Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stripping Paint from Models

I have been looking at a few forums about the best way to strip paint safety from models without damaging any details or the plastic. I decided to do some tests on some old atlas rolling stock, one caboose in isopropal alcohol and the other in pine o clean.

The brand I used is 64% alcohol but a mate tells me you can get stronger stuff from over the counter at the chemist. The pine o clean is a household cleaner and comes in several variations but I used the original, I don't think it is anything like pinesol in the U.S.

I found that the alcohol will evaporate if you do not put the model in a air tight container when soaking the model the pine o clean not so much.

After soaking in alcohol some of the thin paint came off with a light scrub with a toothbrush but after a few days the thicker paint would not move. The plastic showed no sighs of damage but after five days some of the thinner edges were a little soft. The pine o clean softened the paint after a hour but the thicker paint would not move just like the alcohol, but I took the caboose out after two days because the plastic was going soft.

The photo below shows the results of the alcohol on the right and the pine o clean on the left.

I picked up a product at the Brisbane Train Show from EFD Simply Glues called X55 paint stripper that is claimed to be safe for all plastics. They are on the net so look them up if you need to do some paint removal. I talked to the owners and was assured it was safe to use on Kato models because some forum talk suggests Kato plastic reacts differently to other plastics.
The photo below shows the cabooses and a hopper after ten minutes in the x55 and a scrub with a toothbrush in warm soapy water.
A bit more of a challenge is this old bachman hopper below with thick paint, the second photo shows the results after twenty minutes and a scrub with a toothbrush.

Some of the paint is still there after a rub with a toothpick but not too bad for a very heavy paint job. The detail is unharmed but I did do some damage with the dremel when I tried moving the last of the paint with the soft rotating brush.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I have been doing alot of small jobs for the past few weeks that don't take up too much time so I do not get too bored and my wife does not get angry with me. The photo below shows some of the wagons I spent an afternoon weathering, at the moment I am on a covered hopper and mechanical reefer buying cycle. I have all the coal hoppers I need so all I am chasing now are wagons for the way freight to switch industries with.
From Tropical N Scale

Below you can see the progress on the flour mill and and one of the two pipe loads I constructed both are not finished yet but the loads only need to be tied down. The mill needs a bit more work then I will construct the out buildings.
And finally the layout room, most of the sanding is done and the trim has been fitted.