This is one of those weird projects I find myself in after an impulse buy. I saw this little Die-cast model made by Solido of a Renault Clio in 1/43 scale. I usually don’t buy die-cast models because where’s the fun in that? I have a few from the past when I was a kid and became obsessed by the Lamborghini Diablo and LM002 and I even have a die-cast Leopard 2A4 somewhere that I bought in Dusseldorf.
So why did I buy a boring econobox in a metallic silver? This was my first car, and in my family it’s sort of a tradition to buy a scale model of your car. I’d buy a plastic kit of this car if there was one, and if you know one exists, no matter how bad it is, please let me know. But there is one problem: my car had a dark grey color. And as usual, Solido chose the top model to model, and not the cheapest. So this model comes with foglights (lol, what are those?) three extra gauges for oil pressure and water temperature and even a lid on the glovebox. My car didn’t have any of this, it didn’t even have a revcounter. The extra gauges indicate this was the 1.8, the sportiest of the normal Clios of this era. With a whopping 1200 cc engine (or to be exact, 1171 cc) and 60 hp it wouldn’t set land speed records anytime soon.
It was one of those ‘Owned by an old lady and parked inside’ kind of cars, and unlike the world famous VW Golf commercial (well, famous in Holland, that is) would make you believe, it was also driven like one.
So there are a few issues with this kit. The color, the interior, the foglights and the wheel caps don’t match. Apart from the color they don’t really matter to me, if I had this car for longer then three years these things would have been added anyway.
Disassembly of this model is quite easy: undo a few screws, remove the licenseplate from the rear and open it up. It’s not rocket surgery. I noticed that the rather thin clear plastic was a bit yellowed, and the whole kit was a bit smelly. The previous owner was a smoker, this is why the clear plastic was yellowed. Yucky.
After a good wash with some warm water and detergent the smell was gone for the most part, but the yellow/brownish color of the clear parts was not. Another run, this time with alcohol didn’t help either. Oh boy.. After asking around I found out polishing was probably the only option I had left. So I’ll have to source a polishing kit from somewhere.
December 10, 2017
I picked up some Molotow Liquid Chrome pens today improve the look of the head- and rear lights a bit They are just simple clear plastic parts and I figured a chrome backing would make them look a bit more realistic:
December 13, 2017
After recovering from flu I picked up a bottle of ovencleaner to strip the paint off the model. After a little test on the interior it seemed to work pretty well, so I left the model in a cup for about an hour. It didn’t completely strip off the paint by then, so after a short brushing with an old toothbrush I decided to leave the model in the stuff for about 24 hours.
December 14, 2017
24 hours later the paint changed from silver metallic to white, leaving a white layer of plasticy stuff behind that was easily brushed off, and even pulled off in some places. The body now looks like this.
And I have to say, that body looks a lot better without the sloppy paintjob that Solido did!
December 29, 2017
It’s been a slow two weeks: work, holiday season and not being at home doesn’t help with building time. But someone was wondering about the size of the thing so I snapped a quick pic of the body next to a 20 eurocent coin.