plastic model kits
When building model kits again in the 80's I favored the scale 1:48 since the kits have all the fine details but don't take up to much place on my desk.
But as always things have changed. Today it is possible to get a model kit in 1:72 with a detailed cockpit and find additional parts to build your special version of just that particular type.
Thanks to the Internet I found that there are a lot of companies around offering fine kits you can't find in the local hobby shops. I buy regularly from Hannants (uk), from Squadron or from GreatModels (both usa).