Without a doubt, assembling and collecting realistic model figures is one of the most satisfying hobbies out there. Among the various sub-categories of models for diorama available on the market, model trucks are one of the most coveted and requested.
Largely, this has to do with the number of realistic details, movable parts and life-like decorations that miniatures of this kind tend to have.
If you want to begin a collection, however, it can be difficult to know what to buy first. With all that in mind, the present buyer’s guide will provide in-depth reviews of the best seven model trucks on the market. In addition, it will give you useful information about the art of model truck building.
Best Model Truck Kits – Comparison Table
1. Hobby Boss M1070/M1000 HETS – Best Model Truck Kit for Building
Inspired in the real-life military logistics vehicle, this model is full of functional parts and small details that provide it with uncanny realism.
Realism of Construction
As previously mentioned, the Hobby Boss M1070/M1000 HETS Vehicle Model Building Kit features 1447 realistic parts. As a result, after being assembled, it looks incredibly complex and life-like.
As if that wasn’t enough, the M1070 features an intricate chassis with an intricate driveline, while the M1000 features a transport line capable of transporting other model vehicles such as tanks, armored personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery.
Apart from featuring a surprising amount of external detail, this model truck features functional parts that interact with each other to achieve realistic movement. Remarkably, they include extensive hydraulic plumbing, pivoting loading ramps, a movable platform, adjustable support legs and a functional sprung suspension.
Taking everything into consideration, it’s easy to see why the Hobby Boss M1070/M1000 HETS Vehicle Model Building Kit is so coveted among experienced modeling enthusiasts. It features a truly remarkable amount of detail and functional parts that allow it to be used in combination with other war vehicle models.
Even better, its multi-part sub-systems are fully functional, resulting in incredible realism. All in all, this is one of the best model trucks available on the market.
2. Ertl Big Farm 1:16 Peterbilt Model 367 With Grain Box – High-Quality Peterbilt Model Truck Kit
This farming truck is highly detailed, even simulating all the small metallic details that trucks of this kind tend to have. Additionally, it’s movable and it features realistic lights and sounds.
Without a doubt, the first thing that draws attention to the Ertl Big Farm 1:16 Peterbilt Model 367 is its design. Despite not being modeled directly after a real truck, it’s incredibly realistic and detail-oriented. As a matter of fact, it has dozens of mini-details that a real farming truck would have.
Functionality and Performance
At a scale of 1:16, this truck is large enough to be an important part of any collection. What is more, this scale allows it to have a working gran box and a steerable front axle. At the same time, its wheels are fully movable. This makes the Peterbilt Model 367 a great option for both modeling and play.
With everything on the table, there is no doubt that the Peterbilt Model 367 is a great choice. Lying somewhere between model and toy, it’s versatile enough to be used by people of all ages. Additionally, it’s durable and well-constructed.
3. AMT 1039 1:25 Mack R685ST-Semi Tractor – Nice Model of the Truck from “Road Warrior” (Mad Max 2)
According to a vast majority of experienced modelers, this mini-version of the classic Mack R685ST-Semi Tractor is one of the best of its kind. Remarkably accurate and precise in its design, this model truck looks and moves exactly like the real-life subject. Additionally, its complex construction offers a nice challenge.
Scale and Realism
Standing at a scale of 1:25, the AMT AMT1039 1:25 Mack R685ST-Semi Tractor is rather small. Despite this fact, its attention to detail is incredible, going as far as to have the original Mack marks imprinted on the rearview mirrors. Additionally, fans of the Mad Max series will immediately be taken back to the scenes where this fantastic truck was featured.
Being a complex model, the AMT AMT1039 1:25 Mack R685ST-Semi Tractor requires a certain level of skill and know-how in order to be assembled. To experienced modeling enthusiasts, however, this offers a welcome challenge that makes the process more engaging. Additionally, the kit includes detailed assembly instructions.
All in all, the AMT AMT1039 1:25 Mack R685ST-Semi Tractor is a model truck worth looking into. Its level of detail and realism alone make it a fantastic option for experienced modelers and collectors. Additionally, it is very fun to put together.
4. KiNSMART 5-Inch Dodge Ram 4×4 – Best Small Scale Dodge Truck Model Kit
Featuring high-quality materials and expertly constructed, this model truck offers durability and resistance comparable to those of the real-life subject. Additionally, it offers functionalities such as pull back action and others.
Functional Parts and Mechanics
Apart from featuring a fantastic amount of detail and tight construction, this model truck has various functional parts. Of course, they include the movable wheels that can be activated through a mechanized pull-back action. However, they also include things like openable doors and adjustable rearview mirrors.
Attentiveness to Detail
Taking everything into consideration, it can be said that the KiNSMART 5-Inch Dodge Ram 4×4 Monster Truck is a good option for younger and amateur modeling enthusiasts. Despite not being as realistic or functional as some of the other items featured in this guide, it has enough detail to be considered a life-like model.
5. LEGO Technic Arctic Truck – Best Multiple-Piece Truck Model Kit
What is more, it can be assembled in different ways in order to create either an Arctic crane or a pickup truck. Featuring 913 pieces, this model truck is challenging and fun.
Construction and Mechanics
Being a LEGO product, this model kit features pieces with attachments for easy assembly. As a result, it does not require the use of glue or tools of any kind.
Functionality and Performance
Featuring 4 large crawler tracks, the LEGO Technic Arctic Truck is movable and functional. As a matter of fact, despite its huge size, it has great maneuverability. This has a lot to do with the working front steering of the vehicle. Additionally, it has a sophisticated suspension mechanism that gives it a great deal of flexibility and adaptability.
Without a doubt, the LEGO Technic Arctic Truck is a remarkably fun and challenging model truck. The fact that it can be modified to look like either a crane or a pickup truck is noteworthy. Additionally, its construction is patience-testing and yet entertaining.
