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"Best" 1/32 Scale Model Kits?


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Hi All,

 

I've decided that that some point, I'd like to try my hand at a 1/32 scale airplane.  When I was a kid (I'm 63 now) and models were my favorite hobby, I recall that there seemed to be a lot more 1/32 scale airplanes, and most models I made were 1/32 scale.  Since returning to the hobby as an adult, 1/48 has been my chosen scale (for planes...for armor, I build 1/35).  I'm curious what people think the premier 1/32 scale airplanes models are, today.  I know there is always the question of what makes a kit 'the best', and there are many answers.  In this case, I'm referring primarily to engineering and fit, with accuracy and detail included, of course.  

 

At some point, I'd like to try my hand at a 1/32 scale airplane again.  Not for the long term, or considering a change to my chosen path of 1/48, due in part to shelf space for my completed models, plus, I like being able to compare sizes of planes, and making them all in 1/48 makes that easy.  But still, I'd like to go back and do a 1/32 plane, if for no other reason than revisiting the halcyon days of my childhood.  

 

I'm sure that at least some of the answers I'll get will include the stellar Tamiya 1/32 planes like the Spitfire, P-51, Zero and Corsair, even though those planes are getting pretty old in terms of model technology, and I'm guessing don't take advantage of some of the current molding technology such as slide molding.  However, f those are what you think are the best 1/32 planes out there, fine.  But I'd love to hear about other 1/32 masterpieces that others have found and would recommend.  Thanks for putting up with another of my many 'best' threads 🙂

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GIven that your primary criteria for "best" is engineering/fit, the Tamiya 1/32 line is at the top of that list IMO.  Fit/ease-of-assembly of the Corsairs can't be beat.  The Mustang and Zero fit together beautifully, and it all works the way Tamiya says it does, but they can be fiddly to assemble with all the "operating features" (moveable flaps and control surfaces, operating landing gear on the Zero, etc.)  I have no experience with the Spitfires, but they seem to be on par with the Mustang WRT fiddly-ness as they have similar features.  

 

The new(er) Hasegwa kits like their line of 1/32 Japanese fighters are excellent kits as well; not nearly as fiddly as the Tamiya kits, with less options and parts, but still with good detail and above-average fit and engineering.  Pretty much any of the 1/32 Hasegawa kits issued after c. 2000 fall into this category.

 

Some of the Trumpeter kits are excellent as well (Avengers, Dauntless, and Bearcat are the ones I've built).

 

The newer stuff from Revell-Germany also are quite nice (some nicer than others); their recent P-51D kit is a very good kit.  

 

Those are the ones I can give first-hand opinions on; I haven't built any of the Kitty Hawk, Special Hobby, or other manufacturer's recent kits.

 

I'd suggest going over to "Large Scale Planes" for a detailed answer to your question; the guys over there specialize in 1/32 and larger models.

Edited by Joe Hegedus
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I like the Revell kits! As in really like them. The Hasegawa Zeros maybe be the best (the two new versions) out there. Their 109's are really nice kits, but I like Revell better. The Revell FW190's are the best period. I've been chasing two Hasegawa P47 razor backs for way too long. Don't forget ICM either. They are killing the competitors these days. I look for ICM to do a large scale Fi156 one of these days. The Hasegawa Storch is a good kit, but the Tristar is better

 

Tourist51 knows more about the P51 than everybody else put together. He liked the Revell P51d, and they are now doing the filleted tail. Had a couple Kittyhawk P39's and they are great kits with out most of the errors the others have. Still around .06" short, but I can live with that (if you can find one). Somebody is going to do a series of USSR WW2 aircraft, and I'll be onto them.  I want a couple Allison engine Mustangs so bad it hurts!! 

gary

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Joe and Gary, many thanks for your comments...they help me, they REALLY do!  That was the kind of info I was looking for!

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Ive never built a bad Tamiya kit in 1:32...

Ive built a few of the Revell kits and I do like them a lot, they test your skills quite well and I found them really enjoyable builds where are the Tamiya kits are a bit of the dull side because they go together so easily, they require almost no skill at all.

