When GPM & FSW decided some time ago that a definitive series of features advising both newcomers and hobby regulars about the basic steps of kit building and painting was needed, Wayne Moyer (right) was the natural choice of author.

Wayne, an aeronautical engineer by profession, has been building 1:43rd kits since the birth of the hobby. Why, he even remembers 

the first John Day and Auto Replicas releases! Building 1:43rds is Wayne's World.

We set Wayne the difficult task of writing three basic sets of notes - one to cover closed wheel cars, the second to cover open wheelers and the third to cover decalling.


We hope that you will find his advice helpful and would ask that if you do, you

recommend it to friends who might just be thinking about joining our hobby.

If you'd like a copy of the article(s) to give to them, just mail us their address and we'll send a copy.


Part 1 - closed wheel cars Part 2 - open wheel cars Part 3 - decalling

typicalkit1 KIT

The simplest description of a kit is a set of parts which need assembling. The majority of the kits which you will find at Grand Prix Models are manufactured by small artisan makers using either white metal (pewter) or resin (similar to car body filler or the plastic component in glass reinforced plastic) for the major components and larger ancillaries. These parts are usually cast rather than injection moulded and this means that you will usually have to do a little surface preparation, this usually being restricted to removing excess 'flash' or feed tags and then lightly rubbing down the surface for paint. For the smaller detail parts we see ever more use of photo-etched stainless steel or brass, which provide very precise and fine components. In most cases all of the components must be painted at some stage in the assembly process and the final decoration, be it badges on a road car or sponsorship on a racer, is supplied as water-slide decals.

paintedkit1 PAINTED KIT

Some kit manufacturers provide their kits with the main body colour already painted. This is particularly useful if you live in an area where spray painting isn't viable, either through local bylaws or perhaps you're in an apartment with no outside space? These kits are also a great introduction to building resin kits as there is still plenty of detail assembly to get your teeth into. The four most prolific makers of pre-painted kits are Axel'R & JPS in 1:43rd scale and Le Mans Miniatures & Profil 24 in 1:24th.

plastickit1 PLASTIC KIT

Also known as polystyrene kits and probably the best known form of self-assembly model kit and the way that most of us started modelling. The components are injection moulded and this usually means a very precise fit with relative simplicity to build. However, many of these kits still include a very high level of detail and for those who are feeling more adventurous there are plenty of extra detailing parts available from most new releases. We also see 'transkits' for many of these kits which allow alternative race versions to be built.

sparkdiecast1 DIE-CAST

For a long time dismissed by many (us included) as toy cars, the quality of the mass produced die-cast models has come on significantly in recent years. Usually made in the far east (China being the most common source) and produced in high quantities, these models give collectors the opportunity to build a collection at relatively low cost. We include in this category some of the very low cost European built models as well, such as Pinko.


A recent development in this sector is the rise of the 'premium die-cast' from companies such as Exoto and CMC, who provide very highly detailed models, finished to a high standard.

handbuilt1 HAND BUILT

As the title suggests, artisan produced, fully finished hand built models. Many of the manufacturers of resin & metal kits also offer their models in fully finished forms, while other makers exclusively create hand built models. 500 examples would be considered a large production run by most hand built model makers and in many cases the models are produced in editions of 50 examples or less.


Most hand builts are priced around the 100 - 150 level, but prices for some ranges start quite a bit below this and for very rare super-detailed pieces such as those by LP Creation or Stephen Barnett are very much more.

accessories1 ACCESSORIES

This is where you'll find all those little bits and pieces to add the finishing touches and extra details to your models. Driver and pit crew figures, alternative wheels, additional lights, seat belts, alternative livery decals, photo-etched upgrade parts for your plastic kits, the list goes on and on.


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