Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

The Cost of Building Models

9 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
The Cost of Building Models
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, April 28, 2022 8:28 AM


            I am sure you've all thought about this. Things ain't getting Cheaper! Why, I can remember a decent plane model back in the day, Might set you back one lawn's worth of cash. Now you have to Budget for it and the supplies to build it.

    This is true of any model really. Those of us who Build are really getting close to the reality of both Inflation and the cost of anything that has it's beginnings tied to the price of Crude-Oil, Of which plastic is made!

       BUT, and this is serious. I believe I wrote a post many years back about this subject. The Hobby has changed. Now many of us use not only Glues and Paints we never heard of thirty years ago, We are also cramming our models with After Market resin or Brass items the cost of which, has gone up exponentially.

        Still, The Value put on Modeling Time, whether it be solitary or with family around can not really be measured in dollars! Yes, we might have heavy metal emitting from our sound system and the laptop nearby for research, We are getting that time away from the Madness which surrounds us!

         To use an example of what I mean. One Sunday Morning not to long ago I stepped out on my porch( Well,That is what the builder called it) and was shocked by the absolute silence!!! I had no Idea our world was so full of Noise. It's no wonder we hustle to the bench to get our minds off the conglomeration of Noise, and just sheer Busyness out there.

         Now , that brings us back to the costs involved. Did you know that one of the strings of reality is that moderately creative folks are likely to live clear minded and mobile far longer than someone who falls for the Cyber life we are being pushed into! So in that regard, The Fifty dollar plane, Forty dollars worth of Paint and so on is, far more reasonable in that context.

        Sure, it's fun to remember "the Good old days" But those days brought us here. Modeling with a level mind and surrounded by that which we like, Personal Time! No price can be put on that!! So go forth and set up the budget for the next model, the Cold refreshments, and forge on knowing that you ain't nuts after all!

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Thursday, April 28, 2022 10:42 AM

Hey TB-- very well said. I am sending you a Star for the deep and insightful thoughts on the subject. I can't add anything to it other than, right on brother!



  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Friday, April 29, 2022 2:07 PM

As long as we have more job openings than available workers, inflation will continue.

As long as we are willing to pay inflated prices, inflation will continue.

There are old kits still available at very near their original price.

As long as we want kits with ten times the number of parts of those old kits, we will pay more for them.  I am willing to pay more for those nice new kits because they are very much in line with inflation, and every dollar I paid for kits in 1950 is today worth just over ten times what it was.


  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Friday, April 29, 2022 7:13 PM

I have to admit you nailed this one TB.  The enjoyment of building a model, sharing the build with fellow modelers, and the the entire process to me makes this a lovely and cheap hobby.  Kit cost compared to value is super low.  When you include tools and paints it's still a good value.  Dozens of hours building divided by kit and material cost equals a cheap by hour thrill.  My current build, the Tamiya 1/32 Corsair, is a surprise gift for my brother who served 29 years in the Navy as an aviator.  The $350 or so dollars I spent on the kit, display case, and materials is a small price compared to the 10 months of building enjoyment and the thrill when it gets delivered.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Saturday, April 30, 2022 6:04 AM

I've come to realize that the cost of the kit is representing a less significant part of the overall build as time goes on.  It seems that there are always aftermarket upgrades, decals, new paint colors/sets, tools, to be added.  OTOH:  I now tend to build much more slowly than I used to as I incorporate the details I enjoy and might work on a single plane for six or more months.  Price per finished model is much higher than it used to be, but cost per year may not be that much different.  

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, April 30, 2022 8:07 AM

Bakster-Thank You!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, April 30, 2022 8:08 AM


    I totally agree with the point you have made, Thank You

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, April 30, 2022 8:11 AM

wpwar 11 !

 I would say,You have definitely nailed it. The kits i really enjoyed were those that were in Value more than I planned. The thing is, who can replace the look and feeling of the recipient of a miniature built Lovingly!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, April 30, 2022 8:14 AM


 You are so correct, I too, build more slowly. Weeks and months go by before the latest Model is finished. Why? Not just the extras(whether purchased, or created from scratch) but there is no reason to hurry now. Why should I?. Thanks!

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Saturday, April 30, 2022 10:42 AM

I agree. I also see it as a vice if you will. We all have them. Some smoke, some drink or do "other" things. This all costs money. I figure if I smoked as an example, one pack a day at $8 ea, I would spend nearly $3K a year just on that and have nothing to show for it but a good chance of lung cancer. While I buy kits quite often, at what I believe are cheap prices, I am NOT spending that much a year on modeling and I have something to show for it when I'm done. Not to mention stress reduction and the mental pleasure of doing it. Also the mental focus and motor skills involved. I'd say what I do is a small price compared to what those who think what I do is a waste of money. I think it's money very well spent.


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


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.