If we're talking purely plastic kits, I'd have to say that Tamiya would have
to be right up there for car kits as well as others.
Trumpeter are starting to get a great name as well.
I love the old Fujimi enthusiast kits as well as the old accurate miniatures
car kits (they only made a few)
And what lunatic asylum did you escape from? *"Rainman" mode on*
Hasegawa...definitely Hasegawa... *"Rainman" mode off*
Plenty of excellent subjects (if a bit on the pricey side); and, other
than some of their earlier molds, excellent quality.
IMHO (in descending order):
Revellogram (Especially in the last couple of years)
Eduard (tied with Airfix)
Italeri (tied with ESCI)
Just my $.02
I don't really think it's that easy. Some manefacturers have strong sides in
one kind of kits and others excell in another line, byt also the age of the
moulds matters. Revell has some exelent new kits, while some of their older
oner are not quite as good, and so has Hasegawa and the others.
Merlin is too easy a choice--great subject matter and one step removed
(in the wrong direction) from scratch-building. As in, use the kit (and
maybe a few of the bits and decals) as inspiration--throw way the big
pieces. For a realllly good kit, try Mach 2. Even at $70/pop, you get
many, many, many hobby hours per money spent, because they too have
great subject matter and abysmal production values, but the kits are
bigger, just barely buildable, and (if you manage to finish one, or even
if you don't), the stories you will have to tell! Compare with Tamiya:
"I shook the box, opened it, put the finished model on the table, won
first in category at the Nationals." Everyone else is already snoring.