Saturday, February 13, 2010

Product Review: DVD Scratchbuilding in Wood

Scratchbuilding In Wood
4 DVD Set by Darryl Huffman at



Before I get into the technical parts of the review, let’s talk about value.  Really, when we get down to it, the hobby is about entertainment.  I always like to figure out what my entertainment value is from something I buy.  Otherwise, we’d probably never buy a $300 locomotive with sound.  One of the big reasons that I like Darryl Huffman’s products is that I get a lot of entertainment for my dollar.  Seven hours and four DVD’s for $30 is a LOT of bang for the buck, especially when it’s full of great information.  That equates to $4.29 per entertainment hour.  A movie with a soda and popcorn at the theater is now $12.50 per hour.  Huffman gives us our monies worth.

This video set is amazing.  Darryl makes it look so easy that you want to turn it off and go do it!  I like that kind of inspiration.  Since I had a vasectomy earlier in the day and can’t do much I did watch it cover to cover.  That I don’t recommend.  It’s like trying to eat a whole pan of homemade lasagna in one sitting.  It’s just to rich to digest that much that fast.  You probably want to watch 30 minutes a day over a two week span.  Keep a notebook handy and take notes.  Actually, it is amazing how he gives that much information to the viewer.

A big key to the success of this video is that he doesn’t just use one technique.  Constantly he changes the technique showing you different ways to achieve the same results.  Yet, he does it so subtly that you don’t really know that he’s doing it.  This way you learn several techniques at once and can tailor your style to the skill you like best or that achieves the results you want.

Darryl builds an O-scale mini-saloon right before your eyes using simple instructions.  You can build this structure in any scale, so don’t let the O-scale nature of the product stop you from watching.  He just does it in O because it is easy to see.  You can use this structure on almost any layout just by changing the name of the business.

I’ve been building models for 30 years and still I learned many new things in the hours that I watched.  No two modelers build anything the same way and it is rare that you can sit and watch a top modeler build an entire model.  If you pick up a Model Railroader Magazine all you’ll see are a couple of paragraphs of instructions and a few photos.  Darryl builds the building right before our eyes!  Does he edit out his mistakes?  NO.  He shows you that he makes them all the time and how to work around them, just like you and I need to do.

As with other Huffman videos I have the same few complaints.  The lighting and video work could use a little help.  Darryl also needs to hire some Vanna White stunt hands to do the work.  Other than those few comments, the video is fantastic.

I’ve got to recommend this video set to anyone that wants to scratchbuild!

Scott Perry

No comments: