5 Best Model Car Kit Brands/Companies in 2020 (My Personal Picks)

A common question people have is “What are the best model car kit brands?” Understandably, no one wants to waste money on a kit that ends up being low quality.

There are lots of great options on the market — Tamiya, Revell, Aoshima, and so on…

But they all vary in:

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Accuracy
  • Reissues
  • Part fit
  • Customer service
  • Detail
  • Etc.

In this post, I’ll share (1) What are my favorite brands of model kits and (2) the “Why” behind my choices.

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    1. Tamiya

    Pros:

      • In my opinion, Tamiya has the best quality model cars for the price, and they’re the general consensus choice among most model builders 
      • The fit is almost always great, I haven’t had a bad experience in that department yet 
      • Most of their kits have incredible detail 
      • Proportions are often good 
      • Instructions are usually straightforward and clear. Tamiya kits practically build themselves and the accuracy is incredible 
      • Most Tamiya car models have engines (unlike some other brands)

    Cons:

      • Since they’re imported, then tend to be expensive
      • Doesn’t have a good selection of American muscle cars and pickup trucks, which some modelers enjoy building 
      • Smaller selection 
      • Little customer support

    Here are 2 popular Tamiya model car kits with great detail:


    Tamiya 1/24 Volkswagen 1300 Beetle 1966 Plastic Model Kit

    Best Tamiya Model Car Kit - VW


    Tamiya 1/24 Scale Sports Car Series Toyota Supra Model Kit

    2. Revell USA

    Pros:

      • Better choice for fans of muscle cars and NASCAR 
      • Tends to be cheaper than other competitors
      • Outstanding customer support (if a part is missing, they’ll replace it for free) 
      • No problems with reissues 

    Cons:

    • Kit quality, details, and fitment are a hit or miss — they’re usually average, and you don’t know what you’ll get, unlike Tamiya, where you can expect most products to be extremely high quality with great detail. Don’t get me wrong, some Revell kits can be fantastic builds, but on a whole, Tamiya is the winner in my opinion.

    Here are 3 popular Revell model car kits you may enjoy building:


    Revell Ford Bronco Plastic Model Car Kit

    Revell Ford Bronco Model Car


    Revell 1:24 55 Ford F-100 Street Rod

    Revell 55 Ford F-100 Street Rod Model Car


    Revell Corvette C7.R Race Car

    Revell Corvette CR7 Model Car

    3. Fujimi

    Pros:

      • They have some popular Ferrari models that many people enjoy building 
      • Proportions usually look great 
      • You can design some really nice scale models using modifications 
      • Very large selection of car models
      • While the model building kits can be complicated at times, the detail is usually fantastic.

    Cons:

      • Usually curbside, meaning they don’t have an engine. 
      • Some kits can be pretty basic 
      • Some kits have unclear instructions, unlike Tamiya, where across the board, most of their kits have straightforward and easy to understand directions.

    Here are 2 popular Fujimi model car kits you may enjoy building:


    Ferrari F430 Challenge Fujimi Kit


    Fujimi 1/24 Ferrari 458

    Fujimi Ferrari 458 Model Car

    4. Aoshima

    Pros:

    • If you’re a fan of JDMs, then this is a great choice
    • Fantastic customer support
    • Good mid grade option in terms of price. Higher price than Fujimi in general, but there are usually more parts & details 
    • Most Japanese car model kits are 1/24, but Aoshima has a pretty good selection of 1/32 models too

    Cons:

    • In my opinion, Tamiya has better quality models with more detail, but Aoshima isn’t that far behind. And as I said before, everything depends on the actual kit — I’m just describing my general thoughts across the board for each company 
    • Most of their car kits are curbside (no engine)

    Here’s a popular Aoshima model car kit that you might enjoy building:


    Aoshima 1/24 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 w Engine Detail

    Aoshima Lamborghini Aventador LP400 Model Car

    5. Hasegawa

    Pros:

    • They have a large variety of models and have delved into products/subjects that other brands haven’t 
    • Extensive decals

    Cons:

    • Relatively good detail, but Tamiya wins this category
    • Molds are sometimes not up to par 
    • As time passes, the plastic can get brittle

    Here’s a popular Hasegawa kit that you may enjoy building:


    Hasegawa 1:24 Scale VW Type 2 Pick-Up Truck

    Hasegawa VW Type 2 Pick-Up Truck Model Kit

    Summary

    There is no good answer to the popular question of “What is the best model car kit brand?”. Tamiya is my preferred brand/company personally, and it’s also the general consensus pick among most modelers. That being said, it’s hard to give a blanket recommendation, because every company has released a very large number of model kits through the years, and there are bound to be some poor quality kits. That’s why it’s vital to research each kit individually, read the reviews, and then determine if it’s the right fit for you.

    Common Beginner Question: How Do You Build a Model Car Kit?

    If you’re a beginner, then I highly recommend that you watch the video below to understand how to build your first ever model car kit, and what materials/tools are needed to get started. So you can be on your way to confidently build a Chevy, Dodge, Pontiac, Ford, Porsche, or whatever model car you personally prefer!

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