Home » Best Model Kits for 19 Categories (Cars, Airplanes, etc.)

Best Model Kits for 19 Categories (Cars, Airplanes, etc.)

by ArKa

Best Model kits don’t meet the needs of everyone – of course, the right choice depends on the modeler’s individual needs and interests…

Due to this, I narrowed down the top model kits based on:

  1. The subject
  2. Advanced or beginner-level (There’s nothing worse for beginners than spending too much money on a kit that’s overly complex).

There are some modelers who build collections based on themes, while others simply build whatever interests them. I fall into the latter category…

Personally, I start with a random subject/theme that interests me (e.g. airplanes) and then select the kit from there.

Having chosen the subject, I start narrowing it down based on several factors:

  • Building a simple or complex system?
    • Do other people have trouble building this based on online reviews? 
    • Can you understand the instructions? 
  • When was the kit originally released?  
  • Does the kit come in a certain size?
  • How does the kit’s quality compare to its cost?  
  • So on and so forth.

This post was composed taking into account many of the factors above (among others). 

Contents:

  • The best model car kits
  • The Best Model Airplane Kits
  • The Best Model Tank Kits
  • The Best Model Engine Kits
  • The Best Model Kit Trucks
  • The Best Star Wars Model Kits
  • The Best Wooden Model Ship Kits
  • The Best Japanese Robot Model Kits
  • The Best Motorcycle Model Kits
  • The Best Battleship Model Kits
  • The Best WW2 Model Kits
  • FAQs

The Best Model Car Kits

The Revell 1970 Pontiac Firebird (1/24 Scale)

My Pick for Starting Modelers

  • Pontiac introduced this beautiful, historic car in 1967   
  • There are 83 parts in the model kit, making it relatively easy to put together.
  • Decal for a water slide that looks great
  • There is nothing complicated or confusing about the instructions 
  • According to most reviewers, the kit came unharmed and the pieces were all present  
  • If you are a beginner who is concerned about making mistakes when building the kit, this is an affordable option for you.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The Revell Ford Bronco Plastic Model Kit (1/25 Scale)

A Modeler’s Pick for Experienced Modelers

  • For 30 years, the Ford Bronco was the most popular two-door SUV in the United States. 
  • The kit is Revell’s most complex at level 5 with 137 pieces – it’s great for those who enjoy a challenging (yet rewarding) build. 
  • There are several reviews that note how well the parts fit together and that they are clean.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

5 Best Model Car Kit Brands/Companies in 2020 (My Personal Picks)

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The Best Model Airplane Kits

The Revell P-51D Mustang (1/48 Scale)

Here are my picks for intermediate level modelers

  • During World War 2 and the Korean War, the P-51 Mustang is used primarily by the United States as a single-seat fighter-bomber. The unit first took off in October of 1940. 
  • In 1977, Monogram released this kit, and this is a re-issue.
  • The reviewer said the first scale model they’d ever built, and that they only had to follow the directions and conduct some outside research in order to complete it.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The F4U1 Corsair Fighter (1/72 Scale)

For experienced modelers, my pick

  • During WW2 and the Korean War, the United States used the Vought F4U Corsair as a high speed fighter aircraft. As the first carrier based fighter to exceed 400 miles per hour in level flight, it was a world first. 
  • Detailed cockpit interior with seat and controls are included in the aircraft model 
  • The fitting is solid and there is little flash in the moldings, according to several reviewers.

Check Price & Reviews

If you’re wondering, 1/32, 1/48, or 1/72 are the most popular scales for model aircraft. You can find more options here: 

There are 16 models plane kits to choose from in 2020. (Revell, Tamiya, etc.)

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The Best Model Tank Kits

The Tamiya US M41 Walker Bulldog (1/35 Scale)

My Top Pick for Beginners and Experienced Modelers

  • In 1949, Cadillac designed the Walker Bulldog tank to be used for reconnaissance. Between 1951 and 1954, the Chaffee tank was produced to replace the older M24 Chaffee tanks primarily used in WWII.
  • The kit is affordable for people who haven’t built a model kit before and want to get their feet wet without worrying about messes. The instructions were extremely straightforward, according to many reviewers. However, it is a model of high quality, which experienced builders will appreciate.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

This list presents the Top 16 Model Tank Kits (Tamiya, etc.) in 2020.

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The Best Model Engine Kits

For most beginners, I wouldn’t recommend starting with a model engine kit. Here are my top recommendations for experienced model builders :

The Revell Visible V-8 Engine Plastic Model Kit (1/4 Scale)

It is a great option for adults who want to relive the old days, or perhaps even teach their children a lot about gasoline engines (such as how parts move inside, how valves are arranged, etc.)

