The Kit Factory Professional Props And Models
COMPANY POLICY AND ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS
PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO READ THE COMPANY POLICY, PRIOR TO CONTACTING ME ON ANY PROJECT YOU WISH TO HAVE BUILT. THIS WILL SAVE BOTH OF US A LOT OF TIME.
THE KIT FACTORY IS A SMALL, ONE MAN, OPERATION, AND PRODUCES ONLY A FEW VERY SPECIAL CREATIONS, EVERY YEAR. I WORKED SEVERAL YEARS AS A PROP MAKER, AND SCENIC/SET ARTIST IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY. CLIENTS INCLUDED, PARAMOUNT PICTURES, WARNER BROTHERS, MTV PRODUCTIONS, DISNEY PRODUCTIONS, NEW GROOVE CONCERTS, CHEVROLET MOTORS, HAWAIIAN TROPICS, AND MANY OTHERS. STAGE, SCENIC AND SET WORK FOR MUSICAL ACTS, SUCH AS NEIL YOUNG, STEVE WINWOOD, LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, FOREIGNER, THE MOODY BLUES, CHEAP TRICK, JEFFERSON STAR SHIP, IGGY POP, THE PRETENDERS, AND ALICE COOPER. STAGE, SCENIC AND SET WORK, FOR THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS SUCH AS, CATS, 42ND STREET, BIG RIVER, SWEENY TODD, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, AND MANY OTHERS… A LOT OF PATIENCE IS REQUIRED FROM CLIENTS, THIS IS NOT A FAST PROCESS. HIGH QUALITY PROP REPRODUCTIONS CAN TAKE SEVERAL HUNDREDS, IF NOT, THOUSANDS OF HOURS TO COMPLETE. SIMPLE PROJECT CAN BE RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE, HOWEVER, TOP NOTCH CREATIONS, ARE PRICED ACCORDINGLY. ONCE WE HAVE AGREED TO A COMMISSION PRICE, AND REQUIRED DETAILS, A DATE IS SET FOR THE PRODUCTION OF YOUR DESIRED CREATION. THE WAIT TIMES ARE USUALLY IN YEARS, AS THIS WORK IS IN VERY HIGH DEMAND FROM STUDIOS, AND COLLECTORS. IF YOU ARE NOT THE PATIENT TYPE, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WORK FOR YOU. THERE ARE ALWAYS SEVERAL PROJECTS IN LINE, SO YOUR PATIENCE IS VERY MUCH REQUIRED. HOWEVER, THIS SHOULD TELL YOU THE WORK IS APPRECIATED, AND 90% OF MY CLIENTS ARE RETURNING TO ORDER AGAIN!
AFTER OVER 18 YEARS IN THIS BUSINESS, WE CAN SUPPLY MANY EXCELLENT REFERENCES ON PRIOR WORK. WE HAVE 100% CLIENT SATISFACTION, AND CLIENT COMMENTS, CAN BE READ ON THE COMMENTS PAGE. I WORK ON A 50% OF THE COMMISSION DOWN, AS A DEPOSIT, THE REMAINDER, PLUS SHIPPING FEES, ARE DUE UPON COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT. YOU CAN ALSO CHOOSE TO MAKE A SMALLER DEPOSIT, AND SEND MONTHLY PAYMENTS, AS THE CURRENT WAIT TIMES WORK IN YOUR FAVOR, WITH THIS OPTION. PAYMENT OPTIONS ARE GIVEN AT MY DISCRETION.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR UNPACKING A SHIPPED ITEM, PER MY INSTRUCTIONS. THESE ARE SOMETIMES VERY FRAGILE, AND DUE CARE MUST BE TAKEN TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL AND HAPPY DELIVERY. NO CHANGES TO A PROJECT CAN BE MADE DURING IT’S PRODUCTION, HOWEVER, YOU CAN ADD OR REMOVE OPTIONS, THAT WERE INCLUDED (OR NOT) IN THE ORIGINAL PROJECT, BEFORE THE PROJECT BEGINS.
