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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody,

I´m not into modelling for that long yet. I get extremely impressed reading about some guys having hundreds of models. Wow, don´t know if I will ever get old enough for that size of a collection. I have only done amt kits until now. Mainly because they fit my favorite ´50s - ´60s period well and because I have some good amt suppliers here in Europe. I did try an mpc once and was very disappointed about the quality.

I am willing to shop around, but don´t want to buy a bummer again. I can buy Revell, but I feel that they don´t serve my big bumper period that well and I get the impression that the detail quality isn´t that high. Maybe I am just biased.

Who can give me some good advice? Thanks for your help!
Andy
 

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Moebius has some Hudson's and Chrysler's from the '50s and MPC has a '30s gangster car with big bumpers.
 

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Who are you shopping from in Europe? The added shipping from the USA or Asia is probably not ideal for you but the Autoworld Store has a lot of 1950's car kits.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Who are you shopping from in Europe? The added shipping from the USA or Asia is probably not ideal for you but the Autoworld Store has a lot of 1950's car kits.

Thanks for that recommendation, checked out Autoworld. The variety of amt and etc. is about the same as my suppliers in Germany (Modellbau König, Der Sockelshop, modellbau-universe, and my favorite US Car Models). The prices are decent too compared to the US. So it seems that I can´t complain about a poor selection. I can get about all the accessories needed too. Since there are not any serious stores around any more, I cannot check the kits before I buy them and the toy stores just sell the low level Revell stuff. Discovered Moebius though and will try to get my hands on one of their kits.
 

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The year, make and model of the car you want en miniature dictates which model maker to buy a model from.
I mean, to recommend a model manufacturer, who makes the 'best' models, but not of a car you like to own a model of, is pretty futile, isn't it?
Now, when it comes to plastic kits in particular, this becomes even more futile, because how a kit built model turns out depends on your modelling skills and Murphy's Law more than anything else. To say this manufacturer makes better kits than that one is like saying this language is easier to speak than that one. It's risky to make such a statement, because in both cases, there is no single metric by which objective rankings could be determined.
I have made as many masterpieces out of MPC kits as I have made messes out of AMT kits, and the other way around, as the next man. I also kitbash a lot. If I'm dissatisfied with certain components in a kit of a car I must own in built up form (caution: this is entirely subjective), I take them out of a kit I deem them better in, like engines, transmissions and even the entire chassis. In other cases I use components that were never meant for model cars, like wires, springs, hoses, belts and so on. Not many things in life are as fluid as building models from one, and if necessary, several plastic kits, and add some aftermarket, or household items. You are only limited by your own imagination. That's why models built from kits always bear signature characteristics of their builders. If you know a bunch of them and have seen their models, if all of them would put some of their models on a table, you can tell which one was built by whom. That's why many people recognise building model kits being motivated by the same appreciation for form and function, as creating art or artefacts. The perceived quality of the raw materials, and nothing else is inside a kit box, becomes increasingly unimportant the more you venture from just putting the contents of such a box together, to ever more sophisticated actual modelling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The year, make and model of the car you want en miniature dictates which model maker to buy a model from.
I mean, to recommend a model manufacturer, who makes the 'best' models, but not of a car you like to own a model of, is pretty futile, isn't it?
Now, when it comes to plastic kits in particular, this becomes even more futile, because how a kit built model turns out depends on your modelling skills and Murphy's Law more than anything else. To say this manufacturer makes better kits than that one is like saying this language is easier to speak than that one. It's risky to make such a statement, because in both cases, there is no single metric by which objective rankings could be determined.
I have made as many masterpieces out of MPC kits as I have made messes out of AMT kits, and the other way around, as the next man. I also kitbash a lot. If I'm dissatisfied with certain components in a kit of a car I must own in built up form (caution: this is entirely subjective), I take them out of a kit I deem them better in, like engines, transmissions and even the entire chassis. In other cases I use components that were never meant for model cars, like wires, springs, hoses, belts and so on. Not many things in life are as fluid as building models from one, and if necessary, several plastic kits, and add some aftermarket, or household items. You are only limited by your own imagination. That's why models built from kits always bear signature characteristics of their builders. If you know a bunch of them and have seen their models, if all of them would put some of their models on a table, you can tell which one was built by whom. That's why many people recognise building model kits being motivated by the same appreciation for form and function, as creating art or artefacts. The perceived quality of the raw materials, and nothing else is inside a kit box, becomes increasingly unimportant the more you venture from just putting the contents of such a box together, to ever more sophisticated actual modelling.
Very wise words, thanks for your input!
I have become increasingly brave about taking drastic steps to get the results I am going for. So it´s not a matter of skills. I share your thoughts about building models having similarity with artwork. We know that feeling in the process of building and finally getting a model done. (My wife though just doesn´t get it lol).
 

