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A Beginner's Guide To Model Cars

Educational toys never go out of style, regardless of the variety of video games and other electronic distractions produced over time. When it comes to developing both the creative and technical parts of a child’s mind, an option worth considering is building a scale model. There are several different types of scale models. One of the most popular involves building model cars. A simple visit to a hobby shop or car show may be all it takes to get kids interested in this particular type of activity.

There are several advantages to building a model car. Building a scale model of a car allows kids to build something with their hands, using a variety of tools to create the finished product. Although there are different types of kits to suit a wide range of skills, working with small parts teaches kids to be detail-oriented and to be organized. Some model vehicles allow for more customization, allowing kids to make their own designs or decals. Each part of the vehicle goes to a specific location, educating kids on the importance of reading and following instructions and planning on what to do next.

Model cars are small duplicates of old or existing vehicles. This helps educate kids on the intricate parts of a machine. During this time, parents can help in making the model car, allowing both parties to bond and spend time with each other. The finished piece can be mounted on display, instilling a sense of accomplishment and pride in the child. 


"How To Get Started"

  • A Scale Modeling Guide for Parents: The article gives parents an overview of what the hobby entails, the benefits for kids and adults of different ages and where to start looking for kits and parts. Also featured in the site are different types of tools and materials used in building model cars and techniques in model making.
  • Getting Started in Model Kit Building: This website gives a general overview of the hobby and how to start making car models. It includes tips on how to choose the right kits, what different skill levels mean, the tools needed and the right environment for working.
  • Toy and Model Cars: The Palo Alto Medical Foundation website has devoted a section on making model cars. It includes tips and precautions when working with model kits.
  • How to Build Better Scale Model Vehicles: The PDF file teaches readers how to create realistic scale models of vehicles. It includes information and tips on craftsmanship, parts and detailing among others.
  • Model Design and Building: The Boy Scouts of America includes model design and building as part of the requirements to advance in rank and earn a merit badge. This article gives scouts requirements, tips and resources to help in building their own scale model.


  • RC Car Kit Building Tips: This article from the RC Hobbies website includes a helpful list of tools which are necessary in building a car.
  • Model Making Tools and Equipment: Included in the web page is a basic list of tools used in making scale models in general.
  • Scale Auto Magazine: This online magazine includes a list of how-to articles, kit reviews and an FAQ related to model building. The Scale Auto FAQ features different materials used in model making as well as a brief description on how to use them.
  • Scale Model Corvettes: The Scale Corvettes website features tips and hints on modeling Corvettes, reviews on new and existing kits and references on original Corvettes. Also included in the website is a gallery of the model building process in different phases.
  • Model Car Painting with Real Automotive Paints: The article discusses the advantages of using real car paints over those specifically made for model cars.
  • Tools: Linking Dimensions: JRH Scale Cars features an article on different tools and materials used when working in 1/8 scale models. Also included within the same site is an article on the different types of paint and the effects of each in model building.

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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com