The Patriot MIM-104 is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system used by the United States Army and many other nations. The prime contractor for this system is Raytheon. You can read more about this system here.
This scale model was built mostly from scratch with one exception. The cab and chassis are a die-cast model that we used as a starting point for the truck in the pictures. When a high-quality mass-produced model is available in the proper size, we will often use it as a starting point for out model. Not only does this save a lot of time, a mass-produced kit often has small, high-detail parts included that would be cost-prohibitive for our customers. When a model is mass-produced (in the 10,000s or 100,000s) the small details can be injection molded. The injection molding process has high up-front capital costs but low per-piece costs for large runs.
The tires were designed in CAD and then output to our in-house rapid prototyping machine. They were then molded in RTV silicone and cast with urethane resin.
We used 3D CAD geometry supplied by our customer to design and fabricate this model.
More than 50% of the parts on this model were drawn in CAD and output to our 36″x24″ laser cutter/engraver. We use this not only to cut the shapes we need in various plastics, but also to add details by engraving the surface.
Small parts, including the hand rails and round rods are made of brass and are often brazed or soldered for strength.
Structural parts of this model such as the trailer chassis are made from brass to create a strong base for the rest of the details.
YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/oLcTBFSmRhc