BY SENDING YOUR 50% DEPOSIT, OR CHOOSING THE PAYMENT OPTION, YOU CONFIRM THAT YOU HAVE READ THIS POLICY, AND THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN THE TIME, TO READ THESE “COMMON SENSE” GUIDELINES.
AS THIS IS A SMALL OPERATION, THE PRODUCTION SLOTS ON THE SCHEDULE ARE FEW. ONCE A CLIENT MAKES A VALID ORDER, ALL SUPPLIES ARE PURCHASED TO ENSURE THINGS WILL GO SMOOTHLY, AND ON TIME. THEREFORE, THERE ARE NO REFUNDS. IF YOU ENCOUNTER SOME DIFFICULTY IN FULFILLING THIS AGREEMENT, CONTACT ME TO WORK OUT AN ALTERNATIVE, I DON’T BITE. ALL FUNDS SENT IN, CAN BE USED AS A CREDIT FOR A FUTURE PROJECT, IF YOU WISH TO DELAY YOUR CURRENT PROJECT. YOU WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE SCHEDULE, BUT GET BACK ON IT AS SOON AS YOU ADVISE THAT WE ARE “BACK ON TRACK.”
THESE ARE ALL UNIQUE WORKS OF ART, AND BUILT TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL SPECS. PROJECT ORDERS ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE. FOR CONTACT INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK ON THE CONTACT TAB, ON THE LINKS BAR, AT THE TOP OF THE EACH PAGE.
COMPLETED PROJECTS MUST BE TAKEN DELIVERY OF, EITHER BY PICK UP, OR PAID SHIPPING, WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER CLIENT IS NOTIFIED OF IT’S COMPLETION. UNLESS PRIOR AGREEMENTS TO CHANGE THIS DURATION, WERE MADE AT THE TIME OF THE AGREEMENT, THIS IS COMPANY POLICY.
CLIENTS WHO DO NOT TAKE POSSESSION OF THEIR GOODS WITHIN 30 DAYS, WILL LOSE THE PROJECT, AND ALL FUNDS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT ORDER. WE DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITY, OR STORAGE CAPABILITY, TO KEEP PROJECTS MORE THAN THE SET 30 DAYS TIME LIMIT. THE PROJECT WILL BE SOLD, OR DEALT WITH, AT OUR DISCRETION. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE POSSESSION, EITHER BY PICKING IT UP IN PERSON, OR PAYING FOR SHIPPING, WITHIN 30 DAYS, AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED IT IS COMPLETED. THIS PREVENTS COMPLETED PROJECTS, FROM TYING UP LIMITED WORK SPACE, WHICH HINDERS PRODUCTIVITY ON ANOTHER PROJECT.
THIS APPLIES TO ALL PROJECTS THAT ARE PAID FOR, AND THAT SHIPPING CHARGES, WHICH ARE NEVER INCLUDED, HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AS WELL. YOU MUST ACCEPT A SHIPPING DATE WITHIN THE 30 DAYS IN THIS CASE.
THIS ALSO APPLIES TO COMPLETED PROJECTS, THAT ARE NOT COMPLETELY PAID FOR, AT THE TIME OF THEIR COMPLETION. AGAIN, IN THIS CASE, CLIENT MUST PAY OFF THE BALANCE OWED, AND THE SHIPPING CHARGES, AND ACCEPT DELIVERY WITHIN THE 30 DAYS.
