The list below of manufacturers of scale model kits is not intended to be exhaustive, but does offer some guidance on the major model makers. I don't know all of the model manufacturers from around the world - does anyone? - but am often intrigued to learn of manufacturers I've not heard of previously. Please accept in advance my apologies if your favorite brand is not yet on the list.
Thanks to the internet, model builders are no longer restricted to the selection found in one's local hobby store, which greatly enhances the availability of models from certain manufacturers. On the other hand, please do patronize your local hobby store when you can; the more models one buys from a local store, the more models that store will carry.
- Academy. Academy models are made in Korea. They company offers models of military aircraft, armor, and battleships. In terms of detail, one would probably place the kits a bit below Tamiya, which should still be regarded as a compliment, and I've noticed that the company is continually improving their offerings. I recently purchased an Academy kit of the US F-86F-30 Sabre, and am looking forward to building it. Academy models are sold online, and at Hobby Lobby. The company's website is located at www.academyhobby.com
- AMT. AMT is an American brand, currently owned by Round 2 LLC out of South Bend, Indiana. You can view some current offerings at http://round2models.com/models/amt
- Dragon. Dragon is a British firm, started in 1987 and offering both plastic model kits and die-cast models. I have no personal experience with the kits, but military model enthusiasts rate the company's offerings very highly. Their US website is here: http://www.dragonusaonline.com/
- Eduard. Eduard makes model airplane kits in the Czech Republic. Their website is located at http://www.eduard.com/ . I actually have five of the company's basic kits, of which four are models of World War I era airplanes, including the Morane-Saulnier type L.
- Italeri. As you might have guessed, Italeri is an Italian company, in business since 1962. I've never had the pleasure of building an Italeri model, but some of the items on the company's website ( http://www.italeri.com/ ) look intriguing.
- Monogram. Monogram is a Revell brand. Since they have the same distributors, you'll often find Revell and Monogram models offered by the same store.
- MPC. Like AMT (see above), MPC is now owned by Round 2 LLC. The website is located at http://round2models.com/models/mpc .
- Revell. Revell is probably the most widely recognized brand of scale models in the United States, and has been around since 1945. The company is headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The company was purchased in 2007 by Hobbico, which is a 100% employee-owned company. The quality of Revell models is usually high, and their product line of model cars, model aircraft, and model ships is huge, with about ten new models offered every month. Revell also does a great deal to promote the hobby in the USA, including the National Model Car Championships. I've happily built many Revell models over the years. The company's website is located at http://www.revell.com/index.html .
- Tamiya. Tamiya is probably my favorite scale model manufacturer. Started in Japan by Yoshio Tamiya shortly after the end of World War II, the company offers highly-detailed scale model cars, aircraft, ships, and armor. Tamiya models generally cost more than, say, Revell models - most serious hobbyists are willing to pay the additional cost of a Tamiya model. The Tamiya USA website is at http://www.tamiyausa.com/index.php .
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