Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Kit Collectors
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United Kingdom
Member Since: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 10:21 AM UTC
Hi there

A current thread on the Aircraft forum concerning the value of Cheyenne helicopter kits made me wonder... how many of us have become (unbuilt) kit collectors - intentionally or otherwise?

I've got a pretty big hoard of models, but I bought each one with the intention of building it! True to type, I've dry fitted most of them, thus negating any value to collectors... but I realise a couple of original Trimaster kits survived intact - which may be worth keeping that way, now that they've been re-issued by other manufacturers. :-)

So have you got anything tucked away in the loft or at the back of the shelf that is too valuable to build? I know it sticks every modeller's gut... but come on now, be honest! :-)

All the best

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California, United States
Member Since: July 08, 2003
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 10:33 AM UTC
I've a couple of kits I've picked up over the past 30 or so years that have become kind of rae - a Airfix SAM 2 with launcher and transport vehicle - and a Lindberg SeaDart - but I plan to build them if I live that long. Oh, and I need a reason / dio idea to put them in so it may be a while. I've actually cast copies of the SAM 2 and Launch and started to build the "Fan Song" radar, so I have the whole site planned out but not building yet. To be honest the SeaDart is an odd size (box scale) so I may not ever build it.
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New Brunswick, Canada
Member Since: October 18, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 10:57 AM UTC
Well right off the top...the one that comes to mind is the Revell 1/48 A-6E Intruder, the one where you can make it either the TRAM version with the Harpoons, or a normal bomber version with snakeyes and CBUs. Have seen it go for large sums on EBay. As well supposidly the USS Enterprise from Star Trek 6....not really sure why that one is. Another that I would consider rare.....just simply because it took awhile to track one down on Ebay is Dragon's 1/35 BRDM-2 w/SA-9 launcher.....any time I saw it (which wasn't often) it went for more than I was willing to pay....one other is one my parent's bought me some 15-20yrs ago, its made by the Union Plastic Model company (which I had never heard of at the time....nor have I heard of since), and is a 1/25 Ford GT Mark II, America's First Lemans Winner. There are some details about the kit on the box in english, as well as some Japanese writing, and then it says The Memorial Collections, and Advanced Kit....says it is made in Japan. If anyone knows anything about this kit....I would appreciate some info on it....as I said I have never heard of this company at all....and have no idea where my parent's got the kit from. The instructions are in both Japanese and English, and very closely resemble Tamiya instructions, but have never ever seen it in a Tamiya catalogue....but then again its not a Tamiya kit....but am wondering that maybe this Union Plastics was the forerunner to the now popular Tamiya company, then instructions say Tokyo, Japan.

All of these are intended to be built someday...LOL!!
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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: January 03, 2003
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:12 AM UTC
I've got about 150 unbuilt kits. I collect them because I like the subject and may build it sometime. I don't collect with a view to value later on. I tell my wife that I'm preparing for my retirement when I have more time and less money.
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North Dakota, United States
Member Since: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:14 AM UTC
I have a pretty good stash, but also expect to build them all (yeah, right).
Really, I never buy anything I don't intend to build.
I was watching one of those collector shows on HGTV a while back and they had an old Aroura car model. The model was mostly built (not very well) and all the parts were off the sprues. The appraiser (a toy expert) said the kit was worth $140.00 because the copyright said 1964 (I think). #:-) Just goes to show you that there are very few model appraisers out there. I doubt that anyone would give anything for the kit. Interesting show.
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: June 07, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:24 AM UTC

A couple of months ago I had it with this kit

It`s the DML StuG 40 F With Ostketten. I bought it a couple of years ago for a small price I don`t remember exactly what I paid for it but it was not much. When I said I had built the thing and showed the pics of it or even showed the real model people started to stare at me like I was our queen and her prince at the same time and they asked: '" Did you really built that kit??????" And before I could answer they said "It`s a Collectors Item you know" Well I don`t even recognize a collectors Item if it`s written on it and I usually buy my kits to built them. I have only a small stack of kits from wich I don`t know what a collectors item is or not and I`m all going to built them Muwhahahahaha

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Milano, Italy
Member Since: September 02, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:55 AM UTC
I think that somehow, lots of us are "forced" to become unbuilt kit collectors. Take my case: I just model subjects that served in the Italian Army, and it seems that plastic injection manufacturers got the habit to issue new models and withdraw them from their catalogs often after a year or so to re-appear sometimes years later or who knows when. When you deal with resin kits the situation is even worse, if sales are not outstandigs these kits are impossible to be found for ages. Considering that I build a maximum of 5-6 models a year, I "collect" at least 10 to 15 unbuilt kits per annum...
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Vatican City
Member Since: May 13, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 01:32 PM UTC
I think we somehow are all kit collectors, but I always purchase kits that I intend to build. And I do build them, I think I buy maybe 30 kits a year, and make like 15 of them, so it;s not a bad ratio.

It's the kinda of people that really collects kits, and have X versions of Panther from 5 different companies from 1900 to 2003, but never see them made a panther, yet still impose to be a master of know all that drives me crazy... #:-)
Member Since: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 03:35 PM UTC
I've unintentionally become a kit collector. Each time I moved away, I left the half-built, completed or unbuilt kits at my mom's house. I then started a new stash.

