Do car Modelers have it the best?

Hi Guys,
I have been meaning to post this question for awhile. Every club meeting
night we have a raffle and the running gag is the guys who have yet to have
their numbers picked tell the winners, to "Take the Car". This leaves all
the armor and aircraft goodies on the table. I am not so sure it really is a
gag and here is why.
A month or so ago I picked up some AMT muscle car kits at the local Big Lots
for 4.99 each.
I am amazed at the amount of detail that they include in these kits and I am
primarily an aircraft guy.
You get detailed engine, interior, wheels and tires (sometimes two sets),
crystal clear "glass", and sometimes decals and options to make different
street or customs. You get all these options and detail for around
10.00-12.00 retail.
Then these kits show up at discounters from time to time or they box up a
nifty 4 pack for sale around Christmas for 20.00. Can you imagine Tamiya
boxing 4 1/48 scale aircraft kits together as a Christmas promo for 20.00!
I heard Trumpeter is releasing a 1/25 scale Bonneville for 40.00! Are they
trying to raise the bar for car kit prices?
I cannot see anyone wanting to spend 40.00 on that kit when there are
hundreds of other car models for 1/4 the price. 1/8th the price if you stock
up at Hobby Lobby during a sale!!
I guess though if you gotta have it you gotta have it. I will find it
interesting to see if car prices shoot up just like when Hasegawa broke the
10.00 for a 1/48 airplane ceiling, when they released their 109-Es.
So.... Do car modelers have it the best of any group of modeler's?
Max Bryant
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Max Bryant
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Depend on what you call "best". I certainly have to take my hat off to them for creativity and building "out of the box"...some of the custom stuff out there is really hot. That's GOOD.
I know that if you want to REALLY start spending money on aftermarket parts, become a serious car modeler - they have the widest selection of any genre I can think of. You may buy a kit for $12, but then I've seen aluminum custom wheel sets for upwards of $75. There's tons of custom etch, resin, and chrome around for car models. Engine parts, AN fittings, wiring harnesses, wheels, tires, hyd systems, flocking, fuzzy name it - if you can got one for a 1:1 scale car, you can probably get it for your model. I've seen competitive 1/24 scale cars with well over $200 in them...if I built cars and couldn't cure my severe case of AMS, I'd be bankrupt in a few weeks...and that's BAD...
And the reference material is certainly easy to come by for autos, which only feeds the habit; not to mention that if you're doing a custom, there's not really any "wrong" way to do it...which is GOOD.
As usual, it gets back to building what you like...and can afford.
Reply to
Geez! And here, all these years, I've been preached to that aircraft or armor is where it's at?
Seriously though, a lot of what you say has truth to it: There is a ton of aftermarket stuff out there for car modelers, and not just the basic kit--the aftermarket is huge as well. Of course, when one considers that for every aircraft type, or armor subject, there are literally several hundred potential car subjects (after all, automakers update their styling, even totally revamp various models almost yearly -- certainly in the decades between 1920 & 1980 or so). Certainly there is a very large segment of car modelers who are deeply into "replicating the real thing", but I suspect the vast majority of car modelers (at least in the US) are very much "free-form" modelers, a mirror, of you will, of the real car hobby. By free-form, I mean it is possible, with a car model, to "do your own thing" in painting, detailing, customizing the bodywork, in short, do anything one's little heart desires. That's pretty hard to do in most other areas of scale modeling, where the tendency is for others to point out that "real airplanes (or tanks, or ships, or artillery, or--or--or...) aren't or weren't done that way". Not that there is anything wrong with a heavy emphasis on accurate replicas--that is part of what makes the scale modeling world revolve.
As for the Trumpeter 1:25 scale 1960 Pontiac Bonneville kits--yes they are $40 kits, however there is a ton of stuff in one! The parts count for each of them is over 230 parts, including things like PE scissors hood hinges. Sure, they do have some niggling detail inaccuracies, but once the initial "carping" has died down, the car guys are building them just fine.
However, aircraft builders (still the mainstay of IPMS!) do have a significant advantage in that, across the developed world, aircraft modelers are apparently in the majority, and given the relative simplicity of tooling an aircraft (car bodies require at minimum, a 6-way sliding core mold, where aircraft components can all be molded in much simpler, 2-part tooling, which is vastly less expensive for a model the same relative size to a 1:25 or 1:24 scale model car. In addition, to engineer a model car kit in full-detail (opening hood, engine, etc.) requires upwards of 100 parts minimum to do it justice, and the majority of those parts aren't simple, add-on's in the manner of underwing stores, but must be engineered to fit together intricately. As a result, a model manufacturer with a global presence can realize far more unit sales of an aircraft than with a car kit, and often for a lower investment in tooling. Thus, while it is so that there are many, many more variants of the comparatively limited subject matter, vis a' vis automotive subjects, it is unlikely that an equivalent percentage of cars will ever be produced in model kit form, primarily on the basis of the up-front investment in tooling--hence the auto modeler aftermarket.
