ARE WHITE METAL MODELS?
I am often asked, "what are white metal models, and
why are they so expensive?". To answer this it is necessary to explain the production
of white metal models. Spa Croft Models, and the other white metal model manufacturers,
generally produce models which are not considered commercially viable by the diecast
manufacturers such as Corgi, as they often have a limited appeal. The metal used in the
die casting process ia a hard metal, and can only be cast in steel dies. The tooling costs
are, therefore, extremely high, and because of this, the manufacturer has to be sure that
his investment will be recouped. Subjects, therefore have to have a wide appeal, and be
capable of being produced in a variety of forms and liveries, with little, or no
alteration. Plastic is used to produce many of the smaller items such as radiator grilles,
bumpers etc., and interiors, because this is also cheaper. Generally the only none metal
parts used in white metal models are rubber for the tyres, and acetate for the windows.
Everything else is metal which contributes to the weight of the model and its overall
impression of quality.
Whilst the production of white metal models is still not
cheap, because the metal used has a low melting point, rubber moulds can be used to cast
the models, by means of centrifugal casting, and it is this process that is much cheaper
than die casting, because tooling costs are much less. "Why is the end product so
much more expensive?", I hear you ask. There are several reasons. Because of the
limited appeal of many of the subjects of white metal models, for instance, they may only
be known in the UK, and therefore have no interest world wide, the recovery of tooling
costs is spread over a smaller number of units, very often no more than 600 pieces. Each
model is also hand built, and hand finished, and in some cases, hand polished. This is a
very labour intensive part of the production of white metal models, and because production
is totally local, the white metal manufacturers cannot benefit from the much cheaper
foreign labour available to our colleagues in the diecast model industry.
"Why should I buy white metal models then", you
may ask. Because you are getting a special model which no one else produces. None of the
models produced by Spa Croft Models is currently available from any other manufacturer,
die cast or white metal. White metal models are very often more accurate and have more
detail than their die cast counterparts, although the die cast manufacturers are now
recognising the demands of the discerning collector, and things are definitely improving;
the finish of white metal models is of a greater quality because they are handbuilt; your
collection will be more unique because there are fewer examples of each model around, and
I suppose, to be a little light hearted, you will not be filling you cabinets as quicky,
because you will be buying less of the more expensive models, unless of course you are a
lottery winner. Ultimately, the value of your collection may increase more, because of the
desirabilty of these little gems, but that's a bonus. Collecting is about the fun of it,
and the intrinsic value of your collection.
Proposed Models for 2002
We are to
produce a different version of our highly popular Standard Vanguard Phase III.
The new model will be the
standard version of the Phase III, which was the first Phase III to be produced. The
current Spa Croft Model is the de luxe version, which eventually displaced the standard
version. Our new model will be devoid of the chrome strip, and the colour configuration
will be different; the body and B Post will be one colour, and the roof, A post and rear
post another colour. The model shown is Black over Lavender Grey. It is proposed to
produce a Sunset Red over Beige version (photo to appear shortly). This will be limited to
no more than 200 pieces (100 of each colour), although, as usual, another 100 will be
available for finishing to customer sepcification.
Please note that this
model will only be available direct from Spa Croft Models. Price is £79.00, inc
If you would like to add
this model to your collection, please contact us direct, and we will reserve one for you.
Please do not send any money at the moment.
Sportsman. Spring/Summer 2002
Austin 14hp Goodwood. Spring
Here are the first pictures of
our new model. These are photographs of the unpainted master. The finished model will be
far more refined, including details such as seperate door handles, windscreen wipers, in
fact all the usual refinements associated with Spa Croft Models. Proposed colours are
Westminster Green, and Maroon, both on Black mudguard/running roard assemblies. Only 200
models of each colour will be issued, plus an additional 100 for finishing to collectors
own specification. If you would prefer a model to your own finish, then it is important to
place your order as early as possible, to assist us with production..Price is not known
yet, but it is anticipated to be around £89.00. The model will be availble from direct
fromSpa Croft Models, or from your usual dealer. Orders can be placed now to ensure early
As usual, a specially commisioned
version of a different colour, will be available as a prize in the usual Spa Croft Models
draw, forms for which will be included with each model.
As with most of our models,
the new Austin Goodwood has been mastered by Kenna Models, who will also be responsible
for painting and final assembly.
Click Here to see pictures of the Phase III