SCALE MODELS – WHAT DOES THE SKILL LEVEL MEAN?

  Which Skill Level Should I Choose? How does one decide which scale model skill level is best for them?   When purchasing a scale model, information is often provided as to the level of that particular model.  Model kits are usually classified in three different levels – Skill Level 1, Skill Level 2 and Skill Level 3.  These levels are indicative of the various ways a scale model can be assembled. Skill Level 1 is the easiest level and the model general snaps together and requires no glue or painting.  This skill level is generally recommended for ages 8 or older.   Skill Level 2 is a slightly more challenging level.  At this level, the scale model will require both glue and paint.  Often times though, these are not included with the kit.  This level is recommended for children 12 years and older.   Skill Level 3 is the most difficult level and also requires glue and paint. (Also not generally included with the kit.) This level is recommended for children ages 12 and older Certain cautions should be taken when building any scale model.  For Skill Level 2 and 3 – or any time there is glue and/or paint involved - assembly should take place in a well-ventilated area.  All scale models contain small parts and therefore should be kept out of reach of small children, or any child who is prone to swallowing small parts. The above are simply recommendations.  Children’s capabilities can differ at any given age and with the assistance of an adult, a more difficult level could feasibly be chosen.  Building a scale model can...

Building Scale Models

BRIEF HISTORY OF SCALE MODELS The hobby of building scale models has been around for several generations.  Scale model kits were first introduced in the UK (United Kingdom) in 1936 by a company named Frog.  It wasn’t until the late 1940s that American companies began manufacturing their own plastic models.  Production continued into the 1950s with momentum continuing on into the 1960s.  Clearly, the scale model enthusiast had no intention of slowing down.   ABOUT THE KITS Some of the most popular model kits are those of various vehicles such as automobiles, WWII and later armored and tracked vehicles, and also includes aircraft and ships from WWII and the Korean War.  As with all scale models, various scale measurements are used when producing a particular replica.  Scale sizes can range anywhere from 1/8 – sometimes used for automobiles – all the way down to 1/700, which is one of the measurements used with ship models.   In more recent times, some of the kits that are manufactured have become much easier to assemble.  This not only allows for quicker assembly time, these easier models don’t require as much skill and are marketed towards a younger age group.  Many of the model kits today have done away with the more painstaking task of painting and decaling.  The parts in these kits can be produced using colored plastic, can come pre-painted and the decals are easy to apply, or are already applied.   A LEARNING EXPERIENCE Building a scale model can go far beyond the building experience.  The interest in the model itself can often generate a desire to learn more about...