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Model Types & Materials

What are models and toys made out of?  What are the differences in the materials?  These questions are often asked and we would like to give you some information.  Below list both pre built up models along with kits.  We have listed the types of materials along with general quality of the models that can be produced from the material.  There are always exceptions and with each type of material, the quality depends on the manufacturer.

Pre built up models
Brass Brass models are usually the most detailed of all models available.  Brass allows for finer parts than diecasting or white metal. These are usually limited run models with the usual production quantities of 200-300 units but can be more or less than that.  Most brass models are painted.
Diecast Diecast models is the preferred method for making models in large quantities.  They offer durability, detail and low cost on high runs.  The usual minimum order for a diecast model is 2500 units.  The minimum is required to balance out the cost of the dies over many units.  Diecast can range in quality depending on the details desired and the model requirements.
Plastic Plastic models use and injection moulded process that allows for fine detail.  Most plastic models use pre-colored plastic for their color unlike any of the materials.
White metal White metal is a "soft" low temperature metal often used for limited run hand built models and kits.  The lower temperature allows it to flow into moulds easier for finer detail.  White metal will bend a little before breaking.  Whereas a diecast while stronger, simply breaks.
Pewter Pewter is a form of white metal.  Often times models listed as pewter are unpainted and remain in the grayish bare metal color.
Resin Resin is a low temperature casting plastic.  Unlike plastic models that use injection under pressure, resin is cast into moulds.  Resin can range in quality from crude casting to very finely detailed models.  Most of the models we
Wood Very few models are made out of wood.  This is sometimes used for large one off prototype models and for large scale aircraft models.  These models are then sanded and painted so it is hard to tell they are made out of wood.
Model Kits Kits can be produced in all of the materials listed above.  Some kits are more difficult and require more preperation work like cleaning flashing, sanding and pre-paint cleaning.  See our Kit Building Tips page for more information

 


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