Kit Manufacturers

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by KevinK., Sep 27, 2010.

  1. KevinK.

    KevinK. Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Belleville, IL
    Are there any there any Manufacturers that generally rate better than some? Or does it break down by each kit?

    Maybe the P-51 from "A" is better than the one from "B".
    Or is it more "A" makes models a lot better overall than "B"?
    "A" makes 1/72 great, but terrible at 1/24.

    Or does each kit have to be looked at individually?
     
  2. Dave998

    Dave998 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    self-employed aviation artist
    Location:
    Wauconda, IL
    That question used to be easier to answer than it is now, because of at least 3 main factors:
    A) Some companies (notably Revell Germany) are buying up old molds/tools from other companies and re-packaging them. Watch out for crude oldies in pretty new boxes with flashy decals!
    B) Numerous companies sell each others' products through various marketing agreements.
    C) Some healthy, growing companies are continually upgrading their quality and manufacturing technologies, but continue to produce and sell their older kits, forcing the buyer to pay attention to the "when" of the kits.
    I strongly recommend paying attention to reviews/previews of kits in modeling magazines and websites because sometimes a kit that looks great in theory turns out to be a stinker to build. Careful about "short-run" kitting technology. That said, I generally like the newer kits, because of their upgrade technologies like resin and photo-etched parts, and modern decals usually just rock! This is truly a golden age for models both in terms of variety and quality, so enjoy while it lasts!! Happy modeling.
     
  3. zoomar

    zoomar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I would agree that repackaging old molds and remarketing other manufacturers' kits makes it very hard to judge quality without reading reviews or buying the kit. In the old days, plastic models were relatively cheap but not any more, so you need to read up.

    As has been pointed out, it also depends what the model is of and whether or not you want an all injection molded styrene kit or something with mixed media like resin, photoetched metal, vacuform as well. That said, I'd tend to go for Hasegawa, Tamiya, and Trumpeter among common brands, but the best planes to come out recently have been Roden, Eduard, and Wingnut WWI kits. Right or wrong, I stay away from US brands like Monogram.
     
  4. tail end charlie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    when I used to make models my family would occasionally buy presents none of the Revell kits ever went together I still wont buy one after the two halves of a B17 just wouldnt fit together,,,hopeless.
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,141
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    TEC, Revell can make some nice kits. I have their 1/48 Mossie and it's a beaut.

    Kevin, IMHO, it also depends on what you're looking for. In addition to the factors mentioned by the others, some manufacturers, even the notables, have tended to mess up details of their kits, sometimes getting proportions noticeably wrong.

    As an example, ICM has top marks for arguably the most accurately represented 1/48 Spit IX, but fit and flash are issues on their kit that you won't find as much on others. ICM also have great value, often including tons of detail parts in their kits. But they take a little more patience (and more filling and sanding) to make a great build.

    I have liked Tamiya kits but they aslo disappoint me sometimes. My 1/48 Spit Mk I is beautifully molded and goes togther like a dream but the decals are a complete disappointment.

    So, to quote Forrest Gump, models are like a box of chocolates.....unless you do some research on each kit so that you do end up knowing what you're getting. Lot's of reviews on the web. Just Google the kit you're thinking of getting and you'll get lots of hits.
     
  6. KevinK.

    KevinK. Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Belleville, IL
    Thanks guys for the input. Sadly most of the larger chain type of stores only carry Revell, and really nothing else. But the little corner hobby store a bit down the road tucked away in a forgotten part of downtown carries plenty of models and a bigger variety of paint.

    They did look very nervous when I bundled in the kids (12 years, 10 years, 8 years and 1 year) reminding all that touching will not be tolerated, and violators will be beaten. I do jest, but the kids got the idea and were very well behaved.

    The old boys were a bit shy and cautious maybe because I wasn't a regular. But I've gone there often enough in my youth with my father (he's a train guy) to know the place.

    It looks like I might have to do some online shopping. For some reason going to a shop, taking my time, talking with the old guys, and looking at all the boxes stacked on shelves or on display are really part of the whole experience if you ask me..

