February 18, 2009

This is what all the effort is about, the production run. Parts are cast, trimmed, buffed, primed and painted. Exterior artfilms are made into pad printing art and the bodies are tampo-printed. Tampo printing or pad printing is a process where a machine has a specific soft silicone pad. It dips into a plate with the design and paint, lifts and moves to a specially designed jig that holds a model precisely in place. The pad stamps the image onto the body. This is a quick operation and the machine's operator can move multiple car bodies or parts quickly through the process. Multiple colors will require multiple hits. Let's say you want to do a sponsor emblem that is red, white and blue. This will require three hits so that each component is correctly duplicated. This is the reason for the artfilm review. Each color is a layer of film and each color needs to be individually specified using the same color-coding system.

The Final Steps
The models are assembled, packaged and shipped to the USA via container ships. The trip could last a month. Sometimes factors like strikes and weather could delay the trip. Models are tested at the factory to withstand humidity and temperature. This helps them make the trip safely. One experience to share: once, at another company, a container ship hit a typhoon and containers were washed off the deck. Production had to be restarted to make up the lost shipment-especially since they were limited editions!

The models arrive at their GMP destination where they are either warehoused for later sales or immediately packaged for shipment to the collector. The die cast process is complex and long. It brings many people together so that a project can come alive in scale. For GMP, it's a true labor of love.