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The Perfect Kit

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How can a model aircraft appear most accurate to an original aircraft?

What are the main flaws and areas of risk to differ most from the origin?

Basically, everyone has to clarify whether he/she even wants to build a model that does correspond with the original.


Some modelers prefer to deal with old kits manually. In principle, I do not want to consider this in this discussion.


Rather, it is a matter of illuminating the critical areas of the kits using all of today's possibilities and techniques.


The classification


• Propeller aircraft as biplanes and rigging

• Propeller aircraft as monoplane

• Jets


1. Main dimensions length, span, height

2. The thickness of the wing trailing edge

3. Propeller trailing edge

4. Thickness of the glass

5. Thickness of struts

6. Raised or sunk rivets

7. Seams

8. Sheet metal joints with overlapping or even with a gap

9. Correct angle for all components


For jets there is also:


1. Air intake

2. nozzle


The dimensions of all measuring instruments, probes, antennas, and deflector plates attached to the surface should also be considered.

Then comes the armament. There are many new companies and kit manufacturers here.

Diameters of weapons, antennas, probes etc. are very often far away from reality.

I would like to draw up a list of the non plus ultra manufacturers with your help.

You know others than me. In the end there is something for everyone.

That is the purpose of this post.


Happy modelling

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The actual shape and curves of the aircraft surfaces are more important than many of the items you mention.   For example: is the engine cowling sufficiently wide to contain the engine?  (A common fault in Hurricane kits, to name but one example.)  Is the canopy the right depth?  Has the manufacturer chosen all the detail fittings correctly for the specific version he has produced?


There are no ne plus ultra manufacturers.  Every one has made mistakes, though some do so more commonly than others, or their faults may be more obvious (though there are always modellers blind to all!).  I feel that your lists will be too exhaustive and such parameters vary enormously from kit to kit, even within a single manufacturer's range.   They would require a stupendous amount of work and serve little actual purpose.  It will certainly prove to be of little value unless stored on something rather less ephemeral and readily searched than a discussion board such as this one.

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There has to be a compromise. For example if propellor blades and trailing edges were of scale thickness, they would be like razorblades. If a model was truly to scale it would be all but unbuildable and so delicate that you couldn't handle it. 


The manufacturers can only go so far. I think it's the modeller who can enhance the realism. You only have to look at some of the models featured in this very forum to see examples of models that simply look like someone used a shrink ray to miniaturise the real thing. 


The 'perfect kit' will never exist and is all but unattainable. 


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Perfect as in perfectly scaled down? That's impossible due to the limitations of moulding techniques, because physics. You cannot scale down every element of a real aircraft down by a factor 144, 72, 48 or even 32 or 24. Many details will be way beyond what is possible in media such as plastic, wood or resin. So there's that.


Perfect as in perfectly capturing the essence? Not so impossible maybe but highly subjective. See all the discussions on this forum vis a vis panel lines, rivets, paint demarcations, color representation, weathering etc. etc. etc.

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I would like to specify my question more precisely:

Let us start with overall dimensions. No matter, which model. The matter precise more accurate described: So, accurate as possible, whatever todays technique makes it possible. In molding, injection or whatever it is.

Of course, I do know, that many external antennas you cannot scale down, because of limits. Even there, as precise as possible.

The propeller shapes, profile and trailing edges I do often wonder, what I see.

When I built my first weapons, guns, rockets and iron bombs, some decades ago it was one world. Today’s manufactures and aftermarket suppliers have so wonderful things, but sometimes really wrong, to the outmost. As Eduard with his MER, where you cannot attach 6 his bombs, because the MER is too short.

Today’s nozzles on the aftermarket are sometimes better as the kit by itself.

The dihedral is also wrong on most kits.

Manufactures do not consider, that an a/c on ground looks a little bit different to an airborne one.

Big companies as Tamiya (Fi-156) is prone on this. Angles of a gear, oh again Tamiya with the Fw-190.

The question on quality is the difference. Difference from should be and is.

If the difference is a light-year it is worth to talk about. If the difference is far bigger than todays possibilities, we should talk about.

If it is within the range of possibilities today, we have quality!

Happy modelling


P.S.: In meantime the red of the roundels sprayed for the Dh9a from WNW are dry. I get on the blue.

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