Matchstick Model Kits

These matchstick kits are great value for money and make a fantastic project to work on over the course of a few weeks or even months.

Key Information

  1. Most of these kits are priced from £15 to £25, but there are some more expensive kits
  2. Some of these models come with glue and cutting tools, so children under 14 should be supervised
  3. With the basic wooden model constructed, you’re free to decorate, paint or varnish them as you please

We’ve shortlisted the best matchstick model-making kits – check out our recommendations below!

Matchstick model kits are a wonderful introduction to model-making. While the underlying process to assemble is simple and they come with clear instructions, they can offer a challenging experience for both first-timers and enthusiasts.

While it does require some patience and a steady hand to put these models together, it’s an activity you can enjoy on your own or with your family. It’s always fun to spend time crafting something and have a tangible result at the end. Many of these models can take weeks or even months to complete as a side project, so there’s definitely a time commitment, but a lot of fun for a low price makes it great value.

These kits can also be a good way to introduce people to more complex model building – their simplicity is a nice entry to the hobby and will hopefully spark a passion for more crafting in the future!

1. Big Ben Matchstick Kit

Big Ben (yes, the clock and the tower!) has watched over London since 1859 and is synonymous with the City and generally one of the first things that pops to mind when someone mentions Britain. It’s a popular tourist attraction and UNESCO World Heritage site. Although it’s currently closed for refurbishment (at the time of writing), it still draws crowds to London.

This wonderful little matchstick model kit will give you your very own piece of British culture. When assembled, it won’t quite tower over an entire city, but at around 45cm high it will make a lovely addition to your room.

  1. Age: 11+
  2. Size: 114mm x 89mm x 445mm
  3. Contains: Matchsticks, Cardboard Formers, Glue, Instructions, Matchstick Safety Cutter

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Big Ben

Big Ben

2. Omnibus Matchstick Kit

Sticking with the London theme, this is a lovely little model of a 1920’s omnibus, which was one of the first forms of bus and would have operated in the 1800s and through the 1900s. I confess, I even recall hoping on a model similar to this when I was younger, but let’s assume that was a much more recent model!

What’s really great about this is that it’s a bit more complex and a larger size, which means you’ll be much more satisfied with yourself when you build it! There’s certainly a commitment to building it though – even an avid model-maker could spend weeks on it, if not months.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Size: 523mm x 269mm x 60mm
  3. Contains: Everything you need

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Omnibus Matchstick Kit

1920’s Omnibus

3. Vardo (Romani Wagon) Matchstick Kit

This delightful little kit is of a vardo, which is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romanichal Travellers. These wagons were generally brightly decorated, so this model gives you the scope to unleash your artistic flair and decorate it when complete as you see fit.

This model is intricate, so you’ll need plenty of patience to assemble it but when it’s done you’ll be left with a lovely model that will certainly be admired by anyone who visits.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Size: 230mm x 140mm x 190mm
  3. Contains: Matchsticks, Ready Made Wheels, Axle Pins, Wire, Instructions, Glue

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Vardo (Romani Wagon) Matchstick Kit

Vardo (Romani Wagon)

4. Fishing Trawler Matchstick Kit

The first nautical entry on our list, this is a great fishing trawler kit and an ideal gift for model enthusiasts (particularly the budding Captains!). It’s one of the larger model kits on the list but still very reasonably priced.

Expect to spend many hours putting this model together and it’s definitely not one for beginners as it’s a complex model. But, for someone with a bit of experience putting models together and the patience to painstakingly construct a model, this could be a perfect model for them.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Size: 536mm x 274mm x 640mm
  3. Contains: Everything you need

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Fishing Trawler

Fishing Trawler

5. Motorbike Matchstick Kit

This is an interesting addition to the list as it doesn’t come with matches, but a “microbeams” which then have to be cut to size using the supplied cutting tool. So there’s a lot more work involved in this one, so may not be suitable for children (or older, impatient people!).

But, when the model is complete you have a wonderful model motorcycle which will stand out in any collection. Definitely a challenge, but may be interesting alternative process for people who have completed other matchstick models.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Contains: Beam Cutter, Glue, Matches, Tweezers

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Motorbike Matchstick Model


6. St Paul’s Cathedral Matchstick Kit

Back to London with another landmark – St Paul’s Cathedral. The present day cathedral (there were others on the site before), was built in 1708, before being officially opened by Parliament in 1711. For over 300 hundred years it has survived in London, escaping serious damage during the Blitz and has hosted many events in recent history, include the marriage of Prince Charles and Princes Diana in 1981.

This a somewhat simpler model than others mentioned here, so it would be more suitable for slightly younger children (with supervision) or as a gift for first time model makers.

  1. Age: 11+
  2. Size: 245mm x 153mm x 172mm
  3. Contains: Matchsticks, Cardboard Formers, Glue, Instructions, Matchstick Safety Cutter

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St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

7. Notre-Dame de Paris Matchstick Kit

A quick hop over the channel now to Paris and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Built back in 1345, it is a world-famous landmark which was recognised by the pain shared by the world after a fire gutted the building in 2019. While restoration work is expected continue through to 2024, you can enjoy a wonderful piece of this history in your home with this kit.

While the St Paul’s Cathedral model was simpler, this one is by far the most complex kit in this guide, and this is reflected in the higher price. As you can see from the image, the finished model is beautifully detailed. It’s from the same company that supply the Motorbike model and uses the same bespoke system – “microbeams” rather than matches, which you cut to size with a special cutting tool (all supplied with the kit).

Not recommended for beginners but would make a wonderful gift for model building enthusiasts or anyone with a talent for crafts.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Size: 840mm x 620mm
  3. Contains: Beam Cutter, Glue, Matches, Tweezer

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Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Damne de Paris

8. 4-6-0 Locomotive Matchstick Kit

We do love our steam engines here at Model Steam! The 4-6-0 locomotive is named after the configuration of wheels on the engine, and is the workhorse of the locomotion world. The engine was widely used through the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the engine for passenger and freight trains across the world. Although they were adopted in the UK, they were primarily used for passenger trains up until the end of the steam era.

This is a lovely little model and offers a good combination of simplicity and an aesthetically pleasing result that can be painted in a range of a different ways. A good entry point for beginners and families looking for a project to work on with old kids.

  1. Age: 10+
  2. Size: 532mm x 262mm x 62mm
  3. Contains: Everything you need to assemble

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4-6-0 Locomotive Matchstick Kit

4-6-0 Locomotive

9. Riverboat Matchstick Kit

A final entry on the list of the best matchstick model kits, and a little piece of nautical history. These lovely little riverboats were used in the USA throughout the 19th century (some are still active for tours these days) and feature in a lot of American fiction. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen a film or read a book where a poker game takes place on a Mississippi riverboat!

This is a slightly more complex model, so perhaps not for beginners unless they are keen on spending the time and care needed to finish the job. But for more experienced model builders, this is a wonderful addition to any collection and would certainly be a welcome gift.

  1. Age: 14+
  2. Size: 380mm x 225mm
  3. Contains: Everything you need

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Riverboat Matchstick Model