Hot Wheels and Matchbox Customizing Thread

Discussion in 'The Rumble Strip' started by R1600Turbo, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Rallywagon

    Rallywagon Premium

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    Caustic soda, aka sodium hydroxide, aka lye.
    Use gloves, don't get it on your skin, and keep a bottle of vinegar handy in case you splash some.
     
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  2. Sonygamer455

    Sonygamer455

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    Well that clears the naming confusion I had earlier.
    Rubber gloves?
    In the case I get it on my hands? What exactly does the vinegar do in this case?

    The reason I ask about this stuff is because if I ever mess up on painting a vehicle and have to strip it and start over, the paint I applied is pretty difficult to remove with paint stripper. Paint stripper is good for removing the standard paint used on most diecast cars, but it struggles to remove spray paint and I am wondering if the caustic soda will be any better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  3. Rallywagon

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    So lye is a base, like baking soda but much stronger. So, using vinegar, an acid, will neutralize the lye. It's not nearly as bad as fight club makes it seem. But using rubber or nitrile gloves certainly are a good idea. Mixing it up with some hot water will make it work better, both on the skin and on the paint. However, as long as you dont let it sit for a long amount of time, you'll be fine, just clean up any spills or any that splash on you with a sense of purpose and you'll be fine.
    As for how well it will strip paint. I dont know as I dont know what paint you have, nor would I really know even if I did have the paint info. Best to find a small bottle of lye and give it a try
     
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  4. Olibob

    Olibob

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    It is rather unsafe and not very much more effective - SidewaysKing75 on youtube did a video on all different stripping methods- I'd go take a look at that, it compares them first hand.
     
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  5. TexRex

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    The thinking is that the acetic acid neutralizes the intensely basic lye. It does. However, lye reacts with water to give off heat, and even a higher strength cleaning vinegar at 6% acidity is still 94% water.

    I've always been advised to have ready access to flowing water rather than have a bottle of water with some acid in it (vinegar) handy. The water and lye still react, but the water flow flushes the reactive lye away and having so much water available so readily dissipates the heat quicker than can be accomplished by dumping that bottle.

    When I deal with lye for anything, my foremost concern is eye protection. I wear goggles that surround the eyes rather than glasses that protect against projectiles. The second most important thing is working in a well ventilated area; I do it outside. I wear sturdy gloves and fabric sleeves (just sleeves) that protect against random splatter but that I can whip right off in a dumping scenario. And I have a hose by me with a sprayer set to "soak" and under pressure, just in case.

    Use common sense and I can't imagine it's any more dangerous than chemical strippers.
     
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  6. Sonygamer455

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    I gotcha. Fortunately I have some.
    That was what I planned on doing since that was how Matchbox Garage did it.
    Yea I read it was more corrosive than paint stripper and I have seen another video comparing the two and it seems to take some of the finish on the casting off. It can be repolished fairly easily though.
    I mainly use Testor's model car paints or the Krylon paints for my customs. All of which are pretty darn stubborn about coming off when using paint stripper and I am hoping this stuff will power through it so I don't have to waste so much time wirebrushing it off with my Dremel. (and getting bits everywhere that hurt when I step on them)
    It certainly struck me as "unsafe" after reading about it. I looked at that video after you mentioned it and does give a pretty good background on each. However, I am a little skeptical as to why his was taking so much longer than it was for Matchbox Garage and whether he even put enough in there. Different caustic sodas maybe? Plus he's just working with regular Hot Wheels paint, which generally comes off very easily.

    For me, the real test for its effectiveness is how it deals with a casting that has already been resprayed, granted enough caustic soda is used.
    This is something that I have considered, not just for using caustic soda, but just about anything I do when customizing Hot Wheels. I guess I better get some now.
    Fortunately I have a door leading outside not too far from where I usually work and it has a water hose next to it. I guess that's where I will do this.

    If I do use this, the plan is to take a tall glass jar, pour some hot water in there and then some caustic soda (not sure how much exactly) and leave it for about 10 minutes. Of course, I am going to be wearing some rubber gloves and goggles when I do this. However, I may not use caustic soda to remove paint unless I have a failed respray, regular HW paint can taken off easily with just paint stripper.
     
  7. TexRex

    TexRex Premium

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    Any particular reason for starting with hot water? Lye easily dissolves into water at room temperature and the resultant solution heats up considerably.
     
  8. Sonygamer455

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    Because that's what Matchbox Garage does on Youtube and according to Rallywagon, it works even better.

    Another question I have is how well does it work with plastic? Such as the plastic base to a Hot Wheels casting or the wheels. I have seen MBG and another Youtuber use it at least once on plastic, but not much info was given about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  9. TexRex

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    I don't know that it's not more effective, but I'd be concerned with the temperature increase. Also consider that it's the corrosive chemical action that's doing the work, not the thermal action.

