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Best metal model kits: Remarkable 3D sculpture sets to display and gift

Although there are many challenging metal model kits for adults, there is also a world of easy-to-build metal sculptures for all walks of life!

Metal model kits are incredibly entertaining and provide a range of original, one-of-a-kind themes you can assemble within just a few hours. It’s the ideal creative hobby for miniature modelers and even Lego fans since it approaches multi-dimensional model building from a refreshing, new angle.

If you’re entirely new to 3D metal model kits and curious to know what they’re all about, we’ve gathered some of our favorite sets for all skill levels to give you a glimpse of the fantastic options available!

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Best metal model: Quick picks

Model Airplane Metal Model Kits by Time for Machine

Model Airplane Kit by Time for Machine

  • An excellent pick for fans of classic metal model airplane kits
  • Features moving parts
  • Expensive (~$100)

Vintage Movie Projector Metal Earth Metal Model Kits

Vintage Movie Projector by Metal Earth

  • Very original metal model design
  • Very cheap
  • Perfect for a gift

GOT Metal Model Kits for adults

Game of Thrones Set by Metal Earth

  • An exciting option for GOT fans
  • Includes six projects in a single bundle
  • Items can be bought separately on Innovatoys

Best metal model kits

Prepare to be amazed: we’ve lined up some of the coolest, most creative metal model kits for adults and teens in our guide below; let us know which are your favorites!

Model Airplane Kit by Time for Machine

Metal model airplane kit Time for Machine

At the top of our list is a classic theme miniature modelers will love — a 1930s-inspired American airplane by Time for Machine.  

This medium to large-sized scale model includes 195 pieces of durable stainless steel and is the ideal 3D project for adults looking for a lengthy building experience.

Besides its detailed design, this model’s most unique feature is its wind-up mechanism that triggers the airplane’s propeller to move — especially appealing for longtime miniature model collectors and aircraft enthusiasts! 

This set is one of the more complex metal model kits in our guide and is best suited for hobbyists 14 years and up.

Model Car Kit by Time for Machine

Time for Machine metal model kits car

Next up is another timeless theme also created by Time for Machine, perfect if you’re all about metal model car kits! 

Available on Amazon for ~$50, this metal model set is targeted at hobbyists 14 years old and up and is a fantastic pick if you love retro vehicles and are looking to explore more challenging projects. 

Read also: Best airbrush kits for miniature modeling and more

Like the previous kit, this high-quality metal car also features moving parts, providing a really interactive and singular building experience. You can even open the car’s hood to see the engine; the detail is incredible! 

This makes the perfect gift for anyone who gets a kick out of old cars and nostalgia-ridden themes. However, before buying, we advise confirming the dimensions of the completed model since it’s not a standard size.

Also, be sure to follow cleaning instructions carefully to preserve the integrity of your piece. For more car metal model kits, we suggest checking out metal vehicle designs by Metal Earth — lots more on this brand coming right up! 

Classic Bicycle by Metal Earth

Metal model kits bicycle

This super sweet, hyper-realistic miniature bike is one of my favorite metal model kits on our list and is featured in Metal Earth’s one-of-a-kind Premium series.  

For under ~$20, this set includes two flat sheets with 71 pieces and is best suited for crafters 14 years old and up. Because it’s packed with tiny details (I love the pedals!), we think this project will be more enjoyable if you already have a little experience under your belt.

And while this bike seems ordinary, it’s not. This design is fully inspired by what American civil rights leader Susan B Anthony coined as the “freedom machine” in the 1880s: the first-ever safety bicycle invented for women. Now how’s that for a fun fact? 

Arc de Triomphe by Metal Earth

Metal model kits Arc de Triomphe

Architecture-inspired projects aren’t just for Legos and brick builders! There are tons of landmark-themed metal model kits for adults that are just as gorgeous, like this stunning Arc de Triomphe sculpture. 

For less than $20, this Premium series model by Metal Earth is a great way to pay homage to one of Europe’s most beautiful architectural wonders. 

Read also: Best Lego Architecture sets

It’s also the perfect budget-friendly gift for that travel-loving friend that constantly reminds you of their amour for Paris (that would be moi!). 

Each kit includes two flat sheets containing 41 pieces. Despite its complex appearance, this is actually an excellent pick for first-time metal model builders ages 14 and up. 

