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The Manufacturing Process: How Are Diecast Model Cars Made?

The Manufacturing Process: How Are Diecast Model Cars Made?

21st Sep 2022

As a car enthusiast, there have likely been countless times where you marveled over a diecast model car. Manufacturers work tirelessly to make diecast model cars near-perfect replicas on a small scale. It is even more astounding when you consider that manufacturers also make these highly-accurate cars for mass production.

You might wonder how manufacturers can attain such accurate and stunning details on incredibly small scales. How is this done, and how can they maintain such accuracy? Here is more on the manufacturing process of diecast model cars and how they are made.

A New Chariot

The Second Industrial Revolution saw one of the most substantial inventions to usher humanity into the 21st century: automobiles. Humans, thus far, had never seen machines that could span miles on land in a fraction of time. The most exciting aspect was that we could man the helm in a way we never had before.

Automobiles exploded in popularity, allowing more companies to break ground and start production. As such, we have witnessed the evolution of automobiles to where they are today. Now there are countless different companies, models, and makes that are unique. It does not look like automobiles will diminish from our daily lives any time soon.

Car Admirers

As soon as automobiles came into existence, they had countless admirers. With any club of admirers, there will be a desire to collect, but doing so with actual cars can be quite costly. That is why toy manufacturers had the incredible idea to make cars on a miniature scale, which leads us to diecast model cars. However, a diecast model car differs greatly from the toy cars you may purchase at the store.

They have incredible detail that can take countless hours to perfect. The stunning and unbelievable detail on a diecast care likely sent you into shock. That detail has likely made you wonder what goes into making diecast model cars. Here is how diecast models are made and their manufacturing process.

The Process

It may not surprise you that the creation of diecast model cars is extensive. Once you know more about how these products come into existence, you will better understand why high-quality makes can be quite expensive. Moreover, you might grow a deeper appreciation for the manufacturers and sellers who go through painstaking efforts to create stunning models that astound many car lovers.

Die Casting

Die casting is the process of forcing or injecting molten metal into a highly-pressurized cast to create the desired shape. The mold will have two sides that must enclose together tightly so that the metal may cool into the correct shape. A hydraulic press will enclose it to create the pressurized environment into which the metal may enter. Manufacturers will usually just diecast the casing of the car.

Plastic Injection

It is important to understand that the diecast process solely creates one piece of a diecast model car. Usually, a model car may require hundreds of pieces for assembly. However, manufacturers will not use the diecast process to create all these pieces. That can be quite costly. Instead, manufacturers will use plastic injection to create all other parts like tires, wheels, and grills. The process is quite like diecasting; however, molten plastic injects into a mold, usually with multiple parts.


Now comes the time to add a little color to these pieces. There are different types of painting processes. Usually, these pieces will get spray-painted or airbrushed either mechanically or by hand. Hand-painted pieces are usually only done by smaller manufacturers because it is time-consuming but allows for finer details.

Once the first layer of paint is on, the pieces will bake, making the paint job more durable and long-lasting. Afterward, the piece will dry and head to a silkscreen or pad printer to print designs, details, and any graphics on the car. Pad machines can only apply one layer of color at a time, so if the designs have more than one color, they must go through that process again.

Glass Pieces

Manufacturers use different processes to create their glass pieces. The main two ways are plastic injection and vacuum forming. Many mass producers will utilize plastic injection as it saves time and is cost-effective. Moreover, mass producers can cast each piece together, whereas higher quality cars will cast each piece at a time.

Vacuum forming stretches and heats the plastic until you can form it against the mold. Vacuum forming creates that crystal clear finish that adds a depth of realism and quality to model cars.

Headlights & Taillights

Every piece in the model car needs a mold, and the headlights and taillights are no different. With the correct mold, manufacturers will utilize the plastic injection method. Keep in mind that for high-quality car models, there will usually be a separate mold for the marker, turn signal, taillights, and more.

Moreover, manufacturers will utilize different colors of injectable plastic to attain the desired finish of their lights. Using different colors, separate molds, and hand painting adds a level of detail that contributes to the realism of a car model. Lights may also get pad printing onto a casted piece as well.


Although each piece for a model car must be diecast or plastic injected separately, it might surprise you that assembly is the most labor-intensive aspect of the manufacturing process. Usually, as you can imagine, most manufacturers will utilize a conveyor belt system. One person can add a piece at a time and send it down the line. However, for limited makes, the assembly process is more hands-on as a person will assemble parts on several cars before sending that bundle to the next station.

Car Aficionados

After reading through the manufacturing process, you can surely feel confident that you picked the correct hobby. The making of diecast model cars is truly a labor of love. Manufacturers put so much detail and care into each phase, from diecasting to assembly.

Do you want to add more exquisite cars to your collection? Shop with us at LiveCarModel and check out our Chevrolet diecast models. We have countless makes, models, and scales, all created with incredible detail and care.

The Manufacturing Process: How Are Diecast Model Cars Made?