Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Zinc pest and other defects...and solutions

How about we discuss a topic that makes every diecast collector crumple into a ball and cry in the corner? I am talking about the dreaded zinc pest. While we are on the subject of zinc pest I figured we might as well talk about other problems that arise with our diecast.

For those who is not familiar with zinc pest, here is a diagram to help you out.

Illustration for article titled Zinc pest and other defects...and solutions
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Did that make you cringe because it made me cringe?

What is zinc pest you ask? Wiki does a good job explaining it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_pest

So far I’ve been pretty lucky and only had zinc pest on one of my diecats. Volga GAZ 24 which was made in Russia in the mid 90's. Just about every diecast that came out of Russia in the 90's was bound to be infected. I think I cried a little when I removed the car out of a mint, factory box only to have it crumble into tiny, little pieces in my hands.

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Now, what I don’t understand is this. Will every single diecast eventually succumb to zinc pest, one sooner than the other? Is it inevitable? Are some manufacturers more prone than others? I hear Bburago uses metal that will survive a nuclear blast.

Apparently the only solution to zinc pest is to harvest any usable parts and throw the rest out. Or use the remains to create a diaroma of a road size bomb explosion.

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While we are on the subject of production defects, what are some other things you guys came across?

How about rubber tires that melt plastic wheels? Yup, happened on that very same Volga. I hear quite a few manufacturers have this issue. It has something to do with a chemical process that effects plastic when it comes in contact with chemicals used in cheap, rubber tires. One of the ways to solve this issue is to insulate plastic wheel from the tire via tin foil...or simply install good quality tires.

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