Hello there diecast fans. Today's post has two parts to it. Firstly, I wanted to show you the 82 Toyota Supra that I picked up from ToysRUs yesterday. It's from the Hot Wheels 2012 Hot Ones series and has a beautiful maroon metalflake paint job. I love the lines on this car and I almost considered buying a real 82 Toyota Supra when I got my first job, but ended up buying a 83 Datsun 280ZX instead (Another story for another time). I'm also happy Mattel decided to go with the silver coloured rims as opposed to the gold ones. I was so stoked to find this car that I didn't inspect it thoroughly and didn't realize until I got it home, that the right side tampo was totally askew. When I removed it from the package, the left side tampo was perfectly ok. What to do?
Well, recently one of my Facebook friends whom we'll call D.E. had inquired about how to remove the tampos from a diecast car. I figured this post could be used as a perfect example of how to get rid of this wonky tampo. So if you're thinking of doing this, here's my humble little tutorial.
Tampo Removal - what you'll need
1. The diecast car for which you want to remove the tampo from, wipe it down with a dry microfibre cloth if it has been loose and sitting around for awhile. You'll want to remove the dust and any other dirt before you start.
2. Acetone nail polish remover. I just use whatever my wife has around, so I can't recommend one brand over another. During this tutorial I ended up using up what was left in the bottle, so please don't tell my wife!
3. Qtips. I've tried using generic cotton swab brands and they just don't cut it. Use the original. For this demonstration which was one side of the car I used about six of them, but your mileage may vary based on how much tampo removal you'll be doing.
4. A pudding or jello cup to hold the nail polish remover. Use a clean one please. Pour a little bit of nail polish remover at a time, because if you pour a lot, it evaporates very quickly.
5. A sharp toothpick. For hygenic reasons, please use a new one, lol. The toothpick is to get inside the door cracks.
6. A bright light to work under. It's important to be able to see all the little bits and without the light, you might miss some of the residue.
7. A moistened paper towel to wipe the car with after you are finished.
Let me apologize for the following pics because the lighting in my bathroom is crap and it's hard to hold the car, q-tips and a camera all at the same time.
2. Take one of your q-tips and dip one of the furry ends into the cup of nail polish remover. Now hold your diecast car firmly with the other hand and lightly swab the tampo area with the q-tip. Start from the centre of the tampo and work towards the edges. Do not apply too much pressure as you could end up removing not only the tampo but the paint underneath as well. If you start to see your q-tip head change colour , then you are doing ok. If not, apply a little more pressure. I use a back and forth motion and also twist the q-tip head around to expose the car to all of the nail polish remover. Be extra careful if you are working near window or chrome areas of the car as the acetone wll cause the windows to permanently fog up and chrome to come off. Also remember while you are doing this step to be in a well ventilated area so you don't get overwhelmed breathing in the fumes of the nail polish remover.
3. Once the q-tip head has taken on the colour of the tampo, use the otherside and/or a brand new q-tip. Don't let the q-tip head get dry, keep it moistened with nail polish remover, while you are removing the tampo. When it's dirty, discard the q-tip and use a new one. Add fresh nail polish remover to your cup as necessary, as it will evaporate.
4. Once you have successfully removed most of the tampo from the body surface area, now focus on getting into the door, hood or trunk seams by dipping a sharp toothpick into the nail polish remover and then apply it into the cracks. Again, try not to apply too much pressure as the sharp point will take up the paint as well. It happened to me as I was working on the lower door seams, that I ended up removing some of the paint. Doh. To touch this up I used a red sharpie.
5. I thought I was done until I noticed that the tampo had extended onto the rear quarter panel, door handle and rear side marker light so another few strokes of a new q-tip took care of that. Use a lightly moistened paper towel and wipe the area of the car where the tampo was removed. Do a good inspection and clean-up any misses as required.
The total elapsed time to remove this tampo was about 10 minutes or so but it might have been faster if I didn't slow down to take pictures along the way. At some future date I'll touch up the door handles with silver paint.
The only other thing I might mention is that you might want to practice tampo removal on a beater car or something you won't cry over if you mess up, before doing this on a more precious car in your collection. Well, that's it, thanks for the looking and hope your tampo removals are all successful. Feel free to leave questions or comments in the comment box below!
Oh P.S.! I haven't had very good luck in removing tampos that are overlaid on yellow painted cars. I don't know why but my results have sucked badly. Maybe yours will be better!