Diecast Cars and Trucks Models
You may wonder,
"Why all the diecast cars and trucks mixed in with model
- Some vehicles
are only available in diecast, and will probably never be available
as a plastic or resin kit. In cases like those, a diecast is
better than nothing.
vehicles are good parts donors. Especially for accssories, special
gear, and offroad tires. The list is almost endless. Again,
the parts may not be available in plastic or resin, or even
3D printing. Often times the quickest and easiest way is just
to buy a diecast car and yank off the parts you need.
cars and trucks are models, to a certain point. Almost all of
them can be dissasembled, repainted, and rebuilt. Most of the
times there's only a few small screws holding them together.
Yes! - you can modify them with the right tools and patience.
- Many diecast
cost less than plastic models kits, even of the same type of
vehicle. So saving a few dollars is ok too.
So how do
you go about a quick rebuild of a diecast?
into depth on this subject
with my Scale Model Life
But I'll touch
on it here with some basics to get you going.
You need to disassemble the diecast model. Use an appropriate
screwdriver on the screws. Some parts might be glued together.
You can carefully pry them apart, or heat up the end of a flat
screwdriver or knife, and carefully cut them free if the parts
Be sure and
save any mounts, pins or screws since you may need them to reassemble
the model at the end.
Most of the time you want the diecast car or truck to be painted
a specific color you've picked out. That means you need to strip
the old paint off. Be sure and remove any chrome moldings or trim
(if there are any).
sand the paint off by hand, but thats a long tough process to
do. The paint on a diecast is usually high quality paint, and
is usually applied pretty thick, so again, it's a tough job to
do by hand.
One way is
to use paint stripper. I use Automotive
Paint Stripper from Rust-Oleum. It will bubble up the paint
(and primer most of the time) right off the metal body. It also
washes up with water. It's highly corosive, so you don't want
to get it on your skin, and it's certainly not safe around kids.
(see my magazine issue for more about it).
I use is a Dremel tool with
a small wire brush on the end. Paint stripper doesn't always get
all the paint off in the small cracks and crevices, or some curved
areas. The Dremel tool will strip off that paint. Wear eye protection
and a breather so you don't take in the paint dust of course.
will take the paint off, and primer if there is a layer of that
(I don't think diecast manfacturers are worried about rust, so
many don't use a primer coat).
How's that for real steel? Once stripped you're
ready to customoize it YOUR WAY.
When you repaint
your diecast vehicle I recommend you use an automotive sandable
primer before painting on your top coat. Using primer out of a
spray can is fine.
the car model is a reversal of taking it apart. But that's if
you leave it stock. I often swap parts with plastic models to
make the diecast look better, or enhance it to fit the look I'm
can be cut and reshaped as well. You need good tools to do this,
such as a saw, and be pretty good with automotive Bondo putty.
I've seen people mix and match diecast bodies and plastic ones
too for a sort of hybrid build. The possibilities are almost endless.
The end result
is: don't be afraid to use diecast cars and trucks to make a model
subject that you want to display in your model collection. As
a modeller, you already have the skills to take one apart and
So make the
kind of scale model you want - even if it's a diecast subject.
it Your Way!