The country of origin and $ cost of hobbying

Hi all,

$. Or local equivalent.

I’ve recently finished a project using 5 or 6 a/m companies . One truck, who knows how many countries produced the various upgrade/special version kits!

And the total $ cost staggered me? Receipts are available :smirk:


When I think of all the aftermarket and also resin figurines I’ve bought just for my Tiger 1 kits, or Abrams kits, or M60 Pattons…


Try shooting.


Or sailing. A boat-owner and his money are soon parted. After all, what is a boat, but a hole in the water, usually lined with wood or fiberglass, into which copious sums of money are dumped?



Too funny! I was thinking of that old saying a few hours ago. Haha! :hole::sailboat:… I set final sail on the ‘HMS SEA SCUM’ many years ago. Land-locked now, I truly miss the ocean, but not what’s in it. :shark:

Yeah, this hobby ain’t cheap, either. :hole::dollar::dollar::dollar:

—mike :anchor:


The cost can be staggering … I remember one kit build i saw in a modelling mag years ago, of a King Tiger on a bridge with figures - loads of ground work and the kit was a full interior but all aftermarket… I thought it would be interesting to work out roughly how much the chap spent on top of the ( at the time ) £45 pound basic King Tiger … when I went through each AM set he would of needed and he had listed … I stopped counting at £300 (345 with tank)… it was a fantastic build and dio … but wow … thats a lot of money


The interesting indicator is the cash/hour quota.
How many hours of gathering and building joy did he get from those £345 (and I presume some more)?
Maybe use cinema tickets as comparison.


Yeap, totally get that, and although I would never spend that much, the enjoyment and sense of satisfaction does make up for all those hours spent and in some part to the amount laid out to achieve the end goal. I was just going back to the OP’s point … for an initial average costing kit … then spending over maybe 7 times the amount again on AM … but … we love the hobby right :grin:


Right :+1: :grin:
Still a sh!tload of cash though

Edit (so the first 3 likes may not apply):
Another way of viewing the expenses is like this

  1. Build one kit with all the bells and whistles for a sum total of £345
  2. Build 10 kits at an average cost of £35 each during the same time? (I added 50p for the extra paint to cover all the added styrene surfaces)

It is a hobby after all. Each person will spend what they want/can to build as they want. No one is forcing us to spend what we do on a hobby. As others have pointed out, other hobbies are just as or more expensive too. To each their own.


Movie in theater - about $6/hr

Shooting (just the ammo, even if you reload your own) can be upwards of $10-$15/ minute!

Lap dance - as I said in another post, I wouldn’t know, I’m just there for the buffet. But I hear it can be about $10/minute, depending on the song. Or $600/hr - about what my attorney gets. I guess they really are putting themselves through law school after all. :thinking:

Building a motorcycle from scratch - several hundred dollars per hour.

Model building - I’ve never timed myself, but if what some people post on social media is to be believed, even with the cost of aftermarket - about $1/hour. Not bad.


yeah some us here are into both. that’s why I’m poor lol.
The BattleScale Collectica Show

1 Like

Robin hits the nail squarely on the head, from my point of view. Prorate the total cost by the number of hours of enjoyment at the bench (and maybe also count the time you’ve enjoyed sharing the work at shows or online…).

Sure, in gross terms, you can spend what might seem like a lot of money on a kit with its accessories and consumables (paint, glue, etc.), but it’s not like you wake you the next morning with a hangover wondering how you’re going to pay your rent now that all your money is gone!

(Well, at least most of us don’t! LOL!!! Thank goodness for a cot in the barracks and meal card for the mess hall… Some of you guys know what I’m talking about there! )

Seriously, though, scale modeling is, I think, a relatively inexpensive hobby compared to most others.


My two cents… ( adjusted for inflation- $ 2 .)
I think our hobby is relatively inexpensive compared to some . I build all sorts of subjects.
I’ve done a couple Model Factory Hiro kits and have a couple more in the stash . Though many shy away from them because of the high initial cost I suspect they are on par or even below the cost of other kits when you consider the dollars to hours of enjoyment factor.
For many years I enjoyed upland bird hunting . Guns , license, ammo , bird dogs ( Vet bills $$)
and the heartache (emotional cost) when you have to say goodbye.
The entire cost of my stash of 150 kits or so cost less than a small outboard boat motor .
I live at the seashore . Some relatively wealthy folks here spend more on fuel for one offshore fishing run than I do in a year for my combined hobbies.
And then I have some friends who own airplanes…


The cash per hour reasoning is a very strong argument. Comparatively, though, modeling is one of the more inexpensive hobbies. Spending $350 on one kit is a rare extravagance. We’ve already seen it’s way cheaper than guns and shooting. My son-in-law golfs, hunts, and deep sea fishes on a regular basis. He spends tens of thousands of dollars per year on all three. Plus he’s out of the house a lot. I allocate 2% of my income to the hobby and all the bills are paid every month. Whenever I get more than an eye roll from SWMBO, I just point to my son-in law and she goes quiet. Modeling is a wonderful, affordable hobby that keeps you at home with your loved ones!


I try to avoid a cot when I can. I lot of my stories back in the day ended with, “And she made me breakfast.”

Seriously though, model building is probably my least expensive hobby when compared to all the others. I don’t know if working out qualifies as a hobby for me as it does for some folks - it’s more a way of life. But it’s relatively low cost per hour as well.


As my friend and fellow modeler, Ralph (who is an FAA certified aero-plane-fixer-upper guy), always says:

“You know what makes an airplane fly? Money!!!”

Just thinking about all those times at the end of the month when I was a private living in the barracks…

Of course, there were all of those OTHER times when the SDNCO would walk across the street from Gp HQ, peruse down the halls in the barracks and announce in a rather loud voice to nobody in particular that when the SDO on duty finishes up his 3 AM cup of coffee he’s let it be known that he intends to conduct a barracks walk-through. Any “unauthorized visitors” who have overstayed the curfew on visitors should “consider” getting the eff-out of the barracks in the next 10 minutes or else. The occasional “mad scramble for the doors” would have been comical if it hadn’t been so “inconvenient”!


Option 2 looks good to me, to build my limited stash up .

or …

1 x kit for £45 and 15 bottles of Jack Daniels


Let’s see…

Dragon Panther #6164 - $40
Jordi Rubio main gun barrel - $13
Quick Time - Quick Tracks - $27
On the Mark PE - $20
Eduard PE set - $20
Eduard PE skirts - $20
Aber MG & antenna - $5
Mig’s PE screens - $10

Base $3
Assorted finishing supplies & paints etc $15
Mig textured mud/dirt/ground work- $13
Mig ground mat - $15
Name plate $10
GD emblem $10
Wood trim $5

~$226 over ~147 hours (lots of redoing) or $1.54 per hour

Vs the other hobby…cars

Buying a beat up set of Fikse FM10’s for $1,200 plus repair parts ~$1,800 for $3,000


Saved $2,000 vs buying new Fikse’s for ~$5,000

Way more than the wheels…

The model hobby doesn’t seem too expensive relatively speaking.


It’s strange isn’t it? I baulk when I end up paying as much for an armoured car as an MBT (less plastic = surely, a lower price?) yet when it comes to something I really want, then there’s no limit (sold wife and house, kept dog):