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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A recent impulse Ebay bid saw me receive this pair of 70s(?) Policar models in the post a few days ago.


Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive lighting Hood


I knew from the auction photos that they were fairly rough, but they weren't terribly expensive, and the Alpine appealed.

As is often the case with cars like these, close examination revealed a mixture of good and bad news. The Ferrari body is in excellent, clean condition, though sans lights and screen. The chassis, however, has some problems, with a broken motor mount and rear wheels that have clearly come loose at some stage and been badly glued back on with what looks like earwax. I'll put it to one side for a bit.

The Alpine, OTOH, looked to be mechanically very good, albeit in need of a clean and a drivetrain fluffectomy. The body, of course, had that paintjob, and was missing its glass.

First priority was to put the shell into a bag of caustic oven cleaner, which made fairly short work of the silver paint (and, slightly disappointingly, any remaining chrome from the bumpers, but more on that in a while). It emerged that there was a sort of undercoat of a couple of different things; a sort of rubbery stuff like dried EvoStik, and some sort of reddish maroon paint. Neither was as susceptible to the caustic as was the silver, but the rubbery stuff peeled off with a fingernail, and the red largely succumbed to multiple blasts in the ultrasonic cleaner. Here's the shell late in the process but before the final ultrasonic zaps.

Vehicle Car Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


Pleasingly, the (I suspect hard to obtain) headlamp mouldings have come up nicely, and the bumpers are all intact. Most of the shell is not bad at all. There is evidence of the rear wheelarches taking some substantial hits, with pale stress lines visible on the inside, and the edges of the moulding are a bit rough. Mind you, memory tells me that cheap plastic mouldings of the era were quite often like that from new. Stress lines shown here. They don't seem to have seriously weakened the area so I've decided not to worry about them.

White Hood Blue Sleeve Automotive design


A bit of wet 'n' dry will sort the rough edges.

Which brings us to the bonnet. What I had hoped were easily remedied paint blobs have turned out to be the result of something unpleasantly hot and melty happening.

Hood Blue Automotive lighting Bumper Car


Even after ultrasonicing the last remnants of paint out of the craters, it doesn't look great. I had hoped, naively as it turns out, that I might find a pristine shell under the paint. Don't laugh, it has been known to happen, though not, admittedly, to me. I could then have been happy to leave the shell in self-coloured blue, just as Policar did. Obviously this is now out, and a fair bit of filling and sanding is now on the cards, along with paint to hide the repairs. It's going to be challenging to get anything to stick to the soapy plastic. However, I have some hopes of a combination of scrupulous cleanliness, a thorough keying with w&d, and use of a plastic specific primer achieving an adequate result.

And that's pretty much where it stands at the moment. Life is a bit hectic right now, so progress may be sporadic due to difficulty finding opportunities to work or post. I will add, though, that I just bought one of these to do the bumpers and, having just tried it, I'm very impressed with the level of shine and ease of getting a smooth coating. Can't wait to play with it properly.
 

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You're doing just fine Pat . Looking good .
I suspect that the melted sections , were the reason for the silver paint job.
Cut off the tyres Pat . I tried pulling off a few Policar tyres a few years ago , and the wheels collapsed ......it was a nightmare trying to re-glue them to run even again .
Zig
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're doing just fine Pat . Looking good .
I suspect that the melted sections , were the reason for the silver paint job.
Cut off the tyres Pat . I tried pulling off a few Policar tyres a few years ago , and the wheels collapsed ......it was a nightmare trying to re-glue them to run even again .
Zig
Thanks. The tyres won't be a problem, I think. The fronts can stay on. Though fossilised they don't seem to be cracked. As slot car front tyres don't generally need grip, they'll do. The original rears have disappeared, to be replaced with a pair of narrow ones, from an unknown source, that don't fit and are actually loose on the rims, so getting them off is easy. The only issue will be getting replacements at a sensible price.

I'm interested to see that, although the front wheels are Policar's apparently standard, rather toylike, narrow chrome disc, the rears are, at first glance, quite a reasonable interpretation of the alloys shown on this car. Something of a step up from Scaley's contemporary practice of putting the same, rather basic, 5-spoke moulding on everything.

Wheel and tyre wise, if all else fails I'll just replace the running gear with modern, Pendles aftermarket bits, as this isn't going to be a mint, collector example.
 

