On Kato and Kato manufactured Atlas, Pinesol is the way to go for
stripping. Recently on the Diesel List, the following was posted:
> About a month ago, Steve Orth reported that for P2K:
> >I called Lifelike and was advised to try isopropyl alcohol .... drug
store rubbing alcohol. I bought a couple of bottles for $0.33 each,
immersed a GP9 shell that was decorated in UP colors that I am kitbashing
into a GP9B using the Hi Tech Details cab.
> >Two hours later I pulled the shell out of the alcohol and literally
peeled the entire coating of paint off the shell!! The paint on the sides
came off in one big piece, and the paint still had the imprints of the
louvers and door hinges in it!! Light brushing with a soft toothbrush left
me with bare styrene.
> I've since used 93% isopropyl alcohol to strip a couple of Riverossi/IHC
> passenger cars and some Con Cor MHCs. Worked like a charm, including on
> one of the IHC cars which was proving HIGHLY resistant to the usual oven
> cleaner. While I paid more for the 93% stuff (like 89 cents a bottle), I
> started to see results in minutes -- twenty minutes start to finish was
> all it took.
A follow-up posting indicated that the alcohol had no effect on Kato
Remember to use gloves, and eye protection. Both alcohol and PineSol
will dry and remove your skin as fast as they remove paint.
I've used Scalecoat on the KATO Mikado to removing lettering and it worked
just fine, though I applied it with a q-tip and did not soak it.
For the replies so far to this cry for help. I now need some sources for
Scalecoat Paint stripper, Polly ELO, and Chameleon. I live in an area
where there are not too many resources for model railroading, so I have to
do mail order for most things.
Jim....I have had no luck in locating an address or phone number for North
Coast Prototype Models (yet). Can you give me some further help on this?
I've seen the blaster you're talking about, but I'm a little leery of
using it on a plastic model. Is it safe to blast away paint on plastic
without removing details, or is it more of a tool for brass models?
I have tried a lot of stuff, and have settled on Scalecoat as my
favorite general-purpose plastic stripper; in my experience, it has
handled a greater variety of situations than brake fluid, Pine Sol, etc.
But -- even Scalecoat will give different results across manufacturers.
Use the minimum amount of stripper and soak time needed to do the job at
hand; don't immerse the model for five minutes if 30 seconds will do the
job. Be prepared to substitute an old toothbrush and elbow grease for
immersion time; avoid l-o-n-g immersions. If you are stripping a model
from a new manufacturer, test a pool of your stripper in an
inconspicuous area (e.g. underbody for freight car, interior of diesel
shell, etc.); poking around with a toothpick will generally indicate
whether the plastic has softened. A tall wide-mouth jar works well to
hold the stripper; I think we are still working off the pickles that
came with mine. As long as your jar is tall enough to do half the length
of the models you intend to strip, it will do the job. Save and reuse
the stripper -- it gets gunky, but will continue to work indefinitely
As I have said, I have used this blaster at up to 120 psi and it has NEVER
damaged, diminished, altered, or removed even the finest of details. I too
was afraid that it would ruin detail, but after experimenting I found that
id does not.
I highly recommend this product.
now this is something i would like to see. can you bring it to the meeting:)?
i would be concerned about wearing off the detail (although several people
have suggested this to me. someone even suggested using it to "weather"
(read: fade) paint . . . .
The BEST stripper is a mini-blaster, mentioned by someone earlier in
this week. We have one at our club here in NJ and it's saved many a model
railroad project. Absolutely, positively the best way to strip brass. Our
resident brass painter has bought many beaten up old models, stripped them,
and made beautiful models.
They're available through North Coast Models, 412-331-9970. The
proprietor is Mr. John Polyack, and tell him Johnny Golden sent you. They
run about 225 bucks and are worth every cent. You'll need a compressor to
run it. There are also health risks to operating this system so heed the
precautions! They work miracles with brass and resin models, and you can
even use them for outstanding weathering effects. Good luck!
The mini-blaster won't normally wear off detail. If you spray at high
pressure and concentrate on a single spot it'll eventually wear down
details, but I've never had a problem and have stripped the same model down
two or three times with excellent results. And yes, I've weathered cars
with it too, blasting off a slight amount of paint or too much paint used
for weathering. Again, outstanding results. In fact, we have one nut in
our club that will blast off a single decal or spot-clean certain areas of
finished models to touch them up. It's a superb tool...indispensable if you
paint your own stuff.
