Good day to all in HPR land, this is Tony Hughes coming to you again from Blackpool in the UK. To recap this is the 4th in a series of shows about my hobby of restoring Matchbox and other Die cast models. In the last show I went through the process of stripping the models down to their component parts. In this episode I will discuss the process I use to remove the paint and prepare the casting for repainting and reassembly.
So first off, and I should have said this last episode, a health and safety warning. If there are young people listening to this some of the things talked about on today's show require parental supervision, and are not recommended for young people unless properly supervised. So with that public service announcement out of the way let's get on with the show.
So before the base can be put in the paint stripper the wheels and axles need to be removed. As you can see from the picture there are flanges holding on the wheels to the metal axle and one side is only a small flange.
This can be removed with a small needle file or a small rotary file attachment for my rotary tool. Once removed the bases can be put in with the rest of the casting for paint removal.
So let's talk about paint removal, obviously the first one you will think of is some kind of chemical paint stripper and I use 2 different methods of this. The first and probably the safest in the first instance is a commercial paint stripper from one of the chain DIY stores here in the UK, B&Q. There is a local store about 10 minutes drive from me so it is convenient during normal shopping times just to pop in and grab a 2.5Ltr container of their own brand DIAL paint stripper that is fantastic for this job and quite economic.
The second is a little more aggressive if you need fast results but requires a little more in the way of care when using it as it is very corrosive and can be harmful if the fumes are breathed in, or the product gets onto your skin or in your eyes. This is caustic soda and I buy this through eBay and have it delivered in 1Kg pouches. It needs to be stored in an air tight container in a dry environment to keep it from getting damp as this is a potential fire hazard as if it gets contaminated buy moisture a chemical reaction starts which generates heat. So if you go with the caustic soda method you need to take adequate safety precautions. With the Jaguar I mainly used the caustic soda method to remove the paint but one casting I put in the paint stripper to show that method.
With the caustic soda place the castings in a jar with enough room to cover with just boiled water so that it does not overflow when the caustic soda crystals are added slowly, I use a long handle tea spoon and add 2-3 tea spoons of the soda until it has a good fizz. Then leave for about 15 minutes but the longer the better, I sometimes do this and leave over night and this gives a great result. Remember to wear gloves when doing this to prevent getting the caustic on your hands.
With the paint stripper I have a plastic click lock box with this in that I immerse the casting into and leave for several hours for best results. This can be reused many times as you can see in this picture keeping it an economic method as most of the stripper is left in the box when you remove the casting. The results for both methods are similar, but I find the caustic although you need to be careful, is the less messy of the two options, and the casting is easier to clean after paint removal.
So after removal of the paint the castings are polished up with either a hand wire brush or a wire brush attachment for the rotary tool. You can see the base before and after and a picture of the polished main casting in the notes.
So we now have a casting ready for repainting, which I will cover in the next episode. So until next time this is Tony Hughes saying goodbye to all those in HPR land. Keep safe until the next instalment.