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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received an Ertl 1969 Camaro via an eBay auction. When it arrived, the packaging was perfect. The seller indicated that the paint was cracked, and that the model was being sold "As Is". What I thought I bought was this -



What I got when I opened the package was this -



Before I go any further, the seller has already refunded my entire payment.

I opened the box this evening, and the diecast parts are literally so brittle that you can break them with your bare hands. It looks as if the body has been subjected to an enormous amount of heat, although all the plastic parts are intact, and not melted or disfigured at all. It is absolutely bizarre.

I am very confused. Has anyone else ever had something like this happen?

Thanks for your opinions.
 

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Holy mercaptanes!!!!!!

The only thing I can think of is that the zamac was contaminated when it was being molded.
 

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Wow! That is really the oddest thing I have seen! Glad to hear the seller refunded your money right away. I am curious as to what he had to say when you told him about it (and showed him the photo).

:feedback
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I worked in a foundry for two Summers, putting myself through college. My shift did the non-ferrous castings (aluminum, brass, and stainless steel). Each one had a special set of alloys that we added while it was melting, to ensure that the end product met specification. One night, we were doing stainless steel, and I added a charge of alloy, and then went to take a break while the metal was assimilating the new material. Unbeknownst to me, the lab technicial came out onto the floor and added his own charge of alloy.

We poured the metal out into molds, neither one of us aware of the other's actions. When the day shift broke the parts out, we had added so much silica to the stainless that it made it almost like glass. You could take a stainless steel-looking part, and drop it on the floor, and it would literally shatter into very small pieces. That is the closest thing I can compare this to.

I must have a least a dozen other Ertl 1969 Camaro models, a couple of which I have tried to do mods on, and none of them are this brittle. On one that I was trying to flare the fender openings, I wore out a couple of Dremel grinding bits.

Really weird on this one.

:confused
 
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This is the first time I've seen such thing. Fascinating & strange at the same time.

Sounds like this piece had been subjected to extreme cold cycles...

Atleast you got your money back. :cheers
 

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I have read of brittle bonnet hinges on Kyosho M3s here. But this one takes the cake.
 
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This is actually pretty common with some of the Ertl Camaros. I have a good friend who took a complete collection of Yenko Camaros as a trade against a few high-end diecast. Over the course of a few months, we watched doors rot and models fall apart - still in the boxes.

Scary, huh? :scared
 

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As Joe has mentioned, this is not exactly rare with Ertl.
I think it is most prevelent with the Camaro although others have been affected.

There have been numerous posts over at the Pub about this.

As you said Jim, it must be the way the metal was cast but it sure is odd in the way it takes many years to show up.
 

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Was it a casting problem (alloy composition or temperatures involved) or was it due to contaminants in the mold and/or alloy?
 

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I thought so. that's the single most common problem with any form of metal casting. It can ruin whole runs of casted products. With plastics it's not such a big issue, but with metall alloys, if there's any form of alien material in the mold or alloy the whole thing is ruined.
 

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Danbury Mint has a problem of contamination of the metal underr the paint and now years later, the paint is starting to form some very small bubbles.
It has taken up to 10 years to surface and it concernes me very much that time may be the worst enemy of our collections.
 
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I have seen this problem before, someone posted a similar model that had broken into many pieces. I recall it being an Ertl too.

Sure would be a shame to have an entire collection end up this way :WTF
 

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Melting wheels, brittle dicast bodies... makes u wonder what'll happen next, will our diecasts start barking or become radioactive?! It's things like this that make me ask myself if this hobby isn't just wasted money and time... And to think that I was just getting started on my ERTL american muscle collection :((

Did you try e-mailing ERTL to find out their opinion on this?
 
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Max Power said:
Danbury Mint has a problem of contamination of the metal underr the paint and now years later, the paint is starting to form some very small bubbles.
This is a problem with Kyosho as well. First I thought it was only on older ones but I see the problem now on their more recent Countaches.
 

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I took delivery of twin teal 1965 Mustang convertibles by Revell from a dealer who gave them to me gratis. He considered them junk. You can see the "restored" versions on the Member Mods post entitled "Two Twin Mustangs".
These two models are dated 1993 so they are certainly older. Both had very crumbly metal defects, especially the door hinges. Also one had a quarter-size hole in the trunk lid. Very weak and grainy metal that just turned to near dust in your fingers. Underneath the bodies were reminants of sand and some other loose debris. I wrote on another forum about this but did not get any significantly informative replies on the cause or causes of this disintergation of metal. At least here there are listed possible causes of the problem. My impression of the condition was based on the age of the metal; the contamination factor seems more plausible and accurate.
There was one interesting reply on the other forum that asserted that when an owner tried to clean up his 1965 Revell Mustang using just a mild hand soap and water, a reaction took place wherein the paint started hissing and poping. If left unchecked the metal would have dissolved.
Maybe someone on this forum could explain that as well.
THANKS !!!!
 

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Soap solution is caustic and very harmful to the aluminum zinc alloy. If left unwashed, it will eat up the metal in no time. LUW had shown a picture of a BBurago Jaguar which popped a hard blister in the boot lid after it was washed under water. Best to keep all soapy solutions far away from our models.
 
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