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Best Plastic Model Aircraft Kit Manufacturer

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  • Member since
    January, 2012
Best Plastic Model Aircraft Kit Manufacturer
Posted by Hondo467 on Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:47 PM

I'm used to building plastic model aircraft kits made by Tamiya, Hasegawa, Revell and Monogram to name a few.  I worked on 1/48th and 1/72nd scale models, but I've moved my focus to mainly 1/32nd scale.  I've seen some other companies come onto the scene...Trumpeter seems to be making alot of kits in this scale, and there's Hobby Boss, Czech Model, etc.  I'm curious who you feel is/are the best plastic model aircraft kit makers...for example, is Tamiya still the best or is/are there other companies that are as good if not better?

Thanks!

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:18 PM

Best is a nebulous term as there is no best manufacturer.  Every company has what one person deems best while another person deems the same kit a stinker.  Some people like kits with a thousand parts while others like kits with less parts.  In the end it's all up to you for a decision of what's best.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: Western Front
Posted by Wolfram von Sturmwolke on Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:22 PM

That's really impossible to answer. It really depends on personal point of view. They all make some gems and some turds. There's value for $ and about a million other ways to look at it. I think you would be better served asking who's the worst...and in that vein, I know of only one, a defunct Isreal company the name of which escapes me.

Anyway, I love the "shake and bake" kits but I'm also very fond of value for $ kits. Revell-o-gram of course, Academy, and Eduard. There certainly has never been a better time to be a builder, and the choices get broader every day.

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:13 PM

I wasn't aware that Tamiya was the "best" to begin with??? Everyone has their own opinion...you'll have to be more specific as to what you like in a particular kit. I'm always drawn toward hasegawa, I build 1/48 WWII and they've kitted almost every aircraft and with all their different boxings I always seem to find what I want. Ebay is where I usually find them and I wait to find a kit with a more reasonable price, where as if I want an Eduard kit I just buy new from Sprue brothers or the like.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:21 PM

Wolfram, the company you are thinking about was Starfix,,,,,and the people that quote how bad they were either don't know, or forgot,,,,,,,that in two cases, at least, Starfix was Hasegawa and Airfix quality

for one model, the Starfix version is still the best way to get the oop Hasegawa kit

almost gone

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: Western Front
Posted by Wolfram von Sturmwolke on Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:39 PM

TarnShip

Wolfram, the company you are thinking about was Starfix,,,,,and the people that quote how bad they were either don't know, or forgot,,,,,,,that in two cases, at least, Starfix was Hasegawa and Airfix quality

for one model, the Starfix version is still the best way to get the oop Hasegawa kit

Yes, that's it. I must confess, that I've never seen one in the styrene-flesh and only based my judgement on everything I've ever read about them.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Colorado Springs
Posted by Geof on Friday, February 24, 2012 12:18 AM

Wolfram von Sturmwolke

That's really impossible to answer. It really depends on personal point of view. They all make some gems and some turds. There's value for $ and about a million other ways to look at it. I think you would be better served asking who's the worst...and in that vein, I know of only one, a defunct Isreal company the name of which escapes me.

Anyway, I love the "shake and bake" kits but I'm also very fond of value for $ kits. Revell-o-gram of course, Academy, and Eduard. There certainly has never been a better time to be a builder, and the choices get broader every day.

Another problem is there are many kits that share boxings from diff companies. I believe Hasagawa to be overpriced overall. I used to be a total tamiya snob but they are spendy too. These days I'm trying different manufacturers and have liked academys offerings especially for the money. Revellogram can't be beat on some for a quickie bang for the buck. Trumpeter makes a good kit as well. I'm currently working on a Zvezda 109 that has incredible detail for a 48 $25.00 kit, but it has some fit issues... Still a great kit for the $!

Most times it boils down to tooling, all makers have gems, and duds... Just gotta sift through them.

Photobucket

On the Bench: Tamiya's 1/48 A-10a Thunderbolt 

In the Hangar:  Hmmm???

 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Friday, February 24, 2012 12:42 AM

The one where you lean back and rub your eyes and say "slow down", where yo go buy a bunch of books and really lean into it. Where when you finish you say "I did that?".

For me it's usually Tamiya. But I rarely build Tamiya because they rarely kit anything interesting. Dave gave me a Seiran though, and I look forward to that.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Utereg
Posted by Borg R3-MC0 on Friday, February 24, 2012 2:53 AM

A Model is the best; they make a bunch of soviet aircraft kits!

