I wonder if you've ever paid any attention to what some of these old toys are worth to collectors?
Obviously, you are free to do whatever you want to do, and if that means reworking old pressed steel toys, that's perfectly fine. But I have seen several instances on "Antiques Roadshow" where toys very similar to the ones you rework were worth thousands! And of course, repainting them or in any way altering their originality instantly takes away any collectible value they may have.
Again... I'm not saying that what you're doing is wrong. I'm just curious if the potential value of the toys as collectibles is something you've ever considered.
You will never believe this - I had some unbelievably valuable plastic kits, mint/boxed. And guess what I did with them? Now they are worth bugger all.
I wouldn't hesitate a second to do what Tom did to an old toy, especially if it turns out as nice as his effort did.
Albeit the values of modified toys will always trail the values of original minters, there now seems to develop an ever growing community of collectors who do cherish good restorations and even Code 3s. Lately I've seen prices of well made restorations and Code 3s surpass the prices of worn originals quite often. So the all-out puritanism among the toy collector crowd finally does seem to soften.