Everyone has a different opinion on what are the best model airplane kits. It’s hard to give someone a blanket recommendation, because each modeler has individual needs and interests:
I could go on and on, but you get the idea — everyone has differing opinions and interests.
That being said, there are several brands/manufacturers that are known to produce high quality model airplane kits.
The general consensus in the industry is that Revell and Tamiya are in the top echelon, and in my opinion, Airfix has some fantastic airplane model kits as well. Also, while Zoukei-Mura is a brand that many people haven’t heard of, their detail and quality is incredible.
In this post, I’ll share my top few choices within each brand to save you research time, and help you make the right choice. While everything I list is based on my own opinion and personal preference, perhaps you’ll find a model airplane kit that catches your eye as well.
Revell: Top Picks
Tamiya: Top Picks
This is my top pick because this aircraft kit is not very difficult to assemble and it’s relatively easy for beginners (but at the same time challenging enough for advanced model builders). This Corsair scale model can look incredible with a proper painting job. Also, it served an important role in WWII and the Korean War.
One customer said that they chose to add the following items to the build: (1) Pilot figure (2) Display stand (3) Flying propeller (4) Aerial wire antenna (5) Aftermarket decals, because even though the kit comes with decals, they’re not very high quality and can easily break.
Similar to my top overall pick, this kit is suitable for both beginner and advanced modelers.
Airfix Top Picks (Well-Suited for Beginners)
In general, I personally prefer Revell and Tamiya models over Airfix. That being said, Airfix has really stepped up their game the last 6 years or so. They’ve put in effort to improve their newly released models, and they’ve succeeded in producing several high quality model plane kits.
Airfix’s old models used to be extremely difficult to assemble, but that has changed recently. If you’re a beginner, Airfix offers several 1/72 airplanes that are easy to build and cheap (so you can get some practice without worrying about messing up). So that’s what I’ll be focusing on in this section.
Airfix published a fantastic tutorial on their YouTube channel, where they show you how to assemble this aircraft model from start to finish:
Zoukei-Mura: Top Picks
Zoukei-Mura is a company that most model building hobbyists probably haven’t heard about. That being said, modelers who have built their airplane kits are usually astounded by their superb quality and engineering.
While Zoukei-Mura doesn’t have a very large selection, the kits they do have are extremely detailed — if you have the time and patience to take them on, you may find it worthwhile.
This kit is definitely far from a small weekend project, and some customers have described it as a “museum piece”.
It’s worth noting that many modelers who build this particular Zoukei-Mura kit (and others) don’t see a need for aftermarket parts/accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular scale for model airplanes?
The most popular scale for model airplanes is either 1/32, 1/48, or 1/72.
What is the best model airplane kit for beginners?
The following video does a great job of listing several popular airplane model kits for beginners, and the “why” behind each choice.
HobbyBio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.