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FROM THE August 2011 ISSUE

Don't use petroleum jelly on model car tires!

Tip: I just got the new issue of SA and read your tip about putting petroleum jelly on the bottom of model car tires, so they don’t stick to finished shelves.

I would not recommend this.

I know through experience that, over time, petroleum jelly will degrade styrene, making it brittle and crumbly.  

Although I don’t know if petroleum jelly has a similar long-term effect on vinyl model car tires (or on the finish of a shelf), I’m not interested in taking the chance of finding out, because there’s a better way:

I discovered about 20 years ago that if you painted the rims of plastic wheels with acrylic paint – not enamel – there would be no interaction between the rims and the tires. The acrylic acts as a barrier.  

Therefore, I’d suggest putting a dab of acrylic flat or semigloss black paint on the bottom of your tires, or a dab of Pledge with Future Shine (or other clear acrylic). Let it dry before setting the model back on its wheels, and the tires shouldn’t stick to the surface.  

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