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what has happened to the model industry?

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:21 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.


YesYesYesYes Such a good perspective.



  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:22 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.



I agree with this perspective as well. Good points.



  • Member since
    March 2022
Posted by tony in china on Friday, April 8, 2022 2:28 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.



I have worked in the injectionmolding/ mold making business for 35 years now - I know the costs to tool up and make these sorts of products . the Airfix prices are crazy- virgin resin is less than 2000 dollars a tonne , same price it has been for 3o years, development costs are a fraction of what they were 30 years ago . Mold flow and 3D didgitising has made the trial and error of adjustments minimal commpared to months of tool tuning before. The kits are made in india , which is even lower cost than china , the tool design engineer costs about 100 USD a month as opposed to a 1000 usd here in china now, and 70000+USD in europe/USA. Tooling inclusive cost is probably 30 per cent of what is was 30 years ago or less. and the time to market is a fraction of what it is . putting some slides on a mold only adds about 5% on the mold price as well .Market pricing is also a factor , I can buy italeri kits and AV paint here in china at under half the price generally as in the UK ? china has high import duty, and they travel have the way accross the world to get here , not just accross the english channel 

none of the techniques in manufacturing model kits are rocket science , and are even easier to produce nowadays with 3d scanning , mirror EDM etc and improved QC .

Thats why I wouldnt buy any of the new tool kits - however the classic kits re-issued by revell/ airfix etc are a different matter , thats sentimenntal reasons and I can appreciate how much work went into the tooling in them days !


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