Chameleon is available from walthers or direct. If Walthers is out, I'll find
the address for you.
Does anyone have the Walthers part number ?? I can't seem to find it in the
359-1000 8 oz
pg 324 in the '97 catalog.
I thought Chameleon was no longer available. I think I remember seeing a
message from Larry Puckett to that effect. However, I have a bottle that is
new and unopened that I will sell you for what it costs me plus s/h.
It appears that Walthers no longer carries it. Does anyone have the
manufactures address or phone ? Anyone know why it was discontinued ?
Unfortunately from what I have heard the company which manufactured
Chameleon went out of business. If you happen to see any on a hobby
shop's shelves, grab it while you can.
Paul R. Rivers
There were 2 or 3 dealers at the National Show that had it, the gel too.
Not true! In fact they were participants at the National Train Show in
Kansas City this year.
Ah good. I hope that they continue to stay in existance. Best darned
product for stripping paint I've ever used. (And I will need more
sometime sooner or later - I still have about a third of a gallon but it
won't last forever.)
Paul R. Rivers
My sources are usually pretty darned accurate. Simply out of curiosity I
broke out a copy of the NMRA's National Train Show Guide for the K.C.
convention. Custom Hobbyist, Inc. (The manufacturer of Chameleon) is not
mentioned anywhere within the Exhibitor listings. (Don't know who you
saw at the NTS John, but it was not CHI.) That further piqued my
curiosity, so I called up Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. to try to learn a little
It saddens me to report that Custom Hobbyist, Inc. is no longer in
business. To quote the person I spoke with at WmKW "They've been gone a
long time." At present Wm. K.Walthers, Inc. does not have any CHI
products remaining in their inventory. (Or at least none that they
wanted me to know about.)
After that call I attempted to contact CHI directly. Their phone number
has been disconnected. (Give'em a call their number is 410 620-2548)
Again should you see any Chameleon Model Paint Stripper sitting on the
shelf, snag it while you can. If you happen to run across more than you
can use, please tell me where, I am interested in acquiring more.
(Particularly the liquid, but if all you can find is the gel that'll
Paul R. Rivers
O.K. you're in the driver's seat, how can I get it direct from them?
Dave, dunno if you plan to strip those Consolidations at all, but I can
tell you that Chameleon AND 91% isopropyl lifted the paint off the
tender shell of mine REAL quick. I was trying to remove just the
lettering - no hope of doint only that, for the iso went after the black
instantly, so I finished it off with the Chameleon...
Now I gotta get the numbers off the cab and I don't want to repaint the
On my Atlas/Kato RS3s and C425s, I have had no trouble removing N&W blue
with PineSol. It takes awhile, and there is still quite a tint left.
Procedure: soak, scrub, rinse, thoroughly dry (VERY important), repeat
as required. I use straight PineSol in clear plastic "spagetti jar"
made of PET-E (look at recycle stamp on the bottom). Wear gloves and
eye protection, in a well ventilated area.
I got two undecs and one Union Pacific. The UP lettering was removed with
a regular pencil eraser.
I'd hate to have to strip a WM version, because that would probably involve
repainting all. I'm just touching up the detail parts on mine as I add
them. Then I'll give the whole thing a weathering treatment of reasonably
heavy engine black, with touches of white-gray for steam residue and then
some yellowish dust around the sand dome. What amazes me in color pictures
of SR steam in the late 40's-50's is how uniform and dull the base coat of
paint was (except the green passenger locos of course). I have to decide
if any or all of my three will get the white striping along running board
edges (or I have to figure out where these guys would have been shopped
when the A&Y was independent and when the A&Y was part of the Southern).
I decided against major rebuilds to match specific prototypes on these
models. I can't do a credible job on driver size changes, and so I'm going
to call them something like class K-6's and live with them. One day I
might try and change the valve chest and really make it look right for an
A&Y consol, but I've got too many other projects right now.
90% works better/faster on P2K.
After searching the SMRF archives with some success, I found that I could
strip the paint on my Kato SD40-2 off with either Pinesol or alcohol.
Before I do this and possibly wind up with a chemically melted plastic
shell, does this still hold true. (If it helps any, the engine is in CSX
colors and is about to become a Southern high-hood unit, and yes I
already know I'm insane)
Ok, I give up.
