When Robert and Margaret Harrop first started the company, they came up with the motto "Originality by Design" because that best summed up what the company was all about. Some 25 years later, it is still our motto and we hope that the pictures and descriptions that follow will give you a glimpse of the wide and varied skills our development team possess in order to produce all of your favourite characters.
At the start of the entire process are the
preliminary design sketches. It is here that
the foundations for our high level of accuracy
and detail are laid, using a combination of
imagination, experience and extensive research.
In order to complete our design led schedule
we have an extremely dedicated team of
sculptors; they are, along with myself, Mike
Rogers and Simon Boden, all of
whom adhere to our Company's high quality
ethos of no compromise.
The sculpting process begins with a wax and
wire maquette, and this is where we get the
first opportunity to achieve scale and balance
and also govern the overall look we wish to attain.
Here we see a final wax sculpt,
complete with additions of a shield, trident
and olive branch. All of these additions are
sculpted separately using a different
medium that once baked to a hard
consistency can be chiselled and sanded.
Here we see a completed sculpt encased in a
cardboard tube sealed with plasticine and
petroleum jelly. Once watertight, the
titanium addition cured red rubber is added
in order to create the master mould.
Once completely set, Production Manager
Russ Newnes fastidiously inspects and
begins to remove the now redundant wax
from the master mould, through a careful
cutting process of pre determined routes.
With the next production stage moving into
the skilful hands of the mould maker and caster,
we see a careful mix of marble resin patiently
being poured into a prepared master mould.
The mould is then placed into a
vacuum chamber to remove any
unwanted air trapped in the casing.
Once cured, the cast can be removed
to reveal the first clean white sample.
To prepare for painting, a cleaning process
begins and it is here we can see Ashley
Davies, one of our ever diligent fettlers,
eliminating unwanted mould lines and
undesirable casting residue. Each piece
is then levelled and then finally sand blasted
in order to give it a slight key so that even
the most complex of painting patterns can
The piece then finds its way back to the
design studio in order to complete its
journey throughout the development phase.
The colour ways are developed and chosen
and a studio master is produced against
which every model is decorated faithfully. To
achieve this we utilise the painting talents of
Peggy Horton & Carole Appleby.
With what was once an idea now becoming
reality we have the finished piece, a work of
pride and a tribute to the studio team.
This however is by no means the end of the
road. We have photography, packaging
design, licence mediation, market research
and advertising to contend with…
…but that's another story.
MATT BUCKLEY - CREATIVE DIRECTOR.