"Chrome" Removal: The Issue
The plastic interior layers of die cast vehicles are often coated in a thin layer of aluminium which gives a polished chrome finish. This works well for a toy as it naturally suits the grill and bumpers and helps interior detailing standout behind tinted plastic windscreens. For modelling purposes however this shiny surface can resist paint and glues and often covers mostly ‘non metallic’ surfaces such as seating and dashboards.
Fortunately it can be easily removed to reveal the modelling friendly plastic beneath.
Household oven cleaner contains sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) which dissolves aluminium and chrome, in fact some Hot Rod builders use it to create a patina on their aluminium parts! It’s also water soluble so it’s easy to wash off and clean up.
CAUTION: Oven cleaner is caustic so appropriate measures should be taken, rubber gloves and good ventilation are advised.