It`s looking like I am going to be pressed for time for the next few weeks due to this being the busy season at work, and thought I would go ahead and punch this one out since this will be one of my last days off before the fun at work begins.
Today I will be covering the various 1/72 kits through Revell/Monogram since I am most familiar with them. Hopefully others with experience on the 1/188 & 1/144 scales will chime in on their expeience with them. Also, I`ll cover how to buy/sell the 1/72 kit on ebay to help others whom cannot find this locally get a kit at a reasonable price, and tips to help those whom decide to sell theirs to maximise the profit margin.
For a good history about the various model kits since the early 1950`s the best resource out there is this book:
It can be a bit pricey if purchased "new" from a place that still has them, but with a little looking buying used on ebay or amazon brings a significant savings. I purchased mine on ebay for $15 & free shipping.
In 1980, Monogram release the first issue of its current 1/72 offering. Though it wasnt the first manufacturer to offer 1/72, the marketing line used at the time was " The LARGEST plastic scale model airplane kit ever produced! ". This would be a title it held for several years until the 1:48 B-1 kit was released. Also, used in advertisements of the era was the "great buy" this rather large kit was as it was only $15 at your local retailer or hobby store.
The Box Art was adequate:
And it came with a basic set of decals
Soon thereafter a few companies began to produce some aftermarket parts for this kit -- esp decals so one was not limited to just a stock build.
In 1989, the second release was released with a new box art, but a new decal sheet ( same as 1991 ).
This kit though not the best for the person whom actually wants to build it, is perhaps the best to sell on ebay- esp if it is still enclosed in the shrink wrap. It always seems to draw a higher price than the 1980 kit unless the 1980 kit is in far better condition. Consesquently, those looking to buy a kit should not engage in a bidding war for this kit unless they like to spend too much money.
In 1991, the third release followed with a carry over on the decals
In 1997, the fourth release was marketed as a Revell/Monogram and came in two offerings with the same box art with decal offerings standard to both `97 kits
Though both kits were identical, the only difference was in box size. Here is a picture of my collection of both kits to illustrate the size difference:
In 2002, Revell Germany released perhaps the best 1/72 kit to date simply because the decal sheet finally included the walkway and other common marking stripes saving the consumer another $15-$20 USD from buying this sheet aftermarket. This kit usually costs a little more, but is worth it due to the savings in having to buy that extra sheet.
Finally, In 2008, the most current kit was release with new box art and a new decal sheet that DID NOT include the walkway stripes and misc commom B-36 markings.
Now that the various kits are covered, lets cover the aspects of aquiring on ebay should your local stores be sold out and unable to get any through their suppliers. Here are some pointers. All prices in USD
1. An online dealer with a kit in stock ( if you are lucky to find one ) is going to want around $49.95 +/- $10 and around $20 +/ $5 for shipping. Most online dealers selling will likely have either the `97 or `08 kits
2. An online dealer selling "vintage kits " ( `80 & `89`s ) will want between $75-$200 for theirs. Dont waste your time as there are better deals to be had on ebay competing with them for those kits and the various others that will be on there as well.
3. Pictures tell a 1000 words ( and the story ) always look at the pictures displayed closely
4. ALWAYS read the ad in its entirety before bidding. You dont want to buy someone else`s half started scrap set do you? Look for kits with ALOT of pictures, if there arent many pictures and the box doesnt appear to still have the factory shrink wrap intact.. .ask the seller questions about the kit
So now you have decided to look on ebay and watch for the best deal.
1. Just like poker, dont play your best hand at first. Someone will always be willing to spend a little more than you. Patience is key, and waiting until the last few minutes is best.
2. Look for kits ended at odd times to reduce the chance that someone else will be waiting in the wings the last few minutes as well. By odd times I mean those times when most people are at work or spending family time. Ebay ( in the US ) is set to Pacific time. Keep that time change in mind when looking to bid. Ive noticed that kits set to end on sundays before most people get out of church or away from the families are often the best ones to snatch up at a bargain.
