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what has happened to the model industry?

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  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: hot springs, ar
what has happened to the model industry?
Posted by razorbacks on Sunday, February 27, 2022 10:43 AM

I have two 1/32 kits left in stash, I am leaving the industry. Way over priced. 1/72 kits cost as much 1/48 kits 5 years ago and so forth, your pricing yourselves out. There are plenty of aircraft to model in 1/32 scale, but they will cost an arm and one leg.


  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Sunday, February 27, 2022 12:31 PM

It's called inflation. You may have noticed that the price of everything has gone up, not just plastic kits.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 12:41 PM

Yup.  Inflation which leads to higher costs for everybody, including the people making, packing, and shipping the model kits from the various factories.  In most areas, the quality and detail available in model kits are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were years ago.  If someone wants more money for producing better products than they once did, I have no problem with that.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 12:55 PM

Sorry that you have to give up the hobby that you love,sometimes decisions have to be made about how we spend our incomes all the time.I don't Golf anymore,the fees and time investment become too much.

Unless your totally put off,there are still some cheaper options like model show vendors,flea markets garage sales.Still some cheaper Revell and Monogram options still out there.

Hopefully you can work something out to keep building.

I'm not really prolific,and I still have 40 kit stash so I'll ride it out,maybe buy a new release here a day there.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, February 27, 2022 1:17 PM

And you can find deals on ebay, etsy, bonanza and mercari.  Just picked up a minimally started 1/32 Revell BF-109F for $15.00 on ebay



  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Sunday, February 27, 2022 1:58 PM

As inflation increases, usually wages increase as well.  Granted, back in the early 1960s, I could by Airfix HO scale tank kits for 39 cents and Aurora 1/48 tanks for 98 cents.  Pyro ship models of 1/1200 ships sold between 39 cents and 50 cents per kit.  I remember two sets of 1/1200 Renwal ships with six kits in the box at 1.00, and Revell ships sold for 2.00 dollars on average.  Houses cost upwards of the high 20,000 dollars and cars for 1,500 dollars. Wages were perhaps 8,000 to 20,000 dollars per year.  Please note that the kits were not very detailed or molded.

Today, with inflation seemingly hitting the market kits are more expensive while incomes are much higher, cars and houses cost a great deal more now.  But, we have far, far more kits and manufacturers from which to choose, the variety is exceptional, and the detail is great.  I'll take  today's situation in the model industry over what I had back then any day!


  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 2:49 PM

in the early 1960s, I could by Airfix HO scale tank kits for 39 cents

I used to pay very little for a series 1 Airfix kit in the 60s, too.  Nowadays they run from about £6 - £13 (roughly $7.50 -  $18).  The cheaper ones are usually the self-same kits that you and I bought back then!  But Airfix prices have recently increased a lot.  When the 1/35 Cromwell tanks were released last year, they were priced at about £27.  They are now £34 - about a 25% increase.  The 1/48 sea Fury was £25 last year, now also £34 - up by about 38 per cent.  The new-tool 1/48 Avro Anson, due for release this year, will be priced at £47, and the new 1/48 Buccaneer will be £72.  Of course, some retailers sell them more cheaply than Airfix' own prices, but that's up to them (more power to them, I say!) 

Other makers' kits have also risen in price - that's the way of the world, and any pastime that involves buying something is subject to it.

I now only buy kits when its something I really want, and it's a good price.

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




  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 4:44 PM

If you belong to a model club ask the guys what they are selling.  I pick up gems all the time for a bargain.  

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 5:14 PM

It's not an airport, no need to announce your departure....

"...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
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, February 27, 2022 8:24 PM

Just keep your eye open on model sites and eBay for deals.

There are always kits that go for a steal on sites like those. Sometimes there are second hand sellers who don't know what they have or list it improperly (like not knowing if the kit is complete and saying they don't think so). Other times it is widows (or their children) trying to liquidate dad's extensive stash and they don't care how much it goes for, they just want it gone.

I actually got a couple of kits from an estate sale my oldest step son had been at. He grabbed a couple of model kits for a few dollars. Both were worth a decent amount of money because of age and collectability.

And I've found some steals at Goodwill for a couple bucks.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 9:17 PM

When you look at, and think about the price of car's, housing, etc., the price of kits is inline or below par, as far as % goes.

Add in the finer details and better molding, they can still be a bargain.  Quite a few kits include a fret of PE, that can run from $10 and up, not including postage or other shipping charges.

Yeah not a total fire sale, but still good value for what you get.

