Are you fond of assembling and collecting actual or fictional objects? Then, get yourself into scale modeling. It’s one of the most rewarding hobbies as it improves cognitive function, develops creativity, and helps reduce stress.

No other pastime permits the recreation of scale models of actual or fictional objects with such precision. However, purchasing your first plastic model kit might be intimidating, as well as determining what to purchase due to the abundance of available subjects.

Worry not! This article got you covered. You’ll be guided on what you need to know about plastic model kits, from the different kinds of grades to the necessary accessories and tools you need. You’ll have your own set and be able to assemble one in no time. 

What are Plastic Model Kits?

A plastic model kit is made of solid polystyrene plastic, consisting of individual pieces that must be assembled and painted. There are replicas of different subjects ranging from plastic military models (aircraft, tanks, and ships)to science fiction, from trucks and model cars to figure models.

Typically, injection molding is utilized to manufacture plastic models. The model kit manufacturer will make two halves of steel plate along with the shape of the kit’s components. After pressing the two instruments together, the engraving will be injected with liquid styrene plastic. When the plastic has cooled and hardened, the components are released from the tool. This will become one “sprue” of model kit parts.

Assembling plastic model kits or scale modeling is one famous pastime that has improved as manufacturing technology has evolved. For decades, many individuals have been building model kits. However, the latest ones are the best you’ll ever see as more details are put into the molding. If you’re starting with scale modeling, you can enjoy it even more as you get better at it.

Types of Grades

Plastic model kits may depict many things, but the most typical are robots and military vehicles. In addition, some model kits, such as robots, come in various grades that identify the complexity of the projects. Such grades are as follows:

High Grade 

These are the most valuable kits because they are easy to put together. In addition, it can be purchased for a range of low prices and comes in a wide variety of options.

Real Grade 

These are new parts of the Gundam Plastic Model. Since they came out in 2010, Real Grade kits have been recognized for their attention to detail, including movable parts, a realistic look, and a wide range of decals.

Master Grade 

These models’ size and details differ from those of the High-Grade kits. In Master Grade kits, the inner skeleton helps the parts move and last longer. It also has more complicated parts than High-Grade kits. However, the extra time spent on details pays off after finishing the kit.

Perfect Grade 

In contrast, this kit is among the most expensive on the market. It has a scale that makes it unique in every collection. Not only do you obtain an excellent model kit, but it’s also incredibly detailed, right down to the hand movement of the figurines.

Where Should You Start?

An excellent initial step is to visit a local shop that sells plastic model kits. If there isn’t one in your area, you can visit the model kit section of your preferred online store. Additionally, you must first select what subject you wish to assemble. Next, you should identify your optimal skill level. Lastly, select the size of the kit.

What Does Skill Level Mean?

If you’re new to scale modeling or have been away for a while, you may choose to begin with less complex kits. The smaller models are significantly simpler and faster to assemble than the larger, more complicated kits.

Level one models are the most basic and the smallest. They have only a few pieces and may have parts that are already colored and snap together without glue. Level two models have more parts, but they’re still easy and quick to put together.  

From level three to five, the level system starts to show more how many parts are in the model. If a modeler has enough experience to assemble a level three model, they probably have the skills to assemble a level five model, but it’ll take them much longer.

What Necessary Tools and Accessories Needed?

This article will offer a few necessary equipment and accessories for starting, like you. Although some of these necessary tools can be available in a toolset, it is preferable to be well-equipped.

The most important accessory you’ll need is glue, sometimes known as poly cement. You should utilize the one with a fine needle tip for small pieces. Thin liquid cement is excellent for larger pieces where the glue might begin to dry before being wholly applied.

Side cutters, called clippers, are used to remove components from the sprue. You could do it with a craft knife. However, they exert pressure on the pieces, which often breaks or distorts the pieces.

Additionally, getting at least one set of quality tweezers is wise. This will be useful for gripping relatively small parts that are tough to grip with your fingers. Also recommended are paintbrushes and paint, as the model’s instructions will specify the paint colors required.

Final Thoughts

While designing model kits is a fun pastime, it’s also a skill that requires practice and dedication to become good. Make sure to take things easy when you’re just starting. Between each stage, take some time to assess your approach to the subsequent steps.