How are WFO Models created?
The models start with an idea formed usually over a beer or two, sometimes with friends’ urging, sometimes just out-of-the-blue like a bolt of lightning off the top of a lonely dead gum tree on a stark ridge in the northern NSW ranges (it just happens in isolation)… most times for no real reason at all.
For example, at the urging of friends, a Harley Davidson low rider was created, and the end result is very pleasing! Even ‘non-believers’ like it for its beautiful bold lines, big fat mongrel rear tyre and symmetrical skinny front wheel held apart by a giant engine and not much else. This one is well on its way to becoming a cult classic and top seller.
After design and assembly, usually following many nights of cut, hack, grind and reassemble, the final prototype is couriered to a small factory in China where the staff laboriously cast a number of pre-production (non-numbered) samples to be painted and packaged ready for final approval by Alwyn Gill. Once that occurs, then full production begins. Because the process is extremely labour-intensive and each model is hand cast and hand painted, only between four and six models per painter can be completed in one regular day.
WFO Models are hand-moulded using a silicon mould process that, in faithfully copying the original artistic piece created by Alwyn Gill, actually wears out the mould after only four mouldings. The original masterpiece (#1 of only 200 of each model) is then re-moulded to form a new mould into which approximately 3 lbs. of acrylic is poured. In producing most of the complex models, the model is made in three or four parts, assembled, sanded and then hand painted.
Final package design takes place at that time and multiple models are created ready for shipping worldwide to customers and agents. Each model comes with a signed and numbered Certificate of Authenticity. No two models, even within the same series, are exactly alike.
How many of each model is made?
Limited Edition quantities are kept to 200 or lower because with this continued use of the original masterpiece, even it wears out after a relatively short period. The Special Replicas are even rarer, being limited to 100 models only.
How long does one model take to make?
Each prototype WFO model can take 100 or more hours of meticulous craftsmanship to prepare for shipment to the factory for pre-production design and dis-assembly in preparation for casting. The first castings are then checked for authenticity against the original model, and then painted in a variety of designs and colours for final approval by Alwyn Gill. Only then is a model deemed good enough to become part of the expanding collectible range that is WFO.
What makes WFO Models different?
Look for the personally signed and endorsed special models, featuring three times World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss, and the very latest Graeme Crosby Moriwaki Kawasaki Replicas. There are many other endorsed models to come!
You can be reassured that your unique WFO model will only increase in value as it ages, due in part to the limited number of each model created, and the fact that each item is different in many subtle ways.
What makes the WFO models unique is the copyrighted manner in which a model can be personalized easily by the purchaser. Want to make it just like your last race bike? Then go ahead and add your own special racing numbers. It’s possible only with WFO Models.
Will you be creating any new designs?
WFO will be adding new products on a regular basis. These new products will not just be limited to two wheels, but will include vintage open wheel F1-style race cars, maybe even a Tyrell 6 wheeler, quads, jet-skis, surfers, snowboarder and skier figurines, Australian-style surf boats, and many more. Check our website regularly to see what we have gotten up to while you were gone.
How do I assemble my flat tank ’20s laser-cut silhouette motorcycle?
You will need a pair of flat nosed (square) pliers, a flat head screwdriver, and a heat source if available. Remove the three separate sections and headlight from the WFO shipping box. Lay out all of the parts on your work area.
If you are cold-bending the handlebars and headlight tabs, be extra careful and proceed slowly so as to not fracture the metal. Even leaving your model in the sun for a few hours will help with cold bending. If a heat source is available, gently heat the handlebars where they mount to the steering stem. When warm, hold the end of the handlebars with the flat nose pliers and carefully and slowly bend the handlebars to 90 degrees to the line of the frame. IMPORTANT: Repeat for the other full section but make sure you bend those opposite to the first one, so that the handlebars are both pointing outwards. Heat the headlight tabs and gently bend both tabs in the same direction. Be careful, it will be HOT. Keep your hands away from the heated area. When cool, start the assembly of your WFO flat tank model.
It is helpful if you have another person to hold the sections while you assemble them. Insert the long stud into the lower hole through the three outlines, remembering that the outline without wheels goes in the centre. The long stud is the old bike footpegs. Then add nuts to both sides. Then add studs and nuts to the top two holes, making sure that the headlight mount tabs go between the two outer outlines on the headlight. When you tighten the headlight stud and nuts, the headlight will be held in place by the tension of the outer outlines being pulled together. A thin screw driver is very helpful to hold everything in line while you set the model up. A small clamp will work even better. Carefully tighten the nuts equally on both sides, using whether the pliers or a small adjustable wrench.
After you have loosely assembled the model, heat the centre stand and gently bend it away from the model so that the model will stand on its own. Repeat for the other side. Remember the ends must point in the same direction (90 degrees to the frame) as the handlebars. Adjust as necessary. IMPORTANT: If you wish, you may also heat the handlebars about 3/4” or 2 cm in from each end and with the square ended pliers, gently bend the end 3/4” or 2 cm towards the back slightly, to represent the handgrip area on your WFO flat tanker model, as per the picture on the front of the box. Cool each handlebar end before doing the other one, as it will be hot if you used a heat source.
If you did it correctly, your model will sit on its centre stand and become a beautiful addition to your collection. Enjoy your WFO Flat Tanker model for a lifetime.