 

Trumpeter have come out with some good kits, not built them all yet, they are backing up a bit on the pile but of the ones Ive built Ive enjoyed.

The ZM He219 Owl was one of my favorite builds, and Im looking forward to building the Italeri F-35A but waiting for somebody to make LN decals.

 

 

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Subjective question!  Best fitting? Best subject?  I’m a 1/32 snob so I say all. :banana:

I guess you need to pick a subject and go for it. But be careful, they’re like Lay’s chips. Can’t just have one.  One of my enjoyable builds was a Trumpeter F-105.  Of course I’ve also built 8 F-16’s since I got back in the hobby too.  And I still have 8 more kits in the stash. 

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10 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Ive never built a bad Tamiya kit in 1:32...

Ive built a few of the Revell kits and I do like them a lot, they test your skills quite well and I found them really enjoyable builds where are the Tamiya kits are a bit of the dull side because they go together so easily, they require almost no skill at all.

 

Trumpeter have come out with some good kits, not built them all yet, they are backing up a bit on the pile but of the ones Ive built Ive enjoyed.

The ZM He219 Owl was one of my favorite builds, and Im looking forward to building the Italeri F-35A but waiting for somebody to make LN decals.

 

 

I'd forgotten about Trumpeter. Their Skyraider is really nice, and many folks like their A4 better than Hasegawa. Right next to me are two or three F4F Wildcats from Trumpeter waiting in line to be built someday. One is a very early one and the other is a later version. Just an in the box look thru says it's a nice kit. The ZM kits are the real deal, but also not cheap.  I looked at a build of the ZM He219, and it kinda made me take a step backwards. It maybe a level eight kit for this guy. Besides the size is really a little big like. I may build the Revell one day with no idea on what to do with it.  Never liked Trumpeter's idea of what an F100 looked like, and keep wanting to see somebody do one the right way. I bought the Trumpeter 1/48th scale F105g, and that was big enough for me! It has a couple doable hicups to be fixed. I've now done two Revell Torandos in quarter scale, and if their large scale kits are close to them, they'll be great. 

        I like a lot of oddball airframes that are not really all that big. Like the Lysander and the Beach Traveler. Revell did the Lysander in large scale, but it really is the older AMT kit. Goes together well, but trust me it will fight back with you at every turn. I finally after a couple years latched onto a couple Hs162's from Revell.  If ever there were two kits needing to be retooled , then there they are. To be exact they'd be great in 1/24th scale!  

gary

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The Revell 1/32 Hawker Hunter FGA9 is a great bang for the buck if you can find it. Decent kit, easy on the wallet for the scale, and yields a sexy jet when finished!

Edited by bashace
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I'd just love to see somebody (cannot remember who) re-issue the Bell X1 and somebody else to a large scale X2 and X3. Never thought we'd ever see a large scale ME262 that was also correct. Revell did two versions, and now I'd like to beg somebody to do the AR234 and the F86 series (I thought it might be Kittyhawk). 

gary

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Wow, gentlemen, keep these great responses coming!  I really appreciate all these great thoughts.  I would never have envisioned how much space all my completed models are taking up.  Even the larger 1/48 scale planes are big, and the biggest of those are REALLY big, the largest, so far, is my Tamiya 1/48 P-38, but all the jets that are yet to be built are all larger than that.  So, selecting the ideal 1/32 airplane comes down to space.  I don't anticipate getting the 1/32 'bug', and I truly hope I don't, as space will become even more of an issue.  You all are giving me so much to think about...but keep 'em coming if you have any more ideas for me! 😊

 

Thank you all, so much!

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56 minutes ago, Curt B said:

Wow, gentlemen, keep these great responses coming!  I really appreciate all these great thoughts.  I would never have envisioned how much space all my completed models are taking up.  Even the larger 1/48 scale planes are big, and the biggest of those are REALLY big, the largest, so far, is my Tamiya 1/48 P-38, but all the jets that are yet to be built are all larger than that.  So, selecting the ideal 1/32 airplane comes down to space.  I don't anticipate getting the 1/32 'bug', and I truly hope I don't, as space will become even more of an issue.  You all are giving me so much to think about...but keep 'em coming if you have any more ideas for me! 😊

 

Thank you all, so much!

