Any model that you acquire can stand on its own as an ornament, be added to a model car kit collection or be a part of a larger project such as a diorama. No matter what is intended use is, however, it’s always important to find the perfect model car kit for you.
Best 20 Model Car Kits
1. Motor Max 1:18 American Classics 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Soft Top Convertible Diecast Vehicles – Best 1:18 Scale Model Car Kit
Incredibly detailed, the Motormax 1955 Chevy Bel Air miniature replica is truly a sight to behold. This pre-assembled model is made of high-quality diecast metal that provides it with durability and resistance to external elements. It has doors, a trunk and a hood that open to display the details of the car’s interior.
2. Jada 1: 24 Hollywood Rides Knight Rider – Nice Model Car Kit Based on a TV Series
Made of a combination of diecast metal and plastic, it looks and feels just like a small version of the classic TV series car would. Its detailed interiors (including the engine) can be inspected by opening the doors, trunk and hood.
Apart from looking completely realistic, this model car has a few actions that simulate the functioning of the real thing. They include a scanner bar that lights up just like it would in the series.
Fully licensed and completely authentic, this miniature car model is one of the best out there.
3. Jada Lamborghini Veneno Candy Silver 1/24 – Fast and Furious Model Cars Kit
The Jada Lamborghini Veneno Candy Silver is a complete miniature version of the legendary car. It features opening doors and a functional back engine compartment.
Made of high-quality metal and expertly constructed, the Jada Lamborghini Veneno Candy Silver looks and feels outstandingly realistic.
As a matter of fact, even its tires are made of real rubber, providing it with a dynamism than most competitors lack. Pre-assembled, this model is ready to go into your collection.
4. Fubarbar Garbage Truck Toy Model – Best Specialized Model Truck Kit
Even better, its moving parts are completely functional and realistic, even including a miniature garbage collection bin whose door can be opened.
Apart from being an impressive model car kit for collectors, the Fubarbar Garbage Truck Toy Model can function as a teaching tool for parents with small children.
5. 3pc Set Delorean Time Machine Trilogy Set “Back To The Future 1,2,3” 1/24 by Welly – Cool Model Car Kit Based on a Classic Film
Fans of the classic trilogy motion picture Back to the Future will rejoice when they see this amazing model car. Featuring a 1:24 scale, this model is remarkably realistic in its construction. In fact, it even has small details that were taken directly from the concept art for the movie.
Despite not having an engine compartment that opens, the Welly 1/24 Scale Diecast Metal Delorean features a great deal of detail. Both its side doors open fully, revealing a beautifully rendered interior that will take you right back to the film. As if all that wasn’t enough, the car is fully movable.
6. Revell ’70 Dodge Challenger 2 ‘N 1 – Best Convertable Model Car Kit
A miniature model of one of the most recognizable cars to ever exist, the Revell ’70 Dodge Challenger 2 ‘N 1 can be a great addition to any collection, particularly when it focuses on classic American cars.
The model offers a choice between two versions: A factory stock Dodge Challenger or the street Dodge Challenger that features a dual 4-barrel high-rise intake.
In terms of construction, the Revell ’70 Dodge Challenger 2 ‘N 1 is up there with the best. Apart from high-quality diecast metal, it features chrome plated and vinyl parts that give it an extra-authentic look and feel.
7. Maisto 1936 M-B 500 K Type Specialroadster Diecast Vehicle – Full-Function Steering Model Car Kit
Highly detailed and completely functional, this model car is truly an achievement in replica engineering and design. Featuring a detailed chassis with a separate exhaust system, this model car is one of the most realistic on the market.
Without a doubt, one of the most impressive features that the Maisto 1936 M-B 500 K Type Specialroadster has to offer is its full-function steering. Even more than that, its four-wheel suspension sustains the weight of the vehicle perfectly, allowing it to roll without a problem. Additionally, the kit features a display stand for stationary collections.