    The type of plastic makes a difference and I don't have the slightest idea what Hot Wheels uses. Some plastic containers have heat and chemical resistant properties that actually make them suitable for working with a lye solution.
     
  10. DUBer

    DUBer

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    20200308_194956.jpg

    My custom hw "TRACK RIPPER" with matchbox wheels.
     
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  11. DUBer

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    I never thought i'd be messing with a bug.
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    89' PORSCHE 944 TURBO
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  12. Sonygamer455

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    I guess I'll have to test it an find out.
    Well I noticed MBG would drop the wheels in there after he has already removed the paint from the body. My guess is that dropping it there and then adding the soda would destroy the plastic, but if you do it after you've already put the solution in for a few minutes, it's died down enough to where it can take the paint off without damaging it. I should note it took the paint on the wheels in a matter of seconds and it seems to work on plastic bases too based on what I have seen on Danny's Diecast Disasters.

    Another question I have is I noticed there appears to be two types of caustic soda, one for food and one for drains. I think MBG used the types for drains, but I still have to ask, which is more suitable for removing paint?
     
  13. TexRex

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    I'm given to understand that the sodium hydoxide undergoes further refinement to be usable for food, as less refinement is more likely to result in impurities. Because the sodium hydroxide is the active ingredient and impurities won't have the same effect, I'd imagine it would be more likely to get the job done...not that the alternative wouldn't accomplish the same task.

    I'm afraid I can't offer any advice regarding plastics beyond recommending you experiment with materials you can afford to lose, if that's an option.
     
  14. Sonygamer455

    Sonygamer455

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    What, the kind for drains?
    What alternative? Paint stripper?
    That may be what I end up doing.
     
  15. TexRex

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    If my understanding that food grade is simply more pure is accurate, I would think food grade to be more effective because of the higher concentration of the active ingredient.

    The less pure product, which is to say the sodium hydroxide that has not undergone additional refinement. It may remove paint just as effectively as the more pure product. I have no experience with it in that capacity.
     
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  16. Sonygamer455

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    Gotcha.
    I guess I'll have to find out myself.

    Anyways, thanks for the tips guys!
     
  17. Polsixe

    Polsixe

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    Nigel Setright admiring the raw lines of the Ford P68. Hey Matchbox, bring back the casting instead of GT40 Mk1 all the time.

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  18. Restaurat

    Restaurat

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    I like these old castings as well. I gave an old matchbox BMW e30 a new look.

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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  19. Sonygamer455

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    So remember that beat up Corgi Volkswagen Beetle 1300 I posted a while back? Well, I finished it back in April, but I haven’t taken the time to post it until now.

    Back in early March, my interest in Corgi castings had really grown and I started looking them up on eBay. Eventually, I saw this one on there and when I did, it just spoke to me. Not only was I pretty fond of the Volkswagen Corgi had made, but I felt bad for it seeing it in this condition and was just anxious to fix it up some. So I bought it and this was how it looked when I received it:
    IMG_0950.JPG IMG_0951.JPG IMG_0952.JPG
    As you can see, it was in really bad shape when I received it and I think this is more or less what it’s supposed to look like brand new. No idea what all it went through prior to me getting it, but there was obviously a lot wrong with it and it certainly needed a lot of work. It actually did not feature rivets like Hot Wheels typically do and it felt like it was ready to come apart when I got it. So I took it apart:
    IMG_0954.JPG
    And here’s where the restoration begins!
    As you saw in the photos, the body had certainly seen better days and was missing most of its paint. Although I neglected to get any pictures of this, I stripped off what was left of the remaining paint with paint stripper, fortunately, it didn’t need much since most of it was already gone. If you look at this photo here, you can see the casting has casting lines on the hood and part of the fenders and it had it some near the back, which you cannot see in that photo. I found these to be a bit distracting, so I filed them down. (sorry for lack of pictures)

    Here it is with a new coat of primer.
    IMG_0967.JPG
    ^As you can see the casting lines are gone now and it looks a lot better. I will admit though, I kind of messed up on the fenders a bit and you can tell in this photo, but fortunately, the hood turned out great! The metal on this one is considerably thinner than most Hot Wheels castings I have worked with in the past. I didn’t bother filling in the hole on the top because I hope to one day put something there and I didn’t think filling it in was worth the effort anyway.

    Upon doing some research, I learned this casting was originally metallic green. I wanted something reminiscent of what it had originally while giving it a new and improved look. So I chose Testors Mystic Emerald for this one because I felt this was perfect for it. And here it is with the aforementioned new color:
    IMG_1045.JPG IMG_1046.JPG
    ^I detailed the turn signals, door handles, and even the Volkswagen letters on the back after I finished painting it. It was pretty tricky, but I eventually got it.

