How to Clean your HO hardshell

HO Scale Slot Cars

The collector aspect of this hobby/sport has literally exploded over the last six years or so. A subject of great interest has surfaced, namely how to clean injection molded plastic bodies. Cars which are 5-35yrs. old are usually found in closets, attics, basements or garages where they tend to accumulate fuzz, dust, dirt and other various crud. Cleaning them takes a little forethought and patience. You don't want to jeopardize your future collectibles by accidently removing paint work, stickers, decals or "chrome" plating.
Begin by removing the body from the chassis. Carefully remove screws and clips and set them aside in a safe location. Begin by washing the body with warm water and a dish detergent like ivory clear. This will remove the lighter dulling and loose debris. Avoid this step if your hardshell is adorned with decals or stickers (sponsors & numbers) as it will definitely loosen them or damage them. Instead, use a foam or cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol and gently rub over wheelwells to remove old debris such as tire compound. Continue over the seams, molded in detail lines and other areas. This method requires mild rubbing to remove embedded dirt. Allow to air dry or use compressed air. (Do not use a hairdryer or heat gun unless you to see your Thunderjet go up in flames). Use caution and adequate ventilation. Minor scratches on windshields and bodies can be removed using a small dab of simichrome polish applied with a swab and removed with a soft cloth. The cars original luster can be restored by using carnuba wax such as "the Treatment" sold to and used by modeller's to bring out the shine. Polish the plastic to bring out the color using a swab or clean finger. Remove with a soft cloth and a toothpick to remove excess in the cracks and seams. Do not use these products on flat black paints, decals or stickers.
Chrome plated parts (actually vaccum metallicized parts) can be removed and "re-plated" by sending these parts to a competent plater. Check out Scale Aut Enthusiast Magazine for these sources. There are also an abundance of repro parts suppliers now on the scene who can provide missing parts such as bumpers and windshields to complete your jewel. (Just don't try to pass off your "gem" as completely original or NOS as this is deceptive and frowned upon in the hobby). Remount the body and enjoy! For more tips and information consult: The Complete Guide to Repairing and Restoring Aurora Slot Cars Vitale,Lne & Heimbach Linwood; What It Is! Publications $9.95 U.S, currency 72 pgs. illustrated paperbound text

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