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A question for the collective mind....

Big Scuffer Al

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Having returned to modelling after a mere 40 year hiatus and got my eye back in with a few Tamiya, Airfix and Revell cheapo armour kits (stringy glue doesn't come in a squeezy toothpaste tube anymore, paint doesn't take days to dry and mouldings actually match up!! What is this witchcraft? )


Now looking for something more challenging .... half of the current kit manufacturers I'm sure I've not heard of or were out of my budget back then. 


Recommendations welcome, any era considered.


1/35 scale preferred 


Thanks in advance 



Edited by Big Scuffer Al
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Now I'm going to disagree with most of what has been said, mainly because you say that this is your first time back in the hobby for 40 years. Some of the manufacturers mentioned are not who I would recommend to someone in your position. I don't know what your skill levels are, but the likes of Miniart, whilst excellent models, have literally hundreds of parts, some minuscule. To help build your confidence with your first builds, I would recommend something from Tamiya. The fit of the parts is usually excellent. One of their best kits is the fairly recent M4A3E8. It's a great kit. One of their older ones, but equally as good, is their M51. Other manufacturers that I would recommend are Takom and Asuka, especially the latter.

But whichever route that you go down, enjoy yourself. Have fun.



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I'm going to take a different tack here too.  But first I will point out that some old-established manufacturers like Tamiya and Italeri are still selling kits from 40+ years ago.  And this presents its own problems as it can be hard to work out what is old and what is not, and what is apparently new but just based on old with some new parts.  Here a site called Scalemates is your friend as they show the history of a product, provide links to reviews, suggestions for related associated items such as decals and detail sets, and often have links to instruction sheet downloads.


No manufacturer is universally good or universally bad, especially those with a large back catalogue.  Although smaller and newer ones can very quickly gain a good or bad rep based on a small number of products.  A reputation that can develop and mature with time and more product.


I would say that you should look at the subject matter rather than the brand, and here again Scalemates can help.  Other review sites such as the well-regarded Perth Military Modelling Site are out there.  I find it useful just to Google "[brand] [kit name] [scale] review" and see what comes up.  You can find a lot out that way.  Let me give you 2 examples.


Let's say you want a T-55.  You can have the old Tamiya kit which will be a simple build with vinyl tracks and poor and inaccurate detail.  It's a bit of a dog IMO.  But for about the same money you could have the Takom or Miniart offerings, the latter with full interiors if you want that.  Miniart is superbly detailed, much more accurate and comes in multiple versions but has the afore-mentioned zillion pieces.  Takom sits somewhere in the middle and would probably be the right choice for a first venture.


Now let's say you want a Valentine.  Again there is a Tamiya offering and again this is the simple build option but is again somewhat simplified.  Miniart offer Valentines too but theirs have accuracy issues as well as being complex.  AFV Club Valentines sit in the middle being more accurate and simpler than Miniart while more detailed but more complex than Tamiya.


Something you will find very different from times past is track types.  Decades ago they were vinyl or even still rubber.  Many still are vinyl.  But now some kits have individual links, often made from multiple parts.  There are also now "link and length" types made of both individual links and pre-moulded sections.  And after-market species in plastic, white metal, resin and 3D printed.  A set of metal or 3D links will set you back £30+ or even £40+.   So if like me you don't like vinyl tracks, finding kits that don't need a second mortgage for a set of tracks can be an important factor.


Metal replacement gun barrels are another innovation, but are not available for everything.  Eliminating joins and mould seams on plastic barrels without making them oval or giving them flat strips can be problematic.

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I am a fairly recent convert to AFV modelling from things with wings. I started with 1:48 scale Tamiya kits, before moving on to rather more complex (for me) 1:35 scale kits. I am typically drawn by subject (as recommended above) which can lead to what appear at first to be poor life choices (my Bronco A10 comes to mind), but each kit has been a learning experience. I would also recommend sharing your build logs. It can be a bit nerve-wracking at first, but I’ve found the support on this site to be very encouraging, as well as extremely educative. 

Edited by SimonL
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Thanks for all the replies....


OK, so that cleared that up!! 😁😁



or Miniart.....

or Hobbyboss......

or Dragon......

or Rye Field Models.......

or Das Werk......

or Takom.....

or Asuka.......

or Tamiya......


Let's see if I can refine it and narrow things down a little.....


1/35 scale.

More challenging than a 40 year old Tamiya kit.

Vietnam, Desert Storm or modern armour (or soft skin).




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Taking the advice from the above posts, the twitchy one-click purchasing finger has this on the way....




A progress report may well follow, no doubt including plenty of 'ping!...... Where did that go?', 'this bit goes where?', and the infamous 'where did I put the scalpel and where is all this blood coming from?'


Advice, pointers and hints all gratefully received.



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39 minutes ago, SimonL said:

That looks quite a beast! Good luck and have fun, I’ll be looking for your build log!

That's what I thought, after saying I was looking at post war stuff.

Definitely different as I have trouble telling the difference between all the sherman or T-55 variations. 


Swear jar and profanity filter on standby 😁

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  • 4 weeks later...

Similar position here, I got a 1/24 Hellcat for my 50th and that got the enthusiasm going. I have done a Revell Huey, couple of ICM kits, some Tamiya stuff. and then went for a Rye Field Tiger. Wow! Just wow! The Hellcat was awesome and showed Airfix are a very different animal from what I knew on the 70s/early 80s abut the RFM kit is another level. In terms of value, I don’t bat an eyelid bout spending a good few quid on a night out, but a decent kit takes many many hours and is ‘cheap’ by comparison.

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