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 Hotpoint 6 plastic portable - lipstick on a pig?
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:58:34 PM on 12 October 2013.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 584

The Hotpoint 6 is a 100% badge-engineered version of the AWA Radiola 6 of 1956. Through the wonders of Trove at the national library website, I found a full-page colour advertisement for the Hotpoint radio range of '56 from the Womens' Weekly, and black/white ads for AWA equivalents. Mine was in the picture in its original colour.

I had to replace a missing bottom back corner of the case, near the hinge, epoxy a 10cm crack near it, and fill some chips and scrapes with putty. There was no choice but to spray the case, so instead of trying to make it look original I decided to give it a makeover appropriate to the music of 1956. I masked off the grilled and gave the case several spray coats of Rustoleum cherry-red enamel. Certainly less than a professional finish, but good enough for me from a distance with my glasses off.

Knobs and grille were OK though needed substantial cleaning and some restoration of broken or cracked knob hafts.

The curved dial window was perspex that was badly cracked and clouded. I replaced that with a piece of 1mm polycarbonate, pushed with some effort and graphite grease into the curved tracks that had held the sides of the curved perspex. Once it was in place, I heated the polycarbonate with a hair-dryer till it softened enough to take the curved shape, which it then held once cooled.

Biggest problem was with the frame surrounding the dial. This was a clear plastic moulding with a fluted pattern on the inside of the moulded section, this being plated with a bronze metallic coating that had flaked away to about 30% coverage. Painting over the inside with "gold" mica acrylic paint was a complete failure, as this kind of paint just looks brown unless it is able to form its own reflective surface skin on the surface to be viewed. I had to hand-paint the outside of that frame, which wiped out the original fluted design and makes the colour scheme rather more lavish than originally planned.

From the Womens' Weekly ad I could see that where the AWA model has an AWA roundel on the grille, the Hotpoint had a roundel with AEI (Australian Electrical Industries, which GE in Australia had become by 1956). This was missing from my case, so I reconstructed one in Photoshop to match the advertisement, and mounted that under a small disk of polycarbonate. Where the Hotpoint logo had been substituted for the Radiola logo, I picked it out in red, though the original had been same colour as the grille. I also had to reconstruct the numeral "6", which had fallen off, using some insulated wire superglued in place and painted.

Handle and handle mounts were OK. Best of all, the metal handle brackets, which were black and grotty, turned out to be made of solid brass rod which came up nicely with steel wool, vinegar, brasso and patience.

I wouldn't have risked these techniques with a valuable bakelite case, but most plastic cases are not of much collectable value.

AEI Hotpoint Radio
AEI Hotpoint Radio


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