Reasons to Pick Up Scale Model Building: Things to Consider When Buying Your First Kit

Model building has been a fun hobby for fathers and sons for a few decades. The popularity of the hobby is rising even today, thanks to the fact that there are now more models to build than ever. Up until several years ago, most hobby stores’ model sections may have featured a couple of hobby model cars to choose from, but with the widespreadness of the internet today, your choices are virtually limitless. Whether you’re a muscle car fan, a Star Wars fan, or a history aficionado, you can rest assured you’ll find a scale model that matches your interest. Aspiring architects can also take advantage of building scale models as a way to prepare for their future education and career. There are many different reasons to pick up model building as a hobby, and here are some of them.

Reasons to Pick Up Scale Model Building

Develop New Skills

It doesn’t matter what type of model you choose, there are a few stages involved in completing any of them, including learning the history and look of the build, constructing it, painting it, and even weathering it and applying decals. Obviously, all these things require a different set of skills and attention to detail, such as researching, planning, cutting, sculpting, painting, detailing, sanding, gluing, etc. And most builders will tell you, that there are certain things they’re better at than others. However, this is the perfect opportunity to hone the skills you aren’t good at.

Take Your Mind Off of Things

Everyday life can be stressful. Whether it’s work, or family-related, everyone is stressed from something. Our hobbies and interests are the best way to relieve some of that stress. Whether it’s watching movies, playing video games or building hobby model cars – something that can take your mind off of things can go a long way in improving your mental. However, you don’t have to be stressed to partake in this hobby. Perhaps you’re just introverted, or just enjoy building things. There doesn’t need to be a special cause for picking up model building.


A Way to Spend Time With a Loved One

With technology taking over a large portion of our lives, we’re slowly losing ourselves and our most loved ones, as we’re encapsulated into our phones and laptops. We don’t have the need to interact with each other as much as we did just a couple of years back, because social media has given us a false sense of socialisation. Having a hands-on way to spend time with your loved ones, whether children, spouse or friends, and working on something meaningful can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. Not only do you learn teamwork, but you learn to improve your communication, and patience and strengthen your relationship.

Building a Collection

Just like trophies and medals provide a sense of accomplishment to athletes and competitors of all kind, a collection of scale models can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment to you. It’s something you can show off to other builders, or use as decoration in your home. A well put together scale model can help you build confidence, and your collection size is only limited by your will, time and money.


Things to Consider When Choosing Your First Model

Difficulty Level

The difficulty level of the scale model is the most important thing to consider. This can make or break your experience, so you should try to build something that’s going to be relatively easy for a first time builder. Once you get a general idea of the building stages and processes involved, you can move up the ladder. Scale models are categorised into 5 skill levels, with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most difficult.


Models come in a wide range of sizes, or as they’re called here, scales. The scale represents how big, or rather, small, the model is relative to the real thing it represents. Scales are represented as 1:8, 1:10, 1:16, 1:24, etc., with the second number representing how many times the model is shrunk when compared to the real deal.



Once you’ve picked a scale model, you have to consider whether you’ll need to buy tools in order to complete the model. Extra tools are generally needed for more advanced kits. At the very least, you should have a hobby knife and sprue cutters. Sprue cutters are used to remove sprue, whereas the knife can help you clean up the parts of any residue. As you progress through the hobby, and start building advanced models, you might need to add things like masking tape, sandpaper, tweezers, modelling putty, etc. You can find all of these things online or in your local hobby shop.

You might also need glue, paint and paintbrushes. The scale model kit will generally tell you which colours you need. The most basic hobby glue will do the trick, and a few bottles of paint are the only things you’ll need to start off.