PROTOTYPE MODELS

Finely detailed card kits, scale models of real buildings, many of which no longer exist. 

 

This is an information page.

To order these items select Prototype Online Shop from the page menu.


  

  

Ever since they were first introduced, Prototype Models kits have been regarded as being among the most realistic of all commercially available building kits.

Designed in the era before the wide-spread use of computer graphics design packages, the basic art-work preparation was mostly hand drawn, which introduced a unique "softness" to the design that is not easily matched with modern technology.

Originally the kits were printed using block-colour techniques - solid colours laid over each other in the correct order to achieve the desired effects - printed onto 0.5mm thick card which was then cut and glued in layers, by the modeller, to arrive at a model of sufficiently rigid construction, with particularly neatly formed corners and 3-dimensional detail - aspects which set these kits apart from pre-cut card kits, at the expense of additional modelling time.

 

The availability of high quality computer-based design and printing technology now means that the same attention to detail can be retained in modern reprints of the kits, without adding disproportionate costs. We are now engaged in the process of updating the designs of all kits in the range, as existing stocks sell out, to improve further the level of fine detail, and to take advantage of current printing technology. All kits are now printed using professional 4-colour lithographic technology, which contrasts with the direct-to-print ink-jet printing which is often used these days for low-volume commercial printing as well as down-loadable models.

Modellers who have been fans of the Prototype range for some years will be aware that the range has become significantly depleted over recent years, as old versions have sold out and have not yet been replaced by re-designed versions. We apologise for this but we will continue to work towards getting all kits available again as soon as we possibly can.

     

Prototype Models kits have all main components printed on matt card. Where appropriate, fine detail parts may be supplied as polystyrene mouldings, which will require painting before fixing to the model, or as thin paper sheets. All windows are represented by finely printed acetate sheets, which can in some cases be used to represent accurate sash windows or open windows, to add extra realism.

As our kits are updated and up-graded, more use will be made of modern detailing elements, such as cast metal (pewter) chimney pots, and strip-laid roof tiling.

The Prototype range includes models of buildings from the main grouping regions, as well as several that can be used for any setting, with kits available in scales 'N', 'OO', and 'O'. The models in the different scales are not necessarily of the same original buildings, instead each being chosen for its suitability for the space that the scale generally occupies. The 'O' scale range currently consists of just one model - Stamford Signal Box - but more of the original kits, as well as some new ones, will appear in due course.

 

 

As well as the building kits that form the main part of our range, all minor components employed are also available separately - subject to availability ... printed acetate window sheets (for specific kits); moulded polystyrene detailing parts; cast metal (pewter) chimney pots, marketed under the Scene-Setters brand; wood strip and plastic coated wire, heavy weight bracing card.

 

 

 

Constructional hints:

Cutting: None of our kits are pre-cut. Printed on card approx 0.5mm thick, cutting is straightforward with a sharp, fine-bladed craft knife. All main walls are constructed using at least 2 layers of card for strength, with corners formed by interlocking the card layers.

Edge-colouring: Before gluing components, cut card edges should be coloured to an approximate match to the adjacent surface colour, using felt-tipped colouring pens, artists crayons, or watercolour paints. Always apply edge colour before gluing, as glue will seal the card and prevent even colouring.

Gluing: The best glue to use for kit assembly is always the glue that you, as the modeller, are happiest working with. We recommend UHU All-Purpose (best used as a contact glue - apply to both surfaces and allow to dry for a while before joining) or similar all-purpose adhesives, PVA (work with a brushable consistency version), or specialist card glues e.g. Deluxe Roket Card Glue (use the fine applicator nozzle to control flow). Double-sided adhesive tapes are particularly useful for fine overlays such as timber-framing and strip-laid roof tiles. PVA is not recommended for fixing layered areas, as it is difficult to avoid warping. Super-glues are NOT recommended for card kit assembly.

Reinforcing: Additional strength can always be added to the model, especially if it is likely to be handled frequently, or will be kept in a hostile (particularly hot or damp) environment. Always brace with additional card, not plastic, or use fine wood-strip to strengthen corners and particularly to make chimney stacks robust and solid - if possible extend the chimney-stack core right down into the body of the model and fix securely to avoid accidental damage and to provide a convenient and strong means of handling the completed model.

Additional finishing detail: Some parts benefit from the use of a fine scriber to add relief detail - planking, louvres, roof-tiles (especially if not strip-laid) and even brick-work if you are feeling particularly masochistic! Door handles can be added with fine round-headed pins of suitable size or small 'blobs' of PVA glue allowed to dry on the end of a fine wire or cotton thread. The 'lived-in' look can be added with the aid of weathering powders, rubbed into the printed card surface once the model is complete.