This article lists the main manufacturers of scale model kits with background information about them. We could not possibly list every manufacturer since there are literally hundreds. However, if you buy a mainstream kit it will almost certainly come from one of a relatively small number of kit manufacturers.
The following lists the main kit manufacturers. Nearly all of them sell their products through third parties, but a many also sell direct to the public and those are identified by having the country or origin shown in bold text. Click on the manufacturer’s name to visit their website.
|Academy||Korea||A good range of quality kits of many types and scales. Models tend to be simpler than might be found in a Tamiya or Dragon kit, but tend to cost less so offer good value.|
|Accurate Armour||UK(Scot)||A good range of high quality resin military vehicle model kits and accessories concentrating on British subjects. Received good reviews in the press.|
|AFV Club||China||Wide range of good quality military vehicles in 1/35th scale. They do not appear to have a website in the English language.|
|Airfix||UK||Airfix have been producing kits since 1952 and were one of a few select companies that brought the hobby to the mass market. They have a large catalogue of all types of model and scales. Their latest releases have received good reviews but some of their catalogue is based on molds that are decades old and are showing their age.|
|Alpine Miniatures||USA||Good range of highly regarded 1/16th and 1/35th scale resin figures|
|Bronco Models||China||A relatively new player making a small range of AFVs, ships, aircraft and accessories. They seem to concentrate on producing unusual subjects and reviews of their products are generally good.|
|CMK||Czech||Wide range of injection full kits, conversion kits and accessories. Also sell kits and products from other manufacturers on their site.|
|Cyber Hobby||See Dragon Models|
|Dragon Models / DML||???||Dragon is regarded by many as the leading producer of military vehicle kits and figures. Both the quality and number of new kits released is outstanding. Dragon has pushed the boundaries of the injection molded process and with its slide mold technology produces kits that a few years ago would have been thought impossible. It is renowned for packing its boxes full of goodies like spare parts, photo etch frets, metal cables and gun barrells. Some kits can be expensive but there is rarely a need to buy any aftermarket accessories. Also produces kits for other manufacturers like Revell and Italeri. Some kits only available from the internet via its Cyber Hobby brand.|
|Hasagawa||Japan||Huge range of model kits of all types but particularly known for their quality aircraft kits.|
|HobbyBoss||China||A recent addition to the modelling world, this company is releasing an impressive array of new quality kits of all types.|
|Italeri||Italy||Established in the 1960s it has a huge catalogue of model kits of all types and scales. The latest offerings are good quality but some of the older kits are not up to todays standards. Kits tend to be simpler and cost less than other manufacturers. Catalogue includes Italian subjects not available from any other company.|
|MK35 Editions||France||Buildings, figures and accessories ideal for dioramas. Unusual subjects such as civilians and animals.|
|Model Rectifier Corp (MRC)||US||Parent company for Acadamy and Italeri – see entries under those names.|
|Perfect Scale Models||Germany||A range of resin military vehicles, conversion sets and accessories concentrating on German subjects. Received good reviews in the press.|
|Revell||US/Germany||A long established company with a huge range of kits of all types. The latest kits are very good but it’s catalogue includes models originally released decades ago and not up to current standards.|
|Tamiya||Japan||One of the really big players with hundreds of injection molded kits of every type and scale. They have always been renowned for their high quality and their latest kits are state of the art. However, some of their kits currently on sale are based on molds that may be quite old and not up to the latest standards. Also renowned for their quality paints, tools and modelling materials.|
|Tasca||Japan||Fairly new company producing a range of highly regarded military vehicle injection model kits.|
|Trumpeter||China||Trumpeter produce a wide range of kits. Their early offerings were sometimes described as being less detailed and accurate than the leading manufacturers but there has been a continual improvement in quality. Their kits tend to be simpler and cost less than Tamiya and Dragon.|
It should be noted that increasingly companies tend to be owned by other companies or have agreements to share molds or other facilities. This means it is difficult to know when a ‘new’ model is really new or based on a older mold from the same or a different company. For example, an apparently new model from one company might actually be based on an older mold purchased from another company. It is always advisable to read modelling magazines, or scan the internet to get reviews of models before buying.