SHIPPING CHARGES MAY INCLUDE SHIPPING MATERIALS, SUCH AS INSULATING FOAMS, WOOD FOR PROP CRATES, HARDWARE, AND THE TIME REQUIRED TO BUILD CERTAIN ENCLOSURES, TO ENSURE SAFE TRANSIT, AND DELIVERY. FULL VALUE INSURANCE IS PART OF EVERY DELIVERY PACKAGE. DELIVERY FEES ARE SET BY THE SHIPPER, WE DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR PRICES.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SHIPPING SPEED ALTER PRICES. IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR DELIVERIES, ESPECIALLY OVERNIGHT TYPES, OR INTERNATIONAL TO DISTANT COUNTRIES, TO COST 15% TO 20% OF THE VALUE OF THE ITEM BEING SHIPPED. THIS IS AN ESTIMATE ONLY, WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER SHIPPING FEES, BY COMPANIES LIKE UPS OR FED EX.
THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, ONCE I HAVE FULFILLED THE ORDER, AND IT IS READY FOR YOU, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE YOUR ITEM WITHIN THE 30 DAYS, OR LOSE IT, AND YOUR INVESTMENT.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS!
SIMON “PAPA SMURF” MERCS
The Kit Factory is not associated with CBS, or Paramount Studios, all creations are unique works of Art.
Sir, words cannot convey how elated I am to have this piece of art in my collection. As the premiere piece of my collection. As I said before the videos do not do it justice. Many thanks for the many hours you worked to bring this baby to life and finally to my home. You are truly THE master model maker.
Simon Mercs. A perfectionist in his own right. I ordered a refit 32 inch Enterprise with red lasers and boy was I in for a treat of a lifetime. the planning and execution of his work is second to none. Simon, thank you for the unforgettable experience and making my dream come true.
Thank you Simon for making one of my childhood dreams come true. The Jupiter 2 Diorama and Starfield is awesome. I could not of asked for anything better!
In selecting between Simon and other competitors, I chose Simon because he consistently answered my questions when I needed them, and he provides prompt follow ups and solutions to issues. I have viewed his work for years now and I know he puts all his heart, and countless years of professional experience, into each and every project. Thank you so much Simon!
Looks fantastic and I want to thank you for a wonderful job! As I said, it was deifinitely worth the wait! Thanks again!
Simon has completed three major projects for me, including an unexpectedly involved John Long Phaser 1 build-up, each with outstanding results and within the promised time frame. He’s that rare combination of genuine artist and consummate professional, and I recommend him highly.
When I was VP of Technology at Warner Bros, I had Simon build a Martian War machine complete with lighting. As a technical executive in the film industry for many, many years; I have seen models and props constructed for and used in quite a few high profile feature films. I can say unreservedly that the work I have seen from Simon, including my Martian War machine are of a caliber equal to and many times exceeding the level I see regularly from Hollywood and London. There is no doubt in my mind that the quality and professionalism which Simon puts into each of his projects is well worth the cost. I would recommend him to anyone, private or professional, who is seeking the very best in model building.
Creative, Good Value and extremely HIGH INTEGRITY. Simon is the master of his craft. People from all over the world recognize his work. Once you say Simon built it for you – they know it is a masterpiece!
I came across The Kit Factory website, where Simon’s background and resume, as well as the prior work displayed on his site, were quite impressive, especially his huge, lighted, encased, 1/350th Enterprise Refit display. I made the decision to contact Simon, and the rest, as they say, is history! These are works of art, not toys!
Simon and The Kit Factory did a beautiful job in the build of my Space Battleship Yamato model. Not only did he thoroughly research the subject material prior to the build, but his overall workmanship and detail of the finished product are outstanding.
I recieved a great overall service when he created a model of the ufo from the tv series ‘The Invaders’ for me. The end product was of excellent workmanship and finish just as i had requested. Great communication, i would highly recommended him, and will use again. Many thanks again Simon.
In my 30+ years of working in the film industry, I have heard the term “artist” bandied about more times than I can count. Rarely is it anything other than a vapid attempt to seem relevant or important. Yet once in a while, a person like Simon comes along who truly embodies those qualities of vision, masterful craftsmanship and grasp of inherent meaning that are necessary to earn the right to be named an artist. Simon not only is a master craftsman, he takes the time to actually “see” what it is that his clients want to see in the finished work. He listens meticulously to every detail, no matter how small, that his clients say are important to them. He then brings those words to life in a brilliant fashion. In retrospect, I wish I had been able to collaborate with someone like Simon on some of the feature films on which I worked. It would have made the movie making process far easier and the end results much more satisfying.
