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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

-161a Searchlight on 6 wheel Lorry (1939-41)

Hello all, part of my Mobile Anti-Aircraft Unit is the Lorry with Searchlight example below.

As you can see it's a fair example. Besides the flat tyres, the fatigue on some places and the nasty stain on the back (and another place on the other side) it is a nice survivor of the pre-war period.

For a long time it kept me wondering, however, what has caused the stain and what it is exactly. Why brownish red? It looks like rust. But zamac (or possibly lead) cannot rust. There is also some white substantion, which I could not identify. Everything seems to be stable, so I did not really worry, but I would like to know if others have seen the same odd rust-like stains on their models.

Now there is an additional fact. You can see that the main casting seems to be fatigue-less. And it is!

Some months ago I asked an expert colleague of mine, specialized in restoration and care of metals. His first routine action was to hold a magnet with it. And it sticked! So Dinkies do not always seem to have been made of zamak. In fact iron, or a lot of iron is the component metal of this model. May be some lead too, because of the white corrosion. So, besides studying your Dinky collection on the same reddish stains, I would like to challenge you to test some of your models with a magnet!

Kind regards, Jan Werner

sjmcm1982
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Dredging this one up from the deep...

I have seen staining like this in many models over the years, I always thought it was something to do with the acidity of the card packaging perhaps combined with humidity as most that I have seen with this damage are boxed toys and often on the parts where the card makes contact with the toy (showing similar marks on the card where it came into contact with the toy). Perhaps we have another member with a background in chemistry that can be more specific on precisely what is happening here. I am fascinated by your statement about the metal content of this toy, I don’t have any pre-war Dinky toys so I am unable to participate in your metal testing experiment though I hope others seeing this will do so. Is it known if pre-war Hornby castings contained iron?

May I say that the quality of the box on your set is fantastic; while yours are certainly at the top end of the quality spectrum I feel that it’s such a pity that it’s so hard to find pre-war toys that match the quality of the original boxes they are contained within. Those that survived are often fatigued and those that are not fatigued are often with no paint left (ie those that had fatigue & were played with are mostly now dust).

I love these pre-war variations and it was such a shame that so few of them were re-released after the 39 – 45 spat, I would have loved to have seen the type 2 & 3 28 series vans or 25d tankers post war in those fantastic colorful liveries, sadly we have to put up with the examples that are left which are mostly filled with glue & have more cracks than a dry lake bed priced at some ludicrous amount of hard earned coin – ho hum…

Stfan

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

A reply at last!
Thank you very much, Stfan, I really appreciate this. This forum is for discussion and not for one-time statements! I still haven't solved this issue completely, and possibly I should dive deeper into this, and ask some more expert chemists or metallurgists. But anyone here, please, do not hesitate to comment and express your thoughts and ideas. There may be a clue among your considerations!
Indeed I realize more and more - after so many years that this set has been in my possession, and comments heard - that the wonderful box is of exceptional quality.

In fact, another set I once bought, is the 18 Pounder Field Gun Unit, no. 162. I bought the box filled with the pitiable remains of what once was a pre-war Field Gun Set, and therefore it was very cheap. On the contrary the box is really nice, as we often see, and I replaced the rubbish inside by a post war set that I had already. Not fully as it should be, but a nice presentation though.
Kind regards, Jan

starni999
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DTCA MemberUK

Hi Stfan,
I agree it is a real pity that the Pre War vans weren't re-issued postwar with advertising, but a few of the 25 Tankers were, I have post war Pool and Wakefield Castrol oil tankers that have postwar axles and show no fatigue, just playwear.I don't think these were made after Xmas '45 though, so still pretty hard to find.
Chris Warr.

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dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

More picture on this subject :

 

Photographed at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford on June 24, 2013.