5 Best Model Kits for Beginners: Fun, Easy, Affordable Kits

Best Model Kits for Beginners

Making models is one of the best ways to spend your free time. They are great fun but also make you feel productive.

You can learn all about the item you are building and can also include your kids in the process. They are fun for all the family. 

But, if you have been looking for a model and keep coming across kits that are too complicated, then you’re not alone.

Models are usually made of very technical things, such as planes or cars.

So, even though the engines and other high-tech features aren’t usually included, they still require a decent understanding of space, proportion, and math. 

If you’re a beginner, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by all the options available, but don’t worry, what you’ll find in the following will help.

Read on for the best model kits for beginners, as well as some tips for buying the best.

Every step of model building should be fun; you don’t want to be disheartened before you have even started.

Tired of looking and just want to get started?

No problem. Take a break from browsing and check out our top pick for the best model kit for beginners.

Review of The Best Model Kits For Beginners

#1 Best Model Kits For Beginners: Revell SnapTite A-10 Warthog Plastic Model Kit

Revell SnapTite A-10 Warthog Plastic Model Kit ,...
  • Enhance three dimensional thinking with the construction of this 36-piece model kit
  • Easy snap assembly and multicolored parts - no painting, no glue needed

Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 2 inches

Material: Plastic

Number of pieces: 36

My top pick for the best model kit for beginners is this 36-piece A-10 Warthog by Revell. It is affordable, easy to put together, and looks very impressive.

It’s a great choice for someone with little to no experience in model building. This kit is by far one of the most affordable options on this list.

If you’re a beginner, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a model, especially if you aren’t sure if you will enjoy it and take up model building as a hobby. 

If you want something cheap and easy to build to see how you do, then this kit is ideal. 

Although most people enjoy displaying their models once they have been assembled, not all kits allow for this.

Many require the builder to buy a separate stand or display case.

But this model includes an impressive stand that displays the plane as it would appear while in flight.

This is a minor feature that will make all the difference because you’re going to spend much more time admiring your work than you will actually building it.

This kit is great for beginners as it looks impressive but has a relatively small number of pieces.

The pieces also easily snap together, rather than require glue.

This is especially useful for a beginner as it will give you a better understanding of scale and how model pieces fit together.

Then you can move on to more complicated kits that require glue. This kit also allows for mistakes as you can take apart the pieces. 

Likes:

  • Stand included
  • Affordable
  • Easy to build
  • Glue not required
  • Small number of pieces

Dislikes:

  • Prepainted

Other Great Model Kits For Beginners

Runner-Up: Wood Trick 3D Wooden Bicycle Toy Model

Wood Trick 3D Wooden Bicycle Toy Model - Bicycle...
  • 🌍 [HIGH QUALITY] – made from natural birch ply. Materials are recyclable and safe. No glue. Our...
  • 🚴 [DIY EXPERIENCE] - building our bicycle puzzle kits will draw out and propel your child’s...

Dimensions: 7.87 x 5.31 x 4.06 inches

Material: Wood

Number of Pieces: 89

Now, this kit is a little different and might not be quite what you had in mind, but you should still give it some consideration.

This is a great kit for beginners as it is relatively easy to build but looks very impressive.

Plus, it actually moves and works like a bicycle does.

This is a great kit for someone who loves building and creating things but isn’t interested in cars or planes.

The vast majority of kits, including most on this list, are vintage cars or warplanes.

They are classic machines and classic models, but they aren’t to everyone’s taste. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, this is a great option.

It is also a more eco-friendly option.

Although your models will likely be displayed in your home for a long time, you will only build it once so it is technically single-use plastic.

So, building a wooden bicycle isn’t just more charming; it is better for the environment. 

This kit is made up of 89 pieces. This might seem like a lot, and they are quite small, but don’t be intimidated. This is still a great kit for beginners. 

Likes:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Recyclable parts
  • Glue not needed

Dislikes:

  • A little expensive

Revell 1:48 P – 51D Mustang

Revell 1:48 P - 51D Mustang
  • Contains a total of 49 realistically molded pieces
  • Lift-off engine panel and wing machine gun access

Dimensions: 12 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches

Material: Plastic

Number of pieces: 49

This model kit is a classic. When most people imagine assembling a model, it’s usually a plane or a car.

