WHY DO YOU USE RESIN FOR YOUR MODELS AND NOT METAL, A MUCH MORE SOLID AND "NOBLE" MATERIAL?
Because resin allows much finer details than white metal (of course, if the master model you produce is HQ). Since the model is then painted exactly with the same real-car paints (today mostly two-component achrylic), you will not be able to notice any difference when the models are displayed: that is, except that the resin model will be FINER.
WHY DON'T YOU MAKE MODELS OF FAMOUS CARS LIKE THE BLUE FLAME OR THE BLUBIRD?
Most, if not all, the vehicles that made the history of the "absolute" Land Speed Record have been modelled by now and most are currently available from other specialized manufacturers, who are also friends and we all try hard to avoid duplication. Apart from this, it would just not be feasible to produce a new model, no matter how better, of a LSR car that most collectors already have.
WHY DON'T YOU SELL YOUR MODELS AS KITS?
Because my concept of a "handmade" model is that it should be the work of a single person and show all his skill and, eventually, limitations. If you allow the comparison, would you be happy with a color-it-yourself Picasso, or an Armani dress in kit form??
Kits and die cast are fit for manufacturers. Handbuilts are for real craftmen.
IN WHAT SENSE ARE THESE MODELS HAND-MADE? THEY COME FROM A MOULD, DON'T THEY?
Yes, these models come from a mould. What is hand made is everything else (or almost): the hand-carved master model, from which the mould is made, sometimes the mould itself (although today most of us rely on specialized moulding companies) and then painting, building and final trimming. Photo-etched parts and decals are usually made outside, but the drawings are often made in house.
WHY ARE THESE MODELS SO EXPENSIVE?
LSR models are in general more expensive than other types of cars for various reasons:
- they usually require more difficult research than other models (less books on the subject, less magazine articles, specially for class record cars)
- they often pose specific technical problems when making the master model
- the moulding costs are usually higher, both because the vehicles are often larger than standard, or they have specific features that make the moulding more difficult (=expensive)
- they offer far less opportunities to produce different versions with minimal changes, as it is the case with most standard road or race cars, so the cost of producing a master model is spread over a much smaller number of models that can possibly be sold
- there are no lsr Ferraris or Porsches (well, almost...), so the number of collectors is self-limited to a fraction of the number of Ferrari and Porsche (and Alfa, and Formula 1, and Le Mans...) collectors, so again, the cost of producing a model is spread over a limited number of models, compared to other types of cars.
WHY ARE YOUR MODELS EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OTHER LSR MODELS?
My aim, when I choose to produce a scale replica of a land speed vehicle, no matter how important that vehicle is, is not to offer "a" model of it, just to have a new product to sell. My aim is to offer "the" model of that particular car, a "definitive" replica, if you like, that will stand comparison with future models of the same vehicle and you will never feel the need to replace in your collection.
It is of course up to you to decide wether my models comply with my statement or even if they are any better than others. But, should you think that indeed they are (and I do know that some people consider them among the very best), please, do not jump to the conclusion that I am simply overcharging just because I happen to be a better gifted modeller.
In fact the higher quality of my models does not depend, or at least not exclusively, on a higher level of skill. Most of the additional quality simply depends on additional hours of hard work, which starts with putting together the most complete documentation ever possible, which includes travelling to wherever the original car is housed, when in existence, to take accurate measurements, continues with working and reworking, and reworking again and again every curve and every detail on the master model until it is 99% identical to the original from every angle (no, not 100%: there is no such a thing as a "perfect" model!) and ends with cleaning the paintwork from any blemishes with 9µ sandpaper and special polish, and positioning the decals not half a millimiter to the right or to the left of where they should be.
Every step in this process costs a huge amount of hours, of which a small percentage will be immediately evident: in reality a 10% increment in quality may easily cost 100% more in terms of time.
The truth is that when you pay a relatively higher price for a much better model, you may actually be paying a fraction of the quality increment and altogether you probably get a better price/quality balance.
It is entirely your choice wether to encourage production of high quality, state of the art models that will satisfy you for many years to come, or rather average "as god as it comes first time out" products that you will want to replace in the future once a better model is produced...