    Cheers! :)
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    A fricken men! To me that's half the fun.
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,682
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    KevinK, you bet, just like here and you don't have to worry about the kids touching.
    the big chains carry Revell because they are relatively cheap and i tend to agree that the quality is poor.
    mods, i don't know if this is a advertisement, but i get most of my kits from Ebay and what i can't find on Ebay from the local hobby shop. I've found unavailable kits on Ebay, some were shipped from China. Just watch your prices
     
  9. zoomar

    zoomar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Also, the small tucked away specialist hobby shop usually isn't just selling kits to people buying presents for their 13-year old grandkids. Once you make yourself known as an interested hobbyist, they often will open kits for you so you can see the sprues and their quality for youself - and give you good advice. That won't happen at WalMart or Hobby Lobby. If you don't live near a store like that, I'd buy online. Check around. There are several of online stores and manufacturers that provide all kinds of information and show sprue pics to help you make an informed decision. Check out the Wingnut site if you like WW1 planes.

    The thing is, though, plastic kits just cost so damnmuch these days. When I was a kid, $5 might buy six or seven Airfix 1/72 WW 2 fighters, three or four 1/48 Monogram WW2 fighters, or even one big 1/32 Revell or Hasegawa plane. You could take a risk on quality, ease of assembly, or your own skills (or lack thereof). Not to mention that paint cost less than 25 cents. Today, depending on manufacturer, one good 1/72 WW2 fighter built out of the box and painted accurately might run somebody up to 40-50 bucks when all is said and done. True the quality of the kits are much better than what I built as a kid in the 1960s and the options for producing museum-quality pieces more available, but that's just too much for most people. Today, I ususally just go to hobby shops and drool.
     
  10. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    Crimenee... sounds like US gunshop and stereo (hi-fi) owners. Cranky bastards who act like their customers are a nuisance instead of their bread and butter. I would tell them so. And if they don't change, kiss them goodbye in 10 years or so. Idiots.
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,727
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    ....especially if the shop also offer tea or coffee, like mine does! 8)
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,647
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    What? You actually drink that stuff?!! Well I never ......
     
  13. AvoidGround

    AvoidGround Guest

    Revell are a very inconsistant manufacturer. Their new tools seem to be very good: their Herten flying wing is delightful. But their oldies are really rocky...I've buit a couple of their 1/72 WW1 models....which I built when they first came out in the 1960's and were groundbreakingly good compared to what Airfix were then making.... and they really were barely fit fot human consumption. And their matchbox re-packagings are.... Matchbox repackagings. What really gets me about them is the ludicrous variety of scales they use. I'm very tempted by their Rotodyne, but 1/76?? Get real. Their warships are even worse, no two appear to be the same scale.
     
  14. KOMET163

    KOMET163 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    Health care
    Location:
    Western Kansas
    Frankly, I don't go to many retail shops anymore since my LHS shut down. I do find that airfix kits are getting better and are generally cheaper than tamiya. If you want to start out with a kit in 1/72 scale, the new mould airfix Spitfire Mk I is an excellent starter kit.
     
  15. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Barnsley, S. Yorks, UK
    #15 BombTaxi, Dec 21, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
    Revell Germany acquired moulds from Frog and Matchbox on the demise of those companies. These old moulds can be rough, as they date back to the 60s in some cases, but they are the only game in town for some British subjects like the Shackleton, Victor and Sea Venom. They are also reasonably cheap at retail, although they can get pricey on eBay - as I found out in the last few days, trying and failing to obtain the ex-Frog Shackleton at a sensible price.

    Matchbox were themselves inconsistent in quality, and often skimpy on detail - my Prowler doesn't even have separate ejection seats in the cockpit. The best call with any Revell product (and Airfix, for that matter), is to head to a website like ModelingMadness or Scale Model Aircraft Kit Reviews (SMAKR) and read up a few reviews so you know what you're letting yourself in for. At least you will know if you have a 40 year old ex-Frog mould coming your way or not! 8)
     
  16. KOMET163

    KOMET163 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    Health care
    Location:
    Western Kansas
    Bomb taxi,

    I have built many matchbox, frog and airfix kits over the years. I think that most frog kits can be built if you are careful and avoid the flash covered novo kits or eastern express molds. Matchbox kits that I have built can be turned into really nice kits once you remember that matchbox was designed to be simple and easy to build. Here is what I do when it comes to matchbox.
    if possible I buy the revell of germany version and save the ore ignal version for my collection. Then I buy aftermarket decals for the kit. I very careful compare the originals with the revell of germany kit. then I build the revell kit.

