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Plastic Model Car Care And Upkeep

Jul 25, 2008
Model cars, once a very popular hobby, have since seen a slowdown in their following. During the 1980's building and collecting plastic model cars was replaced by video games and a popular television music channel. The new generation just did not have the same time for model building that it once had. Now that the older generation is coming around again modeling is enjoying a resurgence. New model builders and old collectors alike are beginning to buy the hottest new models as fast as they hit the shelves.

One thing that many model builders do not seem to remember is that plastic models, just like their pre-assembled die cast cousins, require a bit of upkeep and cleaning to make them and keep them looking their best. This means cleaning them well before assembly and after they are together as well. While it is not very difficult to do it can be a bit hard to remember. Make yourself a note and leave it somewhere you will find it or just jot it down on your calender. By doing so you will ensure that you are able to enjoy your model for years to come.

One of the very first things you will want to do is to wash the different parts of your model car in a small container of water. This water should be warm but not hot. Heat can damage the part by causing it to become misshapen. Also add a very light amount of dish detergent to the water. Sometimes during the manufacturing process the parts can pick up a residue and this will make it hard to paint as well as making it hard for the adhesive to do its job.

If you want to make sure that it is very clean within the detailing you should use a brush. A soft bristle toothbrush is usually perfect for this job. It can easily get into small tight spots in the detailing much better than a harder bristled brush would.

Once you have assembled the windshield and windows you should check them for left over adhesive. Adhesive can be very hard to get off of them so you should try to wipe any that is left out to the edge of the clear plastic. This will make it much easier to remove. Once the model car is completely assembled you may use one of two methods to clean it. A keyboard vacuum can do a very thorough job just be sure that you secure moving parts on the model as the spinning brush could actually damage your car. The other way would be to use very light bursts of aerosol keyboard cleaner. If you spray too long you risk damaging your paint job and decals.

After the model has been finished make sure that it is properly sealed. If it has not been then there is a chance that water damage could cause your car to lose its decals or suffer damage to its paint job. A properly sealed model car can be wiped off with a slightly damp lint free cloth. By using lint free cloth you save the aggravation of having to clean off bits of lint left behind by a normal paper towel. If you take care of your plastic model car properly you will make sure that it is around for your enjoyment in the years to come.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for collectible model cars, model trains, and model trucks.
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