01 June 2011
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Restoration of the month: A suitable case for treatment
I recently obtained a rather sad looking Lesney Yesteryear Bentley. It was one of the desk gifts that was chromium-plated. The red plastic seat insert had faded badly and buckled. In my books, this was a ‘suitable case for treatment’.
I took the casting to pieces and was amazed at the detail (the casting was from the early 1960s). It really showed the love that Jack Odell’s team put into these models. Even the screws on the running board were shown! The best bit was the Bentley ‘B’ on the driver’s step – wonderful.
It is actually worth comparing some other castings of the same car. For example, Lledo’s 1980s casting (Jack Odell again!) which although lovely, does not possess the same intricacy. The Lesney MOY casting of the same period is again very good but still lacks the minutiae of Odell’s 1960s work.
Anyway, back to the restoration. I primed and went for a nice dark British Racing Green colour but before I sprayed I wondered how I would get the marvellous Union flag on again. After some head scratching, I realised I could mask it over with tape and, hey presto, it worked.
I was quite pleased with the results and had certainly brought back to life a model that had seen better days.
While I am writing I would like to comment on the latest offerings from Matchbox, even if it is now owned by Mattel. The standard 1-75 range is really quite exceptional now and I would like to see more coverage in the hobby magazines. Of late, I have bought from my local big Sainsburys a Volvo P1800, a Caterham 7, a Porsche 914 and a Jaguar XK120. In fact, it’s a bit like Pringles – once you pop, you cannot stop!
The level of detail is really pretty good, the tampo printing being very fine. At £1.25 each, you really can’t moan. So, well done Mattel and let’s hope your hard work is appreciated by the collecting community. Just a shame they aren’t made in Hackney anymore!
Mark Amies, London