What is Most Important in a Scale Model dn models

What is Most Important in a Scale Model

Just recently, we caught a glimpse of a Kinetic post in their social network page, where there was a question. Summarizing, it was what would be the most important decision when buying a scale model – Price? Accuracy? Cool Markings? Super detailing? What exactly will be the magic?

That begs for deeper discussion and understanding, but let’s start with Kinetic first.

Kinetic as a brand are rather tempting option on the market. They have interesting kits, various re-packs, cool boxarts. That doesn’t come without some issues though. One of the best examples is their F/A-18 Hornet line, the first of which was an immediate hit, featuring great details and interesting engineering. However, the instructions were awful. And that is to put it gently. The price wasn’t much different from that of an established old-school white shark model maker, but, the instructions were far from it.

Then there were some releases regarding first generation Harrier. A beautiful kit without a doubt, but with some inconsistency in terms of surface details and most definitely – something that was not on top of Kinetic’s line. Everybody knew that they could do better and many expressed disappointment. With that said, Kinetic’s abovementioned, as well as many of their other toolings are wonderful kits are are highly recommended. They are not overly expensive, are interesting, are in good packing and with superb markings most of the times.

But what is most important, they ask?

OK, Kinetic put the answer right within their question.

Cool Markings?

No. That is ridiculous assumption. Markings can be substituted and more often than not are, with aftermarket or home made decals, paint masks and mix of markings from other kits. Easy peasy. Often times, aftermarket decals are far better in terms of quality than the ones inside of the box.


No, that’s not it too. This is a hobby. A model kit is not a necessity of your daily life, therefore you can live without it. It is a pleasure ride, self-improving and widening-your-horizons & skills activity, that we are loving and enjoying that much. Since it is not a necessity, a kit can be left in the store and never purchased, meaning that you can live without it. Hence, if it is that important to you, well…it is not a car and sooner or later you’ll be able to buy it…  IF …you decide.

Super detailing?

Maybe, to some extent. Super-detailing once meant resin and PE parts, open hatches and sections which usually are not seen even in real life. Nowadays, most kits have that within, coming super-detailed OOTB. That is great to have, but as we have witnessed, Tamiya’s latest 48th scale jets and props are not super-detailed, but are best sellers on the market. Why would you need it if you plan to make your jet in flight? That is just an option.

If we look at the super-detailing AS superb surface detailing and many small sub-assemblies – that is another story, but again: super detailing was not that in our vocabulary couple years ago.


More then the other factors mentioned. More than anything else actually, since modelers are usually accuracy afficionados. Not one or two feuds have been started over accuracy issues with this or that kit. Some kits have dropped out of serious considerations for relatively fixable flaws too. So, there you have it. But it is not only that.

What is most important in a kit

is that OOTB the kit must come in its best way and form possible, plus the options for improvements. That means, that everything that can be changed afterwards with aftermarket might be left solely as an option for changing. Not a necessity. But, everything that the manufacturer produced and is there to stay – should be perfect. In other words, decals, boxing, markings even super detailing can be altered. It can be there or not. However, one cannot alter the length of the wingspan or the chassis of a tank. Well, arguably… But you can change tracks, sprockets, even – sometimes – stabilizers or nose radomes, A-10C Engines in Academy’s latest… But in the end, all that should come with the kit from the factory.

Most Important

in a kit – in our opinion at least – is that it should be perfectly buildable out of the box. No need for anything extra. It should also give you options for improvement, alteration /not unlimited of course/ and what not, but that should be left to one’s personal preference. Because if it is the other way around, one’s favorite plane/tank OOTB might mean a necessity of buying aftermarket, re-scribing/sanding or…failure to replicate it properly as it is. Which doesn’t make it a great kit after we put this and that and so much money in it. It makes it a bad investment overall. It makes it a fraction of the whole equation. Nobody wants to buy a TV and then to have to buy a stand and a remote separately.

Many have found that niche. Tamiya, Academy, Zoukei-Mura, MENG, RFM. Even Revell and Airfix offer kits like that. They have produced kits that are brilliant as they come and without any additional needs. However it is not up to the brand, but up to the final product. If you can take it, shake and bake it and be done – that is a good kit. That is, if it is accurate in the end, easy to be built and a pleasant ride after all the work. It is not enough to have only one side of this multi-faceted object to be polished. But if you do have to buy more just to make it happen as it should, or you struggle with poor fit, inaccuracies, wrong dimensions…no. That cannot be a good kit. Or anything in that matter. We can live with poorly made instruction sheet or dull decal options. But life’s harder when your wings are shorter, canopy is squashed or your form is completely off.