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Starter Models;

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Starter Models;
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:08 PM

No;

    I don't mean Snap - Kits. When someone wants to get into a full blown, glue together model the list can be daunting depending on the subject. Armor and Cars used to be easy as long you weren't looking for a Museum display, MONOGRAM !

    Planes ran the gamut from Aurora( Lowest parts count)  to Revell and Hawk. Now ships, Well that's another Ball game. I have seen what looks like simple ships from Revell and they were disasters to build. Same with Hasegawa and Tamiya. There were a few from other foreign mfgrs such as OTAKI that were okay for first builds in their scale ( 1/400)

 I always recommended to my first time modelers in my classes to get Monogram for Cars, Airplanes and Armor. For ships start out with any of the singular Boat kits from Lindberg. Why? Well sure, they are not the finest molds out there. But since they acquired Life Like and then themselves got acquired the Tuna Clipper, Shrimp Boat and the Elco P.T as well as the U.S.C.G Coastal Patrol boat are winners because of their larger scale and there-fore parts.

     They do have smaller scale items such as the Rocket launching Ship( Mortars?) and some others such as the good old LCVP in 1/32 from Years ago, And let's not forget the Old but fun to build Admirable Class Minesweeper. Revell did have some early ones that went together pretty well, for the time and style. One that stands out and always will, is their harbor tug " Long Beach" A beautiful little kit. Not many parts overall, some delicate but useable and a fairly good finished model is the result.

 The other old standbys are also Revell For ships like the Buckley and the Buchanon and the Forrest Sherman or Life-Like/Lindberg as I've said and whoever they are now. Monogram did have some neat little kits around the Viet-Nam era. A P.C.F.-Swift Boat, and French R.A.G. boat and a Sampan?  These were simple beyond reason. But they ain't cheap now.

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Thursday, February 18, 2021 1:36 AM

First of all TB, let me say I always enjoy your musings. This one however is particularly interesting because its not as simple as it sounds.

When I was a kid it was the Airfix poly bag kits, 1/72 - 1/76. Simple, straight forward. Build them in an hour or two, wait for the glue to dry, (sometimes), and play with them. Paint??? What was that? They were pocket money kits, simple and basic. But how much fun were they? So much fun, so many happy times, never thinking I would become a serious modeler. Monogram, Revell, Aurora, Frog. Wow, have kids ever had it so good?

Now kit makers strive for serious authenticity even in small scale stuff and sadly they are not pocket money models anymore. On the one hand this must be applauded, but on the other its a little sad. I wonder if kids these days get the same sense of fun and adventure, because it wasn't just the kits. It was the Rat Patrol and Combat and comics like the Haunted Tank and the Brit war comics like Commando and such. As children then our parents, or grandparents had been through two world wars. Issues were much clearer cut and life was a whole lot less complicated.

Model kits were a lot less complicated and so were kids interests. No computers or mobile phones. The kits were definately clunky by todays standards, but by crikey, I sure miss 'em.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, February 18, 2021 6:38 AM
When I started up modeling as a young adult in the early 80's, I seemed to be drawn to Tamiya armor and Hasegawa and Tamiya planes.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Thursday, February 18, 2021 9:55 AM

Dodgy

 

When I was a kid it was the Airfix poly bag kits, 1/72 - 1/76. Simple, straight forward. Build them in an hour or two, wait for the glue to dry, (sometimes), and play with them. Paint??? What was that? They were pocket money kits, simple and basic. But how much fun were they? So much fun, so many happy times, never thinking I would become a serious modeler. Monogram, Revell, Aurora, Frog. Wow, have kids ever had it so good?

Now kit makers strive for serious authenticity even in small scale stuff and sadly they are not pocket money models anymore. On the one hand this must be applauded, but on the other its a little sad. I wonder if kids these days get the same sense of fun and adventure, because it wasn't just the kits. It was the Rat Patrol and Combat and comics like the Haunted Tank and the Brit war comics like Commando and such. As children then our parents, or grandparents had been through two world wars. Issues were much clearer cut and life was a whole lot less complicated.

Model kits were a lot less complicated and so were kids interests. No computers or mobile phones. The kits were definately clunky by todays standards, but by crikey, I sure miss 'em.

 

There was just a post on several of the facebook grous I am in that tear down the "nostalgia" of the old kits, and push the older, 1/48th Tamiya single engine WWII fighters as first kits.  

I am torn on the subject, as the cost (moreso than the nostalgia) of those old revell kits is what would bring the younger element into the modeling fold.  I understand some of those old Tamiya kits arent super expensive, but I would much rather spend half as much for an oldere revell or airfix kit for my little guy to build than something of the Tamiya nature....

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Thursday, February 18, 2021 11:38 AM

Dodgy
When I was a kid it was the Airfix poly bag kits, 1/72 - 1/76. Simple, straight forward. Build them in an hour or two, wait for the glue to dry, (sometimes), and play with them. Paint??? What was that? They were pocket money kits, simple and basic. But how much fun were they? So much fun, so many happy times, never thinking I would become a serious modeler.

I'm with you, Dodgy - I remember those Airfix poly-bag kits very fondly and I think that's why we're still modellers.  Partly because we wanted to build better models then (and some of us stuck with it in order to do so), and partly because of the nostalgia we have now, looking back on those happier, simpler, times, even if - like me - we didn't quite stick with itBig Smile

New kits aimed at that market - simple starter kits with paint & glue included so anyone can build a model, just to try it, are what will help to secure the future of our hobby.  They're great gifts to give to kids (and sometimes adults) as an alternative to something expensive that needs batteries and makes bleeping noises.  If, as a boy, I'd been presented with a complex, clearly expensive, high-quality kit with a couple of hundred parts and a whole book of instructions, it would have put me right off, probably for good.  But my Dad saying "here, let's build a Spitfire", with a simple 20-or-30-piece kit that we could make in an hour or so - well, that was different.

