Well this has not happened for years...two posts on the same day. The urge to tear down the little toy cars was just too big and despite having done this before it was still exciting and as usual threw up some problems that I did not expect.
First I used a Dremmel with a 5mm drill bit to drill out all the rivets holding the model together. As you can see there are bits of mazak (also known as pot metal) everywhere. This is really nasty cheap metal and always seems to head straight for your eyes so eye protection is essential. I am not being boring or over protective about this as metal shards in your eyes can be a life changing event and as modelers and painters it will be a very negative one.
All die cast models are pretty much the same, the excellent older Lesney Yesteryear models are very well made so I have left that for another day...maybe I will source a sitting General and driver before I start that one!
This is what the toys look like after a bath in caustic soda. I put them in a plastic tub (a takeaway item!) and then poured boiling water over the height of the castings...next keep adding caustic soda slowly ...it will bubble and fizz and eventually with a gentle wire brushing the paint should come off. Do not put any plastic into the caustic, only the metal parts. I never strip the wheels as they can be painted or washed over.
I have refinished a few cars before but the paint on these models was the thickest that I have ever come across.I wont be replacing the plastic roof on the lorry so I have filled the holes with milliput...the van (soon to be an ambulance has had its roof clipped back on ready for a black undercoat. I will attack any remaining paint with very fine wet and dry.
Any suggestions for the colours for the wagon would be great...the wheel arches will remain black-should the body be grey? The ambulance is going green as it just seems right somehow...maybe a few years driving ambulances for HM makes me think that they cannot be any other colour?
Thanks for looking.