When I was a kid I loved building plastic models. I was really good at it too. Once a week, I would go to the Hobby Shop on University Way in Seattle and the owner would let me pick out whatever model I wanted, and build it for the store window display. I even worked at a hobby store for a short while in high school, until I figured out that the chicks preferred guys who played guitar over guys who sat at home building models, so I joined a band instead.

In retrospect, it was definitely the right decision, but I still love building models. That is why I absolutely LOVE this new Monzo Virtual Model Builder App from Madfinger Games for iOS. It has to be the most mindlessly relaxing thing I have done in years…

The app lets you browse through the virtual hobby shop where you can buy very detailed models, stickers and paint sets, then via drag and drop, you can assemble paint and pose your model. When finished, you can take a photo with a selection of backgrounds and frames, including this cool augmented reality option (seen above) allowing you to position the model through your camera.

The app is free and really easy to use. They even gamified it a bit so that it steps you through the assembly process. It comes with one, free sports car model and the rest you have to buy, which i’ll have to admit are a bit pricey. While I think .99 is a better price for a model, the $4.99 I paid for this Black Jade Chopper Kit was “ok” I suppose.

If you’re a die hard model fan, the price is well worth the meditative, relaxed experience you’ll have building it.

So far the store has 28 Models, including 4 from Revell, some paint kits and some sticker kits.. They definitely need more selection, but I assume that will be in later releases.

A couple suggestions for improvement:

The app could use an airbrush feature, allowing fine detailing.
Some sparkly metallic paint kits would be cool

Final thoughts:
Overall, the app is very addictive. One thing I found interesting was the fact that it asks me which country I have an Amazon account in, so I am curious where that will lead? For purchasing models? For integrating with Amazon’s 3D shop? I guess time will tell.

Definitely looking forward to new updates.


Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.