A visit to MPM
History of the MPM companyMPM Production Ltd. was founded in 1990 in Prague and since its foundation has focused on the production and distribution of plastic model kits together with other kits made from various materials in a variety of model scales and subjects.
In 1990 MPM started to produce and distribute vac-formed kits containing small parts using injection casting technology. The first complete injected kit appeared in 1991, a Bücker Bu181 in 1/72 scale, produced using the so-called “Short Run” technology. MPM was one of the pioneers in the world to introduce the production method of “Short Run” kits and these kits were, and still are, popular with modelers and collectors alike around the world although the technology involved only allows for a small series production run unlike the usual metal (steel) mold injection method. Hand made masters are being used directly for the mold manufacture while the mold itself is made of special heat resistant epoxy resins.
In a move to raise the quality of its kits, MPM introduced production of model kits using the galvanized metal mould injection method. Gradually several production series have been introduced under the MPM label and are listed below (aircraft related only):
MPM - This series is mainly produced using galvanized metal moulds with the result that the service life of these moulds is much longer compared to “Short Run” moulds and is devoted to aircraft kits.
SPECIAL HOBBY - This series is a popular line of aircraft kits produced using “Short Run” moulds and supplemented with photo-etched and resin parts. The service life of these moulds is around three years.
BEST CHOICE - A series of exclusive model kits intended for top modelers with only a limited number being produced. The kits contain plastic, photo-etched and resin parts and further additions. Each kit contains a numbered certificate of authenticity.
HML - These products are hand made limited run high quality resin kits manufactured in 1/48th., 1/24th., 1/18th., and 1/15th. scales. These kits contain highly detailed resin accessories, white metal and photo-etched parts and vac-formed canopy.
HPH - Products are limited edition, high quality resin kits with fiberglass fuselages and are produced in various scales with highly detailed parts and vac-formed canopy.
AZUR - Produced in cooperation with our French advisor and patron, are a series of popular aircraft kits produced using “Short Run” moulds together with photo-etched and resin parts. The service life of these moulds is around three years.
CONDOR - A series focused on aircraft kits produced using galvanized metal moulds.
MPM Production quite often produces kits for other labels.
History of the CMK companyThis company was founded in 1992 as a MPM Production filial. Originally it focused on production of resin cast kits but later production expanded and a range of resin detail accessories, detail sets, white metal accessories and modelling tools. In addition, CMK also publishes monograph books focusing on interesting subjects which contain detailed scale drawings as well as original photographs and color profiles.
CMK has also introduced several production series which are listed below (aircraft related only):
CMK Detail set – Highly detailed resin accessory sets in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 scale for plastic aircraft kits.
CMK Quick and easy sets – High quality basic accessory to enhance the aircraft kits. Produced in 1/48 and 1/72 scales.
CMK Figures - Highly detailed resin figures produced in 1/35, 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72 scales.
Planet Models Aircraft - Highly detailed full resin kits of aircraft in 1:722, 1:48 and 1:32 scales.
STAR DUST – High quality weathering pigments for modelers.
CMK Foto Hobby Manual - monograph books contain detailed scale drawings, photos and color profiles.
CMK as well quite often produces kits for other labels.
Visit of the CMK/MPM companyOn day three of our Czech trip, after having seen the Eduard Company from the inside (see here) and stopped by the Battle of the Ore Mountains museum in Kovarska (see here), we decided to drive until the suburbs of Prague to visit the facilities of the CMK/MPM company. If finding it's exact location wasn't too difficult, crossing the capital from West to East was another story, especially since my human GPS system failed once again at the worst moment. Anyway, after having lost half an hour in the traffic jam of the Czech capital, we finally arrived at destination on schedule at 10:00 AM.
The CMK/MPM company presents itself as a small complex of buildings in a middle of a residential district and finding the main office entry door wasn't easy. Fortunately, an employee was kind enough to show us the way and once there, we briefly met Ms. Pavla Harazimova which made the visit possible and M. Jiri Silhanek the owner of the company. However, the person who received the ungrateful mission to show us everything we wanted was M. Jan Hajicek to whom I must say a big thank you for his kindness and availability. Explaining, in every detail, to two avid modellers how a plastic and resin model kit company is functioning is probably the most difficult task in the world and he did very well!
The visit started in the meeting and presentation room of the company. There we could see many model kits of the CMK/MPM brand on display shelves. M. Hajicek told us that about 30 people were employed in the facility but that many more were working as freelancers. Most of them are busy doing the masters of the various models which are planned to be released in the future. We were presented some of them in various states, from rather crude pieces of wood, to very delicate plastic parts. Many test shots in plastic but also in resin were laying around. Please take a look at the photos accompanying this feature for more details.
Copyright ©2020 by Jean-Luc Formery. _OPINIONS Model Shipwrights, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2010-06-19 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 21044