How do you go about purchasing a model kit?

Okay here’s my list

  1. Subject matter…mostly Russian armor, but anything
    that catches my eye is fair game.
  2. Manufacturer…Dragon, Zvezda and Airfix nope!
    Trumpeter, Miniart and Rfm always. All others
    depend on specific kit.
  3. Price…triple digit prices are hard to swallow so I avoid kits like that.

Need no, Want yes

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Same. You can’t build models in a strip club. Well… I suppose you could, but that might be odd even for model builders.


Never say never,
as long as the lighting is sufficient …


There are so many bad things that can happen with super glue in this situation…


Add to Wish List :point_left:
Add to Cart :point_left:
Proceed to Checkout :point_left:
Place Order :credit_card:

Some factors which may, or may not come into play as I attempt to force feed a kit into one of my bright ideas.:bulb:

• Box art.
• Advertising.
• Kit reviews.
• Shop pricing.
• Shop aftermarket.
• Shop shipping cost.
• Check return policy.
• Allow a full night to simmer down before purchase.
• Pull the trigger if the item is hard to find.
• Impulse buy if I damn-well feel like it.
• Occasionally haggle on eBay.
• Justify purchase if it does not exceed my twenty kit stash plus twenty in progress build limit.
• No SWMBO. :grin:

That’s my story and I reserve the right to stick to it… or not.
—mike :man_shrugging:

Now get off my computer and get to building! :hammer_and_wrench:


Sounds familiar … ahem …


For me is simple; If I like the particular vehicle and the price is right, then I’ll buy it. Favorites are Tamiya, Academy, Takom, Meng, Rye Field and AFV Club.


For me it was mostly 1/48 aircraft and those mostly Japanese WWII . If a new Japanese subject came out I bought it . Sought out the old Nichimo Sonia et al and then Wingsy released theirs and made the old kit obsolete. I don’t mind when this happens- nice to have any new releases of Japanese subjects .I didn’t play the reboxing / new decals game though. This expanded into kits of aircraft I like from other nations . I have a few 1/35 British soft skins and towed artillery and a few automotive subjects . Also two 1/350 ship kits . I discovered the wonderful stuff put out by Model Factory Hiro - built one 1/12 car and one 1/9 motorcycle and have one more car and motorcycle in the stash . I would have more but they are expensive so it is somewhat self limiting.
Some times it is the subject itself that triggers the purchase - sometimes a book I’m reading.
The newest Tamiya aircraft releases are such a joy to assemble due to the wonderful engineering that I want to do more of them .
I have bought a couple of kits that I remember building as a boy for nostalgia - the Adams/ Athearn / etc. western wagons that I remember as being so detailed are somewhat disappointing - I suppose I am now jaded when old kits are taken in the context of what is available today.

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Most of my recent model building purchases were extremely poor choices made on impulse because the subject looked cool. Many are difficult painting exercises, well beyond my current skill and thus completely useless. A few turned out to be really complicated projects requiring expensive correction parts. I should have focused on purchasing all in the box, easy to paint, modern models of subjects that really interest me.

My current purchase decision making process goes something like this:

Is this a subject that really interests me?

Is the scale correct?

Given my current skill, is this a model I can actually build?

Does the model have a major flaw?

Does the model require expensive replacement parts?

Do I need to purchase a bunch of paints for it?

Is the price, including paints, replacement parts, and shipping, reasonable?

Would I rather have another model costing the same or less?

Am I going to build the model in the next year?

If these questions are not all answered in a satisfactory manner, I am better off plowing the money into my brokerage account.


Does the subject interest me Yes = buy no = not buy
Is it mostly accurate = yes; major flaws mean no
Does it have to many parts? If so I can leave them off
Is it a subject thet has already been done. If no I will get it, if yes I wont get it. I don’t need/want the latest/greatest USS Iowa.
If it is it a “What if” then I won’t buy it ever !!!
Injection versus resin: I would buy a resin HMS Furious but not a resin USS Nevada. I would get an injection Nevada tho. I do prefer injection molding .
It needs to be in “my” scale I am waiting for Trumpeter to sclae down the USS Ranger and Langley to 1/700. I am also waiting for an FE2b in 1/72 also tho it may never happen.
I will NOT spend money to add a bunch of after market parts to a kit (if the kit parts are not "blobs’. tho to much blobiness = major flaws )


No surprise there’s a spectrum of motivations for purchases from responders, as it should be. Coming at it from a diorama angle, I would find an actual combat event that (a) fired up my mojo (b) had authentic period photographic support, and ideally original combat reports/memoirs to back it up. Those references then dictated which kits/figures I bought and (where necessary) modified.

So that meant I didn’t make purchases because I like those particular products, they were mostly just a means to an end. At least 90% of the AFVs in my display cases (50+) would never have been purchased otherwise – an extreme example being the notorious Alan/Dragon SU76…which I did modify as best I could, and even then it was always in soft focus in the background.