Roman Colosseum Ruins by Metal Earth

Roman ruins Metal model kits

On the same note as the previous Metal Earth kit, this Roman Coliseum is one of those breathtaking sites you never forget — and now you can display it in your office as a reminder! 

Suitable for modelers 14 years and up, this is one of the most meticulously designed kits for beginners. The open ruin area reveals lots of tiny details at the heart of the arena, making it a particularly special piece. 

This set contains 124 pieces distributed throughout two flat sheets and costs just a little over $15. If you’re already familiar with metal model kits and looking for a circular rather than boxy project, this is a great one to try!  

Lighthouse of Alexandria by Metal Earth

Metal model kits lighthouse alexandria

Are you a fan of ancient Egyptian wonders? Well, this Lighthouse of Alexandria metal model will be right up your alley if you want to try metal models other than the pyramids!

I love the originality of this theme and how perfect it is for any history buff who finds the story behind this structure just as intriguing as I do.  

Claimed to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the 280—237 BC Lighthouse of Alexandria-themed set by Metal Earth contains two sheets with 100 pieces for assembling. 

Although advised for teens 14 years and older, it is a more intermediate-level project. And considering what we know about this historic building, we’re hoping this metal model will stand the test of time — on your shelf!

Merry-Go-Round Kit by Metal Earth

Metal model kits  merry go round

And now for something completely different: check out this fantastic metal model merry-go-round; there is nothing not to like here!

Featuring a world of details and super cute imagery, this 22-piece metal model kit for adults costs just ~$12. This is the ideal choice if you’re looking for an uber-easy project that looks elaborate.

The horse-themed carousel seats and the horse at the top of the structure make it a very sweet metal sculpture, great to showcase in a baby nursery or to gift a vintage fairground fan.

This is one of the brand’s most beginner-friendly metal model kits for adults and teens. And better yet, you can go all in with this theme by adding Metal Earth’s adorable Ferris wheel kit to your collection!

Vintage Movie Projector by Metal Earth

vintage movie projector Metal model kits

Lights, camera, action!

This incredibly original vintage movie projector-themed model is the perfect match if you’re looking for a unique treat for an old Hollywood-loving pal — we all have one.

It also happens to be one of the cheapest metal model kits for adults on our guide, sold for roughly $10! In addition, every set includes two steel sheets with easy-to-remove parts.

Read also: Looking for a creative gift? Try these hobby and craft kits

There are no specifics on the number of pieces in this set. However, it’s an intermediate-level project suitable for metal kit enthusiasts 14 years and up and does incorporate quite a bit of detail.

We especially recommend this set if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind gift ideas that won’t break the bank; it’s a great reminder that you don’t need to spend a fortune to come up with an unforgettable present!

Stegosaurus Skeleton by Metal Earth

Metal model kits  stegosaurus

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I ever grew out of the I-love-everything-dinosaurs phase. If you can relate, you’ll get a kick out of this 3D stegosaurus skeleton metal sculpture by Metal Earth! 

While there are several dinosaur-themed metal model kits for adults and teens, this stegosaurus skeleton design offers a really satisfying building experience because of its different shapes and angles. 

For ~$12, this piece is relatively straightforward and includes 79 pieces. It is, however, pretty delicate. This makes it the perfect project for beginners aiming to gradually move on to more challenging, complex designs. 

Suppose you’re into this theme and want to add more dinosaur-themed 3D metal model kits to your collection. In that case, we advise checking out Metal Earth’s Triceratops SkeletonPteranodon Skeleton, and Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton sets! 

Moby Dick Book Sculpture by Metal Earth

Book Metal model kits

Bookworms will love this quirky Moby Dick-inspired metal sculpture!

This Metal Earth model boasts a fantastic depiction of Herman Melville’s literary classic and is the perfect option to display on your bookshelf, office, or reading nook.

Featuring two sheets with easy pop-out pieces, you can purchase this item individually for ~$13. But, if you’re interested in a 2-in-1 pack option, Amazon sells a super neat Metal Earth book sculpture combo, including this Moby Dick and a The Old Man and The Sea-themed kit.

Like most 3D metal model kits, this set is suitable for hobbyists 14 years old and up. However, considering the theme, it might be more relatable for slightly older hobbyists and literature aficionados.

