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Materials for making models can basically classified into two main categories – metal and non-metal. For metal models diecast and white metal are the most commonly used materials today, while resin and plastic are mainly used for non-metal models. Each material has its characteristics, some are suitable for mass production and some are good at making more precise models. However, most models may contain both metal and non-metal parts.

Die-cast models are strong zinc alloy castings which usually include minor plastic parts. die-casting involves major tooling costs which are spread over production runs of 2000+ models. Die-cast metals are strong but will usually break rather than bend.

White metals are usually softer alloys that allow finer detail but will tend to bend rather than break. Some manufacturers use higher grade stronger alloys with properties similar to die-cast. Initial tooling costs are much lower but production costs per piece are much higher.

Resins are cold cast plastics which are often used instead of white metals by small manufacturers. Resins tend to break rather than bend like injection molded plastics.

Handbuilts are usually low production runs of white metal, brass or resin castings. Finished model prices are significantly higher than die-cast because of the low volume and considerable hand finishing. Handbuilts are often the best quality and detail and offer interesting models which the larger die-cast firms would never consider. Handbuilts are usually more fragile and may offer functioning parts, but they are definitely not toys.


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Last Updated on 21-03-2005  Terms of Use