Reply to
My take on Trumpeter's prices is that almost everything they do is expensive. As Art says further down, there are a lot of parts in that kit. The only other '60 Pontiac was put out by AMT (the real AMT) in 1960 and re-released once in '69. Theoretically they should cost mucho dollars too, if unbuilt. I sold my built one on E-bay about a year ago for what Trumpeter wants for their new one. I have no idea why they picked a '60 Pontiac, which is to me a ho-hum car. Once I sold off my other Pontiacs there was no reason to hold on to that one.
I also realise that most people wouldn't spend any money on the cars that intrigue me so I don't look forward to any of them showing up in plastic anytime soon. I'm just happy as heck that the moulds for the Beverly Hillbillies truck have been found and re-released. I may have to buy several of those for the parts. How many times have we been presented with a non-Ford car from the '20s? Not for a long time, if ever. (I'm talking plastic here.)
It is indeed a matter of your tastes and interests. If you 'have' to have a '60 Pontiac you'll buy one.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Bill Banaszak
Its a tossup between cars and ships, especially the old tall sailing ships. There are lots of detail for both as well as after market items.
Max Bryant wrote:
Reply to
I did post my models on alt.binanaries.models.scale, if anyone wants to see them. Post name is Mike G.
Reply to
Mike G.
and I alwayst tought it was the other way around, I have always been amazed at the stuff available for aircraft, it even had me take down the box of an F4 d I bought years ago.....
BTW have you seen the prices of Tamiya car kits? nothing nice about that......
Sudesh (car guy)
Reply to
Around a buck-and-a-half, if comparable Mopar kit prices are reliable.
About right for a restorable builtup.
There are Pontiac Guys (TM) out there. I know one. They've gotta have 'em all. Not that I should talk. I'm a BMW Guy ... and a '60s Mopar Guy ...
And you'd consider $40 a pretty good price for a *good* model. While car *kit* builders have always seemed to have it pretty good, there are those few of us who 'have' to have some rather esoteric, if mundane, cars. For that, we turn to the resin makers and we figure $40 is a fair deal for a conversion kit to go on a production kit chassis.
In my case, it's a series of the earliest cars I owned. The '61 DeSoto was $45 almost 10 years ago and it used an obsolete '60 DeSoto Johan chassis (I found a parts kit for $5.), but today it's $75. The Modelhaus also came to the rescue with the '62 Chrysler wagon I had. At $75, ironically, that's what I got for the whole car when I sold it! I got a good deal on the $35 '65 Plymouth Satellite that wasn't quite up to Modelhaus standards, but is now presentable after some serious 'tweaking'. I'm still thinking about a conversion of a resin '63 Tempest 2-door coupe into the 4-door sedan [Hey Art, is the roof the same? Close?] that *was* my First Car - and you *know* what happened in there! When the car *means* something to you, 'ho-hum' isn't the issue and $40 is nothing.
Of course, any guy who started out building planes and switched to cars can tell you that what *really* is best about building model cars is that *more* of them fit into the same amount of shelf space. =;^) -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; done that)
Reply to
C.R. Krieger
I am aware of Tamiya car prices but was really referring to AMT, Revell, Monogram kits. I personally think that on a value for money basis car modelers have it the best. How much would a Tamiya, Hasegawa etc 1/48 airplane cost if it came with two sets of wheels, different hubs, accesories to make two or 3 versions of a single aircraft, different props, different engine combos, removeable cowlings, etc. IMO car modelers have enjoyed these things for years and have not really suffered from the upward spiral of kit price increases as we aircraft modelers have. Maybe Trumpeter will set the course for car kit prices in the future. Afterall they seem to have resurrected 1/32 scale and guys who would never touch a big scale model before are all of a sudded oohing and ahhing and plopping down a buck fifty a model. Then of course they still have to get the aftemarket accessories too! :-o.
Cheers, Max Bryant
Reply to
Max Bryant
Yep, assuming you get some built. ;) I've dropped a few bucks on Modelhaus' doorstep too. It started with repro parts and graduated into whole kits. I've got the '61 DeSoto, '60 Dodge Polara, '58 Lincoln, '58 Ford and the '59 & '60 Edsels. There's also a couple All American kits in various stages of completion and one transkit finished, a Mustang LX hatch made up to look like the current 1/1 ride. I even have an R&R kit but I wouldn't recommend them as a first resin kit. A longterm project has been the Heyer '60 Plymouth hardtop. It might have been easier to start with the station wagon kit and work it into the hardtop. If a Scale Auto Replica kit comes near you, RUN!
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Bill Banaszak
A quick tip: The grille's too wide. Splice it in the middle so it's narrow enough that the headlight surrounds are flush with the fender lines. Who *says* I never build a model? >:^\ Other than that, this one's damn near perfect - and I *owned* the 1:1.