This kit is great if you want to get into the more traditional style of model building. 

With a scale of 1:48, this model is still relatively small (especially compared to the original plane!), but it is a little larger than average.

This is one of the reasons for its price tag. Model building kits aren’t often very cheap, but this kit is definitely one of the more expensive options on this list.

However, there are reasons for that. As well as its size, this kit comes with some impressive details.

The ability to attach the complicated hood, control panels, and wheels are not always available on model airplanes. This is a great addition.

Another cool feature is the gun access and engine.

The engine panel can be lifted off and there is also access for the wing machine guns so that the model can still be interacted with after it has been built. 

This model is quite detailed, but it is still easy to assemble. Areas such as the checkered nose and the cockpit will require a little patience.

If you have the time and dedication, this is still a great choice for a beginner. 

Likes:

  • Small number of pieces
  • Very detailed
  • Large 1:48 scale
  • Lightweight
  • Lift-off engine panel

Dislikes:

  • Expensive

Estes Destination Mars Colonizer Model Rocket Starter Set

Estes Destination Mars Colonizer Model Rocket...
  • Launch your own Mars colonization mission – This set comes with all the parts and tools you need...
  • Goes together quickly – no cutting, sanding, or painting required!

Dimensions: 1.64 x 1.64 x 12.7 inches

Material: Plastic

Number of pieces: 76

The price of this model might seem quite expensive, but that can be explained by the fact that this rocket will actually take off.

Most models are intended to be assembled and then admired.

While there is nothing wrong with that, with a rocket you might want something a little more exciting.

Watching your creation launch high into the air definitely adds some excitement.

(Never flown a rocket before? Find answers to your questions here.)

One of the best things about this model kit is that it doesn’t require any cutting or sanding.

Sanding down and cutting pieces to alter the model is part of the fun for some people, but they are usually very experienced and have a good understanding of how the pieces should fit together.

This model is especially great for beginners as it has a very small number of pieces. It is easy to put together and then to use. 

Glue is still needed to assemble the rocket properly, but this is included.

Also included are two engines and the batteries necessary for the rocket to take off, which is not a very common occurrence. 

One potential downside of this kit is that the parts are already colored.

So, if you want to be able to paint the model yourself, this isn’t the kit for you. However, there are plenty of other options that can be painted.

Likes:

  • Takes flight
  • Glue included
  • Batteries included

Dislikes:

  • Expensive

Revell ’69 Chevy Nova Yenko Plastic Model Kit

Revell '69 Chevy Nova Yenko Plastic Model Kit
  • Add Yenko Super car (syc) to your collection by building this 111-piece model kit
  • Kit opening hood, 427 cubic inch engine, separate door handles and wipers, detailed suspension and...

Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.88 x 2.13 inches

Material: Plastic

Number of pieces: 111

Although this kit has a lot of pieces, it is still suitable for a beginner. This is the only model car on this list, but it is a classic.

Due to the detail of this car, the model requires a lot of small pieces.

This kit is best suited for a beginner who has made one or two models before and has a good understanding of space and proportion. 

The detailing of this model is one of the reasons for its relatively expensive price.

It is by no means the most expensive option on this list, but it is a little pricier than average.

The details of this model include an engine, door handles, windshield wipers, a suspension system, and an exhaust system.

It’s also possible to pop the hood and take a look at the engine too.

The model pieces come unpainted so you have complete control over the look of the car, but the paint and glue do come separately.

(No idea of how to paint a model car? You’ll find a list of everything you’ll need here.)

This is a great choice for someone with a little experience but isn’t yet very confident in their abilities. 

Likes:

  • Great detail
  • Classic design
  • Interactive

Dislikes:

  • A little expensive
  • Paint and glue not included

Buyer’s Guide

Number of Pieces

The number of pieces of a model kit can be a good determiner of difficulty, but they are also important in terms of how long the model will take to build and what age it is suitable for.

