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Kit brands

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  • Member since
    April, 2019
Kit brands
Posted by K4BeeTee on Monday, April 29, 2019 7:57 AM

Hi guys

This might be a contentious issue and butI apologise but I'm curious - back in my day, there really were only 4 or 5 brands around making airplane kits - Airfix, Revell, Tamya, Hasegawa, Matchbox that I recall hahaha.

Just browsing around for kits and so on, I notice so many brand names I've never come across - good thing too! Means the industry is alive and well.

Question: are there any kit brands you tend to favour? And any you tend to avoid? And why?

Cheers

BT

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Monday, April 29, 2019 9:45 AM

Nah, if I like it I buy it. I mean right now I'm building an old Airfix A-26 Invader. Certainly not state of the art, but I like it. I have a Smer Piper L-4 in my stash. Again, not state of the art, but I like it. I have a partially built state of the art Tamiya P-51D that's been on the bench for two years. It just doesn't call out to me. The kits I've built since I got back into the hobby are old Monogram, AMT, Revell, and Otaki. But then again, that's just me.

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 29, 2019 10:32 AM

I tend to select kits for the subject. That can lead to some interesting results, but it's part of the dance I guess,

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, April 29, 2019 11:01 AM

GMorrison

I tend to select kits for the subject. That can lead to some interesting results, but it's part of the dance I guess,

 

Same here. Most every company has their roses and thorn bush kits. The older a company is, the more likely that they are to have both types in their line ups. Not to mention that some companies only do certain types of kit subjects, and ignore others. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, April 29, 2019 11:24 AM

Kit brands can be tricky; many companies rebox one another's kits. Yes, you can find Italeri kits inside of Tamiya boxes!

Kits that used to be Esci now relive as Italeri and Revell of Germany.

Old Monogram kits, some of which were once Aurora kits reappear as Revell kits. They also got Renwal kits too.

Some Matchbox kits were released in Revell of Germany boxes.

Dragon kits came back in Zvezda boxes as did Italeri kits.

There are some brand new brands that might be unknown names to you, but inside is an old kit that might be familiar. And there are some new brands that have some high quality kits that are leaps and bounds ahead of the great brands you remember.

BOTTOM LINE: Do or do not buy a kit just because of the brand name on the box; instead, check the actual kit review online to see if it is a good one or not.

Tamiya has a nasty habit of releasing one of their old, outdated kits right as another new company is releasing a new kit of a subject in an attempt to get someone unfamiliar with the kits to buy theirs instead.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, April 29, 2019 11:29 AM

Ditto what Stik said. Everyone has an opinion of certain kit brands warts and all. Who cares. Buy it and wing it. With so many kit manufacturers out there, its impossible to avoid certain kits. Besides, I love a challenge in building a kit.

If you’re really a stickler about choosing kit brands depending on the subject, go to scalemates.com. Do a search on a particular kit, read the reviews (if any) and make your own decisions. Kinda like opening a box of chocolate, you never gonna know what you’re going to get. 

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, April 29, 2019 11:52 AM

As a general answer, I have never been disappointed by a Tamiya or Hasegawa kit. New releases, from Tamiya, are state-of-the-art wonders and a joy to build.

Other than that, "You pays your money, and you takes your chances."

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Monday, April 29, 2019 12:32 PM

Hi ;

   Like " G " said .I buy for subject . Oh! and what fits the Budget !

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, April 29, 2019 12:48 PM

K4BeeTee

...This might be a contentious issue and butI apologise but I'm curious - back in my day, there really were only 4 or 5 brands around making airplane kits - Airfix, Revell, Tamya, Hasegawa, Matchbox that I recall...

You left out Monogram. Unless your day started after 1986, though.   Then you might not remember them as a separate brand.

But in my day, which started in 1964, if you lived here in the US, and you built 1/48, you built Monogram kits.  If you built 1/72 or 1/32, you built Revell.  Tamiya and Hasegawa were available, too, but Monogram and Revell dominated our home market, followed by Aurora, Lindberg, Hawk, and Testors.  We got Airfix, too, though often through MPC.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Monday, April 29, 2019 12:50 PM

I already have everything I need.   HA HA HA HA!  Now that new Tamiya Achilies that i just saw built up looks pretty nice.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, April 29, 2019 3:07 PM

I gravitate to whoever has the subject I am interested in.I make comparisons using build reviews and blogs,then I choose based on budget.

The kits on my shelf and in the my stash and on my shelf are Dragon,Tamiya,Hasgawa,some Meng and Trumpeter.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Monday, April 29, 2019 3:37 PM

the Baron

 

 
K4BeeTee

...This might be a contentious issue and butI apologise but I'm curious - back in my day, there really were only 4 or 5 brands around making airplane kits - Airfix, Revell, Tamya, Hasegawa, Matchbox that I recall...

 

 

You left out Monogram. Unless your day started after 1986, though.   Then you might not remember them as a separate brand.

But in my day, which started in 1964, if you lived here in the US, and you built 1/48, you built Monogram kits.  If you built 1/72 or 1/32, you built Revell.  Tamiya and Hasegawa were available, too, but Monogram and Revell dominated our home market, followed by Aurora, Lindberg, Hawk, and Testors.  We got Airfix, too, though often through MPC.

 

You left off Jo-Han .  Some interesting car kits and options.   Like build either a Zero or a Rufe from same kit with alternate parts.   Also either a Razorback or bubble-top P-47

Or Crown 1;144 kits. Many have again seen the light of day in Minicraft boxes

Or Hobbycraft out of Canada.