The only kits I’ve ever bought purely because I actually wanted to build them were a 1:16 scale pre-war Merc, a wooden Artemisia Latina jolly-boat, and around thirty 1:24 cars (1925-2010 vintages) built with my son because that’s what interested him.


If it’s a newer Tamiya kit that’s of interest at my LhS then it’s probably going home even if it’s $10 less online cause I like giving them my support.

I really only buy from US based vendors so if Sprue Mega or Andy’s has a sale on something that catches my eye and funds are available I’ll pull the trigger. Sprue with their weekend promos on company X is nice way to add to my stash. Since I’m in no hurry I choose cheapest shipping option. Box art only draws my eye to the vehicle, then I sort by manufacturer (sometimes it’s curiosity say on Takom w interior someone mentioned here).

I really only buy when fun money allows so new releases aren’t finding me in the hunt but it gets filed away for the futures list.

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I am pretty much a…“Ooohhh…I want that” kind of a buyer. I don’t ever research them, I just buy something that I see and want. :slight_smile:


If I see something new within my areas of interest I tend to go for it. Sometimes in my excitement I order direct from the manufacturer which can mean huge postage charges. Better to wait until the shops have it.


I do almost no impulse buying,dont go to shows and come home with a half a dozen models that I didnt know I needed,thats why my stash is less then 40.I usually research kits that I am interested in thru build reviews and build blogs.Tamiya is about the only company I buy almost without research because of their rep,see P-38, F-35, F-4 and most of their recent armor.
Some new releases interest me,other peoples builds can motivate me,sometimes its movies,news reports,or books that move me to research if theres any good kits for a particular subject.

I look for the best prices with my go too vendors and ebay sources,sometimes wait for big sales.


Stage One is “Ooh! Shiny!” This may be at a shop or a show if I’m away from home (hasn’t happened in a long while) and is limited to what I can lug around.
With this there is no Stage Two.
If the “Ooh! Shiny!” results from an on-line prompt such as my almost daily browsing of Hannant’s “New Arrivals: This Week” followed by “Special Offers: This Week”, or a post on a board. Stage Two is then to shoot off to some online Japanese retailer (e.g. Hobby Search) who often have photographs of the box contents and even the instructions, which helps if there are several similar items which have many sprues in common (I’m usually intending not to build OOB, so there’s an element of getting most bang for my buck). Stage Three is the realisation I’ve run out of storage space an anything I do build is concocted out of scrap and spares, but I make a list anyway. This usually is followed by prevarication until the “Special Offers” sell out, but I frequently find others to replace them, or there is more “Ooh! Shiny!” in the “New Arrivals”. Stage Four is pulling the trigger. Stage Five commences a day or two later when the (large) parcel arrives, followed by another day or so before opening it while the horror of what I have done sinks in…




Darned good question ! It made me think about my buying process.
Spontaneity…That is my #1 thing. A good manufacturer coupled with a reasonable price gets me ALMOST every time. I get most of my new kits from Sprue thru their “Lightning Sales”.
This also gets me out of my German rut. I probably have enough German kits to make up a Heavy Armor Division in the stash. Andy comes in 2nd as far as on-line vendors.
Shows… I usually hit the vendor tables first and get stupid there. I wonder how stupid I’ll get with the Nats in Madison this Summer, 40 miles down the road from me!
And just because… Hobby Town lets my Club, SWAMPS, have our monthly build meetings there. They also give us a generous 20% off AND. our annual GB we get a sweet deal on our chosen subject. I’ll buy a kit every quarter as a way to say thanks.

Wishing those of us in the States, Happy Thanksgiving!


I have a pretty good idea of my “to buy” pipeline and I restrict myself to one of these per month. The pipeline is mainly new releases now as I’ve bought more or less all the existing kits I especially want.

For context I have the whole top floor of my house as an enormous modelling studio and have over 500 kits in a sprawling stash that even I am a little embarrassed about.

I keep an eye on the Tiger, Meng, Tamiya, Trumpeter, RFM and Border releases and the vast majority of new releases of all but Trumpeter will end up getting acquired, and I will take a fair few of the Trumpeters as well.

I buy 90% of my kits from dawnsgrocerystore in China, who have superb prices and great service. Usually their prices are so sharp that I can buy a model and have it shipped from China to here in the NL for less than it costs to buy over the counter here.

As long as I’m only buying one or two kits a month, my Mrs wont kick off. More than that and the passive aggressive comments will start and then woe betide me if another one arrives once she’s in a mood about it. One tactic I had to combat this was to get them delivered to my work and then bring them home in a big batch on a day when I know SWMBO wont be home. Alas, I moved jobs so work from home now.

