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Let us take some of the stress out of holiday gift buying this season by giving you more time to qualify for price adjustments. Price adjustments on purchases are available 10/8/2022 until 12/25/22. If an item you buy has a price reduction before Christmas, we will credit the difference upon request, so you can shop confidently knowing your price is guaranteed.
All credits will be issued as Loyalty Club Points on your Tower Hobbies account.
Building plastic models has been a popular hobby with children and adults for many decades. Plastic model kits and plastic figurines appeal to a wide range of interests, including military history, vehicles and aircraft, movie and television characters, and much more.
The typical plastic model kit consists of unassembled plastic parts, decals, and illustrated instructions for putting the parts together into a completed static display piece. Not all plastic models are limited only to being displayed, of course. Some assemble into action toys powered by included motors or rubber bands.
Plastic model kit design and manufacturing have made tremendous improvements through the years. It’s now easier than ever to assemble them accurately. The amount of detail in plastic models and plastic figurines has never been better. For anyone who loves to work with their hands and be creative, plastic model building is the perfect hobby. It’s rewarding and very affordable to enjoy.
To get started building plastic model kits, you first have to decide what it is you want to build. Tower Hobbies carries many of the most popular plastic model brands, including Tamiya, Atlantis, and Polar Lights. The subjects they offer range from motorized 3D recreations of popular comic strip characters to detailed WWII battle scenes featuring multiple plastic figurines.
You’ll find many good options for military plastic model kits in the Tamiya brand. The 1/35 scale Tamiya German Field Kitchen Scene reproduces a typical German field kitchen used during World War II. It not only has two cook and two soldier plastic figurines, but also a trailer filled with cooking utensils, containers, bread, cheese, apples, and more. An impressive display model on its own, the kit can be used to add historically correct detail to larger wartime dioramas.
Contemporary civilian plastic model figurines are also available, like those taking selfies and sipping coffee in Tamiya’s 1/24 scale Campus Friends Set. These, too, can be enjoyed alone or combined with other plastic model kit scenes. They’re ideal for model train layouts of a similar scale. This set demonstrates the versatility of some plastic model figurines. The hands can be posed in different positions, and you can choose objects for them to hold from several included options.
Horror has always been a favorite subject for plastic model kits. The Polar Lights 1/12 scale Haunted Manor is particularly frightful. This creepy pipe organist demonstrates well how creative plastic models can be. The kit’s parts are made of glow-in-the-dark plastic, and it has moving features triggered by included rubber bands. When the organist hits the keys, a mummy pops out!
After you’ve decided what kind of plastic model kit you want to build, the next step is to make sure you have the skills and equipment needed to build your choice successfully.
Be sure to read the Tower Hobbies product description or go to the manufacturer’s web page. Plastic model kit manufacturers provide age recommendations and skill levels for their kits. These will indicate if a plastic model or plastic figurine is suitable for a first-time builder or if it requires experience and specialized tools.
Snap-together plastic model kits are often the best choices for a young child or beginner. They usually have a small number of pieces that are molded in color so no painting is required. Even though no glue is used, the pieces will not come apart after being snapped together unless forced.
A plastic model kit that simply snaps together can still be surprisingly impressive. Originally released in 1973, the Atlantis Snoopy™ Joe Cool Surfing retro kit truly brings the ever-popular Peanuts™ character to life. Just snap the molded color parts together, add two AA batteries, and you can watch him ride the waves.
After you’ve mastered snap-together plastic model kits, glue-together plastic models and plastic figurines are the next step. These will almost always require glue and paint. The difficulty level varies depending upon the complexity of the subject and the number of parts involved. Just be sure you’re comfortable at one skill level before trying the next.
You’ll probably want to invest in a good hobby knife to trim away any excess plastic left on the parts by the molding process. This important step will help the parts fit together well, without gaps or cracks. If you’re buying a glue-together plastic model kit, you’ll also need some hobby glue, paint, and paint brushes. Again, refer to the Tower Hobbies product description or manufacturer web site to know exactly what else to buy.
Every plastic model kit comes with instructions that show step-by-step how to put the parts together. Just follow those steps carefully in the order shown. Don’t be impatient. Be sure to walk away from the kit whenever the instructions tell you the paint or glue needs time to dry.
Ultimately, how you build your plastic models and plastic figurines is completely up to you. You can be creative if you wish, using your own color schemes and choosing which decals to apply. There are no hard and fast rules that dictate how you must build. As long as you’re having fun and you like the results, you’re doing it correctly!