A 1/48 F-111 is longer than a 1/32 Tornado, and of course most 1/32 WW2 fighters are smaller than many 1/48 modern jets. It all will come down to what flavor you want.

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If you want two very trouble free builds, you can't go wrong with Hasegawa's Bf-109G series and their Ki-84 Frank fighters. Not a ton of parts, great fit and good to excellent detail.

 

HTH

 

Brad

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2 hours ago, habu2 said:

Revell did the X-1 in 1/32, re-released in 2019. 

 

I think that kit is one of the few that I bought and built before it went out of production.  :rofl:

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You said shelf space can be an issue. If you like WW2 aircraft, I would highly recommend Tamiya's line of aircraft in 1/32. Also, most WW2 fighters in 1/32 are smaller than most modern planes in 1/48. I have built the Tamiya Mustang and it is about the same size as my Hobbyboss Su-27 in 1/48. Might be something to consider.

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On 1/26/2022 at 3:02 PM, Scott Smith said:

Yea, don't jump into the 1/32 B-17 or B-24!

I bought two or three Monogram B17g's, and forgot about how big that plane was. Then I picked up the HKM kits as I'm a glutton for punishment. Kind want to get a couple B17f's to further run out of space.  The Lancaster would require a room addition! A big scale B25 is almost over the top in space around here, But I'm gonna do a couple.gary

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2 hours ago, ChesshireCat said:

after seeing it in the flesh (Dayton Ohio), I'd like to build one.  The X3 always caught my eye

gary


I have an old X-3 kit, IIRC Lindbergh in 1/48?

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3 hours ago, ChesshireCat said:

I bought two or three Monogram B17g's, and forgot about how big that plane was. Then I picked up the HKM kits as I'm a glutton for punishment. Kind want to get a couple B17f's to further run out of space.  The Lancaster would require a room addition! A big scale B25 is almost over the top in space around here, But I'm gonna do a couple.gary

 

I looked for some info on the 1/32 B-25, and I came upon this utterly spectacular build in Britmodeller:  https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235083116-pacific-wwii-b-25-j-strafer-132-hk-model-kit/  Anyone considering a 1/32 B-25 build ought to take look a this, in my humble opinion.

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On 1/26/2022 at 11:59 AM, caudleryan said:

You said shelf space can be an issue. If you like WW2 aircraft, I would highly recommend Tamiya's line of aircraft in 1/32. Also, most WW2 fighters in 1/32 are smaller than most modern planes in 1/48. I have built the Tamiya Mustang and it is about the same size as my Hobbyboss Su-27 in 1/48. Might be something to consider.

I understand.  I have the 1/48 GWH Su-27 (still in the box), and that plane is HUGE!  I'm not sure what you were getting at in 'considering', but I'm guessing your thought was that a 1/32 WWII fighter wouldn't be any more of a shelf hog than one of the larger 1/48 modern fighters, right? 

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On 1/26/2022 at 2:10 AM, ChesshireCat said:

I'd just love to see somebody (cannot remember who) re-issue the Bell X1 and somebody else to a large scale X2 and X3. Never thought we'd ever see a large scale ME262 that was also correct. Revell did two versions, and now I'd like to beg somebody to do the AR234 and the F86 series (I thought it might be Kittyhawk). 

gary

Revell of Germany has repopped the Bell X-1 in 1/32. I recently completed a build using (mostly) the original Revell kit but with some RoG parts to replace ones that I screwed up. And I had the benefit of using the Revell of Germany decals which have the proper silver trimmed Glamorous Glennis titles for the jet in 1947. Color used was Tamiya TS-98 Pure Orange.

 

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I'm a long time, ride or die 1/72 modeller.  However, I still have 3 really nice 1/32 kits and they are: Hasegawa P-47D, Tamiya F-15E and a Wingnut Albatros D.V.  The last one was an impulse buy but just looking it over, it's fantastic.  I know they're out of business currently but if you can score a Wingnuts kit for less than a king's ransom, you won't be disappointed...

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