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I replaced both front and rear tyres from the Frenchman ( Bruno) , who is no longer with us .
The reason I also replaced the front tyres even though they looked ok ....was because they were rock hard , and made a horrible racket . They are designed to touch the track . The grinding sound got to me . If you can put up with the extra decibels ...fine . For display purposes...not a problem , but if you're intending to run the car on a track ....hmmmm !
Zig
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just ordered a set of tyres for the Alpine from slotcarstyres.com. At least, I hope I have. The English version of their site isn't working for me so I had to rely on a combination of the pictures and my near 40 year old memories of French lessons. And, frankly, that wasn't very helpful, as Jean-Paul Marsaud (remember him?) was into football rather than slot cars, the tedious little git. I hope he's since drunk himself into oblivion in a cheap pension somewhere. I'd still like to meet his older sister though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A little time became available this morning, so the filling, filing and sanding of the Alpine's bonnet began. It's proving easier than I expected to bring the bonnet back to something like its original shape. Body with bumpers and lights removed, and somne preliminary carving of the melted high spots, shown below.

Car Land vehicle Vehicle Hood Blue


While the filler was curing, I stuck the bumpers and lights to a bit of wood with blu-tak, and gave them a coat of Molotow liquid chrome. Very nice result. At least as good as the factory plating and dead easy to apply. I've done the hidden part of the light mouldings in the hope that a reflective backing will give some illusion of the headlamp reflectors. Before and after below.

World Newspaper Toy Publication Font


Hood Circuit component Font Publication Musical instrument accessory


I'm getting fairly close with the filler, but didn't have the chance to get a photo before I had to pack up for the time being. Next job is to give the whole body a scrub with 400 grit and shoot a coat of plastic primer so that I can get a better idea of the spots needing further attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Had a bit of a painting disaster with the Alpine last week. Shot a first coat of the trusty Rustoleum 2X and it went like this.
Land vehicle Wheel Car Tire Vehicle


Not sure why. Possibly retribution from the Gallic gods for deciding not to paint it blue. Anyway, I foresee much time spent with 400 grit in my future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
An hour or so's work and a pile of clogged wet n dry later and it's looking much less depressing. I'm now confident I can salvage it without stripping it back to bare plastic (which I'm reluctant to do as it might bring my carefully sculpted filler with it). Still needs a bit more detail work though.

Tire Wheel Car Hood Vehicle


On the plus side, this has been quite an effective test of how well the paint has stuck, and the answer is "pretty well". There's been no chipping or flaking, even at the edges, and even as the body flexes as I'm working on it. For what it's worth, the application procedure has been, detergent wash, dry sand with 400 grit, detergent wash, dry, one coat of Septone Plastic Primer from a car shop rattle can, one coat of Rustoleum 2X (unsuccessful but well stuck).

Once I've got it all smoothed down to my satisfaction I'll be having another go with the yellow, but I'll be shooting a test piece first, having cleaned the can nozzle and shaken it for twice the recommended time or more.
 

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Advise you take all yellow paint off, Pat, and start again. Having done so I further suggest that you wash the body with soap and lashings of clean water, using only clean cloths.

Repeat the washing process at least thrice before drying the body with clean, dry cloths. Then paint a couple of primer coats. If they are stable within a few minutes it's probably safe to apply gloss coats.

The bubbling effect suggests (but not conclusively) either surface contamination and/or a damp cool atmosphere with paint applied at cold temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
It wasn't so much a bubbling effect, as an overall coarse sandpaper finish, with a couple of crazed areas. The crazing wasn't dissimilar to some which appeared on my similarly painted Ferrari P4, and which I managed to cover up satisfactorily. I think a lot of the sandpaper effect was down to the rattlecan. As I was spraying I thought it didn't sound or look quite right, and sure enough, it wasn't. Hence my seeking to correct any problems with the nozzle and the paint mix.

I do hope the Rustoleum doesn't prove persistently problematic as, when it works right, it works very well, to the extent of even self-correcting minor runs.

Anyway, it's going back on its box for a while, as the bottom bracket's just fallen out of my e-bike conversion, so my next few windows of leisure time will be spent overcoming the deficiencies of Chinese engineering to try to ensure it doesn't happen again.
 
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