Best Architectural Model Kits – Complete Guide

Assembled model of modern building.

While researching for the best model kit, I found there were a few things to look for. There are a ton of kits online to shop through, but they are not all created equally.

What are the best architectural model kits? The best architectural model kit is one that matches your skill level and holds your interest. Once assembled, these kits can be displayed for years to come so choose carefully. The metal kits by Metal Earth have exceptional quality and impressive details.

There are kits for anyone who is interested in taking up this hobby. These products are not just for architects or students; anyone can put these together and have fun doing it.

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Whether you’re looking for an interesting, new hobby for yourself or are looking for the perfect gift for that special crafter in your life, you’ll find what you need to know here.

The Best Architectural Kit for You

When it comes to picking out a kit for yourself, a child, or a friend, you’re going to find that there is quite the variety of model kits available.

It can get overwhelming looking through pages and pages of kits, so here are some points to consider to help you narrow it down.

What Level Is Best?

Most architect kits are clearly labeled with a difficulty level somewhere on the package. Most often you’ll see the terms beginner, moderate (or intermediate), or expert.

This is especially important to pay attention to if you are getting this kit for a child. Working with a kit that exceeds your skill level can be very discouraging and may turn you off from the hobby.

What Is Your Budget?

Kits are priced anywhere from around $20 up to more than $300. The price usually coincides with the number of pieces and/or difficulty of the model.

This could be where you really need to decide what you are up to completing.

Are the Instructions Easy to Follow?

Poorly worded or unclear instructions can really take the joy out of any crafting project. In fact, confusing instructions is often the biggest complaint about architect model kits.

I’ve found that the wording on the back and sides of the box is often a good indication of what you can expect the quality of the instructions to be.

Steer clear of any boxes that contain misspellings, “salesy” jargon, or appear to have been written by a second-grade student.

Checking reviews online will also make you aware of kits with a reputation for poor, inaccurate instruction sheets.

What Is Included With the Kit?

There are kits that come with everything you need to assemble it that day. Other kits will require a few more things like glue or hand tools.

Again, going through some online reviews can be helpful here because some kits are known for missing pieces.

Also, try checking modeling pages on Reddit or similar sites to hear directly from others who’ve had experience with the product in question.

How Long Will It Take to Assemble?

The box will usually tell you an estimated completion time, but in the end, it’s really going to come down to your level of expertise, the quality of the product, and how quickly you tend to work.

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What are Architectural Kits Made From?

There are a few different types of kits on the market today.

You’ll need to decide whether you’d like to try wooden, plastic, or metal architect kits because the different materials will impact not just the price but the time spent on assembly as well.

Wooden Kits

A wooden kit is going to come with either all or mostly all wooden pieces. Of course, there are both pros and cons to using kits made from this material.


  • Most can be customized to your liking.
  • Can be stained or painted.
  • Can be sanded or cut to fit exactly right.


  • The pieces may warp slightly or are not the exact size you expected.
  • More prep time may be needed to sand or otherwise modify certain pieces to ensure a perfect fit.

For beginners, the Medieval Europe Castle Gatehouse would be a fun place to start. It features a working drawbridge and catapult and has a removable roof.

This set can interlock with other sets by the same company if you choose to expand your collection. It has a difficulty rating of 4 (intermediate) and contains 142 parts to assemble.

Plastic Kits

These kits are a little more child friendly simply because of the method used to assemble them. There are also kits out there that are more difficult for the experienced builder.


  • Usually snap together with blocks or pegs making them a little easier to assemble.
  • Many are already painted or colored.
  • Most require no tools.


  • Pieces can be tiny and delicate so the builder needs to be careful.
  • Some pieces may be a tight fit.
  • There’s little room for customization.

The Arckit 90 Architect Model Building Kit comes with over 230 pieces for the builder to assemble and comes with decorative adhesive sheets for realistic finishing touches.

Free online Arc kit tools is included with purchase to help with assembly.

This kit would be good for anyone who is interested in architecture and building. Arckit also offers different designs should you choose to compile a collection.

Metal Kits

These can be very detailed and unique to put together.


  • Beautiful kits to put together and display.
  • Usually need no glue to assemble.
  • Typically smaller kits but more affordable.


  • Generally for teens or adults because the pieces are small and sharp.
  • Can be time consuming, even for those who have intermediate to expert levels.

Several of the models I’ve found are of historic buildings, and because they are made of metal they are quite detailed. The following models are of familiar historic buildings.

Metal Earth Fascinations Chrysler Building

Metal Earth Premium Series Chrysler Building 3D...

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This one is recommended for ages 14 and up. A pair of tweezers and needle nose pliers are recommended, but no glue is necessary. The attention to detail is impressive for such an affordable item.

Fascinations Notre Dame Cathedral 3D Metal Model Kit

Metal Earth Fascinations Premium Series Notre Dame...

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This kit is considered to be moderate in difficulty level. Reviewers recommend patience while completing this one but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll be amazed at the level of detail.

Different Sizes of Architectural Model Kits

There are different sizes available with these kits.

The metal ones, for example, tend to be on the small side. This is important for anyone who needs to work with something larger or who does not have the space for a big model.

Common scales you will find while browsing model kits are 1:72, 1:50, and 1:10. These numbers refer to how the model relates in size to the real thing.

For example, a house model with a scale of 1:50 means that if the house were real, it would be 50 times larger than the model.

Not every product states the scale, but nearly all will list the completed model’s dimensions. Be sure to convert metrics to what you are familiar with to avoid getting something too small or too large.

Last update on 2024-06-15 at 01:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I'm a hobby enthusiast with a real love for painting miniatures. I also happen to run this site and write the majority of its content!