8. LMOY 1:32 Scale Bugatti Chiron Vision Grand Turismo – Pull-Back Action Model Car Kit
Apart from featuring high-quality materials, expert construction and exquisite details, the model has lights, sounds and movable parts that increase its level of realism.
The LMOY Bugatti Chiron Vision Grand Turismo features doors that open to reveal a realistic interior. Additionally, it can be pulled back and released in order to advance on its own.
9. KiNSMART Set of 4: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Coupe – Best Model Car Set
This incredibly set by KiNSMART features four versions of the American classic car Chevy Bel Air Coupe. All the cars featured in it are made of strong diecast metal, and they feature openable doors and a pullback action system for independent movement. They come in the four classic original colors: red, blue, yellow and black.
Despite being rather small due to their 1:40 scale, the four cars included in this kit feature a remarkable amount of detail. As a matter of fact, they have visible miniature details such as license plate numbers and tiny inscriptions/ornaments that the original car has.
Apart from featuring all the classic pieces that the original car has, this model has a highly detailed equipment rack that greatly increases its level of realism.
Out of the box, the car is white and the equipment rack is black. However, the kit also features an expanded decal sheet that includes all the wonderful little depictions, logos and ornaments that the original Ghostbusters vehicle displays. What is more, depending on the type of decoration you choose, it can be modeled after either the Ecto-1 or the Ecto-1A.
11. Welly 1965 Chevrolet Impala Black Low Rider – Classic Car Model Kit For Professionals
This product by Welly is a miniature replica of the 1965 Chevrolet Impala Black. It features a great amount of detail, even including the type of suspension that makes the car a Low Rider. Made of a combination of diecast metal and plastic, it’s fairly resistant and durable.
Apart from featuring a splendidly detailed exterior, the Welly 1965 Chevrolet Impala Black Low Rider has a beautiful interior that will immediately remind you of the real thing.
Because it has fully openable doors, the model lets you inspect all its interior details with close attention.
12. Revell 1:25 ’41 Chevy Pickup 2 ‘n 1 – Best High-Detail Model Car Kit
The Revell 1:25 ’41 Chevy Pickup 2 ‘n 1 is a miniature replica of one of the most well-known workhorse cars to ever come out of the United States of America. Luckily, it has all the details and construction specifications to make even the most zealous car enthusiasts happy.
Made of high-quality diecast metal and featuring vinyl tires with realistic tread, the model also has a great feel and weight.
Pre-painted and pre-cut, the Revell 1:25 ’41 Chevy Pickup 2 ‘n 1 looks great right out of the box. After assembly, of course, it looks even better because all its parts fit perfectly.
13. Revell/Monogram 40 Ford Standard Coupe – Best High-Complexity Model Car Kit
Despite its complexity, however, it can be put together with relative ease due to its intuitive assembly process. To create even more detail, the manufacturers included Whitewall tire inserts and soft black tires that look incredibly realistic.
Without a doubt, having so many small parts, the Revell/Monogram 40 Ford Standard Coupe Model Kit presents a challenge when it comes to its assembly.
However, with the right tools and after carefully reading the instructions, you will likely find that this challenge is truly enjoyable.
14. Greenlight 1/24 Scale Diecast 18220 Eleanor 1967 Custom Shelby GT500 60 Seconds – Best Paint Job in Modeling
It has incredible detail in its exterior, interior and engine compartment. As if all that was not enough, it is completely movable and it features steerable wheels. As a result, it’s a notably realistic model car.
Based on the American classic action/heist movie Gone In 60 Seconds, this model car has a unique look that is capable of making your collection more eye-catching and valuable.
15. Diecast Toy 1:32 Scale Alloy Cars for Tesla Toy Model SUV Car Sound & Light Toy Kids Toys – Most Solid Model Car Kit
If you are looking to modernize your collection by adding models of newer cars, you can’t do much better than the Tesla Toy Model SUV. Despite not having it in its title, the car is a miniature version of a Tesla car.
