Taking Care of Model Cars
Storing, Displaying and Caring for Diecast Model Cars
Diecast model cars hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike. These miniature replicas of iconic automobiles capture the essence of automotive history and craftsmanship.
Whether you’ve just started building your collection or you’re a seasoned hobbyist, proper storage and maintenance are crucial to preserving the quality and value of your beloved model cars. This is especially important for limited edition, prestige model cars. You could be paying thousands for these luxury models, and you can expect their value to appreciate over time.
In this blog post, we’ll explore essential tips for protecting your diecast treasures from damage and deterioration, ensuring they stand the test of time and maintain their value.
Proper Storage and Maintenance
Proper storage and maintenance play a pivotal role in safeguarding your models. These collectibles are susceptible to wear and tear over time, which can affect their overall appearance and value. Moisture, heat and UV damage can all take their toll if your models aren’t properly stored and maintained.
Physical damage is also a risk. Whether it’s kids looking for toys to play with, curious pets or items falling from above, there are plenty of potential causes of physical damage that you want to try to minimise.
By adopting a few best practices, you can maintain the pristine condition of your collection, ensuring it remains a source of pride and joy for years to come.
Protecting Model Cars from Moisture, Heat, and UV
Moisture, heat, and UV exposure are the primary enemies of diecast model cars. Prolonged exposure to moisture can lead to rust and corrosion, while heat and UV rays can cause paint to fade and plastic parts to warp.
Excessive heat or dramatic temperature changes can cause the metal to expand and contract, and over time this can lead to damage to the paintwork and the decals. In extreme cases, or with delicate models, it can even warp them.
It’s essential that your models are stored or displayed in a dry, cool location. Avoid areas prone to temperature fluctuations and high humidity levels, such as basements and attics.
To minimise UV fading, store your models out of direct sunlight or use UV-resistant display cases to shield your model cars from direct sunlight. These cases not only protect from UV rays but also prevent dust accumulation.
Moisture is also a serious enemy of the model car. If you live in a humid climate or storing your models near a source of water, moisture could be a problem. Ensure your storage or display area has good ventilation to minimise moisture damage. Other options for reducing humidity include using dehumidifiers or strategically placing desiccant sachets around your model storage area.
Preventing Physical Damage
Displaying your diecast model cars adds to the joy of collecting, but it’s essential to do it right to prevent accidental damage. Follow these tips to ensure your cherished models remain safe:
- Use display cases or shelves with soft padding to prevent scratches and dents
- Use enclosed display cases, especially if you have kids or pets
- Avoid overcrowding your display area, as this can lead to accidental collisions between models
- Regularly inspect your display setup for any signs of wear or damage, ensuring timely maintenance
The Dilemma: Removing from Original Packaging
The decision to remove collectibles from their original packaging is a common dilemma among collectors. While some enthusiasts prefer to keep their models untouched in their pristine packaging for potential future value, others opt for display and interaction. Consider the following factors when making your choice:
- Retaining the original packaging may preserve the potential value for future collectors or resale
- Removing the models from their packaging allows for hands-on enjoyment and display
- If you choose to remove them, store the original packaging safely in case you decide to sell or trade your models in the future.
How to Protect the Paintwork
The paintwork is one of the most delicate aspects of high-quality model cars. To safeguard their vibrant colours and finish, follow these protective measures:
- Handle the models with clean hands to prevent oil and dirt transfer onto the paint surface.
- Avoid using abrasive materials for cleaning, such as rough scourers or hard-bristled brushes.
- Apply a high-quality automotive wax to the paintwork, providing an additional layer of protection against dust and minor scratches.
Cleaning Your Model Cars
Over time, dust and grime may accumulate on your diecast model cars, dulling their appearance. Professional cleaning, when done correctly, can restore their lustre without causing damage. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Dust the models gently with a soft-bristled brush or compressed air to remove loose particles.
- Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a mild dish soap solution.
- Dip a soft microfiber cloth into the soapy water and carefully wipe down the model cars, ensuring not to soak the model or let water seep into any openings.
- Rinse the cloth thoroughly and use it to wipe off any soap residue from the models.
- Let the model cars air-dry on a soft towel or a drying rack before placing them back in their display area.
Diecast model cars deserve the utmost care and attention to retain their beauty and value. By following proper storage and maintenance practices, protecting your models from moisture, heat, and UV exposure, displaying them securely, and making informed decisions about their original packaging, you can ensure your collection stands the test of time. Additionally, incorporating professional cleaning techniques will keep your diecast model cars looking pristine and showcase-worthy for generations to come. Happy collecting and preserving!