    I will admit, I had numerous mishaps with painting this thing and I had to strip and redo it multiple times before I got it to what you see here. While it still has some imperfections, namely the front having some small pores and the silver going a little off from the turn signals, it’s not a huge deal, so I left it alone because I felt it wasn’t worth the risk of ruining it again.
    Don’t know what’s up with the base, but it obviously isn’t what it should be.
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    So I put in a small bowel of LimeAway for a bit and then took my wire brush on my Dremel and went over it a bit. It gave off a rather musky smell while I did this for some reason, makes me wonder what’s on the base. And here’s how it turned out:
    IMG_0976.JPG
    It ain’t as good as it could be, but it’s at least passable now. Maybe when I get better polishing methods, I’ll go over it again someday.
    When I received it, it looked like this:
    IMG_0955.JPG IMG_0956.JPG
    It had a lot of evidence from where the previous owner apparently tried to repaint the casting because it had paint around the edges and it also had marks from where it had been gone over with a sharpie as well. Generally speaking, it was bad.

    So I got the paint off eventually and then followed baremetalhw’s tutorial for fixing up windshields. It was going pretty good at first and I got about 80% of the way there, until I accidentally broke it. :ouch: The windshield on this one ain’t like your typical Hot Wheels casting. While most Hot Wheels windshields are thick and somewhat flexible, this one is thin and brittle, the kind that would break into many pieces if you were to step on it. So it’s understandable why it broke so easily.

    So I eventually caved in and bought another Volkswagen much like this one so I could replace the windshield on it. Got that one apart and then washed the windshield with soap and water and then soaked it in some Pledge Floor Care. It didn’t have the hole in the top like the original one did, but carefully drilled out a new one without damaging it. Here is the result:
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    ^It has some minor scratches on it still, but I didn’t worry about it because they weren’t even all that bad and I did not want to risk breaking it again. I also had some unrelated drama going on at the time and the last thing I wanted was another thing to add to my frustration. So I decided to call it finished right there.

    Regarding the Volkswagen I used to get this new windshield, which is in the background on the last photo, I will be doing something with it in the future.
    The interior looked like this when I got it:
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    It was honestly in good shape, in fact, it’s the only thing that still is. I liked it as it was and didn’t really want to recolor it, so I just washed it some and detailed some parts of it. The result was this:
    IMG_1048.JPG
    Pretty happy with the result! I feel like it adds to it without taking anything away and it ultimately looks better than it did.
    So not only were the wheels in really bad shape, but they weren’t very good wheels to begin with, so they obviously had to go. I wanted to get a set similar to the ones it had originally, but in better quality, so I decided to use Hot Wheels MC5 wheels for this one. Due to COVID-19, I was skeptical when I would see these wheels again, so I took an unopened FNF Supra I had from years ago and gutted it for the wheels. I was hoping they would fit without needing any tubing, but sadly they were slightly too short, so I had to use the tubing to make them fit. Fortunately, the axles sit up high enough to where I didn’t need to modify the base. It also had these rods on both sides to help hold them down, which is something I have never seen before.

    So once I got the tubing in place, I bent the rods slightly to help hold it down and then intentionally over applied hot glue to hold them down and also keep the interior and windshield from moving. Here is the result:
    IMG_1047.JPG
    To be honest, I am not a huge fan of these wheels in general, but I have found they are good for customs because I have found myself using them sometimes and I feel they are the perfect replacement for this one.
    So once all that was done, I reassembled the casting and put superglue to hold it in place, and here is the finished result!
    IMG_1049.JPG IMG_1050.JPG IMG_1051.JPG IMG_1052.JPG IMG_1053.JPG IMG_1054.JPG IMG_E1055.JPG
    This is actually my first non Hot Wheels custom I have ever done. It was a bit harder than I expected it to be, but I eventually got it done. While it’s certainly not perfect, it’s MILES better than it was when it started and overall I am very happy with the result! If I get the materials, I might go back and polish the base some more and if I find any axles with these wheels at the right length, I may put them in as well. I definitely want to get something to go on top of it as well since it has that hole there, but I don't currently have anything I want to use. Until then, I am sticking with this.

    At the end of the day, not only did I want this thing to look good again, but I wanted to give it a new look while still staying true to its roots (as in, what it looked like originally) and I feel like I have done that. What do ya’ll think about it? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  20. finishmaster1

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    I painted cars for 30 yrs , I used to drop the body in a can of laquer thinner over night ,next day scrub with toothbrush, every now and then ,may have to scrub and re dip in thinner ,then scothbrite when done !
     
  21. Sonygamer455

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    Yea I am familiar with that method, my brother uses it all the time. I tried it once and it actually did a lot worse than paint stripper for me, but maybe it has something to do with the lacquer thinner my brother has. Thanks for the suggestion though! :tup:
     
  22. DUBer

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    HW Gold Rides #04 Unobtainium 1 20200806_014928.jpg
     
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  23. AOS-

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    Nice to see some love for unpopular fantasy castings. :tup:

    For mine, I made the mainline feel more complete.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Polsixe

    Polsixe

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