Why, you're an old Ford/Mopar turd like me!
I've never gotten my mitts on any of Art's stuff. :^(
The '65 Satellite I built (That's *two*!) is an R&R (or an F&F?). I agree with you. Shed a lotta resin dust making *that* one! I needed to fabricate most of the trim, too. Actually, it appeared to be more of a drag-prepped (no nameplates) Belvedere hardtop. While that explains the lack of trim, it *doesn't* account for the lousy hood and grille fits. The F&F (R&R?) stuff I've seen is about the same.
However, if you're looking for that Unobtanium MPC '68 Coronet, there's a guy selling *very nice* white resin 'Feverbee' 1-piece bodies with (unplated) grilles & bumpers on eBAy for about $30 (the MPC/AMT B body chassis, glass & interiors fit). Of course, Jimmy Flintstone's close by Milwaukee, so I get a regular shot at his great stuff, too. Built (almost; 90% done) his Dodge A100 van stock with the Little Red Wagon parts.
Haven't seen this brand. Maybe it'd be easier to just buy the promo? Doesn't Modelhaus do the '60 HT? I considered trying a conversion with that wagon roof on a '62 Chrysler 300, but the rear fenders would have been a nightmare. I'm glad somebody else did it.
Never seen one. Thanks for the tip. ;^) -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; done that)
Reply to
C.R. Krieger
C.R. spake:
Guilty, although my first car was a '55 Buick. Thanks for the DeSoto tip. I've been interested in the beast ever since I saw the one that used to park in our neighbourhood. That was a 4-dr. and the owner was visiting his girl. I think you're correct about Modelhaus and the '60 Plymouth but since I've got so much wrapped up with the one here, it'd be a little wasteful to buy another body. Incidentally, some of the parts used in the rebuild came from another project - a '62 Dodge 880. That took an X-El '61 Dodge and a JoHan '62 Chrysler, some strip stock, bodywork and some emblem casting. I cast the 'fratzogs' from the one on the rear deck of a '63 Polara. I have an original '68 Coronet partly built. It's so close to finished I should get it out and 'just do it'. I'm slowly (glacially?) working up the nerve to try building a stock '82 Thunderbird from one of those NA$CAR kits. I found one outside a repair shop and took lots of pics of the body contours for reference. IMHO, that was the last T-Bird until the new 2-seaters arrived. I have no time for the Taurobirds.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Bill Banaszak
Be kind. I started out building the old AMT and JoHan lines of cars, until I discovered aircraft and spacecraft (my true loves, after SWMBO and the kids!) I remember going down to the hobby shop (Field's in Buffalo, and occasionally Howard Ruth's) and dropping a dollar for my latest "fix".
-- John The history of things that didn't happen has never been written. . - - - Henry Kissinger
Reply to
The Old Timer
If I wanted to build a car as an antidote to AMS; perhaps a classic muscle car (not a racing car) from the 1960s or 70s, that is accurate and well detailed straight OOB, which kits should I look at?
Reply to
Joe Jefferson
And I've got essentially the same question for airline modelers: Which 1/144 airliner kits are accurate, well-detailed, and recommended as a break from AMS? Do any Southwest 737s fall into this category?
Reply to
Joe Jefferson
Try one of the Revell Airbus 330/340s or if you can find it, the 767-300, especially in a Revell Germany boxing. The A-380 and Beluga are as nice, but a trifle large :) For something smaller, try the Revell Avro RJ or the Fokker 100.
The only widely available 737-300 is the Minicraft kit. It's nice and basic, but the rear end of the fuselage is a bit too fat. The level of detail is not up to the Revell kits. Daco is working on a 737 family that looks good, but it's not out yet. Check their website for details. There used to be Southwest decals available from ATP. I don't know where they can be obtained now. Have you loked at the AHS website?
The Minicraft MD-80 can be built into a very nice model straight out of the box, and I've been hearing nice things about the new 727-200 that's just been released in the UK and is to be out here in North America any day now...
Reply to
Jeff C
Thanks. I'll make a note of these and look for them on my next hobbyshop visit. Something like that should make a nice break from my long-term project of building every single model of the P-51, including prototypes, experimental versions, twin mustangs, and the Cavalier and Piper designs. All in the same scale.
I haven't looked anywhere yet. I just thought of Southwest as I was typing that post, because that's what I usually fly.
Great. Thanks.
Reply to
Joe Jefferson
Corvettes are pretty inspirational. Revellogram makes a decent '67 coupe and roadster. Also, I like the Cuda which is now available in convertible as well as coupe. There's plenty of Mustangs out there too. hth
The Keeper (of too much crap)
Reply to
As an alternative to the Revellogram 'Vettes, have a look at the Accurate Miniatures Corvette Grand Sport - if you can find / afford it. I've got one and it looks real good - and I'm not even a Corvette fan!
Reply to
Rob Grinberg

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