For those of you with a growing collection you may want to start thinking about keeping a record of your kits on a computer. There are several reasons for keeping a database of your kits

1. Keep tabs on the number of kits you have
2. Know how much you are spending on your hobby
3. Ability to quickly search for a certain kit 4. Print a list of your kits for insurance purposes

There are a variety of programs these days that are cheap and powerful. They are also very easy to learn for our application. Some programs do 90% of the work for you. A database program is preferred over a spread sheet due to the ability to manipulate the data. The program I use is Microsoft Access for Windows 3.1 but any program will do.

I can sort all my kits according to race cars, road cars, Science fiction, Military Air, figures, Diorama items, etc.

Topics or fields that I have in my database are;
1. Category - My database is divided into 13 different categories; Formula 1, race cars, cars, Military Air, Military Land, Military Sea, Figures, Sci-Fi, Motorcycles, Diorama, Aftermarket, Built, Sold etc. Since I build mostly race cars I have divided this area into different sections. A person into Tanks may divide this into areas such as Allies, Axis, Post war etc.
2. Subject - The common name of item, i.e. Ferrari 641/2
3. Year - The year the subject was in existence
4. Scale
5. Date Purchased
6. Cost
7. Comments - This section can be a brief history of the subject or a description of the quality of the kit, decals, accuracy etc.
8. Kit Number - The manufacturers kit number
9. Purchased from - Where the kit was purchased, local hobby store, Toys R Us, garage sale, swap meet, etc.
10. Built - When the kit was completed if applicable
11. Sealed - If the kit is sealed

I place every kit into the database right after I buy it. It can then be sorted and placed in the correct order. The built section changes the kit from one in my collection to one that is finished. The sold section will also take a kit out of my total collection. I decided to do this instead of deleting the record since the information I put in can be useful in the future when someone asks me about a particular kit.

Your database may not have to be so elaborate or may have even more fields. I have found the above list pretty complete for my purposes. This program also easily allows me to add new fields in the future if desired. This database will also allow me to determine how much was spent on my kits. This can be used if you want to get insurance for you collection

The "Purchase From" section is more for myself so I will get an idea of where my money is being spent and how much.

The built section marks off the date I finish a model. I also change the category from this subject to the built section. This way all the information I put in about the kit is still in the computer but won't be listed when I make a list of all my unbuilt kits.

The sealed section is just a section so I can quickly find which kits I have that are still shrink-wrapped

The most amount of time will be spend in the beginning inputting all the data for all your kits. Maintaining the database is very easy if you input the data everytime you buy the kit.

As you get more and more models their worth starts to increase. I have over 400 models and some of them are worth quite a lot. I know fellow modellers with over 3000 kits. When I totalled up the amount spent on the models it was quite surprising. If you have a detailed list you may be able to get insurance on the kits. Most people have house insurance. All you have to do is make the insurance company aware that you have the collections and how much it is worth. Along with the list a video or pictures of your kits should be made an kept outside the house or in a fireproof case. This is important to backup your list. no-one wants to think about this stuff but it would be a bigger tragedy if your collection is lost and the insuirance company won't replace it

Other Uses for a Database

I have also considered using a database to find references. This can be done but I found out quickly that there are so many references coming out each month that I was inputting data almost every other day.

The database I produced had the following fields:
1. Subject
2. Magazine name
3. Magazine Number /Volume etc.
4. Page

A typical input would be to pick up a magazine (i.e. Finescale). Go through the magazine and make inputs for any subject that I think would be a good reference for future projects

Looks pretty simple. The subject name sometimes gave me problems with the search function. The reason this project died was that I had so many references that it would have taken me over a month of continuous inputting data before I would be close to finishing. I also noticed that as time goes on I develop more interests. So subjects that I passed on before, would now be needed as references. This means I would have to go through the magazines again and look for the references. Another thing that would change this is if a new kit was made that needed references. I wouldn't have considered the kit before since there was no kit for it.

There is no simple solution for this although some magazines produce a list of all the topics they covered (i.e. Finescale) These can be used to search for a particular subject.

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