It’s made of a zinc alloy combined with high-quality plastic parts. Tough and solid, it’s very hard to damage.
Remarkably, the Tesla Toy Model SUV features four doors that are fully openable. Two of them (the front ones) open in a regular fashion.
Meanwhile, the two back doors open vertically, resulting in an incredible look that will impress fans of modern cars and technology. Additionally, it has amusing sound effects.
16. LEGO Technic WHACK! 42072 Building Kit – Best Model Car Kit for Kids
Apart from a fantastic construction that takes advantage of technologically-advanced materials, it features a real miniature motor that actually works. As a result, it’s an incredibly fun model car that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Even though it’s mostly aimed at children and young people, this model car kit represents an important challenge. Largely, this has to do with the fact that it features 135 different pieces for assembly.
17. Tamiya 1/24 Scale Sports Car Series Toyota Supra – Best Sports Model Car Kit
However, not having openable doors or an openable engine compartment, this detail is relegated to the exterior alone. Even worse, it’s not movable and it does not feature steerable wheels.
Without a doubt, the Tamiya 1/24 Scale Sports Car Series Toyota Supra Model Kit stands out due to its materials. The chassis of the car is made of diecast metal of the best quality, and other details are made of high-quality plastic. In addition, the wheels of the car are made of real rubber, and they feature a real car track imprint.
18. Jada Toys Fast & Furious 8 Diecast Dom’s Plymouth GTX Vehicle – Best New Movie Model Car Kit
Officially licensed by both Plymouth and the Fast and Furious franchise, this model car by Jada Toys is a remarkable piece. In fact, if you like your model cars full of details and functional parts, this may be the perfect option for you.
Apart from a fully-realistic exterior that looks just like in the movie The Fate of the Furious, the model features a detailed interior and two engine compartments.
The Jada Toys Fast & Furious 8 Diecast Dom’s Plymouth GTX Vehicle has openable doors. Not only that, it has an openable hood and an openable trunk, both of which feature realistic engines and other highly-detailed realistic car parts.
Apart from these small touches, this model car features an incredible paint job that is both vibrant and detailed. Even better, its paint does not fade with sunlight.
19. Revell Fireball Roberts ’57 Ford Plastic Model Kit – Best Engine Model
Despite being very small, this miniature model of the classic ’57 Ford Fireball is outstandingly detailed. As a matter of fact, it even features a realistic miniature version of the legendary supercharger 312 V-8 engine.
Apart from this incredible feature, it displays bodywork modifications and racing suspension parts that increase its level of realism.
Featuring chrome plated parts and soft black tires, the Revell Fireball Roberts ’57 Ford Plastic Model Kit is a joy to observe and hold. Unfortunately, it does not include paint or tools for assembly. However, it does include an incredible vintage waterslide decal set that can bring your model to life.
20. Revell Monogram Ford T Street Rod 1/24 Scale – Best All-Around Model Car Kit
Without a doubt, this list of the best model car kits would not be complete without a Ford T-Series item. Luckily, the manufacturers chose one of the most luxurious and beautiful models ever created by the first car manufacturer to use an assembly line.
Full of beautifully constructed pieces that burst with detail, the Revell Monogram Ford T Street Rod 1/24 Scale Plastic Model Kit is one of the most eye-catching items on this list.
Apart from featuring a great amount of detail, the Revell Monogram Ford T Street Rod offers users the choice between two different looks. For one, it allows you to attach various intake systems. On the other hand, it allows you to attach a separate pull-along trailer to its backside.
Best Model Car Kits for Adults – Buyer’s Guide
If you are new to model car kits, one of the first thing you might notice after inspecting a few of them in detail is that they all indicate a scale. That is because, being realistic versions of an existent car model, they are scaled down proportionately.
Having all the car’s parts reproduced in the same scale allows manufacturers to ensure that the replica is completely true to the original item, only much smaller.
