Sometimes S-scale is labeled as the "scratch-builder's scale". There was a time in the past where this was largely a requirement if you wanted something. Today, however, it is more of a personal choice. Just like in any other model railroading scale, if you want something specific, sometimes you have to resort to building it yourself from scratch. The purpose of this page is to provide some information, tips-n-tricks, and some inspirational examples.
Building things from scratch involves taking raw materials and turning them into realistic models. Materials can include wood, plastic, metal, card-stock, etc. Once the core model is built, you can add details you make yourself or those purchased from manufacturers, such as windows, doors, pipes, steps, grab-irons, etc., and/or any other item found in your "junk" drawer. Starting in the 2000s, we now also have available 3D-printed parts.
To help us narrow-down what we want to cover in this section of the web site, we are going to limit it to models for which the main core of the model was made from raw materials. If the model is predominantly made from 3D-printed components, we have a separate page to cover those models. Additionally, if the model was mostly made from various commercial parts, i.e. kit-bashing, we also have a separate page to cover that. The NMRA has a definition for scratchbuilding.
Here are some more S-scale scratchbuilding efforts available via other web sites: