Most restorations and re-paints are pretty straight forward and after dismantling and stripping the body you can paint and reassemble but sometimes they get far more complicated, the Corgi Pullman 600 is one of them.
This is actually a car project I was doing for a customer and have been asked to finish it in black, he supplied the car so have to work with what I have.
It is in a good condition other than the missing grill ornament and the plastic chrome parts have peeled.
The side rear windows slide up and down and this has working windscreen wipers and as I have not taken one of these apart before will have to take pictures and notes of where everything goes back.
Underneath you can see the wiper mechanism through the clear plastic insert and the control that acts as an on/off switch for the wipers.
The first thing to do, as always is remove the base, in this case that is riveted.
I use a small drill first after centre punching the rivet as these Corgi one’s are domed and hard to keep the drill bit centred.
Then a larger drill bit to remove the lip of the rivet down to the base plate surface.
Once loose the base plate is removed to reveal all the internal workings.
The picture below is one of many I took for reference showing all the parts in place, the plastic chrome is also one piece and lays under the wiper mechanism and on the bodywork.
Once removed the seat and wiper assembly is next.
The wiper assembly sits on the front of the seat unit and as you can see from the picture below this one has had some play use on carpet and picked up carpet and possibly animal hair and dirt over the years.
The glass unit isn’t riveted to the roof so comes out easy but again take note of how the sliding windows fit.
Once the body is clear we are ready to strip the paint.
The chrome plastic assembly will have to be stripped and ideally rechromed but due to the expense of re-chroming plastic here in the UK the customer has opted for paint finish chrome, which in all likelyhood I would do if it was mine.
Plastic chroming is one of those things that need doing in bulk to make it viable and I am looking into offering this service in the future if I can find somewhere in the world with reasonable costs, until then chrome painting is the only answer.
The base plate is in very good condition and again the customer has opted to retain this original finish rather than strip and re-paint, the tyres have gone hard and will be replaced.
Stripping the paint is done with caustic soda, and have been using this method now with great results but I have to give out a few warnings here as it can also be very dangerous.
1, NEVER add water to caustic soda, ALWAYS add the soda to the water slowly.
2, ALWAYS wear good gloves and googles, cautic soda WILL burn you if splashes come into contact with skin and eyes.
3, NEVER add more than recommended, as the reaction will explode caustic water everywhere, I know I did this by mistake by adding all of it at once.
Start by putting your casting or castings into a suitable container then add boiling water, just enough to cover the castings.
I also hook bent welding rods around the castings so I can retrieve them from the mixture once done.
Add the caustic soda one teaspoon at a time up to a total of 5 for bigger castings, the reaction will start straight away, most of the older models are done in anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and you can check by lifting with the wires you have fitted.
Some of the later paint finishes do not strip as well but with slightly longer can be cleaned off with a brass wire brush.
Once done, I lift out and dip in clean cold water to de-activate the caustic soda for a few minutes then wash under the tap, dry it off then you can clean any reminder with a brass bristled wire brush either by hand on a rotary tool such as a bench drill or Dremel.
Painting starts with a primer coat and although some restorers don’t use primer, I find this will show up any imperfections in the casting that may need filling or further work.
Next it’s the colour coat.
The chrome has seen better days and hard to renovate, the best thing I can do is strip the old finished and re-paint with a chrome spray.
For this I use Fairy Power spray, but a word of warning, make sure you use gloves while handling this stuff it not a lightweight.
The part is bathed in the Power Spray for an hour.
Then with an old toothbrush, I removed the finish easily.
Once done I dried it off and set it up for spraying, I use Plasticote Chrome spray for this and gives a fantastic finish.
Plasticote chrome can take a while to dry, so after painting I will put it somewhere warm and leave for a few days to fully dry out.
In the mean time the tyres get replaced, you can see whats left of the original ones on the bench as I removed them, well due for replacement.
Only the interior parts to get a clean now and the final assembly.
It took my a while to figure out how to get the interior back in without all the bits falling out so below is the answer, the seat unit glass and wipers are assembled as one piece, then very caerfully turn upside down and place in the body.
Once in the sliding windows are slid in down the sides then the chrome piece can be lowered on.
Next the wiper mechanism, did you remember how it came out? no, neither did I, luckily I took a reference picture.
Here it is before I took it apart
Using the picture above I put everything back in place.
Finally the base is fitted and screwed in place, screwed because it’s what I was asked to do, at least it will be able to come apart for cleaning should you so wish.
After a bit of detailing with the silver paint pen I’m ready to take the finished picture.
So there you go, if you have one of these to tackle, don’t forget the pictures are here to help you.