Paint stripping LGB coaches

tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
65
13
Fife
I am currently working on the conversion of an LGB combine into a narrow gauge interurban. I have bough a second car to form a trailer.

This second car is in good structural condition, but it has had a somewhat 'iffy' paint job. I was thinking of giving the car a light rub down and a spray paint, but it may be better to strip the car before painting it.

If I do decide to strip the car can other people who have done this tell me what they used as a stripper and how happy were they with the results?
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,580
3,920
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I am currently working on the conversion of an LGB combine into a narrow gauge interurban. I have bough a second car to form a trailer.

This second car is in good structural condition, but it has had a somewhat 'iffy' paint job. I was thinking of giving the car a light rub down and a spray paint, but it may be better to strip the car before painting it.

If I do decide to strip the car can other people who have done this tell me what they used as a stripper and how happy were they with the results?
I used this with quite good results from a similar godly paint job, but it is quite expensive and for a big job like ours tricky getting a big plastic bag. Perhaps cling film may work? Best to try with an experiment on something.
 
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maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,998
566
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
As Jon says, Modelstrip. Phoenix Precision Paints do a liquid version you can brush on. Again pricey. However, both of the these products use Sodium Hydroxide as the active ingredient to strip/disolve the paint. Very effective on oil based enamels. Look for household cleaning products that still use this ingredient, they will do the same job. Much lower cost too.

Anther standby product is brake and clutch fluid. Works best on automotive type acrylic and old cellulose based paints (although useless on old matt finish enamels and polyurethane lacquers, for some reason) In my experience this will not affect the plastic used in your coach. DO NOT attempt to use Nitromoors and other caustic paint strippers. Likewise cellulose thinners. They will damage, or even dissolve most plastics. Max
 

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
79
8
West Lothian
This is going to sound a strange answer but it works and doesn't destroy plastic.

Soak the whole model in Dettol for 12-18 hours, if the paint is heavy use an old paint brush during the soak to loosen the paint and leave to soak, once you think all the paint is loose give it a gent rub with the old paint brush just to loosen off all the old paint.
Take the model straight from the dettol to some warm soapy water and gently rub again with the old brush, if their isn't any delicate plastic detail I use an electric toothbrush, then give it a rinse in clean warm water and leave to dry naturally.

I have used dettol on brass, white metal, resin and plastic with out any problems.


David
 
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maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,998
566
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
This is going to sound a strange answer but it works and doesn't destroy plastic.

Soak the whole model in Dettol for 12-18 hours, if the paint is heavy use an old paint brush during the soak to loosen the paint and leave to soak, once you think all the paint is loose give it a gent rub with the old paint brush just to loosen off all the old paint.
Take the model straight from the dettol to some warm soapy water and gently rub again with the old brush, if their isn't any delicate plastic detail I use an electric toothbrush, then give it a rinse in clean warm water and leave to dry naturally.

I have used dettol on brass, white metal, resin and plastic with out any problems.


David

Interesting, a bit like finding old oven cleaning products contain sodium hydroxide - Quite possibly the effect is due to Dettol's major volume being made up of isopropyl alcohol. I found this link while searching isopropyl alcohol - Take a look here - Paint Strip your miniatures in minutes! Featuring Isopropyl Alcohol - Forum - DakkaDakka
Max
 
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DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
79
8
West Lothian
Interesting, a bit like finding old oven cleaning products contain sodium hydroxide - Quite possibly the effect is due to Dettol's major volume being made up of isopropyl alcohol. I found this link while searching isopropyl alcohol - Take a look here - Paint Strip your miniatures in minutes! Featuring Isopropyl Alcohol - Forum - DakkaDakka
Max
Similar but slightly different, I soak the parts in dettol and don't scrub them, dettol does slightly soften plastic but not enough to cause damage, from my experience anyhow.

Interesting to know it could be the IPA causing the paint stripping action, I know someone in a lab who can get me the stuff cheaper than spending money for dettol, thanks.

David
 

tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
65
13
Fife
This is going to sound a strange answer but it works and doesn't destroy plastic.

Soak the whole model in Dettol for 12-18 hours, if the paint is heavy use an old paint brush during the soak to loosen the paint and leave to soak, once you think all the paint is loose give it a gent rub with the old paint brush just to loosen off all the old paint.
Take the model straight from the dettol to some warm soapy water and gently rub again with the old brush, if their isn't any delicate plastic detail I use an electric toothbrush, then give it a rinse in clean warm water and leave to dry naturally.

I have used dettol on brass, white metal, resin and plastic with out any problems.


