One of the most frequently asked questions the Drake Collectibles team gets is “what goes into making a Drake Collectibles diecast replica?”
The team have shared their process, which takes anywhere between 12-16 months to make a model range all the way from initial concept to final product.
Product launch package (PLP)
Step one in producing one of the world’s finest diecast replicas is gathering data for the prototype.
This consists of 3D drawings if available, scaled photos and hand sketches. As Drake Collectibles takes immense pride in getting all the fine details just right, this step is crucial to make sure as much information is collected as possible.
After finalising the functions and features, the next step is to produce a 3D computerised design render of the model. Added by the technological advancements with 3D computer design we are now able to be offer our designers flexibility for customisation and detail. Using this software, we make a virtual 3D model of the finished product, viewable from any angle. Any inconsistencies seen at this stage are easily modified.
Resin tooling samples are then produced from the computerised design renderings. These tool models are also referred to as “Hand Samples.” They are manufactured using different techniques including CNC machining and 3D printing.
The “hand sample” is then subjected to a series of inspections from various departments checking for accuracy, potential design or assembly problems. The sample is reworked until all departments are satisfied that the model complies with all the requirements of replicating a full size trailer or truck and trailer combination..
Utilising all the approved data, production tooling is then fabricated from high grade steel using state of the art CNC machines for the larger dies and electrical discharge machining for fine detail. There are approximately 8-10 tooling blocks used to produce a Drake Collectibles truck.
The metal sample or “first shot” is then cast from the tooling. This model is assembled to test the fitment and
clearance of all the parts. It is then reviewed in detail and if we’re happy with it… it’s off to production!
Production commences with the casting and injecting of the diecast and plastic parts. A Drake Collectable truck will have between 250 – 300 small but vital parts each. After the parts are removed from their trees and inspected before they are cleaned and any secondary drilling is completed. Then it’s off to the paint shop for their respective colours.
Smaller parts are spayed by hand in a filtrated booth while larger parts are painted in an electrostatic booth and baked at 150 degrees in a heated kiln. Chrome parts are sent to the electro platers for coating. The next step is either Tampo printing or UGT decaling, both methods of adding the fine detail to match exactly what the real-life version has, which is then baked in a kiln. The parts are assembled into sub-assemblies and then moved to the production line for final assembly.
Models are then inspected by qualified QA personnel and packaged into Styrofoam shipping boxes. These “shock proof” boxes are specially designed to withstand any accidental shipping damage on its travels to its new home: pride of place in your display cabinet.
As you can see, just like with our range of trailers, we’re all about meticulous attention to detail. Talk to Drake Collectibles about our exclusive line of diecast collectibles today.