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The Reason Vintage Vehicles Were So Great


DarthJoe
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I'm in the process of restoring some old vehicles with new decals, so tonight I was taking a few of them apart, removing the old stickers, and washing them up. I honestly forgot just how many pieces some of these vehicles were comprised of. I think it's what made them such great toys. They were all essentially snap-together models you could play with. All of the small pieces used to make the vehicles is what gave them detail, and made them fun, unlike many of the vehicles we have received over the last 10-15 years.

 

Here's a pic of all the pieces from the Thunder Machine, Silver Mirage and Ferret:

 

IMAG0500.jpg

 

Just the Silver Mirage alone has 31 pieces! That's pretty amazing for just a small vehicle like a motorcycle.

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I agree...I still have my old headquarters and MCC. I've been thinking about restoring them like that. They both have some broken pieces I'd like to replace. I think it would be very rewarding to restore old Joe vehicles and make them look new again.

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I agree...I still have my old headquarters and MCC. I've been thinking about restoring them like that. They both have some broken pieces I'd like to replace. I think it would be very rewarding to restore old Joe vehicles and make them look new again.

 

You're right. It's VERY rewarding. If you do decide to get repro decals, I would go with J. Reuben. His decals are top notch. They aren't pre-cut, so you have to cut them to size yourself, but the decals themselves can't be beat as far as quality is concerned. Here are a few of my prized possessions in my collection that I restored to their full, like-new beauty with his decals:

 

IMAG0503.jpg

IMAG0508.jpg

IMAG0509.jpg

 

The Hydrofoil and Night Raven were especially fun to restore, as I pieced both of them together from parts lots from many different ebay auctions. It took some time, but it was worth it in the end. :)

 

For anyone interested in J. Reuben's stickers, his website is here: http://rattlerrepros.weebly.com/index.html

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That's awesome Joe. Those look great. I'm wondering though...did you have to use a special cleaning agent to clean-up the plastic? I think my MCC would be okay, but my HQ is discolored somewhat. Do you have any tips on how you cleaned yours up?

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That's awesome Joe. Those look great. I'm wondering though...did you have to use a special cleaning agent to clean-up the plastic? I think my MCC would be okay, but my HQ is discolored somewhat. Do you have any tips on how you cleaned yours up?

 

I had used nail polish remover in the past, but it is very time consuming as it takes awhile for it to eat the adhesive off.

 

For the three vehicles I took apart last night, I used Goo Gone. I found it at Kmart. I'm sure you can probably pick it up at any large retailer:

 

IMAG0510.jpg

 

I just removed the old stickers, sprayed a little bit of Goo Gone on the leftover adhesive, let it sit for 15 to 20 seconds, and then washed the Goo Gone off with an old wet sock under hot running water, and the adhesive came off like nothing. I then let all of the parts soak in hot water with dish soap for about half an hour, as the Goo Gone leaves them feeling a bit oily. After looking this morning, it didn't affect the plastic on any of the pieces I did.

 

I wouldn't worry about it hurting your HQ, as the Silver Mirage is made out of a very brittle, hard plastic, and it came out fine with this method. Not sure if it would get rid of the discoloration though.

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Just finished this up this evening...

 

Tore apart, old stickers removed, and cleaned:

IMAG0515.jpg

 

Reassembled, waiting for new stickers:

IMAG0520.jpg

 

New stickers cut out:

IMAG0527.jpg

 

New stickers applied and looking as good as new:

IMAG0530.jpg

IMAG0531.jpg

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These look awesome. Thanks for the advice on the goo gone. I have some of it and didn't think to use it on old stickers. Does it take the 30 year old crud that builds up around the stickers off too?

 

Ya, it cleans all that junk off. If it's really built up, it takes a little rubbing to get off, but it does come off eventually.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used Goo Gone on all of my restorations. I swear by it. Recently, I used it on my car to remove some left over 3M tape from some badges, and it got it off without a hitch. That stuff is powerful, but doesn't harm the plastic. I haven't seen it do anything for discoloration though. My second Night Raven has a badly discolored bottom, and the Goo Gone did nothing to it.

 

As for the original topic, I remember my parents/uncles putting together my vehicles when I was younger. I wanted to put my first vehicle together, and thought I would start small with the Ferret. That was not a good choice. For such a small vehicle, those parts and the blueprints might as well have been alien to a 7 y/o. It took me what seemed like hours to put it together, but when I did I was the proudest kid on the block. The Ferret became my favorite vehicle that day, and still holds a special place in my collection. This is one of the vehicles I will be holding onto when I sell my collection. Maybe not all 8 of them, but at least a pair. Maybe three.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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