Resin or die cast models? Differences and useful info

It’s easy to talk about modeling: in reality, the industry offers a number of alternatives that make each collectible entirely unique.

One of the main differences is the material of manufacture, and within this differentiation, the main focus certainly goes to two alternatives: resin and die cast models. Let’s find out the characteristics of both materials and the main differences.

The resin models

Resin models are the most current and technologically advanced alternative for making collectibles. Let’s talk about a cellulose material: usually fil is used for model making, which is an epoxy resin that has several characteristics that make it very suitable for handwork. Fil possesses the very useful feature of being thermosetting and reacting, solidifying, even at room temperature.

Epoxy resin is composed of two elements: a liquid resin, which is called Component A, and the hardener, which is Component B. The two elements must be mixed according to the proportions specified by the manufacturer, so as to obtain a compound that finds very wide use in the modeling industry. Resin models are made using the casting technique: simply, resin is poured onto a structure, which forms the skeleton of the model to be made.

Componenti a e B della resina epossidica

Resin models: the pros

Resin models have several advantages, the first of which is the cost of making them: in fact, we are talking about a cheaper manufacturing technique than that used for die cast.

Resin is also chosen because of its undoubted aesthetic impact: fil is actually easy to work with, and its plastic versatility allows the creation of models that are aesthetically beautiful and, with the right manual skill, incredibly faithful to the original.

Resin models: the cons

However, fidelity to the original model, in the case of resin items, only applies to what concerns the reproduction of exteriors; the reason is very simple and directly related to the real great flaw of resin: fragility. In fact, resin does not allow the creation of models with latches or movement (think of model cars, which in the case of resin will not reproduce wheel drive or door opening).

This is related to the second shortcoming of resin: the simplicity of the models, which are unable to represent technical details and consist of very few pieces. In addition, resin reproductions are not openable to either the door or the engine compartment.

One exception is Amalgam Fine Model‘s 1:8 scale models; even the resin versions of that size are able to return a faithful reproduction of the model with its openings.

Resin is a great solution for do-it-yourselfers, but the convenience of models does not correspond to savings in the market. The resin models, in fact, feature high acquisition costs: this is due to the fact that it is not only the cost of materials that affects the price, but also factors related to licenses for use granted by car manufacturers (which also apply to individual car components) and the limited run of models.

So, despite a very faithful reproduction of the design, the resin does not reproduce the internal structure of the original, and the models are therefore beautiful to look at, but not very faithful to the design in its overall view, as well as being rather expensive on average.

The die cast models

Die cast-also spelled diecast or die-cast-is a metal alloy composed of aluminum, magnesium and copper and known by the trade name zamac or zamak. It is the most historically used material for making modeling objects, mainly due to its peculiarity of corrosion resistance and the possibility of being cast inside molds.

IMG 0862

Die cast models: the pros

In addition to the aforementioned features of corrosion resistance and of possibility of casting, diecast models are highly valued by collectors because of another material specificity, namely the torsion resistance; this feature makes the metal alloy models openable and allows the reproduction of the proper movements of twisting, for example, those of wheels in model cars.

In addition, the diecast features a greater solidity than resin, thus allowing the production of technical details, relating to both the interior and the body, which find wide appreciation in the market because, unlike resin, they give the possibility of recreating in detail the individual components of the original model.

Die cast models: the cons

Since it is a metal alloy, diecast has higher market costs than resin.

Two other fundamental shortcomings of diecast models are attributable to the bio-chemical characteristics of the metal:

the first is stippling, or the appearance of ‘dots’ on the paint of individual pieces, which inevitably appear due to metal wear.

The second, and most relevant, is the metal fatigue, a real nightmare for collectors: this is a chemical phenomenon whereby a second material with a larger volume is created within the granular structure of the metal, which, due to its low strength, causes the model to actually crumble.

 

Resin or diecast models: conclusions

So, are resin or diecast models better?

As always in these cases, there is no single answer. Resin models are preferred for their aesthetic impact: in fact, the external lines are reproduced almost perfectly and give an incredible glance, appreciable even by non-experts.

The diecast is the favorite model for those who, in a collector’s item, seek the technical fidelity and attention to detail that only a metal alloy can provide.

As always, it is all a matter of personal taste and priorities: everyone experiences their passion for modeling in a personal way, and there is no one approach better than the other.

Visit the MotorSport Maranello store and check out our modeling offerings! You will find models dedicated to current Formula 1 and cars that have made motoring history, and then more model drivers, helmets and steering wheels, in as many scales as you want, in resin and diecast!

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