WHY DON'T YOU SELL DIRECT TO COLLECTORS? YOU COULD SELL AT LOWER PRICES.
True, if I sold all my production direct to collectors, I could sell at a lower retail price.
Unfortunately, this is not possible. There are several reasons, but two are the main ones:
- I do not have the means to publicize my models efficiently enough to reach all collectors potentially interested.
- many collectors indeed prefer to buy from a dealer or shop: either because they want to see with their eyes what they are going to buy, or because they trust the judgement and reliability of their preferred dealer(s), or because they find it easier to buy all their models from a single source.
In fact since the beginning I have always sold direct to collectors, as well as to dealers, but over the years the percentage of collectors who buy from me direct has been getting lower and lower.
As a consequence of a larger share of the production being sold through dealers, the trade price had to be raised, and the retail price accordingly.
This web site was set up to encourage collectors to buy direct. By buying direct, you can help me to keep prices lower.
IS THERE ANY HOPE THAT YOUR EARLIER MODELS MAY BE REISSUED?
My LSR cars were all produced in numbered runs, limited to the advertised maximum and it would just not be serious to make more. Different versions could eventually be made (if any existed!), but of course they would be different models.
The only way to complete your collection is to check on the second-hand collectors market, where they can occasionally be found.
I do buy my models back, occasionally, so if you are interested in any particular model, please email me your requests and I will do my best to help you.
(Click these links to see a checklist of all Ugo Fadini models released to date or pictures of all discontinued models)
WHY THE SPEEDON RANGE?
As you know, models in the "Ugo Fadini" range have always been strictly one-man's work: every single step in the process (except for moulding, photoetching and decal printing) has always been personally made by myself, without any help from other hands. And some features, like the windshields applied flush with the body have become a sort of trademark.
This has severely limited my ability to offer new models, due to the amount of time necessary to release a master model and then build the whole run of 300 or 200 myself.
The SPEEDON range has been created to allow me a little more freedom in exchange for a somewhat lower selling price, without interfering with the "top" Ugo Fadini range, which will continue at the level of quality you have come to expect, at least as long as there will be and interest in uncompromising quality products among collectors.
Models in the SPEEDON range will still be "by Ugo Fadini", built under my control and with most of the quality you expect from my work, but I may use helpers in the building, features may be somewhat simplified, to make building easier (windows may be applied in a conventional way, from the inside). While the models released so far used masters by myself, this range might eventually include models based on masters by other modellers, obviously reworked and corrected when necessary.
Collectors will judge wether this has been a good idea or not, but I trust they will be happy to see new models being offered at a slighly quicker pace than in the past and a t a somewhat lower price.
DO YOU MAKE OMICRON AND TOM MODELS AS WELL?
No, Omicron and Tom are two independent modelling firms, and their models, from the master down to the finished product, are the work of their owners, who are both based in Italy and are both good friends of mine.
My cooperation, in addition to distributing their models, consists in letting them use my library for documentation and eventually in giving them any advice that may help the models to be as accurate as possible, within the modelling abilities of each modeller.
Omicron #10, Glenn Leasher's Infinity jet car, represents the only exception (as clearly stated in the pages dedicated to this model), since I did carry the final work on Omicron's half-finished master model.
Any other cooperations like this one, will always be clearly stated, so you will know exactly who is to be thanked (or blamed) for the quality of a particular model!
The man behind Omicron is a well known professional model maker who has been on the market in the past under different trade marks.
Tom is a dedicated collector of land speed record models and toys who has a special love for Bonneville cars. His operation is completely amateur, which explains why it may take so long to obtain a model from him!
WHERE CAN I BUY THE MODELS? AND WHAT ARE THE PRICES?
You can buy Ugo Fadini, SPEEDON, Omicron and TOM models from this site. Prices and ordering instructions are available on the How to order page.
They are also available through some selected specialist dealers in most countries and some racers also offer the models of their cars on their web sites (links can be found in the Links page). Prices will be generally the same from all sources.
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