Largest airplane model kits manufacturers today are companies like Revell-Monogram, Italeri, Airfix, Heller, Testors, Minicraft, Tamiya, Hasegawa, Dragon, Trumpeter, MPM models, Zvezda and others.
Across 60s Monogram and Revell were the direct competitors manufacturing airplane models. However in 1986 both companies have been acquired by Odyssey Partners of New York and were merged together. In 2006 German subsidiary separated from Revell-Monogram and established a new company with revenues even slightly surpassing the ones of the parental company. In 2007 Hobicco Inc. announced acquisition of Monogram-Revell LCC. Some of the new models of Revell from Germany are known for its great quality but still not same as that of Monogram models since today Monogram brand is used for high quality models line called Pro Modeller Kits.
The rest of the most important model manufacturers and overall assessment of their quality are listed in following text bellow.
Italeri is Italian manufacturer of many different plastic model kits. Overall impression of Italeri plastic model kits is that they are representing mid range quality, but to note is that their newer kits are constantly improving. Nevertheless Monogram models are better ranged in quality then Italeri.
Airfix is large British plastic kits producer which was founded in 1939 and owned by Humbrol as of 1986 until 2006 and is today owned by Hornby. As for quality it is in higher middle range trying to benchmark Revell of Germany but still not reaching professional quality standard of Monogram models.
Heller is a French kits manufacturer founded in 1957 and as of 1986 member of the Humbrol group together with Airfix. In 2005, Heller was the subject of a management buy-out but the following year the company went into administration. For many years Airfix models were produced in France alongside with Heller models which mean that they are of the similar quality as Airfix and inline with Revell line of Revell-Monogram company.
Minicraft Models is manufacturer of plastic kits from USA. Although Minicraft on some editions has a quite bad reputation for poor molding, bad fit and a bad correlation with the original they have started to improve with their latest molds. On the other hand Minicraft decal sheets are of exquisite quality. Obviously Revell quality is surpassing the one from Minicraft while Monogram models are of the separate quality category.
Testor was founded in 1929 and started producing hobbyist model cement in 1936 and in 1945 it started balsa models production. In 70’s Testor has acquired IMC, Hawk Model Company and Italeri. It is a manufacturer with long standing tradition and high quality image but is ranged slightly bellow Monogram which is positioned as a top quality line.
As a conclusion we can say that airplane model kits level of quality, due to improved molds tooling, has been constantly improving, but even so, Monogram models have remained the top quality producer versus their competitors mentioned in this article. Currently the only company that is matching Monogram and even surpassing it in quality is Tamiya from Japan. Overall we can conclude that two best airplane models manufacturers today are Monogram and Tamiya.
By 3179289 from Pixabay