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Cleaning Dirty Models

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Here is a way to clean dirty models that worked for me on a dozen of well built and detailed cars that I acquired. These cars

were more than a bit dusty, they had been on an open shelf for 20 or more years.

First fill kitchen sink with a couple inches of warm soapy water. Use soft 1 inch or so wide soft paint brush to pre soak then use same brush to lightly scrub complete model reaching into all cracks and crevices. Don't be afraid to get it wet, as far as I know plastic models are water-proof. Smaller brushes are required to reach into interior. Rinse well under running water or use vegetable sprayer nozzle. Really dirty cars may require a second go-around. Allow to dry then apply a coat of wax.

The cars that I did came out as if they had been finished yesterday. 100% clean

And get this: Flocking survived too!

Again, don't be afraid to get them wet.

Keep an eye out for tiny parts that may come off and try to sneak into drain. Only one spot-light came off on 12 cars for me

This process worked very well for me.

Good luck

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'd just be careful of 20 year old models as they probably have may axles and submerging them would invite rust. A good quick air dry with a blower would probably get them dry quick enough to stall the rust.

Now that I think of it, 20 years isn't that old .. probably need older to get steel axles!

Edited by Foxer

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Posted · Report post

I do the same soap and water brushing, plus I put a screen over the drain, just in case something falls off. I haven't found a perfect screen yet, so I've been using a sifter screen and bending it to more-or-less fit. It has managed to save a part or two, but I'd like to find something that fits securely around the drainhole.

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Posted · Report post

I do the same soap and water brushing, plus I put a screen over the drain, just in case something falls off. I haven't found a perfect screen yet, so I've been using a sifter screen and bending it to more-or-less fit. It has managed to save a part or two, but I'd like to find something that fits securely around the drainhole.

Use a kitchen strainer (colander). The think you drain pasta in after it's cooked. Put it in the sink and hold the model over it while you're cleaning it. Any parts that fall off will fall into the strainer.

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Posted · Report post

How about using a plastic dishpan instead of the sink? No drain to worry about.

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Posted · Report post

I think he was concerned about the part where you have to rinse the model under running water after it's been cleaned.

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Posted · Report post

I use good ol fashioned Elmers white glue for my clear parts. Would the water effect the white glue?

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I use good ol fashioned Elmers white glue for my clear parts. Would the water effect the white glue?

Yes, a soaking would. But probably not just a quick dip.

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Posted · Report post

Mike, quite a few models still use metal axles. But, yes, a quick air-dry if the model is solid enough isn't a bad idea.

Otherwise, let it air-dry very thoroughly, may take a day or two.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

Hi all,

I have used this method for years, living in the desert, it's a once a year job to clean them all

There is one thing to really watch out for.... If you have future for a clear coat, you have to watch how

long you keep the future wet. I've had a couple turn white after cleaning them when the future softened, and of course this was on black bodies.. The only repair I have found was to strip the future and reclear.

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Wow! Talk about timing! My wife and I just started doing some pre-spring cleaning to my office/hobby room and were just talking about how I was going to clean my cars. At least the survivors from earlier last year and rebuilds from my old junkyard kits.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The dollar store has a screen for the sink drain that fits my old sink. It has saved many a part from the drain monster. LOL

It is made of screen , it is not the one with holes in it.

Edited by 1930fordpickup

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Posted · Report post

How will this affect decals

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Be careful! I would never submerge or wash my models with water. I have too many things on them that aren't water proof. For instance, I will make cardboard headliners, I use 60 lb bond stock for license plates and I use chalk and water colors in my weathering.

Even with older models that look okay, I had a problem with an original '65 Barracuda built up I own. I washed it and the neat red lines apparently were done with a water soluble flair pen over the thin white wall. They went pink.

The best thing is to keep your models in a dust and dirt free environment. I keep mine in two old china cabinets I own. They only require a brief dusting once a year or so.

MVC012S-vi.jpg

Hmmm... a bit dirty. I bought these on eBay many years ago. Can only imagine where they were sitting for like 30 years!

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