Very soon after the advent of the airplane building, collecting models of airplanes became a hobby of the young and old alike. Model airplanes in the earlier era could fly short distances, using basic aeronautic principles. Model airplane enthusiasts in the earlier days burnt a lot of midnight oil, to build their model airplanes from a kit or a plan. Today, it is fairly simple for newcomers, with the advent of RTF (ready to fly) and ARTF (almost ready to fly) model airplane kits, to get initiated in this wonderful and amazing hobby. The real model airplane enthusiasts still swear by the old method of building and flying their own model planes from scratch. They believe and rightly so, that building the model aircraft is as much fun as flying it.
Basically two types of model airplanes or scaled down versions of actual full size planes are available, static or non-flying and flying models. Static models are usually made of wood, plastic, paper or metal. Static models are used in wind tunnels to aid the design of full-scale airplanes. They are also used as promotional items by airlines. Flying models are used for aeromodelling.
These days the model airplane enthusiast is spoilt for choices, as a variety of model airplane kits are available in the market. However, its important to decide, which type of kit is suitable for you. Depending on your building skills and experience, you could choose from the following model airplane kits.
These models are ready-made and usually made of metal. They give you a feel of how the real airplane looks. They are priced depending on the level of detail. The expensive ones will have all the fine details as observed in the actual plane, while the inexpensive ones are less detailed. You don’t have to assemble anything. All you have to do is fix it to the desk stand and the model is ready for display. If you are not inclined to construct a model, this is the ideal choice.
Snap Fit Model Kit
This kit comes with pre-painted parts and no cutting and gluing is required. Anybody can assemble this model in less than half an hour. These kits are comparatively inexpensive and are usually recommended for beginners. For people looking to challenge their building and construction prowess, this is not the ideal choice. However, it is far more satisfying assembling this kit than the previous die-cast model.
Wooden 3D Construction Kit
This kit contains pre-cut wooden pieces of plywood usually 3mm thick. Cutting is not required, as the pieces interlock with each other. A three dimensional model can be prepared without any cutting and gluing. This is far more challenging, as you have to find and match the individual pieces, before putting them together.
Advanced Plastic Model Kits
This is perhaps the most difficult and challenging kit, as a lot of cutting, gluing and painting are required, to make your chosen model. The kits usually contain more than a hundred parts and are very finely detailed. You need to posses good construction skills, as a lot of gluing of tiny parts is involved. Practice will help in perfecting your technique. Patience and a lot of time are required to assemble your model aircraft..