BASIC MODEL CAR RESTORATION


Brief Description of work:----- A simple restoration of any basic model car of most makes.

This guide is to show novices how to undertake the restoration of basic Dinky, Corgi, Crescent or any other model.
By 'basic' I mean that there are no, or very few, parts to be removed from the car. It just requires the removal of the base plate and wheels in order to do a restoration or repaint.

For this demonstration I am using a Dinky Jaguar XK120.
This is how it looks to start with
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It is badly over painted - quite a few times from the look of it.

For this restoration you will need a few tools.
A drill - any ordinary battery powered hand drill will suffice.
Drill bits - 1.5mm, 2mm, 6mm
Small file.
Dremel tool with a small grindstone (optional - the file can be used in its place)
A small 'ball pien' hammer.
Caustic Soda or Paint stripper such as Nitromors.
An old toothbrush or small wire brush.
Paint - a metal primer and top coat (clear lacquer depending on type of top coat used)
It is probably easiest to use an aerosol can of auto primer - these are available from Automotive shops such as Halfords.
The top coat or gloss coat - again, the easiest method is to use an aerosol can of auto paint. Check the instructions on it though as some require a clear sealer over the top.
An alternative is to use hobby paints such as Humrol and use a good quality brush to apply them.
You will also need 2 (sometimes 3) replacement rivets (available from parts suppliers)

Now you know what you require, let’s get started.

First of all you need to remove the rivets that hold the base plate in position.
This is done by first drilling a pilot hole, using the 1.5mm drill bit, down the centre of the rivet for a depth of about 6mm.
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You then need to use the 2mm drill bit to open up the existing hole. (The replacement rivet has a 2mm shank and it is safer to drill the post to take the new rivet now then risk scratching new paintwork later.)
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you then need to use the 6mm bit to remove the head of the old rivet.
Do this slowly without rushing and just drill down far enough to remove the head. Don't drill into the base plate.

When the rivet heads have been removed the base will come off.
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On some models, the wheels and axles are separate to the chassis and will come away at this stage.
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However, on a lot of models the axles pass through the base plate and the only way of removing the wheels is to file or grind (using a Dremel) the burr off the ends of the axles.
Just remove enough to allow the wheel to come free.
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All the various parts should now be separated.
The next step is to remove the old paint from the body and wheels (if painted wheels)
To do this I use a product called Caustic Soda which is widely available in the UK as a drain cleaner but, I believe is difficult to obtain in other countries.
As an alternative, a paint stripper such as Nitromors can be used.
A word of CAUTION though - Both these products are highly corrosive and suitable protection must be used in the form of goggles, apron and rubber gloves.

To use the Caustic Soda method, place the parts to be stripped in a non metallic container - I use an old ice cream tub - and cover with boiling water.
- DO NOT put alloy parts in Caustic Soda - it WILL dissolve them

Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of the Caustic Soda to the water which will fizz and bubble at this stage.
(CAUTION - NEVER add the water to the Caustic Soda - it will explode.)

You will see the paint melting off the parts.
Lift each part out of the solution and use the brush to remove any stubborn bits in grooves, corners etc.

If you are using paint stripper for this stage, read the instructions on the tin and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Whichever method you have used, ensure you rinse thoroughly with clean water and leave to dry.

You should now have a stack of parts ready for repainting.
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The next step is to repaint the various parts.
Give all the parts a quick brush with the wire brush and avoid touching them again if possible as this can leave grease from your fingers on the parts and stop the paint from adhereing properly.
Use whatever you have available to hold the parts when painting - crocodile clips, helping hands, pieces of wood, cardboard, polystyrene - all can be useful.
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Using the aerosol primer, spray the various parts (in a well ventilated place).
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Allow to dry thoroughly before applying the top coat.

I usually use a 'satin' black to spray the bases.
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Apply the top coat in the same way as the primer.
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Note that I have only sprayed the upper part of this model as I intend the finished model to be two-tone. If you prefer, you can do it all one colour.

Spray the wheels whatever colour you decide.
Allow all the parts to dry - preferably overnight.

The model is now ready to start re-assembly.

Re-assemble to wheels and axles. In order to hold the wheels back on the axles you will need to 'pien' the end of the axle. This is basically just creating a burr on the end to stop the wheel coming off.
I usually do not bother but, I would advise at this stage, particularly if you are not used to using a hammer, to cut a small piece of plastic card or cardboard to fit over the wheel to prevent marks if the hammer slips.
Support the axle on a solid surface - I use a 10lb lump hammer and tap the end of the axle lightly while turning it around to create the burr.
If you hit the axle too hard you are likely to make it bend in the middle.
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Do both axles in the same way.
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At this stage, as I was doing a two-tone model, I masked the model up and sprayed the second colour then left it to dry before proceeding.

If you have only done a single colour you can proceed with the next step which is to fasten the base back on.
Locate the base in place on the model and insert the rivets to check that they fit correctly. If they do, apply a very small blob of superglue in the hole and push the rivet in firmly. Hold in place for a few seconds until set.
Do the other rivets in the same way.

All that is left to do now is paint in the small detail - headlights, grill, front and rear bumpers.
Use a fine paintbrush and silver paint.

Once the paint is dry you have a shiny new model to display.
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