If you are already a seasoned collector of models, we are sure that you will need no introduction as to how to care for your models but, for novice collectors, we hope you will find these tips helpful.
Opening Your Package From the Diecast Model Centre
When your model arrives from the Discount Model Centre, it will be packaged in a cardboard box and although it is well packed, please resist the temptation to charge into the box with a pair of scissors or craft knife. Instead, gently cut the tape on the short edges where the side meets the top, then lift the top and cut the tape along the centre of the top. This way you will ensure you don’t damage your model.
PLEASE TAKE CARE WHEN HANDLING IMPLEMENTS WITH BLADES
Preparing Your Model for Display
Most models that come supplied in cardboard boxes will have fold in end flaps. Opening these flaps by pulling them will nearly always result in the cardboard buckling. To avoid this, gently insert a letter opener, rule or similar blunt blade behind the entire length of the opening edge and gently lift open.
If your model is presented in a display case, the clear case tops are usually just pushed on. When removing for the first time, they may be a bit tight and require the aid of a blunt instrument to prise between the bottom edge of the case top and the base.
If your model is blister packed, as many of the 1:12 MotoGP bike models are, then again take a letter opener or similar and gently place it by the snap fasteners and twist to pop them open one by one.
For the next bit, actually removing your model, you need to take extra special care. Take a good look at the model, decide where are you going to hold it, looking out for small parts which could easily break if touched or decals that could be damaged. When it comes to touching your model, we recommend using lint free gloves but cotton ones are easier to come by and make a suitable alternative so long as you watch out for snagging on small or sharp parts of your model. If you do touch your model with bare hands - it may sound obvious - but, make sure they are clean first!
Removing a model from a blister pack is just a matter of lifting it out, but for models on bases you will need a cross head screwdriver - and, in some cases a special IXO screwdriver - to remove one or more screws. Models can be mounted quite tightly onto bases to prevent them falling off in transit, so a firm pressure is required on the screwdriver with one hand whilst gently grasping the model at safe and secure points with your other hand. With larger models, such as 1:18 scale cars, you may find it easier to place the model on its roof on top of a soft cloth or similar.
When removing resin models from their bases, there are a few extra things to look out for. Firstly, resin models are more delicate than diecast so you'll need be even more careful. Secondly, a small amount of resin dust may fall out from the model when the screws are released. And finally, as the models are bonded with glue, this may on occasions have made its way onto the threads of the screws making them tight to undo.
Displaying and Storing Your Model
There are a number of ways you may choose to display your model from freestanding on a shelf to pride of place in a sealed cabinet, but wherever it is, the two golden rules are keep it away from direct light - sun light and/or bright spotlights - and keep it away from heat sources such as shelves above radiators.
Of course, not every collector chooses or has space to display all their models, but please don’t think that by putting them in storage they will remain in perfect condition. The natural places to store items like these are in lofts, basements or garages, all of which are places subject to extreme temperatures and variations in moisture levels, which in time will damage a model.
Our recommendation is to wrap your models boxes in acid-free tissue paper and change this at least every year to avoid discolouring; store them in strong outer boxes within the main part of your property (not the loft). If you can’t do this, consider placing them in air tight or vacuum sealed plastic bags.
Model Care Kit
Suggested model care kit
1. Letter opener
2. Medium size cross-head screwdriver
3. Small/precision cross-head screwdiver
4. IXO special screwdriver
5. Soft towelling cloth
6. Cotton gloves
7. Soft-bristle brush
8. Microfibre cloth
Cleaning Your Model
The worst enemy of any model is dust and depending how you choose to display your model will influence how dusty it gets. Obviously just leaving it on a shelf is the worst scenario, but even in cabinets, dust can enter and eventually build up on your model.
When your model does get dusty, please don’t simply wipe it with a duster or spray it with furniture polish, both will damage the finish of your model. For a hands-off approach use compressed air to blow away dust, or if you prefer a way that is kinder to the environment, use a dust blower as used to clean camera lenses. For tight areas such as between wheel spokes or interiors, soft artist brushes are the ideal tool to use.
Once you have removed the dust, remove any fingerprints and restore the gleam by using a microfibre cleaning cloth.
PLEASE NOTE: Diecast Model Centre will not be held liable for any damage or injury howsoever caused from following this guide.