I painted a shell about 5/6 years ago, I used either scalecoat or pactra
acrylic. Hey, black is black (one of perks about N&W modeling). I've tried
soaking this thing in Chameleon for the better part of a day. The paint just
laughs and say's I speet on your chameleon. Any Ideas or is this one for the
BTW, if you ever want to loosen all the super glued parts soak it this
stuff. Turns superglue to jelly, at least the formula that used 5 yrs ago.
Is it my imagination or does Chameleon smell just like expensive brake
I've wondered the same thing. Not only does it smell like, it feels like as
well. I have pondered over its chemical properties as I find it works
better than the brake fluid I've used in the past.
Rick--I've removed scalecoat paint with Chameleon and their own
stripper although it is hard to get off once its had time to set up
good and 5-6 years should make it real good! If the plastic is styrene
try some real cheap brake fluid but if its an old shell it may be
attacked by the volatiles in the brake fluid. Also, Kato shells are
best stripped with PineSol. If you get real desperate place the
Chameleon in a large tea glass big enough to hold the model and set
the glass on a cup warmer or hot plate to warm (don't boil) the
stripper. Also be sure to suspend the model so it does not touch the
bottom of the glass. This will make the solution work much faster. The
guys who made Chameleon used to demonstrate it this way at local train
Larry J. Puckett
You experience with trying to strip a model that you formerly painted is not
untypical. I have found that models that I paint are almost impossible, if
not impossible to strip the paint from. Factory applied paints come off a
lot easier. I would guess that this is due to heavier and more coats of
paint we apply vs. the manufacturer. Also, Scalecoat and other enamel and
lacquer paints do not come off plastic easily as they react slightly with
the plastic creating a real "clinger" of a bond!
Use a grit blasting booth and about 100 psi pressure!
It's an old Athearn/Cannon HH gp50.
Carefully try denatured alcohol. I stripped a N&W AHM coach with this stuff,
worked great. Also a AHM E-8. But it will attack some plastics, so try it
out on a hidden spot first. And use good ventilation, and no fire, please.
The stuff is flammable
Rick--the warm stripper should do the job--of course you'll ahve
to rebuild the Cannon HH after you're done.
Nobody has mentioned Polly-S ELO. For that stubborn shell, I agree with
Jim. A Badger blaster, or a Paasche air eraser works great. Start at
40 psi, and work upward with your air pressure. I have been able to
blast numbers out of number boards, and remove paint coat by coat. DO
use a booth, and DO wear a mask! The aluminum oxide isn't something you
want to be breathing
Alan E. Houtz
As a member of several talk lists there has been a discussion on the best
ways to strip paint from various manufacturers offerings. This is to
address diesel locomotives only. We can do one later on rolling stock...
Here are some manufacturers to consider:
Atlas/Kato C424, C425, RS3, RS11, RSD12, & RSD4/5
Atlas/Roco RS1, FP7, SD24, SD35, GP7, S2, GP38 & GP40
Atlas/China S1, S2, RS1, RS3, RSD4/5, RS11, U23b, U33/36c
Kato GP35, SD45, RS2
P2K GP7, GP9, GP18, GP30, BL2
It would be helpful here to relate your experiences with the removal of
paint from the various offerings.....Who wants to go first????
Here are the responses:
Athearns are easy - Brake fluid, Pine Sol, Polly S Lift Off are all very
effective, take your pick!
Katos- If you don't own a grit blaster, don't bother, you'll regret it!
Atlas and Protos - don't know, haven't tried them.
That's my two cents worth!
I've got to agree with David on the Katos. You can also add the newer
Atlas models in with the Kato's, they react horribly with stripper (they
By the way Chameleon Stripper is back, and available from Walthers. I've
never used it, but those who have love it. We are carrying it at TU now, so
your hobby shop should be able to get it.
I have used Chameleon to strip two Kato switchers. Both did fine. I left
the shells in the stripper for about 15 min and then used a toothbrush to
get the paint off.
Jerry A. Shepardson
N&W - Precision Transportation
I stripped my Atlas RS3 in an NW paint scheme first to do my SR green
scheme RS-3. I used Poly ELO in a metal 9x13 brownie pan (this was bought
for and dedicated to modeling since I wanted a decent container that was
mostly chemical resistant).
