Technical Replicas for Museums & Enthusiasts

The origin of our work on replicas was due to the linking together of two normally unlinked areas. The first of these was Prime Function's experience in product/industrial design, development and prototyping. When this was coupled with our interest in the historical development of technology, it has inevitably led to projects that link the two for both museums and enthusiasts.

One of these was a project that involved a significant amount of research. This related to an intended reconstruction of the 1908 Deutsch-Archdeacon prize winning Voisin aircraft flown by Henri Farman. Initial work, following the research phase, culminated in the construction of a complete set of aluminium casting patterns.

Recent further developments on this project in 2004 have meant that there is now the possibility that we will be replicating the wings and fuselage of this aircraft as well.

Another project relating to a somewhat more rapid vehicle came about when we were asked to produce detailed technical drawings of the very sophisticated (for its time) aluminium crankcase and sump of the V12 Delage car that held the Land Speed Record in the early 1920’s. The object of this exercise being the making of replica casting patterns which in turn would enable the construction of a replica engine utilising some of the original components. The car is now running once again in VSCC events.

We have recently been involved with a fascinating project for a Canadian client. This was the complete research and drawing up (utilising 3D CAD) of the controversial 1895 Pennington motorcycle that was originally built in the USA and then further developed in the UK. Having been detailed to a fine degree to enable a fully working replica is now being built.

On a more commercial level we also been involved in a joint exercise with an aluminium foundry to produce replica vintage Marshal headlamps. This particularly illustrated the usefulness of our expertise and facility for limited production runs to meet the needs of vintage car enthusiasts for spares which are not readily available elsewhere.


‘Rare Spares’ Plastic Replica Components

'Rare Spares' is a recent development within Prime Function which will exploit the exciting possibilities opened up by the latest developments within the technology of vacuum casting. For the first time the cost-effective replication of previously unobtainable parts and components made of Bakelite or other period plastics becomes a possibility.

The compression mould or injection mould tooling for these items will almost certainly have long since disappeared and there is certainly no way that it could be remade economically. However with vacuum casting tooling it is perfectly possible to use either an existing original component or to work from a life-size model (which we could make) should an original item not be available.

Reference to our vacuum casting page will show the extent of the process, but suffice it to say that there are really no limits to the possibilities. Screw and other inserts can be incorporated as required.

Minimum quantities are not really an issue as, of course, a one-off moulding is perfectly feasible but hardly very cost-effective. However, with a single impression tool, the most cost-effective quantity would be a batch of about 20 (or multiples of this with a multi-impression tool) and so the concept will doubtless appeal to single marque and other car clubs who are interested in laying down a small cost-effective batch of a particular rare spare for the immediate and future needs of their members.

We therefore welcome dialogue with these clubs and other interested enthusiasts in order to see what plastic based spares are most needed.

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