Kit Manufacturers

Ok, here's another on topic question.
I've gathered from reading this NG in the short time that I've subscribed
to this NG it is clear that there are QUITE a
few manufacturers of model kits. Roughly how many and who are the best?
That can be broken down to aircraft, armor, automotive, Sci-Fi, fantasy,
instructions, decals, kit materials
themselves, etc.
Also again from the short time that I've subscribed to this NG that it is
also very clear that there are a number of
aftermarket manufacturers for replacement parts as well as "replacement"
parts to accurately build the kit in question,
so again who makes the best in that category as well???
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Live Long and Prosper
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The answer you'll see time and time again is... "It depends."
For instance, Revell-Monogram has some excellent kits - and some dogs in their lineup (though most of the real dogs disappeared when Revell and Monogram merged - I was *not* a Revell fan back in the day.) Same with Tamiya, Hasegawa, etc.
Then there's "what do you consider good?" Do you *care* if panel lines are raised? Do you just want a shake-and-bake kit, or do you care if it actually takes a little work? Some people think a kit is great if just the basic outline is good (they'll do the rest themselves, thanks,) others want 100% perfect and no fit errors.
Aftermarket stuff is a *little* easier - are decals on register and accurate? Do resin seats *look* like the real thing instead of La-Z-Boy recliners? There's some personal taste involved, too - I don't like resin wheels that look "flattened" ... or rather, "flat," like they're low on air...
With all that said (and the obligatory "you may want to Google the group -, search rec.models.scale +manufacturers") here's a general overview. I build mostly aircraft, a few cars and mecha, rarely anything else.
Generally good: Revell-Monogram Classic Airframes (limited run - earlier kits are worse, all kits require work) Accurate Miniatures Tamiya Hasegawa Bandai (I did mention mecha...)
Hit and miss: Testors/Italeri - many older kits, with fit and/or detail issues (fit issues on the newer ones, too, but the only game in town for some kits.) Hobbycraft - Normally OK outline, with some exceptions (P-40, Vampire) hit and miss fit, usually lacking detail in the cockpit.
Aftermarket: True Details seems to be the most common source of resin cockpits - I don't buy many (think I've actually bought *one,* so...) Eduard - good photoetch Others will have to name other sources.
Decals: TwoBobs - unique subjects, great if you like Aggressors. :D Aeromaster - some accuracy problems with earlier sheets (though the worst portion is the "single side view" of early instruction sheets.) Later seem fine. BareMetal - yes, they make decals, too. They seem the same as Superscale - so so instruction sheets, normally reasonably decent decals. Aztec - Usually central or south american subjects. Haven't used them,b ut I have a few, and they look pretty good. Mike Grant - Mostly Alps printed (that I recall,) some screen printed. The Alps printed ones are more fragile, but let him do more esoteric subjects.
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The mind boggles at trying to count the manufacturers. Just in my collection there are at least 200+. I know this because of my inventory system. Every company gets a number and that's where I've gotten to at this point. Even that doesn't quite cover it because I have some companies that are so similar as to probably be one and the same. They share a mfr's number. My stuff came from all over and stretches from Aeroclub to Waku, alphabetically.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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Bill Banaszak
And Bill Banaszak opened up and revealed to the world news:
Wow, 200+, I guess it is SAFE to say that I am NO where near that many kits YET. . .
Out of the 200+ kits that you have (I'm guessing that) these are ones that you haven't built yet. Which one(s) are your favorite? Or that you would rate as being in the "top 10?"
Of that 200+ how many of those are after market?
- -- Live Long and Prosper . + . + . . .. .. . ______________________. . . . __ . \_______NCC_1701______|) .______.---'--'---.________ || || /-------.__________.-------/ /============/___/ '--' . \==\_____________|(- + . . + . . . . . + + .. . + . . + . . . . . . . + . .
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Have you been here yet?
formatting link
That give you links to about 90 percent of the mfgs.
Anybody got a URL for Supermodel? Cheers,
The Keeper (of too much crap)
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And snipped-for-privacy@aol.comedy (Keeper) opened up and revealed to the world news:
Nope, haven't thanks for the URL.
- -- Live Long and Prosper . + . + . . .. .. . ______________________. . . . __ . \_______NCC_1701______|) .______.---'--'---.________ || || /-------.__________.-------/ /============/___/ '--' . \==\_____________|(- + . . + . . . . . + + .. . + . . + . . . . . . . + . .
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Digital Cowboy wrote-->Bill, Wow, 200+, I guess it is SAFE to say that I am NO where near that many kits YET. . .Out of the 200+ kits that you have...>>
Cowboy, I do believe you've misunderstood. He didn't say 200+ kits, he said 200+ MANUFACTURERS, with who knows how many kits per manufacturer. From posts I've read over time about who has how many kits, IIRC I think Bill was one of the upper end with a few thousand. Now THAT boggles the mind!
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
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Disco -- FlyNavy
And (Disco -- FlyNavy) opened up and revealed to the world news:
Ah, ok thanks for clearing that up.
- -- Live Long and Prosper . + . + . . .. .. . ______________________. . . . __ . \_______NCC_1701______|) .______.---'--'---.________ || || /-------.__________.-------/ /============/___/ '--' . \==\_____________|(- + . . + . . . . . + + .. . + . . + . . . . . . . + . .
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Do you subscribe to John Burns' Kit Collector's Clearinghouse?
He has been running a history of kit manufacturers with lots of info as to when they started, ended, merged, etc. There are hundreds.
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Nope, but I sometimes am allowed to borrow Mr. B's copy, assuming you mean the big book that John puts out. It was a big help in finding stock numbers for kits long built with little surviving documentation.
For DC: I have close to 1500 kits. The total may be less because I've been selling off some of the larger items and the ones it's unlikely I'll ever build. Around 400 of those are automobile kits with several Star Trek and ship kits. The rest are, for the most part, aircraft. I have several Aeroclub Meteor conversion kits, 3 Beechnut 'kits', 3 Pegasus, 1 Meikraft, 1 Rarebits, 1 Airmodel and 3 Merlins, one of which has been finished. I'd call these 'aftermarket' or close to it. Some here would include the 2 Mach2 kits in that group. ;) I don't have any photo-etch and only once did I buy a resin cockpit interior. That 1/48 Monogram Bf 109 looked awfully empty without it. BTW, that 1500 figure encompasses built, incomplete, unbuilt and rebuilds. Favourites? Hmm, that's a little like figuring which child you love more. The closest to a favourite might be the Esci F-104 family. I think there are more of those in the collection than any one other kit. Most of those are in the 'built' category.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
I can quit any time I want to...really!
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Bill Banaszak
Visit my house and you'll blow a brain fuse then......;)
Disco -- FlyNavy wrote:
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