  • Member since
    December 2021
  • From: Northern Michigan
Posted by Monogram Madness on Sunday, February 27, 2022 9:28 PM

You should try watch collecting or guns.  


I just got back into the hobby and have been enjoying its low cost of entry and participation. No joke. 

Perfection is having fun and relaxing...not building the perfect model.  


On the bench:  Revell 1:48 Spitfire MKII and Monogram 1:48 P-40B

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Monday, February 28, 2022 10:02 AM

The thing is, once inflation goes down if it ever does, the prices of things remain the same. I've seen it with the cost of groceries. They claim the cost of food increases because of fuel increases. But, when fuel prices go down, the cost for groceries remains the same. 

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix P-51D in 1/72

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Monday, February 28, 2022 10:04 AM

Lots can be said on this topic. For the working middle class, Inflation normally exceeds ones salary. So every year we struggle to do more with less. While we have seen great advances in modeling qauality over the years, we 've also seen the cost of living drive up saiaries which then drive up the cost of products. 

While Monogram Madness brought up another hobby comparison, guns or watches; I once collected both. Just as a comparison, I bought a P08 German Mauser factory black widow luger in VGC for under $500 (many years ago). I sold it around 10 years ago for $1,600 and now they are over 6K. That hobby was left by the wayside.

Another hobby that was once attainable has also zoomed out of control is the 1:18 diecast collectibles. Many true "collectible" cars in scale that once sold for $50-100.00 are now going for $250-400 when you locate them. You guessed it, I stopped collecting them too. 

My first house cost only $49K in the early 80's but has recently sold for 169K. Now that my children are gone (all except Jarrod), I was looking at getting back into a hot rod, muscle car or nice sporty car. Yup, you guessed it, the prices have gone way beyone my means or willingness to pay for them as well.

So I'm with most of you, I've chosen to limit my enjoyment to family activities and scale model building (also a little music composition, motorcycling, and shooting as time and budget allows). 

I'm fortunate to have a larger model stash containing a little of every modeling subject. Now I complain of the costs for paints, after-market items, and whatever else. Perhaps that is the nature of it all. 

I'm sorry to hear about anyone having to leave the modeling hobby over costs, but as previously explained, I totally understand it. I hope situations and incomes might improve to allow all of us with the modeling bug to stay active in our hobby. 

DRUMS01 / Ben

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)


1/350 Tamiya Yamato - DONE

1/20 Revival 1936-37 Auto Union Tipo C  - WIP

1/32 Hasegawa F-16C - Staged




  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Monday, February 28, 2022 6:06 PM

Yeah, I can get killer cost from my local club and Vendors at shows.

I also have over 100 kits in the stash so I trained for this Wink


Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Monday, February 28, 2022 6:20 PM

I agree, it does stink, but it is what is unfortunately.  It all really depends on the subject as well.  Even some of the old Monogram stuff is going for what I think is crazy amounts.  It's either you are willing to pay for it, or not I guess.  I'm not, so I'll just work on what I have and keep an eye for a resonably priced kit.

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by seastallion53 on Monday, February 28, 2022 6:59 PM

Plastic is made from oil,need i say more?

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Monday, February 28, 2022 7:49 PM

Production quality overall has improved over the years, flash and injector pin marks are by and large a thing of the past.  Upgrading the molds takes capital, and the company isn't operating as a charity.  Coupled that with the increasing cost of transportation/logistics, it all gets baked into the final price for the consumer.

My knowledge of 1/32 aircraft kits is almost nonexistent, but as others have said there are plenty of sources for cheap kits, if you really want to find them.



"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Monday, February 28, 2022 7:58 PM

Take a look at the 1/24 A/C kits......   I gave $160 for the Airfix F6F.

1/32's are bargain basement priced, compared to that.

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Monday, February 28, 2022 8:00 PM

I agree. I'm lucky to have held onto a small stash I accumulated when I was younger. While I didn't build much during college, grad school, getting married, and professional life, I still bought an occasional kit. Now, I try to only buy kits if they are on special or if I have a gift card or something. It would be tough to justify paying today's full prices with the family budget. 

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix P-51D in 1/72

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Building models on my kitchen counter top~somewhere in North Carolina
Posted by disastermaster on Monday, February 28, 2022 10:09 PM

I've got enough kits to last me a hundred years but paint prices are what really irks me.

