Code 3 - Restoration & Preserving Classic Models

By Published by
Code 3 - Restoration & Preserving Classic Models
. Views . Comments Comment . 32 Votes
Restoring , preserving & converting classic diecast can only be seen as a positive move if it means prolonging & renewing the models 'shelf life' and plus re-introducing it into a lively widely followed collectors market place.
Although the term 'Code 3' was just one man's terminology for categorising unofficial limited run logo'd models ,it's title has now become a part of the model collectors vocabulary regarding any model that has had a coat of paint , whatever standard of workmanship.
Our theory is ..... to restore playworn or damaged classic models to their former glory or even compliment
the ones that have had an easier life , can only be a positive. There is a great satisfaction to be had in creating unique variants , especially models that are only deemed fit for the scrap box. Whether it be a 6 wheeled Foden , an un-issued articulated Bedford tanker or a livery & colour scheme that could've been more widely used across the manufacturers range , if done well , will sit amongst it's contemporaries in the cabinet without screaming  'oddity ' or 'repaint!

The Paintwork - should be of the same type if not closely similar at least , applied in the same manner & hot air dried without  hardeners to allow the correct amount of shine, depth & ageing oxidisation as the originals.

Tinters - Should be sympathetic to the manufacturers shades & not over pigmented , the real art is reproducing powder tints that are now unavailable & replaced by bright acrylic synthetics.

Decals - tampo printed logo's are now impractical , whereas properly taper edged ,thin, oil based waterslide transfers can be most effective. PC inkjet printers can give a poor , over bright impression when applied on heavy water based film , giving a rather poor raised synthetic finish.In our opinion , the screen printed or dye
sublimation method , especially white or metalics , gives a more professional finish.

Engineering - after the vehicle has been re-finished after dismantling, the re-assembly is fairly straightforward
the key being baseplate fixings & axle ends. A simple engineers lathe with sufficient power can re-burr axle ends back to normality , (crimpers for early models) & small rivets/ spigots, in their various forms,
to fit baseplates when required. There are of course several substitutes for both practices , we find that each
one that is used deters from the aesthetic originality of the model in a small way but is presentable enough
 many collectors.

The largest part of restoring is to try & recreate the look & feel of the models era , brand new next to 50
years old will never give the right effect if filling gaps in the cabinet.
In final finishing , we prefer to spray finish with stencils as did the manufacturers in the majority, silverwork
with soft edges was usually the order of the day , brush finishing is one of the first signs of  a 'repaint'.

In theme collecting , the rules seem to be much broader , if all of the models are finished the same , they can look brand new , again , giving an old model a second chance of life & the collector a great deal of pleasure.
In this time of recycling , there can be nothing more apt then bringing a model back to life , as long as the standard is good , the model will stand the sands of time gracefully , if poor , they'll most likely fall by the wayside yet again.

Unfortunately ,in the very wide expanse of the use of 'Code 3' in it's description , it's a good idea to look closely at the model & see if it has the qualities to make it a good one ........... looking natural is the key.
The purist's  don't always agree , but it's a great way of getting that rare coloured variant or a livery or model ' the manufacturer could've made'!

Explore More
Choose a template