    I admit that I am biased in favor of matchbox , frog and airfix , but these are the companies of my youth and they are very old friends of mine. Somewhat elderly and passed by , but still they are my friends and I will defend them to the end.
     
  17. dneid

    dneid Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Program/Project Mgr
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I have to agree on all points here. I am lucky to have a great LHS here in Austin. The guys are very nice, always welcoming and polite. They will open boxes for me to look at the kit. Their prices are reasonable, as reasonable as a specialty store can be. All in all, I support this LHS as best I can. If I find a MUCH lower price online, I will ask them if they have any wiggle room. If not, I do buy online.

    As for the cost of kits..... YIKES. When I started back on a very limited basis about 5 years ago, I was shocked at the prices. However, the quality of some of these kits is staggering. So, I have adjusted the required number of purchases to meet my fix for this addiction. I will never have a HUGE backlog of kits as some folks do. I do have a backlog, maybe 12 kits.

    BTW, the Revell, 1/48th P-47 Razorback is JUST ok. A few serious fit problems, but I did not buy this one for a serious build. I bought it as a throw together so I can practice all my airbrush, finish, decal, seal, weathering skills (or lack there of).

    Dale
     
  18. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    This may be just the drugs talking, (I have the flu, so no jokes,) but, I am happy that some of the old models are still being produced. It is an excellent opprotunity to learn some of the basics of real modeling. No offence intended to those out there that can afford the high end resin stuff, but in the old days we built details as needed using our cleverness and bits of stuff we found laying about. Arrggghhh, Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!!
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,647
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Got to agree with you there Paul. With 'older' kits, and I mean mostly from the mid 1970s up until the mid 1980s, given that the overall dimensions, shape etc are fairly accurate, there are many that are still very, very good kits. Many of the Revell/Monogram 1/48th kits, for example, can still produce excellent finished models.
    OK, some might not have the whistles, bells and flashing lights of 'today's' kits, but, personally, I don't particularly want all the fancy (and often very tiny) multi-media add-ons which some kits include. I'm a modeller, not an assembler, and prefer to add detail, as required, and to whatever level, myself, whenever possible. Apart from being a heck of a lot cheaper that way, it's also more satisfying.
    It amuses me, reading comments in magazines and some other forums which I've peeked at, where, unless a kit has this or that part, it's deemed to be not very good, or could be better, or whatever.
    With the rising prices of relatively straightforward kits, some of which are twenty year old re-issues, at double or treble the price ( we all know who the culprit companies are !) , I have absolutely no problem buying, for example, a Monogram 1/48th scale Typhoon, at around £9 (approx $13 US), and 'doing something with it', rather than pay four times that amount, for a kit which, although it may have a little more finesse, is only marginally better.
    OK, if the only available kit, for a particular subject, happens to be a more recent, more expensive example, then, if I have to buy that one (for a commission for example), then fair enough - but I'll make certain I shop around first!
    Coincidentally, I've just been moving furniture around, tidying up, which has involved moving part of my 'stash', and I happened to note the price tags on two identical 1/48th scale FW 190 kits, from the same manufacturer, bought about three weeks apart, from my LHS (who I strongly support) roughly 18 months ago. The first was priced at £16.99, whilst the second was priced at £22. That same kit now is approaching the £40 mark!
    I can not understand, even allowing for exchange rates, export costs, import duties, the direction of the wind etc, how the heck certain companies can justify such rises, for the same material, from the same mould used a few years before, when Revell, and others, who will have the same or similar research, design, production and logistic costs, can produce equally good kits, often better quality/detailed kits, at much, much less retail cost !
     
Loading...

Share This Page