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Which metal model-car kit is best?

Metal model-car kits combine problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, automotive design, mechanical engineering, and arts and crafts into an engaging exercise for automotive lovers of every age. You can build replicas of iconic race cars or mini versions of your favorite Hollywood cars. The Revell Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger is a first-class metal model-car kit.

What to know before you buy a metal model-car kit


Most model-car kits are made of either metal or plastic, since the original cars are made from plastic and metal. Die-cast metal tends to be more durable and heavier and have a different feel in the hand than plastic.


You should read through all of the instructions before building your metal model-car kit.

Clean the parts before painting

Before you paint, thoroughly clean all of the parts with a toothbrush and soapy water.

What to look for in a quality metal model car-kit

Kit intricacy

Some metal model-car kits only take about 15 minutes to assemble, while others can take multiple days to complete.

Paint and decals

Many metal model-car kits come with decals, a small paint set and pre-painted panels.

Display cases

Some kits come with display cases, which allow you to display your model car if you’re fairly serious about collecting.

How much you can expect to spend on a metal model-car kit

Metal model-car kits range in price from about $10 to more than $100. The most inexpensive metal model-car kits cost about $10-$15, while midrange metal model-car kits go for $20-$50 and high-end metal model-car kits vary in price from about $50 to more than $100.

Metal model-car kit FAQ

How long does it take for you to put together a metal model-car kit?

A. People of all experience levels and ages love metal model-car kits, but the car assembly times differ from one model kit to another. The simplest model-car kits can be finished within about 15 minutes, since you don’t need any extra tools and the pieces snap together. 

There are also some very complicated model-car kits with hundreds of small parts that might require some painting, gluing and fastening. These complex kits can take between 30 and 40 hours to complete. 

The average assembly time for a moderately difficult model-car kit is approximately two hours. You should check the age ratings on a model-car kit before purchasing it, since the age rating can be a good indicator of the building time and overall difficulty.

Which tools do you need to build a metal model-car kit?

A. You might need a wide range of materials and tools to finish your project if you don’t have a simple snap-together model kit. The most common tools include respirators, dust masks, brushes, paint thinner, paint, masking tape, sandpaper or sticks, toothpicks, super glue, white glue, sprue cutters or hobby knives and tweezers. 

You might also need some extra tweezers of various sizes, as well as painting mounts, rubber bands, glue debonders and putty paint, depending on the project.

What does the scale refer to on a metal model-car kit?

A. The scale of the model car refers to the amount it’s shrunk compared to the size of the original car. The second number in the ratio refers to the number of model cars that would equal one unit of the original car, which is the first number in the ratio. 

For instance, the model car is full-size if the ratio is 1:1. The model car is half-size if the ratio is 1:2. The most common ratios for model cars range from about 1:10 to 1:2500, and you can make models of anything from buildings to planes to ships to cars.

What’s the best metal model-car kit to buy?

Top metal model-car kit

Revell Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger

Revell Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger

What you need to know: This metal model-car kit from Revell is a true show piece meant for model builders who want to display some Hollywood magic.

What you’ll love: This kit has detailed panels that are blank for custom decals and paint jobs, as well as chrome parts and tires that add a unique look to the finished car. The model car is based on the Fast and Furious franchise.

What you should consider: Some of these metal model-car kits come with incomplete parts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top metal model-car kit for the money

MAISTO Bugatti Chiron

MAISTO Bugatti Chiron

What you need to know: This metal model-car kit is a small kit that is easy and quick to assemble for children to replace their screen time.

What you’ll love: This kit features two sets of rims and everything you could possibly need to assemble it. All of the panels are pre-painted, and the car has opening engine covers and doors, so you can look inside.

What you should consider: Some children find this model-car kit on the more difficult side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

TAMIYA Nissan Skyline GT-R

TAMIYA Nissan Skyline GT-R

What you need to know: This metal model-car kit is a well-made kit for people who are willing to work for excellent results.

What you’ll love: This kit comes with 150 pieces that are well-designed and durable and features an assembly time of about five hours. The kit is based off of the Nissan Skyline GT-R, which is one of the most legendary vehicles on the racing scene.

What you should consider: This metal model car comes bare, so you need extra supplies to complete the car.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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