Typically, scale is represented by two numbers. The first number represents the real, real-sized object and the second number represents the model. If, for example, you have a real-life train and its replica that is 87 times smaller, you can represent this relation by writing 1:87.
This implies that all the parts of the real train have been scaled down to be 1/87 of their size. Typically, car models are 1:24 or 1:25 scale. However, some manufacturers use other scales ratios.
Types of Model Cars
Static vs Movable Car Models
Without a doubt, the vast majority of professional model cars are incapable of moving in order to simulate a real car’s actions. However, there are models that have certain movable parts such as opening doors or hoods.
There are also various more advanced models, however, that have functioning wheels. Even better, some manufacturers produce model cars that, apart from being movable, can be controlled by a person through the use of a remote control.
Curbside vs Complete Car Models
Normally made of plastic, curbside model cars do not include any visible engine parts to be built or shown. More often than not, these kits are made with a one-piece body that does not have functioning parts such as doors or a hood.
Of course, having no hood, curbside cars don’t have an engine compartment or an engine. Because of their simplicity, curbside model cars are more affordable than their complete counterparts.
How to Assemble a Model Car
- Paint: Often, kits come pre-painted. Alternatively, they may include paint. However, some don’t have either of these features. As a result, having at least one type of paint in your studio is a very good idea. Take into account that there are two different types of modeling paint. The first is acrylic water. Being water-based, it’s easy to clean but not terribly resistant or durable. The second type of modeling paint is enamel paint. Oil-based, enamel paint is incredibly durable and resistant but difficult to clean.
- File or sandpaper: When you are assembling modeling kits, you are bound to come across a few rough edges. Normally, this happens when you detach the various pieces from the track. Unfortunately, these rough edges can cause the paint to dry in a lumpy, unattractive way. To remedy this, you need to file or sand down the rough surfaces before starting the painting process.
- Cement or glue: To attach the different parts of the model together, you will need to use either a modeling cement or the right kind of glue. It should be noted, however, that some kits do not require the use of either of these products as their parts are snap-ons.
- Tweezers: When assembling a modeling kit, you will come across some very small pieces. For that reason, having a good pair of tweezers is a total must. Even better, you can get a set of modeling tweezers with various tip shapes and sizes designed to make your work easier and more precise.
- Hobby knife: Typically, model car pieces come attached together in a sprue. If you try to twist them off using your hands, you may damage the pieces. To separate them, it can be useful to have a small but sharp knife. A hobby knife is perfect for this.
Step by Step Instructions
- Step 1: Normally, the first step is to separate the individual pieces from the sprue tree. This can be done using a small hobby knife or scissors. Often, it’s also necessary to clean the pieces by rinsing them in warm and soapy water.
- Step 2: Often, the individual pieces that make up the model car come pre-painted. If they do not, however, you can paint them yourself. To do this, choose a brush that is small and thin enough to create details with comfort.
- Step 3: Before going any further, make sure to read the instructions and become familiar with the logic behind the assembly process. After that, begin attaching parts together by applying small amounts of glue to the surfaces of the pieces that are meant to make contact with each other.
- Step 4: If you want to, after the car is completely assembled, you can apply decals to it. Some model car kits include their own decals. However, if they do not, you can also use your own custom decals to decorate your model car.
General Tips for Car Model Assembly
- Select a model that corresponds to the level of skill you are at.
- Always read through the instructions that come with the model before starting the assembly process.
- Use a hobby knife you detach the pieces from the sprue tree.
- Make sure to use a type of glue or modeling cement that is compatible with the material of your model.
- Before starting the painting process, make sure that the individual pieces are are very clean and without rough edges.
Having gone through the characteristics and features of these 20 model car kits, it’s easy to see why they are so popular amongst modeling enthusiasts. Realistic, made of high-quality materials and incredibly well constructed, they can make your collection a lot more valuable.
Moreover, they can be used in larger projects like a realistic diorama. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide will help you choose the right one (or ones) for your personal project!