Monogram started even earlier doing wooden kits then went to my Plastic. Insert “The Graduate” footage here.   If you’re too young, google ‘Graduate + plastics’  

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 8:52 AM

I'm high right now on Airfix and Revell.  They have upped the game on their mold quality, yet are priced very reasonably.  The new molding technology on theirs and the Asian stuff astounds me.  The mold detail in kits today have reached what used to be true only for resin.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:54 AM

Yes, the new tool Airfix kits are fantastic. And Revell Germany’s new stuff is quite nice as well. And both will give you more for your money on the same subject than most Asian based companies.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2019
Posted by K4BeeTee on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:37 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. Very good info here :) Good to hear about Airfix, back in my day their quality was a bit iffy and seemed to vary wildly from one kit to the next.
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:01 PM

stikpusher

Yes, the new tool Airfix kits are fantastic. And Revell Germany’s new stuff is quite nice as well. And both will give you more for your money on the same subject than most Asian based companies.

 

The new A-4 in 1/72 is a real winner. I've built two of them.

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 11:11 PM
Like others have said check the reviews of the kit I always look a kit up on scalemates now before I buy it. When it comes to aircraft Eduard and Tamiya are my favorite brands but I still have a lot of Revell and monogram kits in the stash to build.

Clint

  • Member since
    April, 2019
Posted by K4BeeTee on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 5:48 AM

Omg scalemates.com is da bomb lol My wishlist is huge....and growing....

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by Rotorhead13 on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 8:53 AM

I would also suggest you check the internet for reviews of any kit before buying. You can usually decide whether or not to buy the kit after you read the review. An example of a current company you should check out before buying would be Hobby Boss. They made a pretty nice F4F Wildcat kit, but their Hellcat kit isn't shaped correctly or properly scaled. 

As an old-timer I can tell you many of the kits from the past are still worth building, but there were companies we tended to avoid even then. We knew to be very careful with Lindberg, Aurora and Hawk (These companies had a bad habit of making planes with such things as no underwing detail and/or raised surface areas outlining where the decals should go. The decals were never the same size as the outlined areas, and the raised edges just made the decals lumpy and wrinkled), but the Revell and Monogram kits didn't have those problems. They built into models you were proud to display.

The old Monogram and Revell kits are mostly still highly displayable. For all the criticism they get for raised panel lines and rivets, once they are painted and on the shelf they are beautiful. The raised panel lines are extremly thin - like baby hair thin - and as soon as they have a couple coats of paint over them they aren't the least bit distracting. As for the rivets, well, have you ever gone to the air museums and looked at those planes? The WWII ones, especially the bombers, are just covered in the things. The rivets Monogram made were much more realistic than those dented holes all the new companies are making.

Just saying. Judge the kit by how it will appear to the naked eye after it's built and not by the techniques used to manufacture it.    

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 4:07 PM

Rotorhead... true up to a point. You may get one great review then another will give a bad one. So who do you believe? That’s why I mentioned scalemates.com because you do have a multiple websites reviewing the same kit. I rather read the reviews through scalemates.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, May 01, 2019 6:11 PM

Yes, but most reviews are fairly recent. At least the ones that you find online. And most current reviewers have the current biases for recessed detail and against raised details, even if it is more accurate. Many reviews are by the same individual posted on multiple websites.

Some reviews are by individuals who were “gifted” the kit, so to speak, by the manufacturer. That tends to water down any criticism as it leads to a “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” attitude. One can’t be too honest, or they risk losing the supply of free kits. Again and again I read good reviews of Kitty Hawk kits, but I see guys in my AMPS & IPMS clubs dumping thode same kits after starting them because they are full of problems. 

Scalemates is an invaluable resource. But not all encompassing. I just spent a couple of hours today entering decal sheets into their database that were not previously included. And there are still many more to do in my stash. There is only so much time in the day. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, May 04, 2019 10:49 AM

stikpusher

Some reviews are by individuals who were “gifted” the kit, so to speak, by the manufacturer. That tends to water down any criticism as it leads to a “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” attitude. One can’t be too honest, or they risk losing the supply of free kits.

Some sites also hand out kits to favored members regardless of whether or not the reviewer has the institutional knowledge on the subject or skills required to make a highly detailed model out of the kit.

I'm not saying you have to be a master modeler to adequately review a kit, but having at least intermediate modeling skills on the same skill level with the kit will help.

I used to build a lot of 1/72 scale armor, but mainly modern US and Shermans. Someone at a website got very upset with me because I did not want to accept resin upgrades for some 1/72 scale Tiger kits.

I explained my reasoning for not wanting the items. First of all, I did not have the expertise to know whether or not the item was accurate or fictional. Although I could have done some research, looked in books or online to see if the items were okay.

Secondly, I did not own the models that the parts were used on. I felt it would be better to redirect those items to someone who would actually want to build the kit and use the items.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:05 AM

K4BeeTee
Thanks for the replies guys. Very good info here :) Good to hear about Airfix, back in my day their quality was a bit iffy and seemed to vary wildly from one kit to the next.
 

Yes, the new tool Airfix kits are a terrific value, with very good engineering and fit for a very reasonable price.  The thing you have to watch out for is that both new kits and 40+ year old clunkers are both on the shelves in the same style of shiny red boxes.  Check the reviews, as others have said.  Also, the newest kits will often have a CAD image of the assembled kit on the side panel- that’s a good indication.

 

 

 

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

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