Wingnut is the best; super fit , highly detailed 1/32 WWI kits!

Khee Ka is the best: extremely good vacforms of pre war bush planes!

Monogram is the best: good detail and very fair pricing!

Tamiya the best; in fit and enginering!

Airfix is the best; because they started the one true scale 1/72!

etc. etc.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Friday, February 24, 2012 4:29 AM

haha, Borg, nice one

here is the B side of that record (old round music thing that is NOT a CD, just in case, lol)

Tamiya is the worst, they don't make a Crusader in my scale

Hasegawa is the Worst, they don't make a Skyray in my scale

Fujimi is the worst, they don't make a Skyraider in my scale (ooops, got real on that one, they said they do, but, they really don't,,,sorrry about letting that in here)

Academy is the worst, they don't make a Skyhawk in my scale

Testors is the worst, they don't make an F-4B Phantom in my scale

Italeri is the worst, they don't make a Banshee in my scale

Monogram is the worst, they don't make a Cougar in my scale

 

or, flip that,,,,and for all the ones that DO make a kit that fits my theme, then let them compete against each other,,,,,

almost gone

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • From: Iowa
Posted by Hans von Hammer on Friday, February 24, 2012 3:32 PM

 I'm curious who you feel is/are the best plastic model aircraft kit makers...

When you combine subject matter, overall accuracy, variant-choice, AND price, my personal choice is Revell and Revell/Monogram...

But "best", as has been pointed out time after time, is relative and subjective.. A lot of times, the "best kit" can be pretty bad, but the only game in town for a certain aircraft in a certain scale, witness a 1/48 F-82 Twin Mustang, and if you want say, a 1/48 JN4D, P-6E, and PT-17, you gotta buy Lindberg... Even though those kts were designed in the early 60s, and they have about 8 parts in the box, they're still pretty good for what you get, and you can't beat the price.

Overall though, a modeler can't lock himself into one manufacturer if he's going to truly become a good modeler... Ya gotta get off the porch to run with the big dawgs...

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, February 24, 2012 4:02 PM

Hondo467

I'm used to building plastic model aircraft kits made by Tamiya, Hasegawa, Revell and Monogram to name a few.  I worked on 1/48th and 1/72nd scale models, but I've moved my focus to mainly 1/32nd scale....  I'm curious who you feel is/are the best plastic model aircraft kit makers...for example, is Tamiya still the best or is/are there other companies that are as good if not better?

The best approach is to pick your subject kit and then ask what kit best fits your needs and skills... If price is an issue, one man's "best kit" may not even be an option for another. And be prepared tolook in unsual places. Want a 1/32 P-51A/Mustang I/A-36? Hobbycraft is the only game in town. Want a 1/32 Bf-109E? Well then you have a wide variety of options, old and new, inexpensive and pricey. Keep your eyes, mind, and options open.

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

dmk
  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: North Carolina, USA
Posted by dmk on Friday, February 24, 2012 6:07 PM

Tamiya for best fit and engineering.

Revell/Monogram for a diverse lineup and best bang for the buck.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • From: Iowa
Posted by Hans von Hammer on Friday, February 24, 2012 6:46 PM

Want a 1/32 P-51A/Mustang I/A-36? Hobbycraft is the only game in town. Want a 1/32 Bf-109E? Well then you have a wide variety of options, old and new, inexpensive and pricey. Keep your eyes, mind, and options open.

Goes double if you're in the market for a 1/24th scale Bf109, P-51D,  Spitfire, and Ju87...  The Model Craft F-82 is the only choice in 1/48th scale injection-molded kits, and it's a killer kit...  And by "killer", I mean it's a widow-maker to the beginner, and to only a slightly lesser extent, intermediate-modeler...  I NEVER would have been able to tackle it as kid, that's for sure, lol..  At least, not to level that I can today...

Want a 1/48th injection-molded B-25H? Monogram is the best one, same for the B-25J...  Why? Theirs is the ONLY one, lol.. Same for TBD-1Devastator (for under 26.00) and P-61B Black Widow (at any price), as well as a 1/48 B-29 Superfortress, B-58 Hustler, B-1B Lancer, and Revell's PV-1 Ventura...

