Plating Die Cast Model Cars

Zinc die-castings have, until now, been a difficult material to plate for the small operation. The metal is given to oxidising and suffers from being exposed to acids of all forms including Tomato ketchup. Die-casting manufacturers have used dangerous chemicals and cyanide copper plating systems to clean, prepare and plate the parts, making it almost impossible to do this on a small scale.

This new kit has completely resolved this problem, by using a new commercial grade system of etching, cyanide free copper plating, and finally plating with our famous Copy Chrome system. The system will also plate pewter, lead, brass, copper, and steel model parts.


  • Previously painted parts should be immersed in any conventional paint stripper to remove all traces of
  • Buff to a high shine using a cotton wheel and a light polishing
  • Place the SDKLENE 416 Degreaser in a microwave and heat until at least 140 deg f, immerse the part for about 2 minutes, and then scrub off any heavy deposits with the brush
  • Rinse in tap water and then immerse in the Pickle # 4 for 1-2 Follow the instructions that came with the kit.
  • Wrap the bandages around the flat metal ends of each plating
  • Attach the positive lead (with the red plug) to the copper
  • Attach the black alligator clip to the object being

At this point, you can either brush plate the copper onto the part, or plate it in an immersion process. Flash Copper & Copy Chrome solutions should be heated in a microwave to approx 43c.

To brush plate, thoroughly wet the bandaged wand in Flash Copper solution and using slow strokes, swab the entire surface of the object. Repeat the process 5 or 6 times to build up sufficient thickness of plate.

To immersion plate:

Sometimes it is much easier to simply dip the part into the solution to plate it, especially if it is small with lots of detail. The Plug N' Plate® power supply and plating wand can easily be used for this procedure. Pour all of the plating liquid into a small wide necked container, such as a glass. Place the plating wand into the solution and clip it to the side of the glass with a clothes peg. Attach the work-piece to the negative alligator clip and suspend the part into the solution. With Flash Copper, plating should be completed in about 2-4 minutes. With Copy Chrome, allow about 10 minutes. Turn the part in the solution frequently.

The degree of plating will depend on several factors:

  1. The amount of anode (plating wand) immersed in ratio to the size of the part. The larger the part, the more surface area of the wand should be (Too much wand will make the plating appear smutty or dark). Strive for a 1:1 ratio.
  2. The distance of the anode from the work-piece. Being too close will cause similar problems to #1.
  3. The size of the Ideally, amperage needs to vary based on the size of the part being plated. The Plug N' Plate® power supply gives a fixed output. You may need to add robber parts into the bath to compensate for excess power.
  4. The temperature of the solution. Generally, the warmer they are, the better they plate, and the less current you
  5. The duration of plating This will depend on which plating kit you are using. Gold should only be plated until the color is right. Copper should be plated until the thickness is adequate, especially if you are using it to build up an area. Nickel and Copy Chrome should be plated for at least 5 minutes. Silver, being a soft metal, should be treated somewhat like gold, but make sure you have enough plating on the part to enable it to withstand polishing etc.
  6. Silver will often plate a dark smutty color. This will polish off, but you can reduce this by plating with a very small amount of the wand immersed, or by using the 5V position on the variable power supply. A final treatment using a sparing amount of Collinite Metal wax will also clean the smut and leave a wax protective film, which will reduce tarnishing. Swishing the part through the solution as it plates will also dramatically reduce the smutting problem.
    1. With silver and gold Plug N' Plate® systems, you may substitute the wand for a small piece of silver or This will enhance the life of the solution. (Do NOT use plated items as the anode, they MUST be made of solid silver or gold. (The anode must be held so that the wire connection is out of the liquid, otherwise the wire will dissolve and contaminate the solution)

    Note the clothes peg holding the plating wand to the side of the glass in the picture.

    Always ensure that you plate with Flash Copper before attempting to plate with Copy Chrome. Copy Chrome is too acidic and will cause damage to the part if the Alkali Flash Copper is not plated first.

     Buff and polish the parts to a bright shine 

  7. You would need the following items to carry this out
    1 x 1 litre Flash Copper Solution 1 x t litre Pickle # 4 solution
    1 x 1 litre Copy Chrome solution
    1 x t litre SDLENE 416 Degreaser solution 1 copper plating wand & bandage
    1 Copy Chrome wand & bandage
    1 x 3" shank mounted Buffing Wheel 1 x tube Peek Polish
    1 x large white buffing compound
    1 x Variable Power adapter 1.5volts to 12 volts 1 x 1Litre container and lid 

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