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Top and bottom 3 model companies?

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Difficult one but here goes, I'm only looking at 1/32 scale kits by the way and judging only on their appeal to me not on their quality.

At the top

1. Special Hobby: They make kits of subjects that really interest me and that the other main stream manufacturers would not touch, I have lots of their kits in my stash.

2. Hasegawa, Well designed, no fuss kits of interesting subjects, for me the backbone of the LSP market, again lots of their kits in the stash.

3. Revell. Cheap but well designed kits, great value for money and hours of building for not much outlay, lots of their kits in the stash.

 

Bottom

1. ZM. Not for me, expensive, limited range of subjects that do not appeal to me much and over engineered, I do not have any of their kits in the stash which is a shame as we should support 1/32 kit makers. But I nearly bought a Ki45 at Telford prices but was too late to order.

2. HK Models. Not for me again, expensive and limited range of subjects, I only have one in the stash, A Gloster Meteor that was waiting for a Fisher F Mk. III conversion.

3. WNW, not for me no matter how superb the engineering and design is, I do have an Se 5 in the stash and it is really impressive but rigging is the main obstacle.

 

I really do not know where to put Tamiya in the ranking as I have a lot of their kits but have not built any of them, they are pretty safe and predictable subjects.

PCM should also be in there because of there subject matter, Italian and RAF subjects that had never before been kitted and some that never will be again, I have a lot of their kits in the stash.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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2 hours ago, dennismcc said:

Difficult one but here goes, I'm only looking at 1/32 scale kits by the way and judging only on their appeal to me not on their quality.

At the top

1. Special Hobby: They make kits of subjects that really interest me and that the other main stream manufacturers would not touch, I have lots of their kits in my stash.

2. Hasegawa, Well designed, no fuss kits of interesting subjects, for me the backbone of the LSP market, again lots of their kits in the stash.

3. Revell. Cheap but well designed kits, great value for money and hours of building for not much outlay, lots of their kits in the stash.

 

Bottom

1. ZM. Not for me, expensive, limited range of subjects that do not appeal to me much and over engineered, I do not have any of their kits in the stash which is a shame as we should support 1/32 kit makers. But I nearly bought a Ki45 at Telford prices but was too late to order.

2. HK Models. Not for me again, expensive and limited range of subjects, I only have one in the stash, A Gloster Meteor that was waiting for a Fisher F Mk. III conversion.

3. WNW, not for me no matter how superb the engineering and design is, I do have an Se 5 in the stash and it is really impressive but rigging is the main obstacle.

 

I really do not know where to put Tamiya in the ranking as I have a lot of their kits but have not built any of them, they are pretty safe and predictable subjects.

PCM should also be in there because of there subject matter, Italian and RAF subjects that had never before been kitted and some that never will be again, I have a lot of their kits in the stash.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

 

 

 

 

All things being considered, Id have to reverse that order...............

 

TOP:

1. WNW - Quality cant be beat, and the fit and finish is generally as good or better than any other manu out there. You can get a WnW kit for under $80 and if you don't want rigging there are several out there to choose from that have 1 or 2 wires or none at all.   In reality, I thought rigging was going to be some huge nightmare. It wasn't really that bad to tell you the truth.

 

2. Tamiya - They make some of the finest kits on the planet IMHO. Arguably some of the best models you can get in any scale. Price can be an issue, but in my older age, Id save up for a model that fit, built and looked like Tamiyas do for a year if the only other choice was to build a crappier model. 

 

3. Hasegawa - Agreed the old standby. Price is slowly becoming an issue there too, as Has kits have been creeping up in price, and for the lesser detail you get, I would almost put Hasegawa out of the top 3 but not in the bottom 3 either.  As it sits however, you can still get Has kits at a decent price and they generally are fairly accurate. 