3. Always search with differnent search terms: B-36 Peacemaker, Convair B-36, Monogram B-36... and most importantly look for #3a
3 A. These days a lot of people are selling their stuff through a reseller. The ebay reseller will often simply use the title on the box of the item being offered which is a boon for you as most people dont search this one: RB-36H Peacemaker Monogram ( or Revell ). Ive snatched up three kits relatively cheap with this trick. The first 2 I only paid $20 because nobody else knew the listing was there. Here is the example of the Third where I paid a little more for an `08 kit, because someone else figured out the trick, but still got it under the $29 price I wanted to pay.
Here is the listing, Notice it is now < 4 minutes to go and nobody has bid with the starting bid still at $20. As you will notice as you look around on ebay and watch the auctions for these kits by this time the bidding war has already started and is in full effect. However since the reseller listed it as a " RB-36H Peacemaker Monogram Airplane Kit " nobody has seen it yet. I know I dont want to pay more than $29 for this, so I make my opening bid of $21 and wait until the last minute to make my move.
At this time I will go over how I buy kits on ebay. Before bidding I put a price in my head of the most I am willing to pay with the price of shipping being offered by the seller. In this case It`s only $9.99 via UPS, which is rather reasonable seeing most auctions tend to be around $15. On this one I decided I only wanted to spend $29 tops. I placed my opening bid of $21 as the first bidder with < 4 min to go. At this time, if someone else already had the price up ( or over ) the price I had in mind... I would simply walk away.
Now comes the next step... How to beat those other potential pesky "other bidders". I`m at $21... the listing in this case was still $20.... I know $29 is my max.... I go back in and up my bid to $25 with 45 seconds to go thinking nobody else is on this ( as I thought )... I place $25 stil expecting it to say $20 and nope.. it say $23.55 - We have a competitor and it`s game on. In this case most bidders will start to increase in slow upward increments. If you find yourself trailing, now would be a good time to put all your cards on the table and place you maximum bid, In my case I know I am ahead ( right now ) and the other bidder is either likely the seller trying to increase the price, or a 9/10 chance they will only likely go up a few dollars to try and beat me at the end.....
At 28 seconds... I upped my bid to $27... sell price increased to $25.50 -- I beat him again!
I`m not done... I`m still winning. At this time if its the seller, they most likely will back off, another bidder is probablly going to up it a couple of dollars.... around 15 seconds on the counter I plance my maximum bid of $29 to wait and see, and...........
I beat the other bidder because I felt they would only go up a few dollars at a time ( and guessed right ). Always if you are trailing in the last minute.... bid your max to see if you can overtake the high bidder.
Looking at the other end. Let`s say you have a kit that you want to sell on ebay.
1. If the kit is still in shrink wrap --- DO NOT OPEN IT! Insead take several pictures of the box at differnt angles ( sides ) to show the box`s condition with intact wrap... Intact wrap = more $$
2. Use the broadest generic title and search time such as B-36 Peacemaker. Dont make the $20+ mistake resellers do by listing it as a "RB-36 peacemaker Monogram". Myself ( and now a few others ) will be happy to buy it cheaply from you. ;)
3. Sell it at the right time. Ensure the ending time is between 9 & 10Pm Pacific time. This way everyone looking in the eastern time zones will see your listing as well. Thursday & Sunday nights at 9/10Pm Pacific seem to be the difference between $27.70 & $40+
4. Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! When you think you have enough... take 3 more. display the most ebay will let you. If the kit is open and still on the trees... Take pictures of every tree
5. Be honest... Dont call your kit pristine when it isnt. Even broken/Started kits also have a market on ebay by those looking for a started kit or ones just for the spare parts value... sell those at the suggested times for maximum price
6. Shipping... Average charge on ebay is around $15. Be aware that the US Post Office Considers this to be an "Oversized Package" by about 2 inches. Expect to pay $12-$15 in actual cost to ship it to the buyer ( more if its overseas or in a distant zone. UPS for mainland US Shipping for this box is about $7-$12 pending rate class & distance.
That covers the basics of the kit and ebay selling and buying... Post me a question on here if you have any about this subject