Blog How to Buy & Build Plastic Model Airplane Kits – 15+ Tips

How to Buy & Build Plastic Model Airplane Kits – 15+ Tips

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A Beginner’s Guide on Buying & Building Plastic Model Aircraft Kits

What is a Plastic Model Airplane Anyway?

A plastic model airplane is a scale model aircraft built and sold as a plastic kit to be assembled by hobbyists. Plastic aircraft models depict military or civilian aircraft and are intended primarily as a static display, alone or as a part of a diorama.

Building, painting and collecting plastic model airplane kits have given many young and not so young people a solution for their free time. Actually, we can say that this hobby – building airplane model kits – is one of the true pastimes for boys and girls of all ages today.

How to Buy Plastic Airplane Kits

Finding model kits, that best suit individual interest in airplanes can be challenging. What would be an interesting and enjoyable model plane may differ greatly, depending on whom the gift is being bought for, so find out what your friend really is into. They will love to talk about their hobby, if they are a true model enthusiast, so pick their brain for ideas.

Interest in the unique aircraft is always at the top of the list. Some hobbyists like just having any new plastic model kits, because they are about doing the projects. It can be a quiet time, like a kind of meditation. As they gaze at the pieces and imagine the time when the aircraft was actually being built.

Plastic Model Aircraft Kits
image source: Pinterest

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You can spend as little or as much money on model airplane kits, especially if you opt for a period piece or something specialized like military model kits, most towns have a local hobby lobby or similar craft boutique. Although today is the internet age and almost anything can be found in plenty by shopping online. Prices are varied, so don’t spend more than your budget allows, just pick something that feels meaningful or right to you.

How to Build Plastic Model Airplanes

These are something to keep in mind with experienced and beginner modellers. If you have already created a few models yourself, then these bits of wisdom should shine some light on the art of building aircraft models. These tips are straightforward and nothing new to expert model builders; however it is a good list, and a good collection of essential tips may be of use even for experienced modellers.

But just as patience is a virtue learned by the art of modelling with your hands, it is also apparent that anyone can step up and say you need to do something about that airplane model on your desk. The implication being that if you are going to start something, then you must take the time to do the task. Just getting started is a major first step in the completion of any modelling project. Make sure you have time to get lost in your work, even if it is just another modelling enthusiast.

Now, take a look at the following tips and see which ones you can apply to your modelling practices.

New to aircraft modelling?
Read our essential guide to buying a scale model aircraft kit.

  1. All plastic model airplane kits need a workspace dedicated to the project.
  2. Make sure to wash everything contained in airplane model kits, before you start modelling.
  3. All model kits come with directions, so read them.
  4. Minimize your use of glue; this goes for plastic model kits and more expensive projects.
  5. After your model airplane kits are glued, allow them to dry overnight.
  6. After glued together, try using putty to fill in the gaps.
  7. Assemble the cockpit at this point, a fun part of military model kits.
  8. With plastic model airplane kits, consider using different types of paint.
  9. Have modelling paint and spray paint on hand as choices.
  10. Another alternative is airbrushing; this particular technique will offer you the best effects.
  11. Always paint the interiors of the model first.
  12. Next paint the complex areas like the cockpit and the canopy window framing.
  13. Most airplane model kits have decals; these can be applied easily with a layer of flat coat gloss.
  14. Double check your alignment while doing any model kits, this will avoid a lopsided airplane.
  15. Enjoy building your new model. All plastic model kits are essentially toys, just with more usage of brainpower. They are meant to be fun for boys, girls, and children. So let your inner child run amok when it gets the rare chance to. Doing this will be the best part of your modelling experience. Without a doubt seeing the final build will get your interest peaking again and you may find your hobby has only been on the shelf.


Whether it is your own personalized model airplane kits, military model kits, or even modelling other types of tech like cars, tanks, boats or ships in a bottle. Modelling is a source of inspiration and patience learned for many people. It is an art that continues to grow followers over the decades. It is something that can be shared with others, passed on, and be a source of common ground throughout life.

Above all, enjoy the experience of modelling as a hobby. Don’t spend all your hours on models and hide them away from the world, show off your work and interact with others that enjoy modelling airplane kits like you do. Plastic model airplane kits at the doorway to the world full of history, science, and fun for a lifetime. That is the real pay off of model kits and those who love building them.

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