Generally speaking, the higher the number of pieces, the longer the build will take. 

Of course, this depends on the overall difficulty of the kit.

If you have a short attention span or simply have little patience (but still enjoy focusing on a project), then aim for a kit with a smaller number of pieces. 

That said, you likely won’t find a kit with fewer than 30 pieces. Kits with anything fewer than 30 pieces will be primarily targeted toward children. 

If you’re a complete beginner, this might not be such a bad thing.

If you have never built anything before, let alone a to-scale model of a complicated machine, such as a car or an airplane, then a simple children’s kit might just be the best place to start. 

Size

The overall dimensions of the kit are also important. Make sure to check the size of the finished model when choosing.

This, along with the number of pieces, will give you a good idea of how difficult the build will be. 

For example, if the kit has a small number of pieces and the overall finished model is quite large, then it should be relatively simple to complete.

If the kit is small and there are a lot of pieces, then it will require a lot of patience and the pieces will likely be quite small. 

This is also important as you don’t want to get halfway through a model only to find out that it is much bigger than you expected.

Tools

Also very important to consider are the glue, paint, and paintbrushes. Model kits vary massively when it comes to tools and additional items.

As a beginner, it’s best to try and find something that comes with these extra items.

This means that you won’t have to try and find the correct paint and glue at a hobby, craft, or hardware store.

Certain materials will require specific paints and glues. (See my Complete Guide for more details and recommendations.)

So if you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to find a complete kit. 

Scale

When it comes to choosing your model kit, it’s important to first have a good grasp of scale.

This is especially true when ordering online, as you don’t want to accidentally buy something that is much bigger or smaller than you imagined.

Model kits will usually provide a scale. This is a good indication of the size of the overall model, but it is also just an interesting fact to know about your model. 

This is especially true if you plan to make a model of something large like an airplane.

If you know that your model is 1/78 the size of the real airplane, it will give you a great understanding of the size of the real plane.

This is just another fun reason to do a little research before investing in a kit. 

Material

When it comes to choosing your model kit, be open-minded about the material.

The vast majority of kits will have plastic pieces for the models, but not all of them will. Some will be metal or even wood.

A lot of wooden models are less fiddly and might even move and be more impressive, but they won’t necessarily be more complicated.

Wooden models usually have fewer pieces, but you will need to be able to fit everything together perfectly for it to move correctly. 

If you just want something that looks cool, like a plane or a car, then a plastic or metal model kit is the best option.

However, if you want something a little different, try out some wooden models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Paint a Model Before Assembling?

When building your first kit, it’s easy to focus on the number of pieces and how difficult it might be to build, but you also need to consider the logistics of assembly and painting.

This is up to personal preference and how much time you want to spend building and painting your model. 

If you paint the model after assembling, then you might not be able to reach every spot. So there may be a few joints that can’t be painted properly.

If you paint each piece individually, then you will be able to hold it and move it around more easily.

This will allow you to be more careful with your brush strokes.

However, this will be a little more time consuming as you will have to wait for each piece to dry completely before assembling. 

If you paint the pieces before assembling the model, then you will have to scrape off some of the paint to make sure that the glue will stick properly. 

Another option is to paint as you build your model. You can partially assemble some pieces, paint them, assemble a few more, paint them, and so on. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Trial and error is the best course of action when it comes to model building.

There is an end goal, and there will be instructions, but ultimately it is entirely yours to build and paint as you like. 

How Do I Tell How Difficult a Kit Is?

Now, this is an important one. When you’re first starting out with model kit building, pretty much any model looks intimidating.

It will come with a lot of different pieces that are usually small and fiddly. 

One very easy way to determine the difficulty of a kit is by checking the box. Some manufacturers will provide a difficulty rating.

So as you’re just starting out, try and look for any with “beginner” or “easy” on the box.

Not every manufacturer will provide a rating. Another way to work out the difficulty of a kit is by the number of pieces and the overall size.

Generally speaking, if the model is small and has a lot of pieces, then it’s going to be pretty difficult. If it is bigger and has a small number of pieces, then it will be easier. 

Last update on 2021-09-25 at 22:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API