Starting to work with 1/32 aircraft

I am changing scales for WW2 aircraft from 1/48 to 1/32. It is just a change as I get older and like larger parts. I assume Zukie Mora and Tamiya are the best generally. Who would generally be next in the pecking order? I prefer accuracy and fit. I usually build with the engine cowlings closed.

Well, fortunately your options from Tamiya are limited so you could build them all and have plenty of room to try other brands.

I have kits from many brands as I base my choice more towards subject which can severely limit you at times.

Truthfully, though, I have so far only built 1/32 in some of these brands; some of the others I experienced through 1/48 or 1/72 years ago so can’t speak currently even though I own some.

We can discard 1970s Revell and 21st Century Toys kits right off the bat.

I have built a lot of the newer Hasegawa kits as they are really the only source of the bulk of Japanese subjects. These kits have lots of aftermarket and often don’t need all of it; decals maybe as these tend to be thick. I feel like I’ve emptied bottle of Mr. Softer on them without result sometimes. Or spray your markings when possible. I do have Z-M’s Toryu but have not built it yet.
They all basically build the same. The kits beginning with the ‘ST-’ prefix are all relatively new but just check scalemates to be sure it you aren’t buying an older mold off someplace like ebay. Kit and assembly is generally pretty good but definitely not Tamiya. If you are careful you can manage to minimize gaps between wings and fuselage.

Newer Revell like the Me109G’s, Fw190s, and Me262. Haven’t built the Me262 yet but the 109 and 190 are the kind that like open hatches so there may be some fiddly business making them shut snugly. Build-wise they aren’t as user-friendly as the Hasegawa but the decals are better. Some better details. MAIN LANDING GEAR CAN BE FRAGILE!!!
Revell 109 G6 Early

Revell 190 F-8

Revell Spitfire Mk IIa

Other than Hasegawa Trumpeter is your go to for the Stuka. The B has some accuracy issues (nose, bombs supplied in kit, some B-2 aspects, etc.) that may/maybe not have been fixed in the other variants but no one in my family suspects a thing so it’s all good. YMMV
Trumpeter’s B-1 To be fair an older kit compared to the others I’ve listed.

The Dragon Bf109E-4 is considered a top release and mine came out looking good IMHO even though the engine was meant for show and to get that nose on closed requires some sacrifices be made. There will be no turning back. I will admit the kit took me 3 1/2 years because of a) having to mask another German plane and b) getting the nose on with the engine intact and inside. When I ceded ‘b’ things sped up considerably. Wheel wells use DS material instead of poly. I’m sure you are aware of Dragon’s infamous DS plastic so you may need to replace/replicate these. Or pretend one was torn out and not replaced yet.

I have 3 of Dragon’s Bf110 kits which are said to be challenging yet rewarding; these were sort of reissued by Revell later I think. But again; not a lot of options if you want a Bf110 in 1/32.

ICM makes a lot of I-16s and some other Soviet subjects. Mine was a relatively straightforward build and the result is a tiny and potentially striking little subject. Trickiest part was lining up the parts of the cowling which is a concern on many kits with radial engines. Other than Trumpeter’s IL-2 and MiG-3 the other Soviet stuff are limited run items from places like Special Hobby.

This may or may not answer your question but I hope it at least showed you a variety of kits and what they look like in a layman’s hands. These are pretty much all OOB builds meant to mimic what you might find in a museum after a reasonably decent restoration and/or cleaning.


The Revell Arado 196 float plane in 1/32 is very nice and comes in two float options.

Also I work mostly in 1/35th (Armor) so I also have the L4 Grasshopper and the Storch in those scales but the Storch is also available in 1/32nd.

This is as far as I have gotten on the Arado but the detail and fit are excellent!

And here is just a bit of the work on the Storch and the Piper L4 in 1/35th:

As you can see I have a slightly different plan for the Piper:

Tamiya LWB CCKW with a Hard Cab from the Italeri Water Truck.


The revell Arado 196 float plane comes in 2 versions. I have 2 of 1 and 1 of the other. Tons of detail and the fit is great. Still a wip.


Thank you all for replying. It seems Armor is advancing in detail and complexity rapidly. The other subjects seem to move more slowly but still advancing. The photos of your were encouraging. I am looking forward to the journey.


Hmmmm… @165thspc youve got me thinking I need that 1/35th L-4. I’d convert it to a J-3 like the one I flew. :thinking:


Also working on on a Spitfire in 1/32nd. (I tend to start WAY too many models!)

*Not being an aircraft expert in any way shape or form are these camo colors even close to correct? I am just going by the boxart."





The pattern seems consistent between the various aircraft.

Thanks. I think I am going to be happy with my color choices though it looks like the secondary color should have been more blue/grey than grey/tan.

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Just picked up these two in 1/32nd scale. I like the prewar aircraft and these looked like a fun build.

If there are any issues with either kit I should know about ahead of time, just chime in.

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Those look really neat.