Custom Scale Models, Displays, and Services
Q: What are the models made out of?
A: Styrene plastic. The kits are commercially available model kits found on retail hobby sites via the internet. Sometimes customers will have a request for additional items to be added, or detailed parts to be included, which will most often be cast out of resin. Metal photo etch sets are also used frequently in adding additional detail to your model in order to replicate fine detail which simply cannot be recreated in the injection molding process.
Q: How much does something like this cost?
A: Each build is unique and individual, and no two planes will ever look or build the same, despite if they are the same identical kit. Some of the biggest factors include: Overall size of the subject being built, amount of decals involved, paint layers (i.e. camouflage schemes), and weapons load outs. These are the primary costs that any plane is going to have. If additional aftermarket accessories are used to make the build more accurate or highly detailed, those are subject to charge as well.
Q: Who typically buys commission built scale models?
A: There really isn't any one particluar "target base" of customers for something like this. Aviation has a broad spectrum of fans from simple enthusiasts fascinated by the theory of flight, or veterans who have had a hand in working on particular aircraft that they hold near and dear to their hearts. I've built for everyone from avid enthusiasts, pilots, to families of veterans who are presenting the build as a gift to someone close.
Q: What is the typical size or what scales do you build?
A: My primary scales to build in are 1:48 and 1:32. These two scales are ideal since it gives me, the builder, the best possibilities to provide you, the client, the best possible detail I can. In some cases for bigger aircraft that are in a smaller scale, I will take those on, as the overall project is still considerable in size, and easy to work with and handle. 1:48 is probably the most popular scale among scale model aircraft, and I'm hard pressed to ever be out of luck finding a subject that I am wanting to build in that scale, so the options are next to unlimited. As a reference, 1:48 scale indicates that for every foot in 1:1 scale is essentially 1/4" inch in 1:48 scale, hence why you will sometimes hear this scale refered to as "quarter scale". In recent months, my clientele have been bringing in a lot of work in the larger 1:32 scale. While the price of the larger models is typically larger, so is the overall size of the product, and the amount of detail and work required to get it to look just right.
Q: What can I expect regarding the ordering and payment process, all the way up to delivery?
A: When a quote has been established, and you elect to go through with the build, the first thing that has to happen is acquiring parts. This can be done one of two ways. If the client already has a factory sealed kit on hand, then they simply send them in. More often, a quote will be determined based on the customers wants for his/her build, and an invoice will be sent that will include the total amount to acquire said kit, parts, and decals. The initial deposit towards the build will be the cost to acquire these parts, and 50% of the overall price of the quote. All invoices of parts ordered are available to customers to assure them that the deposit is fair. The simple logic to this process is to ensure that I'm not expending my time or personal expenses on parts that I don't need in the unlikely event that something falls through, and you're no longer able to take on the build. I make no money off of the price that quote you for parts. Once the deposit is made, parts are ordered the same day to get them shipped. Once the parts arrive the build will commence in the order that it falls in my queue of projects. Upon completion, the remaining half of the balance will be due prior to the product being packaged and shipped. Photo updates are posted regularly to keep the client up to date on where their build is at in the the process. Once complete, the plane will be shipped to the address provided. Cost of shipping will be factored into the final total for the build, so no additional fees will be necessary once final payment has been made. The only exception to this is if international shipping rates are applied, at which rate, only the additional fees included will be billed to the customer.
Q: I've searched high and low for a commercially available decal sheet for the model I want, and it either doesn't exist, or doesn't have the proper registry numbers, or names that were on the plane that I'm wanting to replicate.
A: Not a problem at all. I am able to do custom decals to help ensure that your model is unique, and fits the criteria that you're looking for. Custom tail/buno numbers, pilot and crew names, and graphics are absolutely available. Custom decals do require the particular items to be drawn, sized for scale, and printed. While this is not an overly expensive process, it is definitely worth mentioning that there will be additional costs for the build. Graphic decals that require items to be redrawn are more costly, simply because of the amount of work required to get them setup, and done correctly. All custom decals are professionally printed on high quality water slide decal paper, and look flawless once installed. Please note that the only limitation to custom decals is the lack of printing metallic colors. Any and everything else is absolutely doable.
Q: How do the models hold up during shipping?
A: Extremely well!! In very rare instances, some small accessory parts, most often on the bottom of the aircraft, will come off during shipping. My packaging method has thus far been very reliable, and I have a nearly perfect shipping percentage as far as your model showing up in one piece. A lot of it has to do with the construction methods that I use, the other half has to do with how well I actually package and protect the items during packaging. In the rare event that something comes off in shipping, it is typically a very simple fix that requires no modeling skill at all. The most notable pieces that often disassemble during shipment are wing tip mounted missile, or the occasional canopy or other various small parts. Ensuring a safe transit from my work bench to your house starts long before the shipping process does. I have implemented processes into the assembly of the model which ensures added stability and strength to reinforce your model even further to protect from damage. It is absolutely additional work, but work that I deem very necessary in ensuring that your product arrives looking exactly how it did when it left. All models are custom packaged using durable cutout foam that ensures that your model is perfectly braced along all of the strong points to ensure it's held solidly in place, and voided in areas where the most care should be taken. I try to essentially suspend the model in place so that no damage from shock, or contact can be made. Every model is individually packaged in it's own unique box to ensure the highest care has been taken to ensure safe delivery. For your confidence, all items are insured to the full amount to protect your investment in the unlikely scenario that something happens while in the hands of the parcel service used to ship. As an added measure of confidence, I am available via phone or email to help walk you through any necessary repairs, should the need arise. As I often tell my clients, no one wants to see your model show up in one piece more than me.
Q: How long will I have to wait from time of order placement to time of delivery.
A: This questions varies, depending on what you're ordering. As for models, this is a variable question that ultimately depends on what I have on my work bench at the moment. I do this as a part time venture since taking on a full time job so progress does take some time, as I do have a life outside of model building. As a customary good business practice, I send several notices in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the build to let the client know when to expect their project to begin. Another big factor is how many parts are included in the kit, or aftermarket items. Some kits can build up nicely with 150-200 pieces while the very same aircraft variant produced by a different company may require 3 - 500 parts to achieve the same results. This is sometimes a great notion, in that more detailing is able to be accomplished, other times this can just simply be the result of the manufacturer over engineering the kit into too many parts. Either way, these variables must be met in order to complete the build, and sometimes it takes longer than others. Please note, if there is an immediate need for a project within a certain window, I do allow it, but please note that there is an expedite fee in order to get your product in work immediately.
Q: I'm a helicopter ship, or automotive enthusiasts, can you build those too?
A: YES!! Variety is the spice of life, and pretty much the only thing I have had no desire in working with is armor subjects, but I never say never. All genres, all generations.
Q: What methods of payment do you accept?
A: I have two methods of secure payment in order to give clients a flexible method to pay with confidence. I can accept payments via PayPal, and major credit cards using Square transfer services, which is safe and encrypted. Checks or money orders are also welcome, however, with payments of check, the item will not ship until the check has sufficiently cleared.
Q: Do you build anything other than aircraft?
A: Absolutely. I have recently been flooded with the question of do I build ships. I recently did a trial build of a ship to see how my skills transferred, and it was met with good review. If you have something in mind, by all means, feel free to contact me and we'll discuss what your needs are.
Listed below is basic information, which should help answer most questions you may have in advance. In the event that you are unable to find an answer to your question, or still require more information to suit your particular needs, please feel free to contact me for anything you may need assistance with. Thank you.