Airfix still make such starter kits, as do Revell, and there are probably others out there, too - long may they continue to recruit tomorrow's builders!

Good subject for a thread, TB.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

 

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: NEVER USE PHOTO BUCKET - IT'S A THREAD WRECKER.
Posted by disastermaster on Thursday, February 18, 2021 1:14 PM

 In my early days (50's) while growing up as a single child....         

https://hiddenremote.com/files/2015/10/snoopy.jpg

 

...........these were my friends.

 Hawk, Novo (ex/Frog), Aurora, Monogram, Renwal, Lindberg, Revell and matchbox. And I've probably missed a few.

https://i.imgur.com/Gcc59Dk.png

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, February 18, 2021 1:31 PM

I only recall revelle and monogram as a kid.  Today kids have simple offering in subjects they care about.  Gundam, sci-fi etc., not exclusively of course.  And I think there are entry level aircraft that aren't too expensive.   Not sure about simple armor.   Car models can be found for reasonable prices and are great starter kits.  

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Thursday, February 18, 2021 3:15 PM

Frankly, I think the argument that 'kids don't model today because kits are too expensive' is a bunch of baloney. That Airfix series 1 single engine WW2 kit that was a $1 in the early 70s would be around $7 now, accounting for just inflation. Other factors such as increases in labor and environmental laws would have to be factored in as well. Yet today, an Airfix WW2 single engine series 1 is around $8-$10 MSRP. And with a little looking around, can frequently be had for $6-$7.

I think the nostalgia glasses are distorting people's perception greatly on this. While the price in raw terms has undoubtedly increased, the relative amount money required to make the purchase in its era has stayed fairly similar. And while sure, there are a lot of much more expensive kits out there today, they are frequently vastly better in quality than a corresponding kit would have been 50 years ago. Kids are managing to acquire $60 video games all the time somehow these days; they could get a $60 Tamiya armor kit as well. They're just choosing not to. 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Thursday, February 18, 2021 3:55 PM

Hutch6390
New kits aimed at that market - simple starter kits with paint & glue included so anyone can build a model, just to try it, are what will help to secure the future of our hobby.  They're great gifts to give to kids (and sometimes adults) as an alternative to something expensive that needs batteries and makes bleeping noises.  If, as a boy, I'd been presented with a complex, clearly expensive, high-quality kit with a couple of hundred parts and a whole book of instructions, it would have put me right off, probably for good.  But my Dad saying "here, let's build a Spitfire", with a simple 20-or-30-piece kit that we could make in an hour or so - well, that was different. Airfix still make such starter kits, as do Revell, and there are probably others out there, too - long may they continue to recruit tomorrow's builders!

 

I completely agree Hutch. The starter kits are definately a great idea. I recently purchased the Airfix P40 starter kit as a project for my 10 year old grandaughter and I. The choice of model was hers and she loved it because of the shark mouth artwork. Will she go on to be a modeler? Who knows, but in the meantime we are having fun and spending quality time together.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Thursday, February 18, 2021 4:20 PM

MJames70
I think the nostalgia glasses are distorting people's perception greatly on this. While the price in raw terms has undoubtedly increased, the relative amount money required to make the purchase in its era has stayed fairly similar. And while sure, there are a lot of much more expensive kits out there today, they are frequently vastly better in quality than a corresponding kit would have been 50 years ago. Kids are managing to acquire $60 video games all the time somehow these days; they could get a $60 Tamiya armor kit as well. They're just choosing not to. 

 

You make some good points. Prices are relative and many kids do seem to have acess to funds unheard of in my time. Nostalgia can distort things also. But as I look back at my childhood compared with that of my grandchildren, my time was so much less complicated. I enjoy those trips down memory lane to the days of comics, black and white TV, the old poly bag kits and no PC. But I don't live there, I just like to visit now and then. Today I am amazed at what is available for the modeler, old, or young. The references, the after market products, the painting systems and forums like this. But. I'm very grateful to those old kit companies and associated influences that led me to where I am today and hopefully the starter kits produced by Airfix and Revell, that Hutch referred to, will do the same for the billy lids of today. (Sorry- billy lids - kids).

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, February 20, 2021 11:36 AM

A few of the Monogram Vietnam era "Brown Water Navy" boats were reissued in the mid 1990s. I was stationed in Redstone Arsenal when I bought them, along with a Revell Redstone rocket kit.

The RAG boat was also reissued with a Huey helicopter in a Rambo combo kit pack.

I agree that as a younger modeler, Mongram was the better company for starter model kits. Revell kits were more involved and had flimsier sprue trees. When you opened the box, half the parts were off the trees and you were lucky if everything was there. Aurora was the same way, but Monogram had way better sprue trees and often simpler, more robust construction, less flash, etc.

If I was a teenager and saw the exact same subject in a Revell box and a Monogram box, I knew to grab the Monogram box (space shuttle, F-16 jump to mind).

Revell made very complicated stock automobile kits. Even requiring the builder to add chrome trim themselves, opening doors and hood, etc. Monogram stock automobile kits usually had an interior tub, fixed doors and an opening hood.

I don't think it was until I was a lieutenant in Germany that I started delving into Revell kits because they were also released by Revell Germany.

  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by TheDemiGod on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 7:01 PM

Monogram kits were (and still are) perfect starter kits back in the 70s and 80s'. Easy and not too complicated to follow and you can build a nice kit in the end. Oh the glory days of my youth building those Monogram cars and aircraft kits. I still love them now.

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