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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It would appear that more than a few UT model owners are experiencing melting paint on the wheels

This has started to happen on my UT models as well, My AMG SLK and C36 Amg both have soft paint on the rims of the wheels which mark if you touch them.

Is this something to do with the way the paint breaks down as it ages ?. Both models are at least 4 years old , but have never been left in direct sunlight. I live in the U.K, so ignoring the heat wave earlier this month, I don't think the climate has anything to do with it.

Its a shame they are slowly dissolving, but I am far more concerned about my AUTOart models. ( AUTOart took over UT and even re released some UT models as their own ) What if AUTOart use the same wheel paint and painting process as UT ???. Does this mean there is a good chance that my expensive collection is going to be a lot stickier in a few years time ???

If I look after them, can I expect my models to last ?, some have cost me nearly £100 and if they start to biodegrade in the future I will be seriously pissed off. The idea is, when fatty Brown ( U.K car hating, chancellor of the exchequer ) and his lefty cronies have banned all cars and all forms of automotive enjoyment, I can look back at the cars that I love but was never fortunate enough to own or drive.

What's the answer ?, vacuum packing ?
 

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I had the same problem with my Porsche 911 Turbo and my M3 GTR. I never had them in direct sunlight and the paint melted within weeks rather than years. I've had my Skyline GTR and Lancer Evo VI for about 2 1/2 years now and their wheels don't look like they'll erode any time soon. However I think that the AUTOart Contemporary Division that you mentioned are slightly tarted up UT models and I doubt that they changed the technique for making the wheels so the chances are that the paint will melt.
 

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I've only noticed this problem on one of my UTs (and I can't remember which one!!!) and it seemed like it was due to a chemical reaction between the paint and the plastic wheel. The paint just felt wet and soft, and if it was touched, a fingerprint was left on it.

I haven't noticed this on any other model besides some UTs so I think it was most likely a problem with them. They must have used unsuitable paint which reacted badly with the plastic wheels.

As for the heat theory, Ireland is even colder than the UK so it's not the cause for me either!!!
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So hopefully your models should last unless "Fatty Two Jags" taxes model cars out of existance too!!! ;-)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, you can see a huge difference on rubber material between AUTOart and UT models. Most, if not all of the tires on UT's models are shinny. The tires on AUTOart models look dull in comparsion. I am not sure if this is the cause of the problem, however, I have yet heard one to complain about melting wheels on AUTOart's models. On top of that, whatever that's eating away the wheels (NOT JUST THE PAINT!) is eating away the plastic base as well!

You know, back in the days when AUTOart first released, most old timers on Scale18 forums suspected that GGL was going to get rid of UT operation. Some guy from GGL came and indicated we were wrong. They, indeed have huge plan for UT models. Well, it turns out that we struck the nail on the head. I guess in a way, the exit of UT save GGL from huge embarressment. Now, the only thing we collectors can do is to figure the true cost of the problem. If we can fix it, excellent. If we can't, what a waste of some great models.
 

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I've only noticed this poroblem on the UT Porsches & Mercedes. The cars were never in direct sunlight for any long periods of time(maybe once or twice to take pics outside, but that was it) . I've never noticed this on any of the AUTOart's I have. You can see some of the pics here.... http://diecastxchange.com/forum/viewtopic....t=1740&start=10
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:gpost: :gpost:

I have watched this topic of discussion with great interest since its frst appearance on the forums. I am extremely concerned with this as I have AUTOart and UT models in my collection, and from the postings its not unecessary worry.

I think heat has been ruled out as a likely and possible cause, the only thing that seems to be left before the last conclusion will be cleaning methods. Were any of these models cleaned with products that may have disrupted the quality and finish of the paint and rubber wheels/parts.

If all of the aforementioned have been addressed in a satisfactory manner, then the cause for this potential future disaster points the finger back at the product quality and construction. The models we have painfully shelled out big bucks for have a very short shelf life...which is very scary, when you think about how valuable a collection is to the owner, not withstanding the monetary value.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm one of the old timer from Scale18 trying to narrow down cause of this problem. Some of my UTs have this problem as well. From reading all the posts here and there over time and from my own experience, I am ready to dismiss the theory that it's the silver paint having a bad reaction to the plastic wheel. The reason for this is that the silver paint seems to be softening only along the edges where it's in contact with the rubber tire and not anywhere in the middle. In addition, one of my Mclaren which has black rims, unpainted, is softening along the edges as well.

I'm more inclined to point the finger, index finger, at the rubber wheels as the more likely culprit. More recently, many people have reported wheels are also melting the plastic base and sticking to it. It's possible that some oil or whatever other chemical used in the rubber compound is decomposing and attacking anything it touches.

I'd like to ask those with this problem if the model was stored in the box or displayed? Some one mentioned that all his UTs are displayed and all were ok. It's possible that in open air, whatever oil or fume the rubber is releasing is allowed to escape and dry. Left in the box it may not have a chance to do this.

Just to share with you what I'm doing. I removed the wheels and rims off of the Mclaren, gave them a good wash and left them out to dry. It's been a few weeks now and the rims are still a little tender. I'm not able to display all my UTs for lack of shelves space but what I do from time to time is open up the boxes and pull the model/base partially out and leaving it like that for a stretch of a few days to let it air a bit. I also went though all of them to make sure they're not touching the plastic base. Those that were, I slip small pieces of cardboard to keep them from touching.

Good observation Louis on the difference between UT and Autoart rubber wheels. I hope Gateway Global changed the rubber compound so we don't continue to have this problem with the Autoart line.
 

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:gpost: I think you are right on the money here. On my BMW Z3 coupe (the one UT in my collection that I've noticed this problem on (couldn't remember it in my earlier post) the "melting" seems only to be occurring at the edge of the wheels where the tire and rim meets. Washing the tires seems like a good idea as it would remove most solvents or other surface chemicals on the rubber which may be causing the problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting. I just checked my Ferraris and the M Coupe that I have, which have all been displayed in the open, and none of them have the problems you are describing. The M Coupe I've only had for about 6 months, which was bought new from the store. The Ferraris are all at least 4 years old, probably older.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have all of my UT Corvette Pace Cars displayed in the open and I haven't experienced it either...keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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John
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Interesting. I just checked my Ferraris and the M Coupe that I have, which have all been displayed in the open, and none of them have the problems you are describing. The M Coupe I've only had for about 6 months, which was bought new from the store. The Ferraris are all at least 4 years old, probably older.
:iagr: Although I hope everything will continue to stay that way.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Man, this makes me mad! :2gun: :crt:I always thought that it would be better for a model for it to stay in a container such as the box or a glass case, but now it seems like I have to leave it out, where it will only get dirty. I just ordered a silver Mclaren F1 from UT, and this kind of worry is the last thing I need. I hope a solution comes up. No, I PRAY that a solution comes up!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
o.k, so it would be just a UT problem? I hope so (Even though it sucks that they are screwing up). That way I would just stay away from them.
 
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