Ever count the endless hours that we put in washing, waxing and dusting your classic rides? Then why don't we do the same when it comes to the scaled down versions? The same care we give a classic that sets in the garage, we should give to our die-cast replicas that rest in our den, bedroom, or if your like us every room in the house. Every time you pick up your model you leave oil on the surface from your fingerprints. This oil can counteract with the paint on the car spotting it. Now some would suggest that only handle your model while your wearing white, cotton gloves. That idea is not realistic. Besides unless your model car is kept hermetically sealed chamber, dust and grim is going to collect on it and soon it will be loosing that brand new gleam. With a little maintenance your models can look as good as the classic that rest in the garage.
It should be noted that the principles we are talking about are for die cast metal bodied models only, these same clean up and detailing procedures should not be applied to plastic scale models, as it may ruin them.
First Step: DUST IT
It the small world a dust particle is about the equivalent of a golf ball, and those the particles are small they can scratches the paint on your model. The first step in cleaning up your model is to use a can of compressed air to blow the particles free from the surface. Keep the can moving and work from the middle out forcing the dust off the model. Also be sure to blow dust out of the crevasses in the engine compartment and the undercarriage. Be careful around decals as the blast of air can damage them.
Second Step WASH IT
Carefully wash the surface with an extra mild solution of soap and water. Ivory liquid dish soap works well here. But don't use the concentrated formula, as it is to harsh. Make about a 10 percent solution of soap and mix up only a small amount. An empty margin tub works well. Soak a soft cotton wash cloth in the solution and carefully wash the exterior body portion of the model. Then rise with clear water, and pat dry with a clean dray cotton wash cloth.
Third Step WAX
When the surface is dry, apply a very tin layer of liquid car wax. This wax is smooth and will yield excellent results. Allow wax to dry to a haze then buff off using another clean dry cloth As with the full-size version certain precautions should be met, such as never apply wax to flat balk paint. Cotton swabs are also good when cleaning interiors. Use a cotton tipped swab to remove wax from crevasses. Amour all works good on brightening tires, apply with a a small pad and then buff to a shine.
Editorial FUTURE Classics How to buy a classic car Photograph car Readers Letters News and new products