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Which Guillows model airplane kits are best?

Flying through the air has captivated us for over a century. With so many famous flying machines throughout history, enthusiasts love to commemorate one of humanity’s greatest achievements with scale models of their favorite airplanes.

Whether you’re a history buff or a weekend amateur pilot, there’s a model out there of your favorite plane. The Guillow’s P-51B Mustang Warbird, for example, is a gorgeous scale-model of the World War II era fighter plane that hobbyists will love.  

What to know before you buy a Guillow’s model airplane kit

Airplane scale

Model airplanes are available in several different scales from real-world airplanes. Scale refers to how many times smaller the model is than the real-life plane it;s based on. The most common scale is 1/16th of the actual size. But you can also get models at a scale of 1/14th, 1/12th or 1/24th. The larger the denominator, the smaller the model airplane will be. But you need to keep in mind that this is based on real-world measurements, and not all airplanes are the same length. A 1/16th scale of a P38 Lightning will have a model wingspan of 40 inches, while the same scale of the P-51B Mustang Warbird will only have a wingspan of 24 inches. 

Model airplane material

Model airplane kits are made from different materials, and they can influence the complexity and build time of the model. Generally, most Guillow airplane kits are laser-cut from balsa wood. Balsa is easy to work with and glues together in seconds, but is also prone to breaking if you try to force pieces together. Depending on the model kit (like powered airplanes), the construction materials can consist of plastic, foam, metal or fiberglass.

Build complexity

Just as the construction materials differ, so too can the complexity of the model airplane kit’s build. The kits contain small parts that might not be suitable for younger builders, and they require steady hands. Most model kit airplanes do come with some instructions, but the build-by-numbers models are much easier to assemble. Keep in mind who will be building the model, and get a kit that is appropriate for their skill level.

What to look for in a quality Guillow’s model airplane kit

Level of detail

The purpose of a model airplane kit is to have a smaller version of the real-world aircraft. To make it as accurate as possible, the level of detail is hugely important. For faithful reproductions, all the markings, features and indicators should be visible. A quality model airplane kit will also have accurate colors and accessories.

Durable materials and accurate parts

Model airplane kits are made from different materials, but the one thing that they all should have in common is durability. Quality airplane model kits, like the ones from Guillow’s, use balsa wood that has been cut with a laser. Accurate parts are important for building, as all the parts need to fit together with minimal alteration. This will also help prevent any breakage since you won’t be forcing pieces together.

Flyable model airplane kits

Model airplanes are great to look at, but it will be better if they can fly as well. Not all models are made to fly (either through a rubber band or self-propelled), but there are several kits that work as static models or flyable models. Most of Guillow’s model airplane kits can fly, powered by free flight, while builders have converted some of them to use gas or electric engines.

How much you can expect to spend on Guillow’s model airplane kit

The average price of a model-airplane kit will depend on the size of the model, the construction materials and the detail of the aircraft model itself. Affordable model-airplane kits from Guillow’s range between $20-$30. Detailed scale models on the other hand can retail for between $120-$160.

Guillow’s model airplane kit FAQ

Can you get replacement parts for a model airplane kit?

A. Yes you can, but that will depend on the Guillow’s series of your aircraft. The different replacement parts are broken down by series (like 200 series or 400 series) and aren’t interchangeable with different aircraft.

Is everything you need in the box of the model airplane kit?

A. No, only the airplane parts are in the box. To put everything together, you will need a few things, like white glue, sandpaper, pins and a sharp razor knife to cut the balsa wood.

What’s the best Guillow’s model airplane kit to buy?

Top Guillow’s model airplane kit

Guillow’s P-51B Mustang Warbird

Guillow’s P-51B Mustang Warbird

What you need to know: This is a highly detailed scale model of an American workhorse from World War II.

What you’ll love: An American classic, the P-51B Mustang was extensively used during World War II and the Korean War. This 1/16th scale model is highly detailed and has a wingspan of 24.7 inches. It is made from laser-cut balsa wood and includes building plans. Additional parts included are the plastic wheels and nose cowl, air scoops, and bubble canopy.

What you should consider: It requires a Skill Level 5 to complete the build.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Guillow’s model airplane kit for the money

Guillow's Piper Cherokee 140

Guillow’s Piper Cherokee 140

What you need to know: Guillow’s makes a great-looking model of a popular private airplane for amateur pilots.

What you’ll love: One of the most common private planes, this 1/16th scale of the Piper Cherokee comes with a wingspan of 20 inches when fully assembled. It is made from laser-cut balsa wood, and a full set of decals are included. The scale model is suitable as a static display or flying. 

What you should consider: You need to supply your own glue, as none is included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Guillow's Douglas DC-3

Guillow’s Douglas DC-3

What you need to know: This large American troop transporter that will look good on any desk.

What you’ll love: Made from balsa wood and replete with easy-to-follow instructions, you will have a 34.5-inch wingspan airplane in no time. The Douglas DC-3 was a popular troop transporter through history, and this model comes with a full set of decals to capture that sense of authenticity. 

What you should consider: The model is meant as a static display and can’t be converted into a flying model.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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