So October 17 marked my first scale model convention, IPMS Granitecon in Manchester, NH. It was a blast! I had the pleasure of talking to many experienced scale modelers in the area. One thing that stuck out the most to me was the open junior categories.
I was blown away! The effort they put into these models was awesome! There was anything from Gundam to tanks to planes. It was inspiring to see (and a little humoring to see a group of supportive parents trying to learn about the hobby).
I was info-dumped and schooled on military models and planes by kids half my age, which lead to an important realization.
This hobby needs the kids to carry it.
A hobby worth having
Hobbies can be difficult for kids to find one they like. I switched hobbies more times than I can count, from crochet to basketball to who knows what. If your kiddo decided scale modeling is the hobby of the week or year, run with it!
Scale modeling supplies your kid with an outlet for all that wonderful childhood creativity. It allows the expression by several means (how they paint it, how they build it, etc.). Not only does it allow for expression, but it also allows them crucial cognitive development of their fine motor skills along with problem-solving. Fine motor skills involve muscle movements of the hand, fingers, and thumbs All of which help with developmental skills, such as handwriting.
It also provides an opportunity of spending time with and to educate your kids on things such as history and machines!
Kids can also use this as a means to be rewarded for patience and hard work, which are things kids might struggle with.
Well, what do I get my kid?
Have a kid who’s interested in scale models but not sure what kit to get?
Well, these are some of my top recommendations. As for tools for younger kiddos, I recommend a pair of hobby nippers and tweezers. For older kiddos or with the help of adults, a hobby knife to help remove those pesky plastic nub marks. Amazon and your local hobby shop might be able to point you in the direction of some good, low-cost options. (To those with younger kiddos, be aware some of these kits do have small parts which can pose a minor choking hazard.)
Haros are one of my favorite easy builds from the Gundam series! They’re small, cute, and affordable! These little round bundles of joys are quick to assemble, even for the younger hobbyists. They come in a range of colors, cute little arms and legs, and a cute puzzle base that can connect to other haros.
2. Petit Beargguys
Much like Haros, Petit Beargguys are another cute line of Gundam kits. They come in a range of colors, including a chocolate bar one, dog, cat, panda, and so on. It is another quick assemble kit. The bases also connect like puzzles. They also are semi-posable.
3. HG MS-06S Zaku II
Don’t let this one intimidate your kiddo. This might be a step up from haro and beargguys, but it’s not a difficult build. A little more time-consuming? Yes, but it doesn’t require glue that may come with other scale model kits. A little hands-on instruction may be required for younger builders, but teen builders should be able to accomplish this. Just have a quick chat that these aren’t as playable as normal action figures.
On a final note
Kids are very crucial to the survival of scale modeling as a whole, so it’s important we foster an environment for them to thrive. So be nice to the kiddos at build nights or build events. Encourage when you can.
Best of Thursdays,
Have a kiddo who wants to get into the hobby, need help, or have a suggestion? leave a comment below!
4 thoughts on “Scale modeling is for the kids”
HG Zakus are my favorite kits. They are simple and super fun to build. If you’re a kid or newbie, they might provide you with the exact amount of challenge you need to get into the hobby for good… and as an adult, it’s such a joyful and light leisure activity.
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Exactly! It’s also a personal favorite of mine, most HG zakus are great to build. It’s just satisfying.