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Oh totally. In the end, very few things really count. It's basically shapes, colours, and stance, that make a model, more than slavishly replicating every detail. Again, that's my philosophy, and if everybody else has a different one, I'm the last man who wouldn't accept that fact and find it interesting to debate.
My wife, a musician, is convinced I'm wasting time that could be allocated to more useful activities, whatever those are supposed to be, producing toys for no good reason, but at least appreciates that I'm doing it at home and that it keeps me away from mischief. Daughter #2 however, who is into sculpturing and painting on an increasingly expensive academic level, understands full well what goes into these models and what they mean to me. She has recently snatched a '32 scale Revell '57 T'bird from my stash and secretly builds it 'without me knowing about it', if you get my drift. A good parent would actually reprimand her for such actions, but I fail even at that.

However, there is another minefield to consider when talking about good/bad kit manufacturers.
With the exception of maybe Moebius and few other start up operations in this field, the overwhelming majority of the kits you can buy today are reissues. This means, that the content of a kit box is merely on the level of technology customary when that kit was issued in the first place.
Consequently, the level of detailing and parts fit is extremely inconsistent between kits made by one and the same manufacturer. The AMT '59 Imperial, for example, is made with tooling made in 1958. You cannot compare this with an AMT kit that is made with tooling from even as far back as the mid 60s, let alone the 1990s, and so on. The same holds true for many other manufacturers, be it Revell, who also reissued many old Monogram kits since they took over that operation back in the 80s, or Atlantis, the new kid on the block, who only reissues kits from a time long gone, in many cases downright as far back as the pioneering days of the hobby mid century last century.

I've been in this game since the late 70s and that makes even me only a second generation plastic modeller. The real guys were the ones digging into this when it was entirely new back in the 50s, and look what they achieved with what was available then. What they had to work with can only be considered rubbish nowadays, be it what was actually in the kits, or the materials they had at their disposal to make convincing models out of that tat. Yet, the reissues have historic, as well as nostalgic value, let alone the fact that here is your chance to better the guys of yore, thanks to those kits increasingly becoming available once again, because some obscure operation is digging up the moulds, which have miraculously survived all these decades and the basic configuration of injection moulding machines not having changed for the past 1,000 years.

So yes, go and buy that kit of the car you like and bloody build it already. You are just an artist, like the rest of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh totally. In the end, very few things really count. It's basically shapes, colours, and stance, that make a model, more than slavishly replicating every detail. Again, that's my philosophy, and if everybody else has a different one, I'm the last man who wouldn't accept that fact and find it interesting to debate.
My wife, a musician, is convinced I'm wasting time that could be allocated to more useful activities, whatever those are supposed to be, producing toys for no good reason, but at least appreciates that I'm doing it at home and that it keeps me away from mischief. Daughter #2 however, who is into sculpturing and painting on an increasingly expensive academic level, understands full well what goes into these models and what they mean to me. She has recently snatched a '32 scale Revell '57 T'bird from my stash and secretly builds it 'without me knowing about it', if you get my drift. A good parent would actually reprimand her for such actions, but I fail even at that.

However, there is another minefield to consider when talking about good/bad kit manufacturers.
With the exception of maybe Moebius and few other start up operations in this field, the overwhelming majority of the kits you can buy today are reissues. This means, that the content of a kit box is merely on the level of technology customary when that kit was issued in the first place.
Consequently, the level of detailing and parts fit is extremely inconsistent between kits made by one and the same manufacturer. The AMT '59 Imperial, for example, is made with tooling made in 1958. You cannot compare this with an AMT kit that is made with tooling from even as far back as the mid 60s, let alone the 1990s, and so on. The same holds true for many other manufacturers, be it Revell, who also reissued many old Monogram kits since they took over that operation back in the 80s, or Atlantis, the new kid on the block, who only reissues kits from a time long gone, in many cases downright as far back as the pioneering days of the hobby mid century last century.

I've been in this game since the late 70s and that makes even me only a second generation plastic modeller. The real guys were the ones digging into this when it was entirely new back in the 50s, and look what they achieved with what was available then. What they had to work with can only be considered rubbish nowadays, be it what was actually in the kits, or the materials they had at their disposal to make convincing models out of that tat. Yet, the reissues have historic, as well as nostalgic value, let alone the fact that here is your chance to better the guys of yore, thanks to those kits increasingly becoming available once again, because some obscure operation is digging up the moulds, which have miraculously survived all these decades and the basic configuration of injection moulding machines not having changed for the past 1,000 years.

So yes, go and buy that kit of the car you like and bloody build it already. You are just an artist, like the rest of us.
Interesting you mention that ´59 Imperial. I started again with exactly that model. It was good for my first step because I had to get into the techniques again. I am amazed and very curious about all that historical info. A lot I can imagine by myself about those old moulds. What makes my happy is that so much info is still available and I learned quite a lot via "scalemates.com".

I am actually one of those detail freaks and can go to nerve-recking measures to make my models look "real". As a hobby/private craftsman I dare every challenge in my house, my bikes etc (now plastic). But returning to modeling has woken a passion that I haven´t had for a long time. I sit down and forget time and that is probably the greatest gift, getting into the flow. Part of the art to my is also making those tiny steps of progress with each model. That feeling resembles what I get from meditating. Far fetched, but I compare it to a zen path. No disrespect to any yogis out there, peace!
 
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