 

4. (TIE) KHM / ZM - I put a 4th one in the top because of HK and ZM. Having build the HK B-25, Do-335 and a couple others, I can say their combination of price, fit and finish is really decent, and overall their kits are really nice to build IMHO.   For me as a tie ZM is right about there with HKM. I've met the "old man" several times, at two different nationals and his and ZMs passion for aircraft modeling comes right through. ZM kits generally fit decently, and they have subjects that really appeal. I dont always like their "over engineered" approach to models, but their kits are nice, and mostly pleasant to build, and fit nice, at least the ones I have built including their Spad, Raiden and Shinden. Cant WAIT to get a copy of their Ki-45 and Hs-129

 

 

Bottom:

 

I dont really have any specific order for the "worst" as I think most manus offer something that has positive qualities so here goes in NO specific order

 

 

 

 - Trumpeter - They are not the worst, worst, and some of their kits are indeed well done, but they are highly inconsistency with their models, and its one of the few companies I will always have to have a review of by someone in the know before purchasing anything of theirs. 

 

- Revell - They have been extremely inconsistent lately, and with the demise of Revell USA, getting parts and communication have gone down hill drastically IMHO. Their kits can be nice, but they seem to be getting out of the new tool LSP game and their latest LSP release is nothing short of atrocious.  Their P-51 is an exception on the new tool (very nice kit), but generally IMHO you get what you pay for, and  some of Revell's kits either really show their age, or the cost/corner cutting/lack of engineering is extremely evident. Sometimes if you want a specific subject they may be the only game in town however. 

 

- HpH - Im putting HpH here because of their seeming lack of quality control. They DO make some of the best detailed kits out there as far as what they come with, and yes some of their kits seem very nice in the box, but if you look at actual completion rates, then you start to see why HpH kits can really take it out of a modeler. Some kits seem engineered well, and then there are kits like my 1/32nd Tigercat. I wont go into details, but you can look at my WIP that has been dragging on since November of 2017. Mismatched panel lines, inconsistent details, things that have NO chance of fitting, and on, and on. Their kits can REALLY sap your modelling will IMO. 

I wont even go there on their customer service when you ask for replacement parts, or corrective parts that should have been dealt with at the factory during R & D. 

 

 

 

Its all down to the individual modeler and what and how you like to build. Its much more opinion than anything, so Id put it down to how you like to build, taking into consideration budget and plan from there. 

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Not much experience here, I'm afraid but:

Top

1) Tamiya - they deliver my need for simple assembly kits, without the requirement for too much skill on my part. With a limited budget, I know my bucks are relatively safe.

2) Revell - Cheap as chips, basic and fun to build. More of a challenge but I can afford to really screw up and learn something while doing it. I have a blast building Revell kits.

3) HK Models - not tried to build one yet, but kudos for pushing the envelope on moulding technology and surface texture

 

Bottom

1) Kitty Hawk - can't stand them. Poorly engineering, horrible fit and sloppy research. Will never buy another kit from them, regardless of the subject.

2) WNW - I love WNW and hate WNW. Remarkable moulding details and quality. But, tolerances are too tight, instructions sacrifice clarity on the altar of art and sometimes they are just too darn hard to build properly, especially when you add rigging.

3) ZM - love their concept but too much frothy detail for me. Would love to have a go at a Horten, but.......no.

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Posted (edited)

My answer is based strictly on LSPs alone:

For collecting:

1. WNW - so far their kits seem to hold value well, and most go up in value after selling out. 

2. Silver Wings - ditto.

3. Tamiya - not much appreciation here, usually, but they stay pretty steady no matter what. 

 

For building (much tougher to decide):

1. Hasegawa - lots of accuracy issues, but they have a wide selection of LSPs, and they are usually pretty affordable. Tons of good AM stuff for them, too. Problems aside, can be built into some fantastic pieces with a bit of work.

2. Trumpeter - ditto. Even MORE accuracy issues, but......

3. Tamiya - more money, but WAYYYY better quality. Super detailed, but not too complex for most people (like WNW or ZM) and they go together so well that even a novice can make one look good. In the hands of an experienced builder, they can blow you away.

 

Obviously, there are individual kits that don't follow this, but overall, those are my thoughts. I also didn't want to choose the bottom three. Although Williams Brothers would be dead last.

