Best Engine Models: A Guide to Model Building

So, you want to start building something with your own hands, but you have grown tired of blocks and bricks. Maybe it is time to try the rewarding hobby of building models, whether model cars or engines. This article will take a closer look at common questions about this hobby and will help people pick their firs supplies and kits.

What are Model Kits?

The determining characteristic of these kits is that they usually come in small pieces that people need to assemble to make the product. These kits come in different materials, including metal, plastics, and wood (preferably balsa wood). You can put the model together using small nails, screws, glues, or a combination of the three depending on materials used. A lot of these kits will also require painting to complete.

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Model kits come in different scales, ranging from 1:2500 to 1:10. And a lot of beginners are always asking experts to explain scale all the time. The scale will tell enthusiasts how much the model has been shrunk compared to the original size.

The two numbers are ratios that will show the units on the real thing equal to one unit of the model. If the model is scaled 1:1, it means that one foot on the original is similar to one foot on the kit. In this case, it is a full-sized kit.

As the second number gets further from one, the smaller the kit becomes compared to the original. If the scale is 1:10, it means that the kit is one-tenth of the original size. To make it short, if the 1:10 scale is one foot long, the original will be ten feet long.

A lot of categories of these models have a range of standard scales, making the type of kit manageable for beginners or ordinary people to complete or display. For most car models, 1:72, 1:48, or 1:35 are the most common scales. Sometimes there are large commercial jet models at 1:144, but it is not common for smaller planes. Ship models are quite unique since the original size is so large. Standard scales for ship models include 1:720, 1:350, and 1:72, but you can also find some strange scales in between.

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Skill Levels

Model kits usually come with five levels that represent the difficulty of the set to complete:

Level 1: It is snap-together pieces that do not require paint or glue.

Level 2: These are easier kits to complete and needs paint and glue. It usually has less than 100 pieces.

Level 3: These are sets that have more intricate parts. It usually has at least 100 pieces.

Level 4: These are advanced kits that have extra-fine details. Most of these kits contain 100 pieces or more.

Level 5: These models are for expert enthusiasts. They contain more than 100 pieces, with super-detailed and moving parts like movable tank turrets, rotating propellers for planes, and working suspension for motorcycles and cars.

There are some exceptions to the breakdown. Some of the best engine models require paint and glue, so they are considered as level 1, but in reality, they are level 2 because of the number of pieces and difficulty in completing them. Sometimes, some kits do not have the skill levels printed on their box. In cases like this, people can safely assume the models are at least level 4.

What is Needed to Get Started?

The first question experts usually ask beginners when they are planning to buy their first model is the buyer’s age and what type of experience they have when it comes to building products. Experts usually suggest that if the novice is under ten years old, they start with a snap-together, level 1 kit.

These kinds of models only require file and knife to complete. It is the perfect set for junior modelers. Experts suggest a snap set for kids ten years old and above who have little to no experience with making or building toys. For beginners who are over ten years old with some experience in building toy engines, experts recommend starting with level 2 sets. These sets require paint and glue to complete, and still easy enough, the finished product will be a thing of beauty and something to be proud of.

Glue First or Paint First?

Every new enthusiast asks experts, this question. While the answer is not that simple, experts suggest bowing to logic on this one. With a little planning, it is usually clear what and when people should paint the set first, glue second, and vice versa. Let us say you are putting together a car engine model. Would you want to paint the pistons and exhaust after installing the engine body? When in doubt, read the instruction guide, they usually suggest the order of how to fix them.