My method (long before I got involved in this group) was to use a pipette
from the ELO can and spread it on the shell. Then I used a toothbrush to
get full coverage. Then I let it sit 30 minutes with a piece of saran wrap
over it (to concentrate the fumes) in a well ventilated area.
The yellow lettering came off fine, but the blue required a LOT of
scrubbing. Even then it did not come off completely. So I repeated this
process a number of times until the gray plastic started showing through.
I ended up with a blue gray shell that I definitely primed before painting
with Southern Sylvan green.
Kato RS2 in Great Northern scheme: tried using similar method to above, but
the plastic distintegrated in areas from the ELO after only 10
minutes. The GN orange paint seemed to resist the ELO, but the inside of
the shell which got some ELO on it started to disintegrate. The "socket"
for the screw that holds the weight just melted and fell off. Same for
little tabs and details not protected by the paint. The cab window frames
also just disintegrated. There is now an orange and greenish gray blotched
shell with cab in my scrap box. I had to purchase an undec shell to finish
my early black scheme loco.
Neither was much fun. I can't imagine brake fluid (which has same odor,
viscosity and color as Poly ELO) would work much differently.
I am happy to have my Air Eraser for my next stripping project...another
Kato RS2 in Great Northern paint scheme (I got them both as presents, hence
the scheme since I mentioned "any roller bearing type" would do).
I too used a brownie pan at one time, but ended up flicking paint chips and
Scalecoat Paint stripper on everything within arms length from the bristles
on the toothbrush. One day at a Dollar store, I found a "tuperware like"
container with a snap on top, appearantly designed to hold a loaf of bread.
It will hold any loco shell that I have, even the larger GE's and SD's,
with no problem. The sides are deep, so I'm no longer flinging paint and
stripper around the room, and when I'm done, I simply snap the top on to
keep the stripper from evaporating.
From the"more mileage out of your dollar department"...
Hmmm, a really good idea. Of course, then I wouldn't have all those "neat"
weathering effects that came from those flicked drops of stripper hitting
other project cars :-) I have a couple of hoppers with cool little "holes"
in the paint that turned out really cool when I used a wash of rust.
Of course, I've got more than enough "happy little accidents" and this
method of preventing them sounds great! Russell, ow often do you reuse
the paint stripper before disposing of it?
Gents--I often use a tall tea glass for stripping when I use Chameleon.
This is great for a couple reasons:
1) it doesn't take as much stripper as a bread pan, etc.
so you don't foul all your stripper at once
2) you can cover it thus keeping in the fumes which pleases the wife
and keeps in those nasty volatiles that do the actual stripping
3) you can set it on a cup warmer which decreases the time needed to
remove the paint (the developers of Chameleon used to demonstrate this
at Timmonium using a hotplate. If you do use heat make sure to keep the
plastic off the bottom to prevent damage BTDT).
4) its very easy to pour the stripper back into the bottle.
If you have to strip a shell more than once (due to a messed up paint job)
it will make the plastic brittle and things like ladders may break off,
so be careful handling them.
I suggest against using brake fluid since I have had it crack Atlas shells.
When I use PineSol on Kato shells (note, this is what Kato recommends)
I have a large glass spaghetti jar purchased in the kitchenware dept
at a local store. It has a lid like those on old canning jars with
a rubber seal. This keeps the smell of the PineSol in and pleases the wife.
I use 91% isopropyl alcohol to strip LifeLike shells and it works great.
Again I use the tea glass.
I generally use Scalecoat paint remover for my projects. I just used it
on a Stewart FT and it worked fine. I have used it on virtually all
manufacturers products with no adverse effects. I know that others have had
some problems with this stuff, I have not.
Whoops, cant say all, sorry. I have not stripped any of the new stuff
coming out of China.
On the subject of paint removal for plastic body shells it must be
emphasized that any chemical used to strip paint from styrene will also
leach out the "plasticizers" used in the manufacture of the plastic and
will always leave the body shell less than its original condition.
All those methods previously mentioned will remove the paint while
appearing not to damage the shell. However, as a Scientist working in a
chemical laboratory, I can assure you that even the 91% alcohol will, if
used often and long enough, also do damage to the shell.
