Restoration of the Ferrari 333 SP #3


Published 04/28/20

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure every collector has been through this once at least. You find a nice model for a good price. A model that you wanted and that’s not exactly common. The price is (very!) good and when you ask the seller, he says that the model is “in perfect conditions” – a true collector’s item. And since the seller has good feedback you hit the BIN button.

Minichamps’ models acquired (deservedly!) quite a reputation for bad decals.

But when you receive the so-called collector’s item, what you really get is something like that. FILTHY dirty and with a bunch of decals peeling off 🤬. Oh yes, I was royally pissed and immediately demanded a refund. However, I contacted the seller and for whatever reason he made the refund but didn’t want the model back. Maybe he thought it was a health hazard? So, in the end, I got the filthy thing for free. With that, I had two options: bin it or fix it. I went with the later.

Restoration ready to begin.

First things first, I needed decals. And to my surprise they are easily available. I ordered a set from Italy, and 28 days later they arrived. The idea was only to replace the damaged ones, but when I got the decal sheet, why not replace all? Okay, that’s what I was going to do. But first I had to clean the model. So I took it apart and had to wash it with detergent and a brush, to remove all the grime. With the model clean, it was now time to remove the old decals. Easy, right?

At some points I had to use a dentist’s pick to remove parts of the old decals.

HELL NO 😖!!! I started with the really damaged ones, and it was a bear! I first tried a plastic credit card to scrap them off, but it was almost impossible. Than I soaked them in Micro Sol, to soften them up and make things easier. No dice! The darn things still wouldn’t come off. I than used an old RAM memory chip, that was the strongest thing I could think of that was not metal, to use as a scrapper. Though slow going, in the end I managed to scrap the whole decal off. However, in a few places, I had to use a steel pick because the memory chip was not enough. And with that, even though I was very careful, the paint underneath got a bit scuffed in some places.

Without Micro Sol and Micro Set this restoration project would not be possible.

That being so, I abandoned the idea of a complete do-over. I decided to only remove the (really) bad ones and call it a day. After about two hours of scrapping old decals off it was time to apply the new ones. The one on the rear wing and the long stripes were possible headaches, but using Micro Sol helped a LOT to make them conform to the uneven surfaces. Here you can see a brief tutorial on how to use the solutions.

Not bad for a model that costed me a decal sheet and a couple hours of work.

In the end of the restoration, the model is now looking quite good. It’s not perfect, because a few of the original decals are a little damaged. And, since the decal set was for a BBR model, size is a tad off. In fact, I had to take some poetic licensing when applying a couple of them. But with all said and done, I’m happy with the model now. Or at least, now it’s presentable and in my display case instead of the trash can.

So, for a basket case I think this restoration came up on top. I already published the review of the 333 SP, so head over to the link if you want to read a bit about the car.

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