For example, when I left for college, I left my old kits at home. Most of them were built straight out of box, hand painted (if painted at all) and complete with a protective coating of dust.

Then when I went to college, I started a new pile of kits. I'd leave those kits at a frat brother's house or current girlfriend's house that lived locally. I'd come back the next fall and gather up the kits to work on during the school year.

Those kits were left at home when I went to Germany. Again, another pile of unbuilt/completed kits was created. I gave away a whole bunch of kits prior to returning to the states after 3 years. I did keep several kits that were unbuilt, some still unbuilt even 13 years later.

When I was stationed at Ft. Hood, I gave a bunch of kits away before moving, but kept most of them. Since then, I've just kept the kits with me and even went back home and got back some of the kits that my mom didn't sell at the yard sale. Lucky for me, she kept the old kits that were built on my dresser and any kit that was still in a model box. She got rid of any kits I had just dumped into a large moving box since they looked like junk to her.

I've got several semi-valuable collector's kits:

1. Star Trek K-7 Space Station
2. unbuilt Tricorder and communicator from the 3 piece set
3. Star Trek: The Motion Picture original lighted USS Enterprise
4. Aurora MBT70 (two unbuilt, one built and one started)
5. Aurora M109 howitzer (one built, one unbuilt)
6. Aurora M46 Patton
7. Aurora Long Tom (two of them)
8. Monogram reissue of the Aurora M4A3E8 Sherman with Fw190
9. Monogram M4 Hedgehog (also have a reissue M4A1 Screamin' Mimi)
10. DML M4A1 75mm Early
11. Academy rebox of the Bandai M12 SP howitzer
12. Tamiya 1/25 Tiger I
13. ITC 1/25 T92 Airborne Light Tank
14. Renwal and Revell reissue M50 Ontos (built/started)

Most of these I do plan on building some day in the future. As a kid, I loved the Aurora 1/48 scale tanks and the Monogram armor kits. These things were state of the art. Most of my built ones were from my youth that survived the great mom purge of the 80s. Blame Ebay for buying the kits I wanted as a kid but couldn't afford then, but can buy now for many times over their original value.
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California, United States
Member Since: December 05, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 04:03 PM UTC
Funny it started at that way also. But now I have accumulated about 150 kits (none of them are doubles). I intend to build them, yet as I grab one off the shelf, 3-4 kits replaces it! #:-) But not only kits but reference material, decals, and detail sets. With Ebay, internet hobby shops, the sources are now endless. I will not pass up a deal on a kit if it fills a need. Looks like I pick the wrong day to quit glue, oh well!

Fly Navy
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United States
Member Since: May 19, 2003
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 06:42 PM UTC
I do not buy kits to make money. I work to be able to buy what I want to build. When this passion turns into a business, just shoot me and put me out of my misery.
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 07:05 PM UTC
i have a lot of unbuilt models 2 but i dont collect them
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England - North East, United Kingdom
Member Since: May 03, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 08:45 PM UTC
Well, I guess I've become a "collector" and not entirely by accident. Some years ago I became interested in 1/48 Bandai armour kits from the 70's (easier to store/display than 1/35, not as fiddly to build as 1/72). Every show I went to I began looking out for them on the dealers stands, and more recently on ebay. Its now reached the point that I have at least one original example of every vehicle kit they did, not to mention the figures (although these are rather poor), including one of what I understand is their rarest, a Merc L3000S truck. At any rate I saw one of these change hands on ebay for a ludicrous sum, just over US$250!
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Member Since: December 24, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 10:13 PM UTC
as for kit collecting I think every one does it by accident cause we all buy way to many kits that we will build one day..........! :-) and its natural that some will go oop but seeing the tamiya kits go for silly money when they will be released in a few years is bad. as for people collecting the boxes well heres why they will repackage the re-issued kit sprues into the old box as although it's the same box art and stuff it has on the side www.tamiya.com one to watch out for now being a bit new to this did the old kits come with the japanese instructions as well.
P.s this is why ivist car boot sale oop kits for very little money
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Kansas, United States
Member Since: January 24, 2002
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Posted: Monday, August 25, 2003 - 11:48 PM UTC
Back in the mid-80s when I was starting to get serious about this hobby again, I fell in with a "bad crowd" of kit collectors. One guy I knew had at least one of every 1/48th scale prop aircraft model ever made -- I'll never forget his excitement when he completed the collection with the acquisition of a Grumman Goose (sorry -- I forget the maker). His spare bedroom was crammed floor to ceiling with shelving and kits, with only a couple feet to move between them. Amazing. He sold off most of the a/c a few years ago -- he won't tell me how much he made in the deal (none of my business, really) but he did buy a new car shortly afterward.

I've only had a few collectible kits and have traded them for stuff I can build. I recently parted with a 1/9 scale ESCI Kubelwagen that I bought at a garage sale years ago for about $10. I made a few extra buck on that deal and the guy I sold it to got it for cheaper than he would have paid on eBay. I still have a few old Peerless/Max kits that I will trade or sell for the right offer.

