What are multiples?
Practically any entity produced in quantity more than
one is a multiple. Every consumer product that you buy
in store is a multiple.
professional model making we usually being required to
multiply a scale model, replica, sculpture or
other subject or object, which has to be produced
in quantity, that is smaller than the minimum quantity
which mass manufacturing facility would agree to produce.
Mass manufacturer is interested in producing a run
starting from 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 copies and more,
depending on type of product. A production run less
than 1,000 copies usually might be produced only by model making
company capable of performing as a short run manufacturer.
Multiples in Sales
is smart and very effective tactic if your company has a
number of sales representatives that meet with
buyers and participating in trade shows independently. Sales multiples
can be installed in different locations or can be
carried by sales persons, in which occasion model can be
installed in a brief case or custom carrying case. Sales
representatives equipped with a tool as powerful as sale
model are mobile, can act independently and respond to
the potential buyer’s inquiry with maximum efficiency.
Sales of residential developments, resorts, business and
industrial parks, various devices, structures,
installations, crafts and many more will be faster,
easier and more effective using multiplied sale models.
Multiples in Marketing
Multiples produced for marketing purposes are
practically fully custom promotional items, used as
exclusive give away gifts for the most important buyers,
donors, investors and guests. Presenting such gift is
not only a token of respect or a piece of precious
memory. The power of model, which described in article
“Why Model”, will make its keeper to be subconsciously
bonded with the design. Accepting of design’s physical
existence in scaled down replica will make this
important person to feel favorable to the design and
might as a result have made a decision that will exceed
all your expectations – all because of a little model.
Promotional multiples might be produced in different
editions – smaller generic version, larger, more
detailed and luxury edition, depending on importance of
a person to whom it will be presented.
Multiples in Fundraising
is one of the greatest uses for multiples. Nothing can
be compared to a collectible multiple that you are
selling in order to raise funds for community building,
preservation of historical building or any other noble
cause. Any other standard items, such as t-shirts, mugs,
posters or calendars will be treated as such and will
fade away without leaving a trace. Collectible replica
will stay with its buyer for a long time as a piece of
precious memory. Also, how much profit can be made off
selling a t-shirt or a mug? $10? $15? After all there is
a limit of how much one can ask for a t-shirt even sold
for a noble cause. Exclusive custom collectible replica,
on the other hand, might be offered and sold for a few
hundred dollars, bringing incomparably higher profit and
all parties will feel good and accomplished about it.
Also, t-shirt or mug is not even a representation of the
cause, but merely a reflection of it. Collectible
replica is the cause, real and physical, only scaled
down. You are not selling it, you presenting a piece of
your cause as a token of gratitude for donation, leaving
a good feeling a great memory.
These are limited edition, in most cases scaled down
replicas of art pieces by certain artists. Also it can
be a three-dimensional representation of artist’s
Although produced by model making company, these
replicas usually signed by the artist, numbered,
accompanied by certificate of authenticity and being
considered as originals.
doubt, it is a great way for artists to expand their
sales and to offer these multiples to the fans and
collectors which cannot afford to buy an original art
piece. Also it is a way to promote artist’s name and art
where the artist is not known yet.
Naturally, the cost of limited edition production in
model making shop will be significantly higher in
comparison to manufacturer’s cost per copy when
producing a large run. However, can we compare pricing
and costs distribution pattern here?
Manufacturer quotes an industrial tooling, which is
quite expansive, than each copy produced on automated or
semi-automated lime, using that tooling. When the run is
large, a cost of tooling is being evenly distributed
between the copies. The larger quantity, the lower will
be cost per copy.
Model making shop doesn’t have to produce an expansive
industrial tooling – in most cases silicone rubber molds
or vacuum-forming patterns are all is needed. A cost of
tooling itself is significantly lower. However, model
making shop does not have such luxury as automated line
– casting, assembly, painting, decoration, even packing
– all done by hand. Therefore a cost per copy itself is
tens times higher and the tooling cost, although lower
than industrial one, being distributed between merely
few hundreds if not less copies. Also, a price of
producing a master (the initial sculpted or fabricated
model or replica which is to be replicated) has to be
added and its alone can cost a few thousand dollars.
are describing this because there are many customers
that are approaching model makers with expectations to
have their multiples produced by the price close to the
price of industrial manufacturing, only in quantities of
50 – 200 copies. Some customers are so disappointed that
are leaving being convinced that model makers are trying
to rip them off.
be ready that the price per copy will be tens times
higher than in industrial production.
Specifics of short
Another thing that you have to consider and to accept is
that model making shop’s methods of replication and
choices of materials are limited. Model making shop is
set primarily to produce prototypes which are close, but
still, imitation of look and feel of future products.
Model maker’s first choice of replication techniques is
resin casting, because it is relatively simple and
almost does not require expansive tooling and machinery.
A family of modern polyurethane resins is huge; their
properties can be adjusted to imitate practically every
material and texture, whenever it is plastic, metal,
rubber or glass. By adding color pigments to the resin
while it is in the liquid state, cast products could be
instantly colored. However, resin casting cannot be
compared to industrial replication, such as injection
molding, it would be a mistake to have such expectation.
Resins are pretty sensitive to the temperature change.
Same color pigment formula might color resins
differently, depending on temperature or humidity level
in the shop. Resins are slightly shrinking and deforming
in soft silicone rubber molds, which pose certain
difficulties when accurate assembly of separately cast
parts is anticipated.
be ready that there are certain limitations in short run
production and properties of multiples produced in model
making shop cannot be compared to properties of
industrially manufactured product.