I was a young child in the late ’70s and early ’80s. One of my hobbies was building models. I remember walking into K-Mart (no Wal-Mart then), running to the toy section, and slowly pacing the model kit aisle studying all the plastic model kits. Plane, jet, tank, and car kits were the standard fare. I enjoyed them all. I was especially excited when I found a Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica kit. Buying a kit and a few bottles of Testors paints was a real treat! My dad and I would come home and get started right away. I loved every aspect of model-building.
I still love building models. Now, I have three young boys who, because of my passion, have been exposed to this wonderful hobby. Unfortunately, popular interest in model building has waned since I was a child. The is no model aisle in K-Mart or Wal-Mart. That’s disappointing. Kids and parents are missing out. There’s a great sense of accomplishment when you’ve meticulously assembled the pieces, patiently waited for glue to dry, carefully painted your creation, and proudly displayed it for all to see.
Admittedly, there can be steep learning curve when building your first scale model. Even the so-called introductory kits pose a significant challenge. Revell Models aims to change that and reintroduce model building to a new generation. Reveal has created a new collection of models for children ages six to twelve. These models are designed for the inexperienced builder. Reveal provided three sample kits representing each skill level for me and my boys to try.
Revell packaging makes it easy to know the kit’s complexity. This Mustang was the lowest skill level and is intended for ages six to eight. Revell even estimates the total build time for each kit. This Mustang can be completed in 30 minutes and requires no paint, glue, or special tools. Part count ranges from 10-20 pieces and the pieces are easily distinguished.
I was impressed by the quality of the parts. They are crisply molded and very strong. They have good detail considering the skill level. The Mustang body was not painted but had a shiny gloss finish with complete trim detail. This completion level removes the frustration of botched paint jobs and time consuming detailing. It’s perfect for an eight-year-old attention span!
The build instructions had large, step-by-step images guiding him through the build. He had no trouble following along. He was able to finish the model in 30-40 minutes. He was very proud of the finished product. This model easily surpasses anything I would have built at eight years old. These models are also designed to be played with. The wheels roll on metal axels. I had no concern about him breaking the model. A great first kit!
The VW New Beetle was a Skill Level 2 kit. These kits are designed for kids eight- to ten-years-old. Part count ranges from 20-45 pieces. A screwdriver and some clippers may be required. All parts are pre-colored and no glue is needed. This kit also came with peel and stick decals for creative decoration of the final build.
Like the Mustang GT, the VW Beetle body was pre-colored and finished to a high gloss shine.
My ten-year-old took this kit on. He needed help pressing a few of the pieces on. Otherwise, the instructions were easy to follow and he completed the model on his own. He spent about 45 minutes working on the VW Beetle. He was even kind enough to apply flower power decals for me and this review. (Thanks, Ethan! I know flowers are not your decoration of choice).
The final kit was a Skill Level 3. This kit represents the highest skill level in Revell’s new collection. These kits have the largest part count ranging from 40-70 pieces. It does require glue and simple tools such as clippers to remove parts from the part trees. Paint is optional and the instructions give color suggestions for those wishing to try. Estimated build time is three to four hours.
The Camaro body has more detail compared with the other kits. While paint is an option, it’s not necessary. The body, straight from the box, is an admirable finished product.
My twelve-year-old worked on this kit. He was able to finish in under three hours even with glue. I did help him get the body onto the chassis. Otherwise, he built the model entirely on his own. I think the finished product is impressive. This kit has a functional hood, too. This allows him to display the impressive engine detail.
Overall, I was very pleased with these new kits from Revell. Parents can easily identify whether the kit is age and skill-level appropriate. The finished products are really something kids can be proud of. Most importantly, the kits introduce kids to a rewarding hobby. They’re also a great opportunity for some quality parent-child time.
Revell is offering 26 kits in this new collection. Kit types range from cars to Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing. There’s something in the collection to appeal to everyone. All 26 Revell kits are available at Michael’s stores at prices from $14.99 to $24.99. More kits and distribution are planned for early 2016.
Revell Getting Started in Model Building – A great primer on starting with the hobby