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HPR - HPR3124: Matchbox Restoration Part 5

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HPR Matchbox show Episode 5

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 5th 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 I use to remove the paint and prepare the casting for repainting and reassembly. In this episode we will look at the painting of the castings and 'Spoiler' what to do if things go wrong.

After polishing and before painting I degrease the casting in some alcohol. I use a cheap own brand nail polish remover from the Co-Op but there are many ways of doing this and as many products on the market, so use what you have to hand. Even a good clean in hot soapy water, dry with a lint free cloth and then a wipe over with alcohol wipes works well. Remember to wear gloves when handling the casting after this process as the grease from your hands can undo all your hard work.

So the first thing to say is that I am still in the early stages of learning this hobby and use what are referred to as 'Rattle' cans in this community, it just means spray can painting rather than the use of an Air Brush, which I will be moving onto at some point so I can mix my own paint colours and not just those available in a spray can.

So far I have been painting the casting outside during a warm dry day with little or no wind, or in a sheltered spot behind the garage if the wind is a little strong. I have now set up a small portable spray booth in the garage for this so will be able to paint in all conditions weather wise, which will make life easier.

Image 001
Image 001

So back to the casting, I use a Hemostat Clamp to hold the casting on this model it is attached to the post that holds the model together as this will not be seen when reassembled, I used a grey primer, spraying light coats all over the model until it is completely covered in the primer. Priming helps smooth out any small imperfections for the final paint coat, and as the casting is over 50 years old, it also lays down a consistent base colour and ensures that the colour coat should be the same all over when final paint is applied. As you can see in the picture it also shows up the casting lines and if desired these can be filed away prior to final painting, as this is a restoration I left this casting as original as possible, and left these in.

Image 002
Image 002

Image 003
Image 003

After leaving the casting to dry for about an hour I came back with the colour coat, the original model was a metallic brown, but the nearest match I was able to find in the local pound shops is a metallic gold. Not perfect but the final results look good, but a little lighter than the original paint. I applied the paint in smooth fine strokes, getting what is called a tack coat of the paint all over the model casting to start, then applying another coat (the wet coat) all over until there is no sign of the primer and all looks smooth but with no runs in the paint finish. The balance needs to be just right with not too little or too much paint, but with practice you get there in the end. Unforseeably on this occasion there was a reaction with the primer on the rear of the model which caused bubbling of the paint.

Image 004
Image 004

Image 005
Image 005

So after allowing the paint to fully cure I used a little wet and dry fine sanding paper to smooth out this area and gave the casting another coat of paint, and fortunately this time all was well as you can see from the pictures in the show notes.

Image 006
Image 006

Image 007
Image 007

While the casting was fully curing I turned my attention to the screen plastic. I found the best of the ones I had salvaged, from the 4 castings, picture 008 in the notes, and gave it a polish with some auto sol polishing compound using a cotton bud, and it came out quite nice. I then gave it a wash in soapy water to remove the residue of the polishing compound and after drying gave it a dip in some Pledge floor shine, it works great.

Image 008
Image 008

Image 009
Image 009

Image 010
Image 010

After coating the screen in the Pledge it is placed on a pad of paper towel and covered with a plastic pot to stop dust getting on it while drying.

Image 011
Image 011

Although the original casting had a black painted base I liked the look of the polished base so decided to leave this as it was, but if painting the base it is the same process as the main casting.

Well that's it for this episode, on the next I will look at putting the wheels and axles back on the base and the reassembly process.

This is Tony Hughes for Hacker Public Radio, saying goodbye for now, keep safe everyone and I'll be back soon with the next instalment.

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