Thanks, Simon, for the amazing piece that you created for me.
– Daniel Rosen
Meet Simon Mercs, YouTube’s Model Maker Extraordinaire
This former Hollywood prop master’s how-to videos are like Captain Kangaroo on acid, going solo without the support of Mr. Green Jeans and Bunny Rabbit
Richard Stellar | July 8, 2019 @ 2:31 PM
To Simon Mercs, a.k.a. Papa Smurf, the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred and then redefined via scaled-down versions of skyscraper-length starships belching out smoke and emitting death rays.
The former prop master and scenic artist for Disney, Warner Bros., MTV and other studios has carved out a niche as one of the greatest movie prop re-creators of all time, with a YouTube channel that has garnered 1 million-plus views by catering to those with a youthful enthusiasm for model-building.
Starting with the same plastic kits you can buy on Amazon or at neighborhood hobby shops, Mercs unboxes his purchases and then creates step-by-step video primers that mix inventive and highly stylized technologies, occasionally punctuated with shticky characters and routines best suited for Borscht Belt retrospectives. Think Captain Kangaroo on acid, going solo without the support of Mr. Green Jeans and Bunny Rabbit, and you’d be close to the attraction that Simon holds for those of us who seek to regain the youth once found in boxes of scattered plastic parts and decals.
This is Simon’s art, and not too far into his videos, he switches out the all-too familiar tube of Testor’s glue for deftly delivered rivulets of cyanoacrylate adhesive, coaxed into action by whiffs of CA accelerator. Gaps in the plastic are puttied, imperfections are sanded, and color is seldom applied with a brush. In Papa Smurf’s world, reality is colored with airbrushes and feathering techniques. This is where our youth leaves while technology and craft are ushered in — and Simon makes it appear as if you can also create reality from chaos.
Hobbling about his garage-lab-workshop-soundstage, Mercs cocks his head and peers down to evaluate his work. He not only breaks the fourth wall, but also walls five through eight as he takes the viewer into his confidence. Feigning intimacy while summoning the ghost of Otto Preminger, he appears in an extreme close-up. Then, in a hilariously inappropriate mock-German voice that is more “Hogan’s Heroes” than “Judgement at Nuremberg,” Simon extols his abilities in no uncertain terms.
“A model is only a scaled-down version of sets that I used to build. I have this amazing skill set that enables me to master what I did in full scale down to miniature scale,” he effused in one clip. “Also being obsessive-compulsive and bipolar works.”
Those who pay up to $60,000 for one of his models look at Mercs not as a basket case but more as a demigod. Dan Rosen, former Warner Bros. production head and executive at Digital Domain, was all to happy to sing Mercs’ praises. “Simon has produced a couple of models for me, a Martian War Machine and the Disneyland TWA Moonliner,” he said. “His attention to detail is simply unequaled. In my time in the movie industry, I have had occasion to deal with many model makers. They were all excellent, but I rarely saw a model produced on the first try that was exactly what was asked for.”
You don’t need a big wallet to appreciate Mercs’ completed models. Watching him build a model, and sitting through his incessant parade of characters doesn’t cost anything — and it sure beats the hell out of today’s network and cable reality television fare.
Mercs, who had one leg amputated after a freak accident, does reality TV one better. His YouTube channel continues to grow with new subscribers and fans who rabidly wait until the next installment. He doesn’t demonstrate how to make a flambé, he doesn’t pimp rides, he doesn’t flip houses. What he does is flip reality into a realm that seems attainable by us all, step by step.
