be useful:

The first step when kit bashing a structure is to begin by surveying your layout for the best location.  You may find it necessary to make some alterations on your layout to avoid overcrowding the spot.

Try taping the building together temporarily so that you can determine if it will fit in the location your considering.  In so doing, you’ll be able to determine if any cutting is necessary before assembling the structure.

Next, there are certain tools which are required for doing a project of this type that would be handy to have on hand before starting.  These tools include the following:  fine point pliers, miniature screwdrivers, small drill-bit set, tweezers, pin vise, hobby knife, and a sprue nipper.  These tools can actually be used for most modeling work, and in addition to these tools it is also recommended that you invest in a set of fine point jeweler’s pliers.

The benefit in owning a sprue nipper is that they are extremely sharp and work effectively for trimming plastic parts such as tree trunks or railroad ties.  You should also have a sanding stick as they are useful for smoothing cut edges or for making fine adjustments so that parts fit snugly.

Most steps for kitbashing a structure or a building involve the individual hobbyist intention or goal for a final outcome, and would only be conjecture if general information of this type were included in this content.

One of the most common problems for model railroaders if they intend on adding particular lineside industries served by their railroad is that there never seems to be enough space, and this also applies to other types of buildings you may want to add.

With that said, the only solution to this problem is kit bashing which is a more desirable solution then scratch building although this is another option as well.  The latter, however, involves a greater investment of time and labor.

Finally, if you’re considering kit bashing as one more approach to creating a model train layout that has your signature on it because of its uniqueness, I would recommend that you acquire a Walthers catalog for your scale.  No other reference in the marketplace offers or illustrates so many structure kits.  Thus, making the Walthers catalog an indispensable and invaluable tool for anyone interested in kitbashing.


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