One small warning on buying kits for investment/speculation: it doesn't always work. I have a pile of Tamiya T-34/76 kits (Model 1942 and 1943), as well as SU-85, SU-122, etc., that I acquired when they were very rare. I reckoned I could build a few, then sell the rest for a huge profit sometime down the road ... now I'm down the road and they aren't worth as much as I paid for them. Too many re-issues and newer, better T-34 kits on the market, I guess.
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: February 01, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 01:01 AM UTC
I've never really understood the mind of a collector. I've seen shows where people have collected EVERY item of a particular thing that was ever built and can't wait for something else to come along. There are two things that I buy on a regular basis, books, and models. I buy the books to read, and the models to build. (yes, really, I'm going to build every thing one of them, someday.)

The only models I can think of that I would buy that could be considered "collectors items" are old kits from the late sixties early seventies. Kits that I made as a kid, or never made but wanted to. Kits like the MBT70, or the Monogram PZ IV. I recently saw the PZ IV on Ebay and I was tempted but I resisted as there were plenty others there that I was more interested in actually making.
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Vaasa, Finland
Member Since: August 07, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 04:34 AM UTC
I'm not a kit collector. As it turns out, I happened once to put two 1/35 scale kits next to each other in the closet. Next thing you know, they're breeding like rabbits! They're pumping out little DML's and Tamiyas, on occasion i even find a runty little RPM in there!

I was somewhat surprised when I discovered this, and just for giggles, I put a Revell 1/72 HE 177 next to a Tamiya 1/72 Seiran, and sure enough, I now have another closet full of 1/72 scale aircraft! I've got axis and allies, revells, azurs, mpm's, hellers and tamiyas, even some of those wonking vac-forms! Some have even produced rotary wings!

This is really great, until the (soon to be) missus realizes how prolific they are and makes me get rid of some and fix ... err ... build the ones I already have.

Till then, hog heaven!
Mika H

~300-400 and still counting!
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Member Since: August 19, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 05:52 AM UTC
lol i must try that 2!
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: September 30, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 07:42 AM UTC
:-) Every model I ever bought I intended to build, a change in focus means that I have a few that I brobably will never get round to, some 1/35 armour and 1/72 modern, including helicopters. I do intend to build all the 1/48 aircraft that I have, but It'll probably be a world age record if I do. There are quite a few that I haven't aquired yet and of course those that have yet to be issued. I don't class myself as a collector, if I were to see a model of an aircraft that I wanted in my collection, I would buy it and not worry wether it was a collectors item or not and I would build it. I would take great delight in letting "collectors" know I had built it. :-) I just don't get the collecting model kits thing. Am I right in assuming a collector would keep the box sealed? If this is true then all that is being collected is a colourful box, with selaphane on it? Might as well build the kit and collect the box artwork. Now that I can understand. :-)
Me a collector, er no
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United Kingdom
Member Since: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:19 AM UTC
Hi everyone

It great to see everyone buys models with the intention of building them... even if we all have to live to the age of 1000, to get through the pile!!! :-)

I'd better come clean and admit to one act of deliberate hoarding... Many years ago, I produced a small range of 1/48 scale resin conversion sets called Blueprint Models. I made darn sure that the very first kit I packed (a Hurricane Mk1 Fabric-Wing) - complete with a hand-made box - was never sold.

It's fun to think I've got the first kit a manufacturer ever made... even if the "manufacturer" was me!! #:-)

It might be pretty worthless (in terms of money) but, for purely sentimental reasons, I'll never build it and wouldn't consider parting with it!!! :-)

All the best (and no refunds!! :-))

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New York, United States
Member Since: May 07, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 02:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It`s the DML StuG 40 F With Ostketten.

I have three of these I bought a year or so ago and didn't know they are that rare. Are they?

I paid the 'normal' DML price, somewhere around $25.

Haven't built any of them yet.


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Texas, United States
Member Since: September 15, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 03:19 PM UTC
I guess like everybody else, I buy with the complete intention to build. Changing interests have caused me to accumulate quite a stash. I have several 48 scale aircraft that may have some value (like an Aurora Albatross cica 1956) and at least one tank kit (Aurora 48 scale Japanese Medium tank cica 1964) Several of the original Bandai unbuilt, and about a dozen built along with an Aurora M-46 and JS 3 and Centurion. I don't know if they still make those exotic cars with detailed motors(down to the crankshaft and pistons)and a thousand parts in 24th scale, but have a few Porsches like a Speedster and 73 Carrera unbuilt and a ton of them built
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United Kingdom
Member Since: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 09:44 AM UTC
Hi all

Wow! Talk about synchronicity!! :-)... a day after mentioning Blueprint Models, I got a trans-Atlantic phone call from a US modeller wanting to buy one!!

Weird or what... :-)

All the best

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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: January 30, 2003
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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 04:04 AM UTC
I have the hoarding habbit! I like it! It makes me feel good just to look at all the kits! Picking the kit and getting them home and opening the box is fun, I love the box art and if I die with thousands of kits in my possesion I wil have died happy!
I have come clean and I feel good.
Don't get me wrong, I love to build, but hoarding is good.