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The Best Model Kit Trucks

The Revell/Monogram 55 Ford F-100 Street Rod Pickup Truck (1/24 Scale)

Beginner’s Pick for Modelers

An incredibly detailed replica of the Ford F-100 Street Rod from the 1950s. In those days, Americans would not have imagined that 70 years later, people would still be painting/designing pickup trucks in new and innovative ways.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The Revell Peterbilt 359 Conventional Tractor (1/25 Scale)

Experienced Modelers’ Pick

  • It’s likely that you’ve seen this dependable truck delivering goods from one state to another before.  
  • You can customize it or paint it to make it look the way you want, since it’s extremely detailed for its size.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The Best Star Wars Model Kits

The Bandai Star Wars Millennium Falcon (1/144 Scale)

Beginner’s Pick for Modelers

The Rise of Skywalker kit was inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The kit looks fantastic and is fairly simple to assemble. Reviewers have even said this was their first model kit, and they didn’t have any trouble assembling it (since they found the instructions to be detailed and straightforward).

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The  Bandai Hobby Star Wars A-Wing Starfighter Building Kit (1/72 Scale)

Experienced Modelers’ Pick

These A-Wing models are rare, so if you are into sci-fi/fantasy, you could add this to your collection. There have been many reviews that say the detail is fantastic and it’s a great value for the price.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

Check out this post for more options: 

Here are my personal picks for the top 21 Star Wars model kits in 2020

You may also enjoy this article if you’re a Star Trek fan:  

My personal picks for the best Star Trek model kits in 2020

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The Best Wooden Model Ship Kit

The Amati HMS Vanguard

Experienced Modelers’ Pick

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

Check out this post for more options: 

Here are the Top 16 Wooden Ship Model Kits by Experience Level for 2020

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The Best Japanese Robot Model Kits

The Bandai Hobby MG Gundam Kai Model Kit (1/100 Scale)

Modelers with intermediate/experienced skills

  • This kit contains an incredible amount of detail. You’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you’re finished, despite the fact that it’s difficult and takes a while to build.
  • Getting a gundam marker so you can draw in the armor panels is recommended as well

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

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The Bandai Hobby # 4 EVA-00 Proto Type Rei Evangelion Model Kit

Modelers with intermediate/experienced skills

Neon Genesis Evangelion is an anime TV show based on this kit. There are no English instructions included, but many reviewers said they were able to assemble it based on how the labels (i.e. letters, numbers, illustrations) were presented.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc.

Check out this post for more options: 

The 9 Best Japanese Robot Model Kits for 2020 (My Personal Picks)

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The Best Motorcycle Model Kits

It is typically more difficult to assemble motorcycle kits since the parts are delicate. For experienced model builders, I recommend these two options:

The Tamiya Kawasaki Ninja H2R Plastic Model Plastic Model Kit (1/12 Scale)

  • Those who love the Kawasaki Ninja H2 motorcycle will appreciate this kit. Speeds up to 249 miles per hour are possible due to the supercharged engine. 
  • According to some reviewers, there is a remarkable amount of detail for the price, and it is a great value.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc..jpg

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The Tamiya Ducati 1199 Panigale S Tricolore

  • Originally unveiled at the Milan Motorcycle Show in 2011, the Ducati 1199 Panigale is a sport motorcycle. There is no doubt that this vehicle is reliable, and its top speed is estimated to be 177.6 mph.
  • Modelers who appreciate a high level of detail, which is usually found on Tamiya kits, will enjoy this kit. There is widespread agreement that the instructions are comprehensive and straightforward, and some reviewers regret not taking more time to paint each part.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc..jpg

Check out this post for more options:

Here are my personal picks for the best motorcycle model kits in 2020

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The Best WW2 Model Kits

The Tamiya German Hanomag Sd.Kfz 251/1 Plastic Model Kit (1/35 Scale)

Beginner’s Pick for Modelers

There is something unique about this kit because it comes with both an APC and a five-man fire team. In typical Tamiya fashion, Tamiya delivered another high-quality model that’s extremely detailed.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc..jpg

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The Tamiya M4A3 Sherman 75mm (1/35 Scale)

Experienced Modelers’ Pick

I really like the design of this kit, and you can customize it to your liking. Its smaller size is criticized by some reviewers, but overall, it’s a great value for the price.

Check Price & Reviews

Cars, Airplanes, etc..jpg

Check out the following post for more options:

There are 9 best WWII model kits in 2020, per category (Airplanes, Tanks, etc.)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Brands of model kits that are the best?

Even though there isn’t a definitive answer, my personal opinion (and the general consensus) is Tamiya is the best model kit brand. Their kits are consistently high quality and incredibly detailed. It’s a good idea to research each model individually because every brand makes good and bad kits.

Here is a Reddit thread with more details about the topic.

Are there any essential tools and equipment for model building?

Most modelers have in their toolbox these very important model building tools:

  • A pair of X-Acto knives
  • Cutters for sprues
  • Glue for models 
  • The superglue
  • Glue with PVA 
  • Putty for Sandpaper
  • A bruise
  • Using tweezers 
  • Tape for masking 
  • Pegs made of cloth 
  • Caps for bottles

For more information and explanations about how/why to use these specific tools, check out this helpful Reddit thread

You might also find this video/tutorial useful for beginners on the most essential model building tools:

Is there any resource for beginner modelers who want to learn more about the hobby?

If you’re just getting into model building, then I highly recommend reading this Reddit thread

There are topics from A-Z, including:

  • Painting and gluing
  • Using putty to fill gaps and seams 
  • The airbrushing process 
  • Using decals 
  • Modelers should check out these YouTube channels
  • Also, etc.

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