This only works so far though and she has learned to keep an eye on the stash, so will readily comment and make little sarcastic digs if it grows too quickly.

Another mitigation technique is “out of sight out of mind” - I live in a big three story Dutch house with space under the eaves of the roof for storage, accessed by little hatches in the corner. I can move models from my stash to under the eaves but the trick is not to do it and not tell her, as she just thinks you are hiding them from her. Trick is to TELL HER you are moving them “as they are lower priority builds and I want to keep the attic area clean and tidy and not too stuffed with junk” - this meets with universal approval to the extent that she forgets that i am moving models out of her sight and she applauds me my maturity for wanting to keep the place clean.

To defeat the woman, you must first become the woman, and learn to think like her.

I don’t look great in a dress to be fair, but I do know how she thinks now.

Once I’ve ordered a model I am excited to get it into my grubby mitts, so I’ll watch YouTube reviews and construction videos where these exist to sate my enthusiasm. Some I am so excited about that they never make it upstairs and go straight into build and never hit the stash. Others I buy, forget about and then marvel that I cannot remember buying them when I stare for what seems like hours at the stash boxes, trying to figure out what to build next. This is a most peculiarly traumatic ecstasy.

Generally it is a nicely oiled machine - I have learned to keep it out of her face and not to “take the ****” as she would say, and she has learned not to ask too many questions.

The problem arises when I go out and have a few drinks. What little amount of impulse control I do have goes out the window when I’m hammered. I’m 44, one 3 year old toddler at home and a really full on quite senior job so I just don’t get the chance to go out that often, and when I do, I tend to enjoy myself. As a Brit, that means get battered.

Given that the excitement on a night out of meeting girls and so on doesn’t happen now (obviously) I tend to find myself footloose and fancy free on eBay at the end of the night, giggling to myself in the back of a Taxi at how easy it is to spend £400 in a few strokes of your thumb.

I then wake up hungover and miserable the following day, Mrs is fuming with me for rumbling in at 2am and is either not speaking to me or chasing me with a cane screeching about respect and self discipline. Neither are very much fun when hungover and most of the time I forget I ordered what I ordered on Ebay until it rocks up at home.

The doorbell goes.

I go answer it and the PostNL man is hidden behind a vast box of cardboard. I have no idea what is in it. Mrs is curious too.

I open it.

To my astonishment there is a HobbyBoss BAZ-64022 truck with 5P85TE2 erector launcher for an S-400 missile system in 1:35.

She says “bloody hell. That’s a massive kit. When did you order that one? You kept that quiet…”

I shrug and tell her (truthfully) I cannot remember ordering it.

She gives me a look that would curdle milk and I lug the massive box upstairs knowing I will pay dearly for this outrage.

(maybe TMI but) We sometimes do some fun roleplay in our bedroom repertoire, and I remember vividly making the mistake of admitting/suggesting I buy too many models when in a sexy teacher/student sexy detention dynamic. I thought maybe I could score some brownie points, maybe make it up to her in a way she would appreciate, wipe the slate clean, so to speak? All that happened was she got angry and told me to think about my behaviour and went to sleep. I never mentioned it in bed again. 11/10 wouldn’t recommend.

Worst thing you can do is tell her you are stopping or curtailing your model purchasing. Thats such a rookie error and I’ve fallen foul of that a few times. Whereas the arrival of a parcel before might be met with a tut and a rolling of the eye and maybe a comment under the breath, once you say you are stopping or reducing, when a parcel arrives its like the Torquemada Inquisition.

HER “I thought you said you weren’t buying any more.”
ME “I’m not. This is from ages ago.”
HER rummages in the box and appears brandishing a piece of white A4 “This says last week”
ME “…”
HER “Why don’t you ever do what you say you are going to do? Why lie about it?”
ME “…”
HER “The foundation of a successful marriage is honesty. IT IS HONESTY! ISNT IT?!?!?!?”
ME “Ummmm…”
HER “You are a crap liar and a pathetic life partner sometimes. I love you to bits, I love you til the day after I di, but God damn you are a ******** sometimes, Chris.”
ME “…”

ME “…ok.”

The model box calls to you from the kitchen table. You know you should just ignore it and maybe take it away upstairs out of her eyeline but of course you cant.

The itch starts.

You are being invisibly drawn to the box like some tractor beam has a lock on you.

Dont touch the box, Chris.

Dont touch it.



You open the box. You are aware of a man’s voice speaking but it cannot be yours, can it?

"…look at this molding though honey. Look how amazing that casting detail is, can you see in the light? Can you see?

…oh my god it has a metal barrel too… corrrr…"

Then she just turns to you and destroys you utterly with one sentence.

“I swear if you looked at me with half the lust and enthusiasm you get from your bloody model kits, we wouldn’t be needing to see a sex councillor.”



That’s the BEST “I’m a model stasher” post I’ve read in a long time! How true!