Building old kits bought on eBay

Are the old model kits sold on eBay still able to be painted and built?
I had heard that the styrene of these old kits has degraded to the
point that paints and glue often don't adhere properly.
I realize that actually building an antique kit destroys the "collector
aspect" of it, but if I can get a decent display piece out of it then
I'm happy. I also realize that the molded accuracy of the older kits
is pretty woofy at times, but in some ways that is part of their charm.
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Never had a problem with a complete vintage model purchased on eBay, but I guess it would depend on which kit and the condition of that kit.
I do know that some old Aurora and Airfix tank kits had vinyl tracks that could be deteriorating. When this happens, the vinyl gets sticky and starts to melt any surrounding plastic it touches.
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A friend of mine mentioned this problem and claims to have found a way to fix it - so far. He said that he painted the vinyl tracks and then sealed them completely (all sides) with lacquer. The lacquer seal seems to act like a barrier and protects the styrene. the vinyl, being sealed from the air, seems retarded in its degradation.
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The Old Man
A friend of mine mentioned this problem and claims to have found a way to fix it - so far. He said that he painted the vinyl tracks and then sealed them completely (all sides) with lacquer. The lacquer seal seems to act like a barrier and protects the styrene. the vinyl, being sealed from the air, seems retarded in its degradation.
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The Old Man
Generally there's no problem.
Some of the older kits used a mold release compound which still coats the plastic and can prevent paints form adhering properly. Usually a good washing of the parts with soap and water fixes that.
Others had excessively "slick" plastic which doesn't allow modern acrylic paints to "bite" adequately. A good enamel or lacquer primer undercoat usually fixes that.
Test you paints on a section of sprue. You can usually figure out whether any special preparation is going to be necessary.
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Bill Shatzer
I may be mistaken but I don't think that the vinyl tracks deteriorate if left to themselves. The problem is that they react chemically with the polystyrene plastic parts in the rest of the kit and these soften and dissolve with the passage of time.
This is not a result of age or the conditions in which the kit is kept in storage. It happened when the kits were first introduced and it was common to find that the suspension was attacked over a period of time by the vinyl. The usual solution to the problem was to varnish the tracks and wheels before fitting the tracks. This placed a barrier betwen the two plastics and usually worked well.
The problem that you might encounter with old kits that have been stored for a long time is that the tracks tend to be loose in the bag or box and attack the parts with which they come into contact. Even so, it's a slow process and the damage may not be great.
All this applies only to the early silver tracks. Airfix replaced them with black tracks made of some other material. These didn't eat the other parts but were less flexible than the originals.
Gordon McLaughlin
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Gordon McLaughlin
I have never had any trouble painting or gluing. The DECALS are frequently useless. If you have a scanner, scan them before trying to use them, so you can make new ones if the old ones are bad.
I have built models whose decals have almost turned to dust, but the styrene was still fine.
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Don Stauffer
"Gordon McLaughlin" wrote in news:44252697@
I bought an Airfix Mk I WWI tamk a bit ago. It was an old bagged on a header deal. Thr tracks had melted into the side plates leaving track marks in the plastic. Fortuneately I found another kit that was missing a few parts and snagged it for nothing. Between the two I have a complete kit.
On Vinyl/rubber tracks/tires: Learned part of this from Cookie, developed the rest myself.
Make a solution of water as hot as you can stand it, some dishwasing soap and a small amount of bleach. Place your tracks/tires in the solution. I used tubs with tops and gently agitate them for a few minutes. Let them sit until the water cools off. Being lazy I sometimes put them aside and they may sit for days or weeks like that before I get back to them. Rinse well in warm water and put them on paper towels to dry. You can pat them dry someehat but you usually can't reach everywhere.I've been known to use a hair dryer at low setting to speed the job.
When dry you'll note that the tracks/tires have a very different feel. I think most of the oil is leached out, Cookie said at one point he believed that the material under went a chemical change in the warm water/soap mix (meaning they stabilized).
Tracks get a coat of primer, Tamiya or Armory, couple of light coats, but enough to fully cover them. Tires are almost always to shiney. I have a couple of the old Revell 1/40 trucks in the soon pile the Lacrosse launcher and 2.5 ton truck with cannon (since the cabs and frames are the same I thought I'd build them together). I've already washed them, I think I'm gonna paint them - I have some Armory black primer that dries more of a very dark gray. May use that as a base and see how it looks. In any case paint the rims, especially the center where the tire will touch. Put on several coats, doesn't have to be neat since noone will see it. That should make a good enough barrier. Some people use foil, kitchen or Bare Metal for the rims, too.
I think the soak does the most though.
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Mustapha, P
Once I bought a ten year old Corvette which had a tire melted into it's roof,but the roof was repairable and the tire easily replaced. No problems at all with airplane models other then yellowed or dried out decals.
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Glue? What's that? Ohh, the smelly stuff I used when I was a kid...those were the days. I have been restoring old kits that were glued and building some antique kits for people who have had them in a closet waiting to be built. The old glue deteriorates but can be removed and rejoined with modern solvents. The styrene is 'dry' but handled carefully and sealed with paint or clear helps preserve them. I tell people to keep them out of direct sunlight, as the paint will fade. Decals are the only thing I have had a problem with, they splinter or vaporize. Luckily there are several good sources for replacements. I wish there were more 'dry transfer' type available. If done right, they can be weathered very nicely.
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I've picked up a few pretty Old Kits from ebay and (knock-on-wood). All of them late 60's and early 70's. I have not had any kind of problems. The ones I picked up were mostly aircraft. So not many of those problems come up with the planes.
However I once picked up a couple of bagged Opel Blitz kits at a show and when I got them home discovered the tires had partially melted their way into the door of the cab. But I seem to have more Opels then anything else so it wasn't a problem at all to speak of.
... Carl ..........
Reply to
cyberborg 4000

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