The list goes on and on, lol...

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing."
Posted by ruddratt on Friday, February 24, 2012 7:02 PM

I've seldom been disappointed with kits from Wingnut Wings, Eduard, Roden, or Dragon. Their subject matter falls right into my wheelhouse.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing." Benny Goodman (sorta)

  • Member since
    January, 2012
Posted by shandsgator8 on Saturday, February 25, 2012 7:00 PM

I think Tamiya is the "best" since I appreciate the presentation and packaging of their kits and love how easily they go together due to their great engineering.  I know they don't always have the best decals and have some errors in shape and accuracy, but out of principle, I refuse to accept shoddy engineering.  And to anyone that might say "oh, but filling in gaps and sanding is part of the hobby!"  My response: no, it's not.  If I want a challenge just getting pieces to fit right, I'll buy a kit, throw half the pieces away, and make the missing pieces from scratch with styrene sheet.

Tamiya is all I buy, unless there's a subject I want that Tamiya doesn't make. 

I think Hasegawa is a bit overpriced considering how they're not as well engineered as Tamiya, but Hasegawa is my second choice of manufacturer.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, February 25, 2012 7:59 PM

Please forgive me if I'm way off base here (I normally just hang out in the ships forum) but aren't these http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/ plastic models at mostly 1/32 scale? Someone from the ship forums once expressed his opinion to me that these are excellent models. Just trying to add to the mix.

1943Mike

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing."
Posted by ruddratt on Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:54 PM

Mike, they are all 1/32, and yes, they are excellent kits. You're right on target.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing." Benny Goodman (sorta)

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, February 26, 2012 2:06 PM

shandsgator8

I think Tamiya is the "best" since I appreciate the presentation and packaging of their kits and love how easily they go together due to their great engineering.  I know they don't always have the best decals and have some errors in shape and accuracy, but out of principle, I refuse to accept shoddy engineering.  And to anyone that might say "oh, but filling in gaps and sanding is part of the hobby!"  My response: no, it's not.  If I want a challenge just getting pieces to fit right, I'll buy a kit, throw half the pieces away, and make the missing pieces from scratch with styrene sheet.

Tamiya is all I buy, unless there's a subject I want that Tamiya doesn't make. 

I suggest you go and buy their 1/48 Sea Harrier to cure you of the thought that if it's Tamiya on the label, all those accolades that you heap upon them apply universally. It has poor fit on many parts, questionable engineering, and accuracy and detail issues (lacking) that are way behind Monogram kits of the same vintage (and raised panel lines! Surprise) I have put a ton of work into mine to bring it up to speed just in the fit department alone. But if one wants a 1/48 Sea Harrier, this and the similar quality one from Airfix which is even more difficult to find at times, are the ways you have to go.

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Richmond, Va.
Posted by Pavlvs on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:56 PM

I've got to tell you, Wingnut Wings has the best OOB kits I've ever seen!  Granted, they have a very esoteric product line and they're a bit pricey but I've never built an aircraft kit with so few complaints.  I'm just waiting for some more mainstream great war subjects like a camel or a nieuport 17 but I'm still holding out hope that someone, anyone will kit a Standard J-1 and a Curtiss Jenny in 1/32 before I join those great fliers in the sky.  I read the review in the March FSM about a new outfit that kitted an A-1 Skyraider and the reviewer had a heap of praise for it.

Deus in minutiae est. Fr. Pavlvs

On the Bench: 1:200 Titanic; 1:16 CSA Parrott rifle and Limber

On Deck: 1/200 Arizona.

Recently Completed: 1/72 Gato (as USS Silversides)

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing."
Posted by ruddratt on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:13 PM

A Nieuport of any variant with the WnW touch would be nice. I'd also like to see them try their hands at a SPAD. I'd like to see anyone do a decent He-115, in any scale.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing." Benny Goodman (sorta)

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Monterey Bay,CA-Fort Bragg, NC
Posted by randypandy831 on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:53 PM

all companies have a fair share of good N bad kits. older tamiya kits can be a mess. specially the sea harrier. my stash is mainly tamiya and hasegawa. mix with few eduard and academy kits.

only downside of tamiya and hasegawa is the prices they charge at times. it's ridiculous what hasegawa wants for their 1/48 F-104G CCV. 