It does, however, appear to be the least harmful and it especially works
great on the alcohol based paints, such as Accu-paint. In fact, it almost
washes off accu-paint like water. But, I don't know of any manufactures
that use Accu-paint. The Athearn shells appear to stand up under harsh
removal, such as brake fluid, but, even they will show "hair-line"
cracks after several weeks.
I wish I had the answer. The truth is that good paint, once cured, is
difficult to remove even with harsh chemicals. I just wish the
manufacturers, especially Kato, would distribute, or have available, more
Brake Fluid works good on Bachmann stuff, at least the older stuff. It
stripped a Chessie painted BQ23-7 beautifully. Only left a slight blue stain
on the bare gray plastic. It appears the shell was painted blue first, then
the yellow and orange on top (just like the real thing). The brake fluid
appeared to dissolve the blue paint, and the other two coats on top peeled
away in large sheets. It also worked good on a Bachmann GP30 from Bev-Bel
(which had a gray coat of paint on it) I had made a mistake on the paintjob
and stripped it, and the brake fluid took off the original gray coat too.
I have used concentrated Tide clothes washing detergent to strip paint
even from AHM (IHC) passenger cars. It has to be very concentrated and
takes a couple of weeks, but the plastic is not damaged. Plus it smells good.
Allen Keller http://www.allenkeller.com
I am getting ready to strip the paint off an Athearn SW7 switcher painted for
the BN (non-SE railroad, you'll note), and I have a question: can I use my
91% isopropyl alcohol to remove the paint instead of the nasty brake fluid?
Will the ouchahol even begin to remove the paint? Would it hurt the plastic?
I know there are other things to strip paint with, but I currently only have
in my bag-o-tricks the brake fluid and ouchahol, and I always hated using
Any help would be helpful, and by the way, don't forget to watch the Derby !!!
91% isopropyl alcohol and brake fluid to remove paint are out of the Dark
Ages. Buy a large bottle of Scalecoat Stripper and go to it! It is not
cheap, but it is reusable. I use a coffeemaker filter to filter out the old
paint solids and recover the stripper. I am doing exactly what you did and I
stripped an Athearn SW7 for painting as a Southern unit. The Scalecoat
stripper removed the old paint beautifully.
I have been using this stuff(Scalecoat Stripper) for years and it works great.
The only way to fly as far as I am concerned. Removes most paint in a hurry,
cleans up with a bit of soap and water as well. I keep mine in a confiscated
Rubber Maid container. Heck, I even manage to keep it in the kitchen,
on a shelf, out of sight, as well.
Contrary to Alton's advice: use the appropriate stripper for each particular
model. See the archives for more info. 91% IPA is the best for all P2K
diesels to date.
This is good advice since Scalecoat stripper will make some plastic shells
brittle, particularly Kato. Kato recommends the use of PineSol for stripping
their shells and I have had brake fluid damage older Atlas shells.
Larry J. Puckett
I have not used Scalecoat on any of the P2K stuff, however, I have used it
successfully on everything else. The key to Kato and Atlas stuff is to keep
the time you have it in the paint remover to a minimum. Just a few minutes
and it will work just fine on those shells.
I have gone thru the SMRF archives and excerpted all correspondence
relating to paint removal or paint stripping. These are on the SMRF
FAQ(Stripping paint from models) on my website.
Rather than search thru the Archives for an answer that will not be
forthcoming, why not ask the question again? lately the traffic has been
There seems to be no definitive answer to the method for stripping paint.
Subscribe to several talk-lists and you will get even more answers.
Paint can be removed from anything without damage to the underlying
plastic. The secret is to know what type plastic is underneath the plastic.
Simplest method is to order a new undecorated body from the manufacturer.
If this is not possible then most likely you are using an outdated/poorly
executed model which is not worthy of your continuing efforts.
If you want to go, to SMRF FAQ and spend some time reading the various
methods for removing paint. Most seem to recommend a remover that is no
longer available and trying to find a new source.
I'm sure there are some who have found methods that work and do not
destroy the basic plastic. Now the task is to determine who those folks
are!!!! Well they aren't all wrong, in fact many are right. I would be
more inclined to believe those who have had disasterous results with a
certain chemical and avoid those chemicals.
If all else fails dunk the model in something and stand back. If the
paint comes off you are ahead of the game. If the model disintegrates,
well you should have purchased a new undec in the first place.....
If this e-mail seems confusing, it has served it's purpose.......
