Automotive Kits State Of The Art

For lack of a better place to ask this question, I am posting it here. I normally build aircraft models and the state of the art for plastic aircraft kits has gotten to an insanely high level of quality and engineering. Kits do cost more, but putting aside costs for this question, is there anything equivalent to these latest aircraft wunderkits in the automotive modeling world.

Now before answering, I know that several Japanese manufacturers make some high quality kits (although I do not know if they are as good as the latest aircraft kits). But most of the kits that I have seen from Japan tend to be foreign (I.e. non US) brands or sporty cars.

If someone wanted to build models of the older American classics from the 60’s and 70’s, is there anything remotely equivalent? I recently saw a YouTube video of a new tool Revell 71 Ford Mustang. I was less than impressed at the level of molding detail and finesse compared to what I have seen in aircraft models. Admittedly it is a Revell kit and even their aircraft kits are not top of the line.

This is a general question because I find myself considering adding some cars to my building projects, but I want to see what is out there first.

If it isn’t a Japanese company I find Revell to be the best of what’s left. I say this after having built 30+ car kits in the last year with most being AMT, MPC, and Revell. I have all the Hasegawa VW kits but those are Japanese.

Of the three, Revell has the more modern-looking kits and the fewer assembly issues. A lot of AMT/MPC kits date back to the 80’s and older. Quite a few are as much fun as building an Alan or Skif kit.

Really, the best car kit I’ve built so far that wasn’t Japanese or Revell/AMT/MPC was of a 1994 Nissan Pathfinder by a company called American SATCO but they are no longer around.

Check out Model Factory Hiro . Expensive multi media kits . Cosimodo is just starting a new blog here on Kitmaker of his Ferrari 335 Scaglietti
Race cars from different eras but they do offer a 427 Cobra . The founder of the company passed away recently - hopefully they will carry on .

Michael ( Cosimodo) has other blogs here as well showcasing his excellent work on these kits .
Here is one I did a while back …

Cheers- Richard

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@mrintense56, Other choices might be Moebius Models and Salvino Jr Models. These meet one of your criteria, which is domestic cars in a general era. But, they are not multi-media kits, and while high quality, not “over the top” quality/detail.

Moebuis is based in California, and includes quite a variety of domestic auto model kits, from the 50’s to early 70’s and, some pretty interesting modern diesel trucks. I’ve built a few of their Ford pickup kits and liked them - good level of detail and quality, and they went together as they were supposed to.

Salvino Jr models are also based in California, and make several NASCAR kits, 70’s to today. I haven’t built their kits, but have read several positive build logs.

MFH kits are indeed really nice and a great challenge to build, but I don’t think they offer kits of the type of autos you are looking for. I have built a few of their kits and can say with clarity that they provide a real challenge - the first one or two builds, well, they are done :smile: I then stopped trying until I became a better model builder, and then, to no surprise, the builds went more smoothly and the results are better! :smile: A challenge nonetheless.

MFH kits are multi-media (i.e., resin, white metal, plastic, wire, foil, tubing, etc.) and require plenty of drilling, filing, sanding, and so on - which, under the right circumstances can be a lot of fun to make.

Like other type/genres of kits, if there is something in particular you really want to build, you could start with whatever base kit you want (like an old AMT kit etc), then rely on scratch building and aftermarket parts to get what you might want, as like other genres, there is a pretty deep supply in aftermarket sources. This propbaly doesn’t qualify as “state of the art” and relies more on the builder than the kit to get high quality results.

If you are not limited to the criteria you mention and are looking to super detail an auto, you could try 1/20 or 1/12 scale F1 cars, and pursue a wide variety of aftermarket kits/part for super detailing, as there are many choices, the results can be great, and the cost is a bit lower than an MFH kit.

Cheers and please post whatever you decide to build!


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Thanks for the various responses everyone. There are manufacturers here I’ve never heard of before (which isn’t surprising). I think what prompted my original post was less about where to get classic American cars and more about whether or not the automotive model industry was moving in the same direction as the aircraft model industry.

From these initial responses, I would say “sort of”. I see mentions of specialty manufacturers which is something we saw in aircraft back in the 80’s and 90’s. After the turn of the century, some of these specialty manufactures went more mainstream and there was an explosion of new manufacturers from Eastern Europe and China/Far East.

From what I reading so far, this does not seem to be the case in auto kits just yet. Perhaps because autos are less popular to build than planes? I don’t know.

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For my 2 cents, I would say the pickup in auto kits has been similar to the aircraft world but since they are a smaller market it has probably less visible especially to the US market since most of the car/truck/bike kits made now are of Japanese or European origin. If you look at websites like Hiroboy or Spot Model you see the increase in new manufacturers, like Nunu or Aoshima/Beemax or Belkits but also existing manufacturers like Italeri/Tamiya increasing there product range. The increasing problem for producers of car models is licencing rights, unlike planes, which closely guarded by the manufacturers.


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Take a long at Meng’s GT40. That is closer to what you are looking for I believe. Automotive and trucks are languishing a bit but their prices aren’t.

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I would say definitely not! The only high quality recent releases have been more modern cars. I’m a huge fan of the 50’s and 60’s muscle cars, so I’m stuck with Revell, Monogram and AMT as brands and generally moulds that are at least 20 years old. It’s a bit of a lucky dip regarding what you end up with in the box, I would highly recommend doing a lot of research for reviews and build logs to get an idea of what to expect.

In saying that, it’s all about the subject matter for me and I enjoy the challenge of the “silk purse from a sow’s ear” scenario.

Cheers, D

Regarding the Silk Purse from A Sow’s ear, , I am all over that with aircraft models. I love the new models, but also like taking those oldies and bringing them up to modern standards (within reason, after all a turd is still a turd).

Thanks again for the feedback. Since I am more interested in the older cars, I will explore the aftermarket resin market and see what’s out there. I know they are available.

Do it. Then you can have something like this to stare at:

This is how I clean my brain up after a tank or an aircraft kit. I built these all in the past year.


Pretty impressive getting all those done in a year!

I went out and bought a Gunze Sangyo 62 T Bird Roadster. It’s supposed to be a slot car (or maybe RC), but it appears to be better detailed than similar offerings from other manufacturers. I’m not sure when I will build it. I want to see what it needs in improvements and see if there is anything aftermarket I can use .

Another thought occurs, if you are looking fo US stuff, Galaxie models did a very nice 46-48 Chevy Sedan delivery and saloon. Been out for about 20 years now but very good quality and detail.

Reading through the thread, I’m not sure if you’re referring to street cars, race cars, or both from a manufacture.
Revell/Revell of Germany seems to make the higher quality kits with several US models both street and track. AMT kits have gotten better of late.
What kits a manufacture produces really is reflected in their markets, and most of the world doesn’t buy nor drive US designe/made cars, so the interest in them isn’t nearly as the rest of the world auto market.