tamiya 1/48 P-47D $25 + shipping

tamiya 1/48 mosquito $20+ shipping

hobby boss 1/48 F-105G. wings and fuselage cut from sprue. $40+ shipping. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:03 PM

Hi thats a good question, I guess if it's 1/32 then my money is with Trumpeter Ive made the mig 23 and it's flawless, the fit is what people expect from Tamiya and I've made their Mig 29k which is equally impressive. also I've made Revells Eurofighter which is a pain in the *** but builds into a better model than Trumpeters (shape wise around the aft end) which probably fits brilliantly. Also Tamiyas 1/32 F-16CJ was again flawless. I think its hard to say who is the better kit producer rather who makes the best kit of a given aircraft that might be an easier way to look at it. If its variety in 1/32nd then Trumpeter without a doubt. as I've got Trumpeters 1/32 Mig 21MF and F-14D to build and it looks like theyre giong to do all the american aircraft I wouldnt be surprised if they start releasing 1/32 Phantoms soon and I've read that Trumpeter  has made a better kit than Tamiya's Tomcat.. I've made Hobbyboss's 1/48 N/AW-A-10 and it was fantastic though I think theyre part of trumpeter. All I can finish with is that trumpeter do get alot of criticism online but my experience has been only positive, except the 1/32 SU-27B, good kit but the shape is way off but expensive corrections are out there. As for Hobbyboss I think theyre the future of 1/48 scale aircraft as theyre bringing out new toolings almost monthly and I'm hoping for a new mig 25 and jaguar and I would bet if anybody's going to be making them it's going to be Hobbyboss.Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions on any aircraft I've mentioned that I've made just ask.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Lowell City, Mars
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:23 PM

I've always been pleased with Tamiya and Hasegawa, and the defunct Accurate Miniatures.

Right now I am working on Tamiya's new 1/32 P-51D, and it has made me a believer!  Superb engineering and accuracy- but only for advanced modelers, with a lot of patience and experience.

You pays your money and you takes your chance, I guess.

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

  • Member since
    December, 2011
  • From: AZ
Posted by Luft Modeler on Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:51 PM

Accurate Miniatures as a company may be defunct but there models still live on. Looked at the parts of the Italeri Avenger and on the back side of one of the parts has the Accurate Miniatures stamping on it. 

 

And I also took a look at the Hobbyboss Wildcat sprue and it too looks very nice.

 

As Tamiya in general are really good kits there are others that are just as good if not better.

Did I mention how the Italeri TBF Avenger is an amazing model, just say'n.

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Monterey Bay,CA-Fort Bragg, NC
Posted by randypandy831 on Friday, March 09, 2012 5:37 PM

i hate how hasegawa smashes all the sprues into one bag. 

tamiya 1/48 P-47D $25 + shipping

tamiya 1/48 mosquito $20+ shipping

hobby boss 1/48 F-105G. wings and fuselage cut from sprue. $40+ shipping. 

Zar
  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Zar on Sunday, March 11, 2012 6:30 PM

IMHO Tamiya is the best because their kits fit properly. I'm not of the filing and sanding set at all. Kits should be made to fit, not have canyon like gaps in places. My two cents.

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: Monterey Bay,CA-Fort Bragg, NC
Posted by randypandy831 on Sunday, March 11, 2012 8:32 PM

two things come into mind when asked best. either fit or detail. 

when it comes to fit hands down tamiya and hasegawa. 

when it comes to detail well, all companies have good N bad. 

just because it's well detailed doesn't mean it's accurate. 

tamiya 1/48 P-47D $25 + shipping

tamiya 1/48 mosquito $20+ shipping

hobby boss 1/48 F-105G. wings and fuselage cut from sprue. $40+ shipping. 

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • From: Iowa
Posted by Hans von Hammer on Monday, March 12, 2012 6:18 AM

And when it comes to low-price and general accuracy, It's Monogram/Revell.. 

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing."
Posted by ruddratt on Monday, March 12, 2012 8:15 PM

randypandy831

two things come into mind when asked best. either fit or detail. 

Wingnut Wings has both of those, and I've yet to find a dud in the lot when considering those factors. Plus, their decals are better than most aftermarket ones, their instructions are worth saving as valuable references, they come with enough PE to beef 'em up even more, and they offer free shipping.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that s(econd)wing." Benny Goodman (sorta)

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