Various materials are being used for model kits for airplanes, ships, cars, animals, and just about anything that can be molded, fashioned and assembled.
Resin kits are molded from solid plastic. This makes the models heavier than models made of other types of materials. Other kits are made with the plastic coating only the inside surface of the mold. These types are lighter. Some model houses and animals are made this way.
Vinyl is like the material that is used in plastic bottles only softer. The vinyl is blown into the mold so the model is fairly light. To make up for this lightness, some model kits have legs that are injected with plaster of Paris to make them solid and stable.
When you buy your vinyl and resin model kits, here are some tips:
- For a beginner, choose a model that is easier to handle with few minute parts that need more detailing.
- If you are into anime characters then resin is the better material to choose. These are sturdier and heavier. And since these are thicker, they maintain their shape and will not bend.
- If possible, buy only the original and not the recast model to avoid imperfections.
- Inspect the model. You should see the mold lines. This is where the two pieces of the model are joined together. This should be clean and smooth. Check for offset lines, which will indicate that the two parts will not align perfectly when joined.
- Air bubbles are inevitable due to the molding process but they should be few and very small. Bigger air bubbles can ruin the surface of your model and difficult to cover. Read reviews about the particular brand/models and thoroughly inspect the model before you make a purchase.
- If you are very familiar with the character that you are going to buy, check the way the model has been sculptured. It should be clean and done exactly right. Check that the lines are smooth and there are no warped portions.
- The model kits using vinyl are softer and more malleable. They are also poseable. Some slight bends can be corrected when dipped in hot water. But that does not mean that you will get a model kit with imperfections.
- Check that all the parts, as enumerated in the accompanying list are all in the box.
- A complete set of instructions should also be included in the model kit box.
- A picture or image of the assembled character, in color should be printed on the box for your reference and color guide.
- Check if you need to buy additional colors suited for use on resin or vinyl. Also see if you need glue. There are different types of glues needed for vinyl and resin models.
These types of model kits are harder to find. And these are more expensive than most model kits. If you live in New York, here are some stores that you can visit - Anime Crash, Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet, and Image Anime Co. Ltd.