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Hi all! Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve started a new full time job which has taken a bit of adjusting to.
I haven’t really felt like making any progress with any of my long term projects this month, so I had a look in my stash of things to do for something quick, easy and stress free.
A couple of years ago my Dad picked up this Matchbox/Lesney lomg wheel base Jaguar Mk10 at a toy fair for 50p. The original rose gold paint had mostly been chipped away but the body itself was good and straight, the tow hook was still attached and the windows were in good condition as was the interior.
It has sat for a couple of years as I’ve been trying to find the exact colour that it was originally painted in, but to no avail.
It’s actually a very nice little model. The bonnet folds up to reveal a detailed engine bay and the front and rear suspension is actually sprung!
The body is held onto the chassis by a single rivet. To remove this one has to drill it out. The only other die cast car I’ve restored/repainted was a more modern Hotwheels car which had a plastic rivet holding it together, which had some flex and give once the centre was drilled out allowing the body to be removed. This car is held together by a metal rivet which really needed to be fully drilled out.
Once the rivet is removed the whole car can be taken apart. The blue plastic strip you see in the picture below is the suspension. The plastic sits above the axle and when pressure is applied to the top of the car it flexes. When pressure is released it springs back to it’s original position. Simple but effective!
To remove the rest of the old paint from the body I soaked it in nail polish remover which contains Acetone. The Acetone softens the paint. I then lightly went over the body shell with a wire wheel to remove the more stubborn sections of paint.
I then painted the shell with a light coat of Halfords grey primer.
Then it was time for the top coat! I decided on a nice deep red.
I actually had to do the top coat twice. The first coat of paint I did with the bonnet up. I then closed the bonnet and sprayed on a second coat to make sure I covered all the lights and front grill etc. The bonnet fits so well to the shell that once the second coat dried I couldn’t open the bonnet haha! Prising it open actually pulled up some of the paint on the front wings so I had to do it again. The fact that the bonnet fitted, and still fits so well is a testament to Matchbox’s build quality at this time.
Then all I had to do was add some detail to the shell and put it all back together!
You may be able to see in the pictures I added a little interior detail too. The steering wheel is now black as it is on the real car and I’ve painted in a wooden dash and the fold up tables on the backs of the seats. It’s not my best freehand work though so there’s no close up picture of it haha!
I think I’ll keep an eye out for more diecast cars in need of restoration in the future as they make for fun, quick, cheap little projects that I can do between larger projects.
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By Richard Francis