On the kitchen counter somewhere in North Carolina

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 9:11 AM

also have over 100 kits in the stash so I trained for this 

I hear that you trained under Obi-Wan Kenobi.Stick out tongue 


  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 10:12 AM

At last count I was over 200 kits, all bought at a discount or good deal. I watch Amazon and Ebay for really good deals on kits I want and then I get them and add them to the stash. I have years worth now and am not worried about prices, those will change no matter what. My latest fetish is to get new resin 3D printed parts. This stuff is a game changer for our hobby. It may be pricey, but it's not a kids hobby anymore either.


On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

1/48 Hasegawa D3A1 Type 99 Val

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 11:49 AM



also have over 100 kits in the stash so I trained for this 


I hear that you trained under Obi-Wan Kenobi.Stick out tongue 



"You don't have to see my stash (waving hand)."

"These aren't the kits you're looking for."

"I can go about buying more kits."

"Now move along."

And then the spouse unit's hand makes contact with the head, snapping you back to reality.

"Ho ho ho.  Your Jedi mind tricks won't work on me boy.  Now get back to the yard work, or it's the Rancor pit for you!!!"

But back OT, yes the hobby costs real money these days.  Back in my youth, anything over $20 was a non-starter.  Most kits I bought were between $3 and $6, but the same types of kits cost 10X that today.

Remember hobbies are a discretionary spending thing (i.e. a luxury item).  Bills and food are the first priorities.


“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 11:55 AM

No need to leave the hobby cause of the overinflated pricing. Attend local shows and check out the vendor tables. I have excellent luck at finding $50-$70 kits for $20-$30. My best buy has been a 1/48 Hasegawa factory sealed Brit Phantom for $10!! Great deals can be found on the last day of the show when some vendors want to unload as much as possible. 




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by Jammer on Sunday, March 6, 2022 1:53 PM

To reinforce what others have said, if cost is an issue, consider alternative venues to get your kits.  I very rarely buy a new kit from a retailer unless it's on sale.  I get the vast majority of my kits from Ebay, Goodwill, thrift shops, antique malls, model shows, and flea markets.  And getting kits at Hobby Lobby or Micheals for 40% off.  Even Half Price Books has kits for sale at decent prices from time to time if you live near one.  Much cheaper that way.  A few years ago I started adding the cost of the kits to my model stash database.  The average of the last several years for probably around 400 kits is $16 ... at lot less than buying any of them new.  And that includes a lot of Tamiya, Revell/Monogram, Academy, AFV Club, Dragon, etc. 

Supplies are the same way, I get some stuff online, but I get most of my tools from the same sources as my kits and from dollar stores.

I used to hit a LHS when visiting my parents in Dayton and get a couple of new kits each time I went because the guys that ran it where very informative and great to talk to. I had the disposable income and wanted to support small business, but alas a great small hobby shop went out of business.

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, March 6, 2022 8:26 PM

Yes the cost of kits is a bummer. Materials are expensive too, but give up the hobby??? Nooo way. Lots of great, positive suggestions on this thread to avoid giving it up. But perhaps there is something more in the hobby thats bothering you, rather than just prices......... 

If you really want to be broke, buy a wooden boat or a horse. Now there is expense.

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

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 10:20 AM

I didn't read all the replies...but did see plenty of suggestions for better deals on kits.

It's all a matter of perspective. I do about 80-90% 1/72 these days...the most I have ever spent on a 1/72 kit is $30. For that $30, I'll have anywhere from 40-60 hours of "entertainment" while building said kit. $30 won't even get you entertained for an evening at a bar! $30 of ammo will be fun...for a couple minutes!

 The most I ever spent on any kit, was Academy's 1/32 F-18D, to build for my brother (F-18D WSO). I spent $140...and had a little over 100 hours working on it. 100 hours!!! For the cost of one evening out (dinner and a movie).

 You can spend a few bucks ($10-15, vendor tables!) on older kits...put in the time to scratchbuild details, get rid of raised lines and scribe, add rivets, etc...and easily get 60-80 hours of entertainment...or you can spent $100+ for something that has all the bells and whistles already, and only get 30-40 hours out of it.

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:14 AM

There are some kits being produced today that are very much in line with inflation.  Some Lindberg kits that I built in the fifties are still available!  Now, you get a pretty basic kit- little interior, molding not all that crisp, small number of parts.  A good example is their GeeBee racer, still available today, as are a number of other kits from that era.

Yes, there are many kits out there today that look expensive if you compare the price compared to those Lindberg kits.  But the new expensive kits are far better and more detailed.  The molding is much crisper, the fit is better, the overall accuracy is better.

If you are strapped for cash, build these older kits and do your own superdetailing.


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:20 AM

Well maybe we couldn't talk the OP off his ledge,he seems to be gone,but hey,lots of good suggestions for moving on a budget given here.


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