These models whether made of diecast metal or resin are extremely delicate. They have small parts glued onto the outside that can be easily broken with even the slightest of careless contact, In particular be watchful of the following:
Whenever you handle the model you risk inadvertent and regretful contact with these fragile things.
When purchasing used models no longer being manufactured you must be aware that these bits may arrive already broken. Or the packing or shipping may have been so careless that they broke in transit. So, make sure prior to purchase exactly what you are expecting and getting. One model I bought arrived with missing wipers, a broken antenna, three wheels and a brake disk detached, and a rear bumper broken off. Another arrived with the roof crushed in and the windshield cracked.
Some manufacturers, like Best of Show, make beautiful models but then ship them with the outside mirrors in a small plastic bag requiring you to glue them on. The claim is to ensure an unbroken delivered model but you have purchased a complete model and should not have to finish it yourself. On one such model the mirrors would not even fit in the premade hole in the body. You must also figure out which is the left and which is the right side mirror. The mirrors should angle towards the center facing the driver.
The most dangerous time is when you remove the model from the packaging. Most models are shipped screwed into a styrofoam box or plastic frame. When you hold the model with the counterforce force necessary to remove these screws you risk slipping or holding the model wrong and then oops. These hold down screws come in a variety of Phillips head sizes so you need a variety of screwdriver bit sizes to properly address them. They can also be screwed down much tighter than necessary. I have had to use an extractor which digs into the metal for grip after rounding out the soft metal screw head trying to remove it with various screwdrivers.
With these styrofoam boxes, it is a good idea to identify which end is up. Carefully slice the tape on the sides holding the two halves of the box together then lift the top straight up to avoid catching an external piece during lifting and snapping it off. Watch also for loose pieces that have come unglued inside the box that are either lying there in the box or fall out as you open it. This does happen even for new and expensive previously unopened models. See "Repairs" below.
Make sure you keep the box. The model will retain much more of it's value if provided to a future owner with the original box.
These models if displayed in the open are notorious dust catchers. After a while encrusted dirt forms on the outside and the model looks dingy. An enclosed display case is necessary to avoid this. I like the Greenlight acrylic cases, #55020 for 1/18 scale models. They stack tall nicely and are not expensive. Look around though, prices vary up to two or three times more from one vendor to another. I have had good service from:
For larger wall mount acrylic cases with shelves and doors that hold six, twelve, or more cars there are a variety of options and prices. Good choices are available from:
Inevitably there will come a time when you have to reglue a part back onto the model. During the photographing of the models for this web site on more than one occasion did I notice something fall off the model. Looking down at the carpet I noticed a tiny piece of plastic which turned out to be a taillight lens. There were actually two pieces of plastic, one from the current car being photographed and one from an earlier photographed car. Using the photos I was able to find which car it came from. Very simple to fix but an important decision is the choice of glue.
Super glue provides the strongest bond and can be used to rejoin broken ends of a part which has no other support. Within seconds of holding two ends together the glue will take hold and the parts will stay in place. A few hours later the bond is cured. The major disadvantage is that any glue that gets on finished parts like paint or a clear plastic window will craze the surface and leave a permanent mark. The glue dries leaving a white residue.
For windows, lenses, or applications near paint I have had excellent results with. Replacement of a rear plastic curved window that had come unglued on a brand new model came out as new. This glue washes off with water, dries clear, and leaves no residue.