Electric Bass Guitar by Metal Earth

Electric bass guitar Metal model kits

As much as I love grand pianos and drum sets, I often feel like bass guitars are kind of left in the shadows when it comes to instrument themes. That said, our next pick is this detailed electric bass guitar sculpture by Metal Earth! 

This is one of the smallest and most beginner-friendly metal model kits for adults, including a single sheet of just 16 pieces. And better yet, it only costs a little over five bucks!

Needless to say, this is a thoughtful gift for anyone who loves a great bass line and has a passion for music. Guidelines are also very clear and easy to follow; Metal Earth is boss when it comes to comprehensive instructional manuals! 

If you want to add a few more instrument models to your setup, the brand also sells the following: Electric Lead GuitarBass Fiddle, and Grand Piano

Game of Thrones Set by Metal Earth

GOT Metal Model Set

If you didn’t read the books or watch the series, the next set will probably mean little to you. But if you’re a die-hard Game of Thrones fan, you’ll ab-so-lute-ly love this metal model kit!

While you can buy individual GOT sets on Innovatoys, we really love this complete Metal Eath pack available on Amazon. Is it cheap? Not really. The whole set includes six iconic figures and costs ~$120, meaning you’ll be paying roughly $20 apiece.

Read also: Best Harry Potter Lego sets

However, while pricier, keep in mind that this is a more high-end edition (Iconx), and models are also larger and more detailed than standard Metal Earth sets.

Every bundle includes six individually packed projects depicting iconic GOT symbols and characters, including the Red Keep, The Silence, House Stark Sigil, Drogon, The Mountain, and of course, the one and only Iron Throne.

The fact that each item is packed separately allows you to build at your own pace and have pieces set aside per project. This is also a great bundle to buy with friends; you can split the cost and distribute models per person!

Star Wars Classic Set by Metal Earth

Star Wars Classics Set by Metal Earth

If you’re looking for metal model car kits or metal model airplane kits, this one is not for you. Well, kind of — if you’re into flying sci-fi vehicles!

We couldn’t end our guide without mentioning this fantastic Star Wars-themed metal model kit. Much like the previous suggestion, this pack includes five items: R2-D2Millennium Falcon AT-AT C-3PO, and the Death Star (gosh, how I love the Death Star!). 

Read also: Best Lego Minecraft sets

The complete bundle costs ~$60, which isn’t bad at all, considering you’ll be paying roughly 12 bucks per project. You can buy these separately, but if you want to go all in, we think this is definitely worth the investment! 

Currently, this option is only sold on Innovatoys, but you can find a similar Star Wars 4-pack by the brand on Amazon for ~$45.

As a fan, this is a fun, creative way to bring some of your all-time favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away, straight into your living room or office! 

How to choose the best 3D metal model kits

Because there are so many exciting metal model kits available, it can take time to choose a single set to start with, especially because the variety of creative themes on offer is so enticing!

However, keep it simple if you’re purchasing a metal model kit for the first time. Since most sets are relatively affordable, remember you’ll have time to peruse lengthy catalogs and binge-buy once you’ve got the basics down.

Most importantly, look for themes you love! You can find just about anything, from classic metal model car kits and metal model airplane kits to architectural, pop culture, animal, and mystical creature-themed sets! Building models you enjoy is the best way to stay motivated.

Most kits are targeted at hobbyists 14 and up. That said, double-check the skill level attributed to each project so you can gradually build your way up to more detailed pieces. Also, many metal model kits for adults may not appeal to all ages, so do your research until you find something you really like!

Read also: 100+ creative hobbies to try and how to get started

Know that this isn’t an overly complex hobby. In fact, some sets are very straightforward and more focused on showcasing than on process. Therefore, define your goal and pick a kit that will meet your expectations, whether you’re all about the building experience or making something pretty to display.

Before “adding to cart,” check the dimensions of the finished model you’re interested in to ensure it will fit the designated spot you have in mind! Some models are larger than others, whether in width and/or height.

It’s good to reinforce that having a thorough instructional manual is key when exploring 3D metal model kits for the first time. Metal Earth is a superstar in this regard, so you can’t go wrong with any of their sets!

In any case, many brands also provide access to online videos and tutorials to give you a full picture of what you’re getting: many of which can be accessed before actually purchasing products.

That’s it for our picks for the best metal model kits you can buy! Which one will you be buying for yourself or a loved one today?

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