Favorite manufacturers?

I searched the forum for this topic without any success.

Being out of the hobby close to 40 years I really don’t know what is out there. I have tried scouring around here trying to glean this information without much success. For me this is intimidating because I don’t want to make a mistake by purchasing something I will end up throwing out or not build.

For me, a kit needs to be aesthetically detailed, and scaled as best as possible. These kits may be beyond my skill ability, however I really like to challenge myself on the patience front haha.

This is a very personal and subjective topic and I am attuned. I would like to know from your personal experiences and thoughts what are your favourite manufacture(s) on the three categories? Please list as many as you’d like in order from top to bottom.

1 - AFV
2 - Figures
3 - Accessories

Thanks very much, you’re helping me out immensely, and possibly some younger or more timid folks not comfortable to ask the question.

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  1. Rye Field, Meng, Takom (in no particular order)
  2. Whichever company has figures I need
  3. Meng, Verlinden, Tamiya (in no particular order)
  1. Meng, Ryefield, Takom
  2. I don’t do figures.
  3. DEF Models (sagged wheels/barrels), Aber (barrels), Value Actual (stowage), Ryefield/Meng (extra stowage off kits)

Can’t help you OP but I was in your shoes after a ten year absence. It’s amazing how fast this world of ours changed. Big manufacturers that dominated are gone and ones I’ve never heard of are the gold standard!

Welcome back.



Ryefield Model’s, Tamiya (newer) & new tooled Academy

My criteria fun to build & excellent instructions.


In plastic the new Tamiya & MiniArt look good. No idea on resin or 3D.


Ryefield Model’s - working track links plastic & 3D printed

Sector35 - pre-assembled white metal tracks, and white metal tracks requiring assembly

Fruilmodel, SANXIN & R-Model - white metal tracks requiring assembly

Quick Tracks snap together 3D printed tracks, 30 minutes to build both tracks!

Quick Wheel masking templates for wheels for Pz IV, Pz III, Panther & Tiger’s etc

Heavy Hobby & TRex - 3D printed detail parts

ABER - brass MG barrels & antennas

Value Gear - stowage items for trucks & afv’s

Vintage Resin - anything by Chesapeake Model Design or Cavalier’s Zimmerit

Vintage Brass - Combat/Cal Scale 1/35 brass MG34’s

  1. Dragon
  2. Whatever looks best
  3. Voyager, Aber, R Model, Friul

As my current main interest is in 1/72 armor, and 1/700 ships, my obvious favorite is Flyhawk, for both. Vespid, and Border are contenders for 1/72.
:smiley: :canada:


Not so easy as you would assume. I did a post on this years ago realizing that it was a moving target.
as new kits are made, the tendency is for improved quality. So if a manufacturer starts reissuing kits and not creating newer kits their quality appears to decline as better kits are made. Different manufacturers develop a reputation about their kits over time. Miniart has developed the reputation of a million parts on a high quality kit that you can get with a full interior. Rye Field Models (RFM) has gotten a reputation of a high quality kit with detail but not 1200 parts. Takom is normally a very good kit with a couple exceptions. Meng is another company with similar quality to RFM and Takom. Tamiya is Tamiya. Each new kit of theirs is better than a previous one but they still have more molded on items than other companies. Dragon is reissuing a lot of previous kits that you would recognize from before but at newer kit prices. Any kit from these companies can be expected to be a winner. Trumpeter is a good company that focuses much of their selection on soviet equipment.
Often if you are seeking a particular vehicle, you will be limited to just a couple of companies. Few vehicles are carried by all companies. Like I said previously new is better so check when the kit you are interested in was manufactured.
Of note, Manufacturers are moving away from rubber band track. Friuel metal track was the replacement track for a while then came the individual link track molded in plastic. The next iteration was the link and length molded track that currently is in vogue with manufacturers. A gage to your dedication to this hobby is to get a set of track that you have to take the skeletonized track link frame, add the track pads to the front and back sides, add both halves of the center guides and end connectors. 10 parts per track link…after you clean up the individual parts… for 170 links.


For armor,I enjoy




Other good kits come from Tiger Models, Border, Kinect and Zoukei Mura.
Of my 120 kit stash, every military kit is made by the companies that have been listed in the above replies.

Just a humble suggestion, for a first kit to get things underway again, would be to get a Tamiya kit. Good instructions, good fit, The plastic is good to work with, not a massive number of parts. I bought their Pzkfw IV G the other day and was happy with what I saw in the box. It was the Afrika Corps version. Any of their newer kits would be a great starter kit.

Buy Tamiya’s extra thin liquid cement, it is what many of us use.


Besides the current model I’m building, which happens is a RFM panzer IV, the last model I built was probably a Tamiya back in 1983-4. I vaguely remember Dragon coming on the scene and they were expensive. I honestly didn’t know what I was buying in the RFM wrt quality, lucky roll of the dice.

I think I’ve been trying to skip the “knowledge through experience” which cannot be taught and only learned by “paying time in” dues. The stashes some of the folks here have they’ve tried all the manufacturers and have this acquired knowledge.

I do think the examples you’ve brought up such as in re-issues using old tooling, are precisely what I believe can be learned through these types of conversations. It’s why I like this site, passing of knowledge without judgement. Scalemates provides that very nice convenience with timelines, what could be considered old tooling? Who can trust someone doing an online review? It could be subjective by that person, not saying they all are (I like PMMS).

