Getting into the world of scale modeling is undoubtedly exciting but also daunting at the same time. Beginners often face the problem of which model kit to choose, given that there are lots of options available while less knowledge is in hand. Plus, there are lots of factors that need consideration to avoid disappointing results on the first try. As such, we’ve listed some tips on choosing the best model kits for people who are just starting this hobby.
1. Consider the price
Just most interest or hobbies, scale models require money, varying from small amounts to heftier ones. Of course, beginners should spend on cheaper model kits, especially if they are still trying things out. Through that, it can be less discouraging should they mess up or fail to complete any model kit.
As the novice builds confidence and develops skills through time, he can move and spend on more expensive models, knowing that he is less likely to commit mistakes than in the initial stages. Remember, scale modeling has a learning process. Good models often don’t result from the first kits, so better not pay too much for them.
2. Pick a vehicle type
After knowing what price to pay, the next step is picking the specific vehicle type. The most popular ones include vintage cars, sports cars, service vehicles, vehicles, and trucks. Other people tend to focus on bikes, ships, and aircraft. The options are limitless, and it is up to the collector to choose what specific type of vehicle he wants to build.
3. Find an engaging subject
A crucial part of the model kit selection process is choosing a subject. Enthusiasm and interest fuel a modeler to complete a project. Without those elements, it can be difficult to proceed, especially for beginners. With that, any novice should pick a subject that engages him, be it the origins of the model, the prestige of the vehicle maker, or something about the model kit that can stir positive emotions. Not only those will push any modeler to give his best while working on it but also gives the model personal value.
4. Choose the scale
There are different model scales, ranging from 1:12 to 1:18, 1:24, 1:43, 1:76, and 1:87, arranged from biggest to smallest. It’s a giveaway that a beginner starts with the smallest scale or models first and develops his skills first before going into the largest one.
5. Check the complexity
After picking the scale, it’s time to check the model kit’s complexity denoted by the skill level. Skill Level 1 or Snap-Tite model kits are novice-friendly as they only have less than 50 parts, which only need light gluing and filing to finish. Skill Level 2 would be next as he gains experience, and it will involve up to 200 pieces and requires more gluing and, now, painting.
Meanwhile, skill Level 3 to 5 kits are for experienced modelers as those need advanced skills, additional supplies, tools, which involves challenging ones, such as die-cast models, and radio-controlled ones. Starting with the easier ones ensures that the new builder won’t get overwhelmed by the challenging tasks and allow him to build his interest in the hobby.
6. Aim for quality
Technology nowadays brought significant improvements in the models’ quality. Models before tend to undergo wear-and-tear pretty faster, plus any element, like molds or weather, will surely speed up the process. Today’s quality standards are higher, which means models tend to be more durable, and its part fits perfectly well without requiring fillers.
Though experienced modelers love the old stuff as they treat it as a challenge to build and maintain those models, new hobbyists should go for new models from popular manufacturers. As they’re still learning down the ropes, it is best to stick with models requiring fewer efforts before turning into complicated and hard-to-keep ones.
7. See what tools and supplies are needed
Beginners usually don’t have the necessary tools and supplies yet to carry out more complicated projects. With that, it is best to stick again with Skill Level 1 kits first, which usually only requires a basic knife, tweezers, glue, and paint. A new hobbyist can invest in more tools as his knowledge and skills also grow over time.
Building scale models are genuinely fun, especially if things are planned. So, before pouring hearts out, a beginner should take consider all those tips first and evaluate all factors to get the best modeling kit and an enjoyable experience.