Why isn't there
a model kit of the model I'm looking for?
is a common question, I get emails all the time, almost every
day, of people looking for a certain model. There are many reasons
on why there isn't a particular model kit available, so I'll cover
some points on that here.
of plastic require an injecton mold. Plastic is heated to a high
temperature and then forced into the mold at high pressure. This
makes the plastic "trees" that hold the parts, and gives
you what you need to build a model.
is a mold for a plastic model courtesy of Round2 Models:
mold makes JUST ONE of the many parts trees that make up
a model, and this is JUST HALF of the mold. You need two
for each tree (excluding kits that use slide molds I believe),
and some models have many trees, depending on the complexity of
let the picture fool you. This is one heavy piece of steel. You
need a fork lift to get these around and put them in and out of
the molding machines, or move them around a warehouse.
what's involved in getting a mold made? The molds to make
a model kit can cost from $ 100,000 to $250,000. Just
to make one kind of model. So model companies don't just start
popping out new models every day because they feel like it. It's
also a boat load of engineering time, CAD work, and milling work
done to even make the mold. It's not a simple task.
reason why there maybe isn't the exact year of the car you want
use a car model for instance I'll pick the Ford Mustang by Revell.
note that the box says 1990. However, this (Fox) body style was
used from 1987 to 1995. And that body and chassis is based on
the first 1979 Mustang. Some people (not familiar with models)
may ask why there is no model of a 1989 Mustang, or a 1991?
is because from 1987 to 1995 the Mustangs were almost all the
same (except for cosmetic changes).
no reason for a model company to go to the expense to make a kit
of every year from 1987 to 1995 when they are all almost identical.
Usually a model company will pick a year for a car body's run
(maybe the most popular?) and go with that.
the chances of a Mustang model from Revell coming out that's a
1993 is probably rare. The 1990 is as close as it's going to get.
Model companies feel it's up to the individual modeler to make
any small modifications to the kit / body to make their specific
some companies make 3D printed
and resin conversion kits to turn one style
or year model into another, using a kit already on the market.
may think models of say, a 1952 Crosley Coupe car, would sell
like crazy. And maybe it would. But a model company has to be
sure before they drop hundreds of thousands of dollars. There
are THOUSANDS of cars that have never been in model form,
so don't be dismayed if there isn't one available now, or never
has been. It's quite common.
when it comes to cars and trucks, I recommend you look for a diecast
version, possibly even a toy. If it can be taken apart then
you can repaint and modify them, very much like a model kit.
a ship model as an example -
say someone wants a model of a WWII battleship, the USS Kentucky.
Chances are that there is no model of that ship in the scale you
want, maybe not at all in any scale. You haven't been able to
there's a trick to sometimes finding a ship model. You need
to know what Class of ship you're looking for. The USS
Kentucky battleship was an Iowa class ship. That means you want
to look for ship models in that class. Guess what? There are models
of the USS Missouri - which is also an Iowa class ship. Granted,
ships were slightly different from one to another, especially
during war time, but overall, the model kit will be of the same
basic ship you want.
start by searching for the all the names of the class ship you're
looking for. You will have better results, and a much better chance
of finding a kit for the ship model you want (Wikipedia is handy
for a list of ships made of a certain Class).
just like a car model, a model company isn't going to make a model
kit for each the 6 ships in the Iowa class. They will traditionally
pick the most popular named ship and do that one. Sometimes they
may do more than one example in the class, but that doesn't always
companies leave it up to the individual modeler to make the changes
needed to represent a specific ship from year to year, or other
modifications needed to make a certain ship. That's one of the
reasons there are so many aftermarket resin parts and photoetch
for ship models.