When Thomas Dudley Ltd wanted to produce a set of miniature Black Country landmarks as part of the Company’s 100th birthday celebrations, MDL’s award-winning team stepped in to provide the perfect solution.


Thomas Dudley, a group of 5 integrated engineering businesses, was founded in 1920. Fiercely proud of their Black Country roots, the business planned a number of initiatives throughout 2020 to celebrate their centenary with customers and employees.

As part of these celebrations, a showpiece customer dinner was held at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole Hotel. As a member of the Thomas Dudley Group of companies, MDL were approached to take up the challenge to design and manufacture of a set of zinc diecast miniatures representing iconic Black Country landmarks including Dudley Zoo and Castle.

We were given just 4 weeks from commission to required delivery.


At MDL, we’ve developed a proven approach that has been honed across thousands of successful projects and began by taking time to clearly understand what Thomas Dudley was looking to achieve.

Mark Fisher, MD at MDL explained “marking the 100th year in business is a major achievement for any organisation. As such, we were delighted when Thomas Dudley asked us to get involved. Once we’d agreed on objectives, our in-house design team modelled up 7 miniature landmarks and an accompanying commemorative coin”.

“We’re vastly experienced in manufacturing highly detailed zinc die castings and were able to quickly configure designs that optimised quality and minimised unit costs. In just one week, these designs had been presented and approved. We then produced tooling and off tool samples”.

“By the fourth week, we had produced over 1,000 sets of miniature icons, sourced a bespoke presentation box and assembled and packed them ready for delivery to Thomas Dudley. The presentation boxes were then given to everyone who attended the celebration customer event”.

The project included:

  • Modelling up the selected landmark miniatures using SolidWorks CAD/CAM software
  • Cutting new tooling in-house. This contained interchangeable inserts to mould all 8 icons via single shots on our high-pressure zinc diecasting machines
  • Tooling was highly polished to eliminate the need for additional machining or finishing
  • The icons could then be immediately plated in a hard-wearing decorative finish
  • Finally, our bespoke product assembly capabilities were called upon to pack the icon sets into the custom presentation boxes


Finished box sets were delivered into Thomas Dudley on time.

Martin Dudley, Chairman at Thomas Dudley added “we’re proud of our heritage and wanted to mark our centenary with something special. Whilst they are a Thomas Dudley business, MDL was given an extremely demanding brief that had to be completed in time for a non-moveable deadline”.

“They delivered everything that we wanted and more and the icons allowed us to give customers a personal gift marking our manufacturing and Black Country roots”.

Mary Stevens Hospice, the charity that has provided high-quality care for people living with life-limiting illnesses since 1991 has also ordered a consignment of the icon sets to be sold alongside their new Black Country themed Monopoly games.   

Martin Dudley - Thomas Dudley Ltd Chairman - Showcasing the Dudley Icons
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