View Original Article on TheWrap here – https://www.thewrap.com/meet-simon-mercs-youtubes-model-maker-extraordinaire-guest-blog/
PUBLICATIONS WITH ARTICLES OF KIT FACTORY PROJECTS BY SIMON MERCS
THE SCIFIANTASY MOTY AWARD FOR 2016. I HAVE WON 7 AWARDS OVER THE LAST 12 YEARS FOR MY MODEL AND PROP WORK!
A FEW PRESTIGE KITS AVAILABLE FOR PROJECTS! MANY MORE IN STOCK, JUST ASK!
THE ANIGRAND STAR WARS STAR DESTROYER KIT. RARE AND VERY PRICEY, WE HAVE 2 IN STOCK. TO CORRECTLY DUPLICATE THE ILM MOVIE PROP, IT REQUIRES APPROX. 3000 FIBER OPTIC STRANDS, NUMEROUS LEDS, AND FX CIRCUITS. OVER 30 INCHES LONG, AND ONE OF THE MOST PRECISE CASTINGS OF THIS ICONIC SHIP EVER SEEN!
RANDY COOPER’S FANTASTIC “SPINNER” KIT FROM THE AMAZING FILM “BLADE RUNNER” 24 INCHES LONG, AND SO DETAILED! LIGHTING POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS ON THIS PROJECT! BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION STAND/BASE IS INCLUDED. THE MOST ACCURATE “SPINNER” KIT EVER PRODUCED! WE HAVE ONE IN STOCK FOR THE SERIOUS “BLADE RUNNER” FAN!
THE HALCYON NOSTROMO KIT HAS BECOME QUITE RARE, SINCE THE HALCYON MODEL CORPORATION WENT “BELLY UP” SEVERAL YEARS AGO. A PVC/PLASTIC/RESIN HYBRID KIT, IT IS EXTREMELY ACCURATE, AND DELIVERS A STUNNING DISPLAY. MANY LIGHTING OPTIONS AVAILABLE! WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE ONE IN STOCK FOR A CLIENT COMMISSION.
THE BEST, AND MOST ACCURATE KIT, OF STAR TREK, THE ORIGINAL SERIES, ICONIC “PHASER 1”, BY JOHN LONG! THIS KIT CREATES A SUPERB “PROP” STYLE COLLECTIBLE. FULLY FUNCTIONAL, SHORT OF VAPORIZING THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG! ALTHOUGH STILL AVAILABLE, THEY ARE PRICEY, AND THE WAIT TIMES TO OBTAIN THEM CAN VARY! A”MUST” FOR DIE HARD FANS!
THIS KIT DID NOT HAVE A BOX, OR A BOXTOP ART GRAPHIC, AS IT CAME IN A CRATE! SHIP IS 66 INCHES LONG, AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONSUMER KIT EVER PRODUCED. THIS IS THE “MOTHER” OF ALL STAR TREK KITS. PRODUCED BY JIM KEY STUDIOS. FEATURES EVERY DETAIL THE STUDIO VERSION HAD, AND MANY OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE, LASERS, DETAILED SHUTTLE BAY, YOU DECIDE!
A KIT I HAVE BEEN FASCINATED WITH FOR YEARS! THE LARGE SCALE (1/350) SPACE BATTLESHIP “YAMATO” FROM THE JAPANESE ANIMATED SERIES “STAR BLAZERS”! MOTORIZED CANNONS, TURRETS, LIGHTING, AND EVEN A REMOTE CONTROL UNIT INCLUDED! IF THIS DOESN’T GET ORDERED, I WILL BE VERY HAPPY TO BUILD IT FOR MY PERSONAL COLLECTION! STUNNING LIGHTING POSSIBILITIES ON THIS PROJECT!
THESE ARE ONLY A FEW OF THE RARE OR HARD TO FIND KITS I HAVE IN STOCK.
KITS ALONE ARE NOT FOR SALE THEY ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO CREATE CLIENT COMMISSIONS