Is building models a good hobby?

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A good hobby offers mental, social, physical, and emotional benefits. On the other hand, a hobby can be addictive but not quite fun or beneficial. 

Compared to most hobbies, model building is a fun pastime that takes the stress away from your daily routine. It is a hobby that can become quite addictive as you try different models to develop your skills. But, that’s the least of what makes model building a good hobby. 

Here’s what makes model building a good hobby. 

Cognitive skills

Building models improves cognitive skills. What is meant by cognitive skills? 

According to the National Institute of Aging, cognitive skills are an important component of everyday performance that helps people to think, learn, and remember. 

From problem-solving skills to improved memory, attention, decision-making, processing speed, visual processing, logic, and reasoning, building a model keeps the brain active even in old age. 

Andrea M. Macari, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, NY, stated in an article published by the American Association of Retired Persons that scale modeling is an excellent hobby. 

Not only does scale modeling provides the much-needed leisure one needs to alleviate anxiety and depression, but it also enhances certain cognitive skills such as concentration, visual-motor skills, and executive functions the brain uses to plan, organize, strategize, pay attention to and remember details. 

70% of model builders are adults and elderly. However, the recurrent phenomenon with age is that some cognitive abilities tend to decline, especially when they are not used regularly. Studies have shown that video games, puzzles, and riddles can improve cognitive functions. However, these hobbies lose their effectiveness fast. The case is reversed with model building. 

The bottom line is that model building as a hobby will delay lower cognitive ability


Besides improving cognitive health, model building is a creative hobby in itself. 

It allows you to indulge your artistic powers by painting the kit. 

The benefit of this creative indulgence is that it stimulates the brain and helps promote logical thinking, deep concentration, and attention to detail. 

Motor skills

The American Psychological Association defines motor skills as skills that help you coordinate muscles to get small, precise movements and manipulate objects.

Scale modeling is key in developing fine motor skills since it allows you to cut and assemble small parts.  

How does scale modeling help you achieve this? 

Building scale model kits means you’ll have to assemble the model from scratch. While some models come snap fit, they also require some form of assembly and some parts won’t fit well so you’ll have to cut them to perfection. 

The more you get more kits to assemble, the more practice you get and the more you can easily manipulate the small parts of the model so that they fit perfectly. 

Information Value

Building models expand your knowledge by making you learn about the kit you build, whether it’s a car, engine, tank, ship or plane.

If you’ve tried building one model, you know that it’s not technically possible to get desired results or finish, especially when it involves painting. 

Before making your own models, you’d have to know your vehicle. Learning about the model gives you a better appreciation of your model. 

So, whether you’re building WW I or II models, or an early tooled tank, a hobby like this will give you a unique opportunity to learn about a part of history, especially since the models are realistic miniatures of historical kits. 

It’s easy to get into

One thing that makes scale modeling a good hobby is that starting out is never really tasking. 

You can piece together your own model with just a few simple steps and some inexpensive materials. 

It’s fun

Besides the ease of starting out in the hobby, the fun and entertainment factor it adds to daily lifestyle makes model building a good hobby. 

If you love cars and have never seen one built physically, model building lets you enjoy the fun of building a scaled-down model of your favorite cars. 

Plus, you get to entertain yourself with a choice of color and even modify the model to fit your imagination. 

The sense of achievement is rewarding

Unlike ready-made games like video games that only require you to play them, the time you spend on building your scale model kits can feel more satisfying than playing video games. 

With model building, you’ll not just have fun but also feel a sense of achievement of creating something beautiful yourself. 

Life can be boring, especially when you have every piece of equipment ready-made at your disposal. For older people, a boring life where you feel you have nothing to be proud of causes stress symptoms like anxiety and depression. The fact that model building takes away this feeling and replaces it with a sense of achievement. makes it a good hobby. 

It’s not an expensive hobby

Most hobbies take so many dollars out of your finances but not model building, especially when you compare the cost of watching a movie for two hours (typically ranging between $30 to $40), skiing ($100), or golfing ($50). 

An average model car kit will cost between $25 to $30, with paint at $12 and $4 for glue. Add a $4 hobby knife and in total, you can start building your kit for less than $50. 

It’s a great father-and-son activity

A good hobby is also one that lets you experience quality time with loved ones. 

While scale modeling is a fun hobby anyone can engage in, the majority of scale model builders are males. 

So, if you have kids, scale modeling offers a hands-on way to spend quality time with your son, so that father and son have a shared passion they both enjoy.

Besides being a good father and son activity, building a model kit will benefit your child just as much as it benefits you.


So, is building models a good hobby? The simple answer is Yes. 

Every hobby has its benefits, but not every hobby can be fun, feel rewarding, help you share a common passion with loved ones, and engage your cognitive, creativity, or motor skills.

Model building is a good and entertaining hobby that’s been around for years and isn’t on the brim of extinction. If you’re looking for something to keep you engaged in the long term, give it a try. You won’t even spend as much as you will on most outdoor hobbies.