6. Ertl Big Farm Ram Service Truck – Best 1:16 Scale Model Truck Kit
Featuring high-quality materials and an expert level of construction, this model truck is incredibly dependable and durable. Without too much detail, it is modeled after a Dodge Ram 3500 Dealer Service Truck. As such, it features a towing crane and a large platform that can fit other, smaller vehicles.
Despite featuring a scale of 1:16, the Ertl Big Farm Ram Service Truck has a pleasant amount of detail. This is true for both its exteriors and its interiors. Additionally, it has a movable towing crane and openable doors. Unfortunately, the detail stops there as the model features no visible engine.
Realism and Construction
Despite not being as detailed as some of its counterparts on the market, the Ertl Big Farm Ram Service Truck is a rather realistic model truck. This is reflected mostly in its design and its construction, two factors that elevate it enough to take a place in this list of the best model trucks available.
Without being too flashy or decorative, the Ertl Big Farm Ram Service Truck is a solid model. Its construction is tight and durable, and its materials are high-quality. However, its lack of functionality and its low amount of detail make it somewhat unimpressive when compared to other model trucks.
7. Yat Ming Scale 1:24-1925 Ahrens-Fox N-S-4 Fire Engine – Best Fire Truck Model Kit
Featuring an incredible amount of intricated detail, this model truck is among the most beautiful on the market. Reproducing an antique fire engine, it has a remarkable amount of functional parts and authentic chromed accessories.
Additionally, its movable wheels and adjustable steering wheel make it dynamic and functional.
Design and Details
As was just mentioned, the Yat Ming Scale 1:24-1925 Ahrens-Fox N-S-4 Fire Engine features a remarkable amount of detail. Incredibly, some of these details constitute functional, movable parts or removable accessories. However, the most striking details are those of the chassis and the interior. Amazingly intricate, the design of this model truck is something to behold.
Model Trucks – Buyer’s Guide
About Scale Car Modeling
If you are new to the world of scale modeling, you might be unclear as to what the term actually implies. If that is the case, keep on reading in order to get a strong grasp on the entire process of buying, assembling, collecting and enjoying a car model.
What is Scale Modeling?
In terms of hobbyism, scale modeling is the creation, assembly and detailing of miniature representations (models) of larger subjects.
Scale models are characterized by featuring the same overall form, parts, construction and proportions of the represented subject.
Even though most scaled models are made of alternative materials, some of them are made of the same main materials as their real-life counterparts.
When confronted with the concept of modeling, most people think about model buildings and vehicles. However, the art of modeling can be applied to any object. In other words: Any real-life object can be reproduced on a smaller scale. Of course, the amount of detail given to each model depends on its creator.
How Does Scale Work?
All miniature objects that accurately represent their real-life counterparts are made to scale. Being made to scale means that it has the exact same proportions as the real subject, although reduced to a specific scale.
Typically, a scale is represented by two numbers separated by a colon.
The first number represents the size of the large, real-life object. Meanwhile, the second number represents the scale that the model object is reduced to.
For example, a model that has been scaled down 72 times would be represented by the numeric ratio 1:72.
This tells you that the subject (represented by the number 1) would have to be shrunk down 72 times to be the size of the model.
What Are the Main Aspects of Model Building?
- Construction: This term refers to the process of removing individual parts from the sprues, placing them together in the correct way and permanently fixating them in that position using glue or modeling cement. It should be noted that some model kits do not require glue or cement due to built-in attachment ports.
- Painting: Normally, models are painted to match the real-life subjects that they are meant to represent. The painting can be done after the construction process. However, many modeling enthusiasts prefer painting all the pieces separately before construction. Painting can be done using either an airbrush or a regular brush. It should be noted, however, that many modelers use a combination of the two in order to get the best results possible.
- Detailing: Detailing is a term that refers to the creation of small details on a model to increase its level of realism and overall beauty. Apart from painting in small details, this can include applying decals and weathering the model in order to make it appear used or damaged. A large variety of materials can be used to detail a model car, including pigment powders and stains. Additionally, different tools can be used to make the paint appear faded, chipped or stained.
How to Assemble a Model Truck
Depending on the complexity of the model truck kit you have, the assembly process can include various additional steps. However, there are some basic steps that all modeling cars and trucks require you to perform in order to be assembled. They are the following:
- Separate the pieces from the sprue tree: Normally, all the pieces come together in one or more spruce trees. Before you can assemble them together, you will need to separate them. After separation, it’s not rare to have rough edges or pieces of film on some of the pieces. If this happens, you will need to use a file or sandpaper to smooth the pieces out.
- Paint the pieces: Depending on the material of the model and your own preferences, you can choose a specific type of paint to paint the pieces. Normally, acrylic (water-based) paint does a good job. However, some modelers prefer using oil-based paint. In addition, it’s advisable to have brushes of different sizes at hand. Using the larger ones, you can cover large areas quickly. However, smaller ones will be a lot better for creating small details.
- Attaching the pieces together: Normally, model kits include detailed instructions that you need to follow in order to assemble them correctly. Be patient, precise and pay attention to details. To make the bonding permanent, you may use glue or modeling cement. Likely, the manufacturer will either include or recommend a specific product.
- Applying decals and detailing: Finally, you need to apply decals to the model in order to create small visual details. Additionally, you can use paint, pigment powder and various tools to create realistic distress, fading or damage.
Having gone through the features and characteristics of some of the best model trucks on the market, it’s easy to see what sets them apart from their competitors. Realistic, incredibly detailed and expertly constructed, these model trucks are true works of art. As a result, they would be a perfect addition to any model car collection or diorama. Hopefully, this buyer’s guide will help you choose the perfect one for you.