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A Cautionary Tale

Bought an old Italaerei kit at our club night this evening all still sealed in the original bag. When I got it home I took it out of the box to really see what I’d got and noticed that some of the parts appeared damaged! Further investigation showed that where the vinyl tyres were in contact with the styrene, the styrene had softened and distorted. I can only imagine that fumes given off by the vinyl has somehow caused this problem. So, if you have any old kits in your stash with vinyl tyres I’d check they’re not in with the styrene!


9 responses to A Cautionary Tale

  1. Although I’ve never run into this ‘problem’, I have heard of it before. Thanks for the “heads-up” reminder.

  2. Wow! I didn’t know! I have nothing waiting in my stash that has vinyl tires (or tyres) that I know of, but I’ll keep that in mind. It’s probably a good thing, since the last time I bought ANYTHING for my stash (besides the 3 M1 Abrams models I bought earlier this year) was around 1978!

    Thanks for the “cautionary advise!”

  3. Some time back I bought a 2nd hand Bf 109 E in 1/24 scale, one of the old but still marketed versions from Airfix. These have vinyl tyres and since it was an old issue, the contents weren’t separately packaged like they are in most kits today. The confusing result for me was that the tyres looked like they’d melted into the surface of the 2 upper wing surfaces. While I’ve started on the process of making all this good (sanding the ridges/filling/resanding/rescribing) it’s currently sitting on the shelf waiting for a bout of enthusiasm to re-appear. They can make great models if you take the time and fiddle a bit (I built one earlier), but you need display room for all these 1/24 scale beasts. I sold the one I built for that reason.

  4. I’ve got an old Supermodel Macchi c202, with vinyl tyres, didn’t see any damage, as there’s was only one, I’m going to replace them with some spares, thanks for the heads up though.

  5. There must be something in the tires that gasses off. My first Tigercat has been built about five or six years now (but the kit was old when I built it) and is still fine as is my Academy Su-27 that is 20+ years old. However, my recent Tigercat purchase (a vintage kit) does have some damage to the plastic where the tires were laying on it. I don’t mind the vinyl tires, but maybe they have to sit for a while (although my Su-27 was a brand new kit when I built it.)

  6. I only ever saw that happen to an AMT 1/48 Tigercat. The one I built still has its vinyl tyres on and has presented no problems. However, one that was in the stash had its vinyl tyres come into contact with the tailfin of the Tigercat and had melted straight through the soft styrene used by AMT.

  7. I built that same Tigercat kit many years ago, and had heard of this issue before I built it. But, I also painted the wheels before putting the tires on the wheels, and didn’t have a problem with it. Maybe the paint acted as an insulator?

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