All about garage kits and resin kits

When my friend brought this subject on garage kits/resin kits up almost a year ago, I had almost no clue as to what he was talking about. We were at a shop downtown staring at some statues of Batman and other comic book heroes. When he started talking about these kits, I can swear I started seeing his eyes glow. Now that I've been drawn into this world, it's not difficult to see what had made him so excited. So what on earth are these garage kits about?

A garage kit or resin kit refers to models produced by hobbyists which are available in highly limited numbers. We're not even talking about hundreds, think 10s or 20s. Sculptors create these right in the comforts of their own homes. Because the process of sculpting and casting often creates toxic fumes and vapours, the original creators of the garage kits did this in their garages, and hence the term. Resin refers to the widely use material to replicate the sculptures.

It's highly frustrating not to be able to find a decent toy or model of your favourite video gaming character, or your favourite vehicle from a movie. That's because big companies only look to profits as the primary driving factor behind producing a toy. So if you happen to like an elusive character from an elusive franchise, it basically means you're screwed.

Sometimes, this frustration is backed by skill and talent, and then a garage kit is born.

So these sculptors create their own models and statues. This is followed by making a mold and casting to create resin replicas of the original model. The replicas are then cut up and sold either online, through friends or at conventions such as Wonder Festival.

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Kit builders are people who dig this whole hobby. Either they sculpt themselves, or they can just simply be model making enthusiasts and collectors. Unlike building tank models, or Gundam models, garage or resin kits are relatively simple to assemble, but the real work and skill comes in mending, patching and painting the statue back into it's original glorious form. Because these kits are made by amateurs, the quality of the product is understandably not perfect. Often, extensive puttying of cracks and lines to seal up the cut surfaces as well as smoothing damaged surfaces is required.

Do it up with skill, restore it to it's former glory and you might just get a one of a kind display model like this Cammy resin kit:

Garage kits have caught on and grew so popular that major companies like Kotobukiya have begun to mass produce their own kits at a much more affordable price. Amateur produced kits easily cost hundreds, that's excluding the time and materials needed in piecing them together. Although if you ask me, it's all very worth it.

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Abigail said...

This made me remember the first time I've seen a garage kit at a booth in Animé Expo 2006, the quality is fantastic and it doesn't look like that it was rushed. As a fan of scale models (especially Gunpla), I usually have some of my works made at various rapid prototyping companies.

By the time I got my project finished at the rapid prototyping company, I displayed them in my house after I was done with the paint job.

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