I also have some general comments I would like to pass on (Get of my chest).
In certain circles there have been a tendency to praise certain manufacturers to the limits, no matter what ever is in the box, and other manufacturers receive a shattering review, only because of the name (or past sins), Here is my opinion on some of the companies:
Academy/Minicraft. Better known for models in other scales, but has issued some kits in 1:32 scale. The newer kits are nice with many parts and options.
Airfix: Makes a lot of stuff in 1:32, but strangely no aircraft models. Their models are quite good, but some bear witness to being made in the sixties and seventies.
Canadian Hobbycraft: The only kits I have seen are reissues of Revell kits, but with add ons of some kind.
Combat Models: A company that produces VAC Forms, often of a not to impressive quality.
Craftworks: A company that makes multimedia models, with Resin, Vacform and PE. Expensive but apearently pretty good models.
Doyusha: Reasonably nice models with a nice surface, but suffering from being made with motorization in mind, meaning that cockpits and engines are not as good as most of the other kits. Most of these kits has been released earlier under the names TOMY and SWALLOW
Frog: Their kits are mostly reissues of other companies products in this scale, recently for a while Trumpeter kits.
Hasegawa: They make a lot of good kits, but one has to remember that they still issue the original kits too, even if they are 30 to 40 years old. It is still good kits, but they do not have the delicacy of the newer kits of modern production. Therefore one must be cautios of the age of their kits, they produce a new series of very nice kits, some are the same planes as earlier kits.
Hobbycraft: Reissuing Trumpeter kits in USA and Canada.
ID Models: A company that made VAC Form kits - The kits is made outside of a master, leaving the details on the inside. These kits are not for beginners but for the more experienced modellers. There are no engine, Cockpit or undercarriage to speak of, meaning you will have to do it all on your own. Production stopped in 2002, but DELVAC Aviation expects to start reissuing them.
Matchbox: In the seventies they made some good kits with lots of parts and details, but their trademark was very deep panel lines. Several of their kits has been reissued by Revell or AMT with new decals.
Monogram: They only have a few models in this scale and have now merged with Revell and share the same moulds.
Revell: Like Hasegawa they issue quite a lot of kits, their kits was state of the art when they started in 1:32 scale, but there is also a marked difference between older and newer kits here. They reissue old Matchbox kits too and cooperate with Hasegawa on current issues.
Scratchbuilders: Like Craftworks, a small company with nice multimedia kits. Unfortunately production stopped in 2002.
Tamiya: All their kits in this scale are pretty good, but their prices are also above average. In many cases the quality is not as much better than the competitors as the price indicates.
Testors: Very few kits from them in this scale, and their reputation is not the best.
Trumpeter: A fairly new company (started 2000) with nice kits, many details and parts, but the kits are generally a bit complicated and not recommended for beginners.
Williams Brothers: A small company that makes smaller series than the bigger companies. Their kits are pretty good, but not for beginners, but as they say them selves, for the more experienced modeller.
In my humble opinion, most kits reflects the price fairly well, but certainly not always. I've had the doubt full pleasure of building the Hasegawa FW-190 D-9 Collectors series High Grade Kit. In spite of a price tag of approximately 2½ times their FW-190 A kit, I find the latter very much better. This kit includes interior, and the surfaces of the whole kit is of the same rivetted style, whereas the FW-190 D-9 has many parts from the "A" with the same rivets, but a fuselage in the newer style with engraved panel lines, which is the better is a personal taste, but I don't know any who thinks they mix very well.
Many Revell kit have been criticised, and some probably rightly so, but in general they are not at all to bad, I have taken Revell's P-51B and Hasegawa's P-51D and compared them with photos in Scale and Detail from Squadron Signal, which criticised the Revell kit very much, I don't find any proof of what the claims are. There are many differences between these kits, one is an older kit and one is newer, but again the prise tag follow along. Anyway many of the pictures in my opinion points at the Revell kit being the best one from the box if an early Merlin engined Mustang is to be build. None of the engines are very correct though.
Theres no doubt that many people find the newer japanese kit with their many parts better than older european ones, but in my opinion it's easier to sand down raised rivets than to engrave completely new panel lines while filling the original ones. And some aircraft were notorious for their rivets anyway. Mainly I feel it's a matter of taste, the japanese kits often contains more interior parts than for instance Revell, while Matchbox is very well along too. But then with no interior parts moulded on there's no sink on the exterior.
Two fuselage halves, on top Hasegawas "D" bottom Revells "B"
In the following pairs, Revell is the left and Hasegawa the right side.
Two different floors, Revell and Hasegawa respectivly.
Tail and Wingroot from the two brands
The two instrument panels
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