10 x 170 is a lot of dedication which I am not afraid to try. I would probably be quite slow assembling them. A trend I do notice is most folks have at least a couple of builds on the go at the same time. Time to get another project on the table.

I am learning a ton from this site and thanks


Building campaigns are fun, however it is an easy trap to have too many going at once and some do not get completed in time. My dad use to say your eyes are bigger than your stomach. He was right but…we have an Unfinished Business campaign that allows you to finish kits you got behind on.
As far as kits with a 1000 parts, look at yourself. I like a build I can finish in a couple of weeks so I shy away from Miniart kits. If you are the type that would enjoy building the HMS Victory one plank at a time then go for the gusto.


I am very sloooooww. I started the RFM panzer IV ausf H on 9 Nov 23 (so far 235 hrs). I’m just at the point of getting close to priming. I stated adamantly during my career (Snr NCO) with the resources given to me, I can simultaneously do 10 tasks mediocre or 5 tasks without errors, which do you want? Officers and the good idea fairy, the bane of my career lol.

Funny you mentioned plank by plank. My father in the late 70’s built a Bluenose II wooden kit plank by plank (his first time ever building a model to boot). His patience for completing these types of tasks was thankfully passed on to me.

Ps my father used to say the same thing to me “your eyes are bigger than your belly”.

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Who’s producing the best-building, most detailed kits today:
Value Gear
DEF Model
Panzer Art


In my experience, there is no reliable solution to the underlying problem. Every manufacturer can hit a home run or drop a cow patty. Every reviewer has areas of expertise, knowledge gaps, and personal preferences. The latter is especially important when the reviewer has no real knowledge of the subject, has not actually built the model, and has personal preferences that deviate sharply from my own.

Having returned to the model game about two years ago, I am in the same boat. In my opinion, you have already found the correct solution to this conundrum–look up everything on Armorama, Missing Lynx, and ScaleMates. Everything.

As an aside, be really careful about building multiple models at once. In my experience, the net result is lost focus, lost parts, wasted space, and a lot of wasted time. Two is a good compromise. Be especially wary of putting aside a project upon reaching a step you dislike. That leads to a closet full of half built models and no skill improvement in the thing you most need to improve.


One particular manufacturer with no mention is AFV Club. I heard from a couple of posters, on another thread, with past experience with AFV on excessive pin ejector marks and accordingly famous for (PMMS mentions this too). I understand folks would steer away from doing their kits for these reason, why create more work for oneself.

If I am correct stating, according to Scalemates AF35040 was a new kit in 2002? PMMS conducted a review on the kit and noted no pin ejector marks. I don’t know what year he did this review (I should email and ask).

Am I also correct to assume AF35S47 is based off of tooling from 2004 (AF35063)? Again PMMS noted no pin ejector marks on either model.

First question is, are these considered old toolings?
Second question is, with “new” parts over the years could this negate old tooling?
Third question is, should AFV Club be avoided?

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Depends on what one likes or dislikes as a builder so it’s YMMV answer. Many folks love AFV Club kits :heart: :heart_eyes: :sparkling_heart:.

For someone returning to the hobby, I’d recommend building a few kits from a well revered manufacturer before taking on an AFV Club project.

Personally, I avoid AFV Club kits like the pneumonic plague. There’s two in my stash of ~250 kits.

  1. I hate the separate rubber or vinyl tires on several of their tank kits. Some folks like this but to me it’s a crappy gimmick. If one uses certain enamel paints a barrier coat is very smart otherwise the paint may not cure properly.

  1. Don’t like their rubber band tracks either

  2. Have found their research to be slip shod in the past with several subjects.

  3. Have previously purchased two defective products eat up with 30 to 40 sink marks per tree and multiple short shots.

With that said when this was the only game in town and I bought it due to liking the subject matter several years ago.



I have no love or hate for AFV Club. They usually are the only producer of a particular vehicle I want so my choice is to get the kit or forgo the vehicle. I get the kit and work around any issues I find. Really I guess that is the same for all the kits I buy. I just expect some extra work with AFV Club but it is not a game changer of a problem.


I’ve only did an AFV Stryker and it went together pretty straightforward with no issues,which was surprising,but thats been the only one I tried.I do have their M113 and a Mammoth in the stash.


That is exactly what I seem to find, particular producer for particular vehicle or figure. What I want to build may not be mainstream subject items or are possibly manufactured with older tooling. If the project is particular like you allude to; grin and bear it and roll up the sleeves.

Do people buy just because it is a particular sculptor’s work? Is that real thing in this hobby?

Maybe the million dollar question is who to avoid?
I had written this to expand the topic but deleted it after reading. What I had written is no longer knowledge seeking and more to affirmation. It’s not wrong for affirmation, I just don’t need to go on like a broken record.

My main question is answered, however the exception “what is considered old tooling”?

If a new manufacturer comes on the scene (phrasing), how do you know if they are a quality producer? I believe I know the answer to the question, its how do I get there. Besides detail, ease of instructions, good fit, I also assume lots of research to verify correct scale, and correct detail.

Maybe my situation is much different as well. I don’t have access to well stocked local shop, so everything I do is online. So I buy a kit online however only after the fact and opening the kit I find; excessive pin extractions, malformed pieces, extra flash, assembly instructions made by IKEA (sorry Uncle Heavy), etc.

My local shop is more into trains and is struggling as it is to stay open. Possibly local good news is a much larger access to inventory Cdn store (Great Hobbies) is opening this summer, but they are largely RC orientated and I expect more RC related in store stuff.

it is a beautiful old building.