 

Tim

 

Edited by BiggTim

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Best 

1. WNW   quality & subject choice superb.

2. Tamiya   quality superb.

3. Revell   great value. 

4. Hasegawa   consistently good quality & subjects.

 

Not Best 

1. HpH   overpriced tosh;

2. KH   bordering on amateurish;

3. Trumpy   maddeningly inconsistent;

4. ZM   painfully over engineered.

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Posted (edited)

For collecting, I think there is only one and that is WNW.  As a rule I don’t consider models collectible or collecting even a good idea.  They take up lots of space, they go down in value and they degradation with time.  However WNW has so far proven to have real collector potential if you must.

 

To me the best is about quality, consistency and high standards, price be damned.  

In all other regards my top three model companies are as follows in order:

1.  Tamiya; just no doubt about it hands down the best model making company on the planet.  They cover all major jeanres of scale modeling, they lead in innovation, lead in quality and lead in accuracy.

2.  Bandai; if you have not picked up a Bandai kit and put it together, you just don’t get how well engineered their kits are, how detailed and how well they go together.  I know that they don’t offer a single 1/32 plane kit but the OP assumed 1/32 planes, but asked the question who is the best.

3.  Wingnut Wings; they excel in quality, design and engineering also although I don’t think they are quite on the level of Bandai or Tamiya.

 

Bottom three:

Well there are lots of candidates for this honor and it is hard to know where to begin at the same time I don’t want to unfairly include small garage manufacturers that are trying to do the best product they can in their own way.  So I make my decision based upon capable and should know better.

 

1.  Hobby boss, I have them on this list for gross inconsistency

2.  Merrit (they did some big scale planes but they really did not bother with the detail to make them worth while.) at the same time Merit has some good releases that are not planes.   I put them in bottom three for their not give a damn treatment of the Fokker Dr. I

3.  gotta think about another one but there are plenty of candidates including Revell, however I would probably give it to AMT.  I always thought their kits were god awful.  I know they were car kits but still.  Also I still have not forgiven Airfix, I got a kit of HMS Belfast when I was a kid after getting to tour the ship and the kit was unbuildable.  I have yet to build an Airfix kit since.  (May overcome that though in due course with a 1/24 Hellcat.)  

 

 

Edited by cbk57

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not easy to decide, because I like and will support all companies who will bring any new kit into our scale :bow:

from this perspective there is no bad company in our scale

 

so based on my recent and forthcoming builds and  planes I really like:

 

1. Zoukei Mura & WNW :P - types selection, instructions, easiness of build and their approach

2. HPH :DodgeBall:- because of PBY, C-47 & Walrus and all the great detail included (however instructions are terrible and you need to take several weeks holiday to clean the parts :hmmm:)

3. HK Models & Lukgraph - though not perfect, who brought us the B-25, B-17 and all those great between wars US planes?

 

Happy modelling and many more new kits for us! :D

jan

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1 minute ago, Jennings Heilig said:

Which is better, blondes or brunettes?  Vanilla or chocolate?  Lexus or BMW?

 

Utterly unanswerable questions.

While the rest of the world may disagree, I have no doubt whatsoever the best model company in the world is Tamiya.  I don't tend to do absolute easily but for me personally their is no debate.  For me Tamiya is the Patriots but instead of having loosing years Tamiya has won the Super Bowl every year since 1971.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Jennings Heilig said:

Which is better, blondes or brunettes?  Vanilla or chocolate?  Lexus or BMW?

 

Utterly unanswerable questions.

Then why did we all just answer them?

 

Let me re-phrase that - they are not unanswerable, they are infinitely answerable. 

Edited by BiggTim

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How many other pointless discussions have we had?  My favorite lately is whether WNW is about at the end of the line.  I think if you are going to participate state your reasons.  The OP question is so broad there is no limit.  But really is there an objective answer?  Except for the fact that Tamiya is the greatest Model Company ever.  

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Jennings Heilig said:

Okay, then I stand corrected:  they’re utterly pointless, because everyone will have an individual, subjective, meaningless to anyone but himself answer.

 

Jennings, you are one of the most intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable, and talented people I have ever met (even if it was just for 30 seconds at Nats) and sometimes you are very helpful on this forum, but you have the people skills of a cactus, my friend.

Edited by BiggTim

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