David
David, thanks, I had heard of folk using Dettol so I think I will give it a try. I have stripped metal models before and plastic ones - but never LGB ones. LGB plastic feels different to Bachman, Hartland and Aristocraft plastic, it cuts differently too - so I was afraid that it might react differently to various chemicals. But if others have used in with success I will give it a go........
 

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
6,594
1,077
57
Royston
David, thanks, I had heard of folk using Dettol so I think I will give it a try. I have stripped metal models before and plastic ones - but never LGB ones. LGB plastic feels different to Bachman, Hartland and Aristocraft plastic, it cuts differently too - so I was afraid that it might react differently to various chemicals. But if others have used in with success I will give it a go........
Try an inconspicuous piece first, just in case
 

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,998
566
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
While checking again I notice that Dettol as well as having Isopropyl alcohol in its make up also includes.........sodium hydroxide (aka caustic soda). Now I would not reccomend trying to mix up you own home brews but it would seem there might be the answer as to Dettol's effectiveness with both these ingredients, with known paint removing properties, included.

This topic intests me as over the years, I like others probably, have discovered or have had recommended to me various household products or over the counter chemicals that will aid paint removal in some way, without understanding the chemistry.involved. At least I don't, I just go with what works for me. Although I did mention using sodium hydroxide to a chemistry teacher acquaintance of mine and he explained why it was so effective on oil based paints.

Something I have noted while doing a bit of Googling around paint stripping methods is that certain factors come into play as to the suitability of various methods dependent on substrate and paint type. While this link is aimed more at exterior paint finishes it does provide some useful insight as to what is going on when stripping paint Paint Removal Guide: Caustic vs Solvent Based Paint Remover

Now do we have a qualified chemists in the house who can throw a bit more light on the subject ? Max
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,986
2,889
Tamworth, Staffs.
I think the Chemist's are on NGRM?

There were a number of discussions about paint removal on there..


The problem is IF you go to a chemical supply house, the products you will get will be pure and full - strength..
Whereas Dettol (and the like) will be diluted.

Please take care when handling some of these chemicals!
 

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
79
8
West Lothian
I think the Chemist's are on NGRM?

There were a number of discussions about paint removal on there..


The problem is IF you go to a chemical supply house, the products you will get will be pure and full - strength..
Whereas Dettol (and the like) will be diluted.

Please take care when handling some of these chemicals!
Going off topic a bit.

If you want to see what household chemicals can do, spray so viakal on dirty brass, give it 10 minutes and wash it off, hey presto clean brass. And this is something we allow on our skin.

David
 
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maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,998
566
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
A common method suggested here and elsewhere, to clean brass rails, and it works - Coca Cola (other cola brands are available). And we drink that, never mind allow it on our skin - nasty sticky stuff. The common link between Coca Cola and Viakal ? They are both acidic....to different degrees. You really would not want to take a slurp of Viakal :eek: . It comes down to understanding the the chemical processes involved. Apparently very different products but the same affect when applied in a particular way.

It always amuses me a little when some branded products, e.g. for cleaning, go out of their way to "hide" the active ingredients they are using. I dare say lest we realize there is a much cheaper unbranded over the counter compound that will do the same job. OK, it may not smell so nice and come in a smartly decorated and attractive container. True, the branded goods do offer mostly safe and effective solutions, when used as directed, compared with their base chemical active ingredient source materials. But what the heck. Food (of the digestible type) for thought perhaps ? :) Max
 
A common method suggested here and elsewhere, to clean brass rails, and it works - Coca Cola (other cola brands are available). And we drink that, never mind allow it on our skin - nasty sticky stuff. The common link between Coca Cola and Viakal ? They are both acidic....to different degrees. You really would not want to take a slurp of Viakal :eek: . It comes down to understanding the the chemical processes involved. Apparently very different products but the same affect when applied in a particular way.

It always amuses me a little when some branded products, e.g. for cleaning, go out of their way to "hide" the active ingredients they are using. I dare say lest we realize there is a much cheaper unbranded over the counter compound that will do the same job. OK, it may not smell so nice and come in a smartly decorated and attractive container. True, the branded goods do offer mostly safe and effective solutions, when used as directed, compared with their base chemical active ingredient source materials. But what the heck. Food (of the digestible type) for thought perhaps ? :) Max

I used some old "unipart" brake fluid (not the latest eco-friendly synthetic stuff) to strip a very poorly painted LGB "Chloe" bought cheap from Ebay due to the paintwork, made worse by poor packaging and being used as a "football" in the interdepartmental Royal mail "cup final"!
Repainted and refinished model in photos below
 

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