These have all been helpful, useful comments, however none actually answered
my question: will 91% alcohol take paint off an Athearn model? I have had
the cab off an SW7 switcher in the 91% for approx. 5 hours and so far it's
not melted either the paint nor the plastic.
Sounds like it's time to put on the brakes(fluid) that is!!!! The older
Athearn responds well to brake fluid. Get the kind that is biodegradeable..
The newer Athearn paint responds well to 91% Alcohol......Use gloves and
eye protection with any kind of paint stripper.....
Aaahhh Denis, the voice of reason, sanity, and plain old common sense speaks
to the modeler :) Scalecoat is the stripper of choice for almost
everything,P2K in 90% ETOH being the main exception. I use 3 Tupperware
brand pasta tubes with tops. Ordered them special after I saw them in a
catalog at work. I bought the deepest one so that you can strip either a
Athearn 86' box car or Dash-9 shell. Have bought maybe 4 bottles total of
the stuff over 15+ years of doing my own painting and stripping. I have
converted my standby tube to 90% ETOH for doing P2K models.
As for Kato horror stories,I have never had any problems,but again, like
Denis stated,you can't leave them in the stuff and go on vacation. 20
minutes tops and 75-80% of the paint is removed. I have 3 SD40s in L&N that
started their lives as 2 CB&Q's and a BN "Whiteface". Also have a GP35 in
L&N that started life as a Conrail unit. Currently in the paint shop is a
ex-EL soon to be PC SD45(I know,black paint is cheating anyway,but you still
have to remove the lettering) Also the story on the diesel list about using
Pine-Sol on Kato is that the smell sometimes does NOT go away.
So Jay the answer I would give you is to buy some Scalecoat and strip the
SW7. The newer Athearn paint literally falls off the shell. Another method
is to buy some oven cleaner and plastic freezer bags. Spray the model,place
in bag and let sit for 20 minutes. This works most of the time. Mr. Muscle
brand seems to work best.
Thanks for the answers, but I must also now submit my own results. I
literally just removed the Athearn SW7 cab from the 91% ouchahol after a 7
hour bath. The results you ask? Clean black plastic, no traces of the BN
green and no appearant damage to the plastic. I will be stripping the rest
of my three SW7's in the 91% isopropyl, because I don't have the ability
(time, cash & hoby shop) to get the Scalecoat stripper at the moment, but I
may get it in the future. The point of my original post was that I didn't
have these other strippers and needed to know if the ouchahol would work
instead of the brake fluid (which I hate).
You have answered it for us all, IPA does not effect the paint or the plastic
One of the guys who does custom painting for our shop sand blasts Kato units.
Thats probably not the correct term for it, but it's similar to an air
brush, and uses really fine sand. I've seen the shells after he's finished,
and they look just like they never had paint on them.
Probably the best method, wish I had one myself.......
hosam (S.A. McCall)
As a matter of fact I had seen a Kato SD-40-2 "Undec"
that was not originally an undec by "Bead blasting" which I'm sure is what
you're referring to on e-bay a couple of weeks ago.
I would have bid on it as it looked pretty good, but I was very concerned as
to how the very fine detailing such as grillwork held up to such an
operation. Has anyone gotten a really good look at one?
As I said I've seen the ones my guy does, and they look just like undecs, no
damage at all. There may be some learning curve on actually doing it...I
don't know, but I'm considering getting one myself. It sure looks like the
way to go.
I swapped some dynamic brake hatches with someone that blasted some clean.
Outstanding!!! No problem with the details at all.
Okay, Thanks guys! I also think I remember a dealer (Express Staion Hobbies
in Seattle) selling SD-45's that had been bead blasted some time back.
Probably a great way to reduce inventory on the "hard to sell" roads.
Chris - I think I recall the Express Station ads saying they were selling
"poor man's" undecs made from the extra shells they purchased separately
from Kato. It may have been something like a discount for purchasing a
decorated model plus the undecorated shell. That's always been the best
way to buy undec Katos - buy the spare shells as soon as they are released,
and then pick up a couple cheap decorated models. I did this with the
SD45s - bought 4 extra shells, and I still see cheap SD45s at shows.
This morning I completely stripped a Kato SD40 formerly decorated in the
CSX "transportation" scheme down to the bare grey plastic. This was my first
SD40 bought new way back when. The frame's since taken residence under a
Kato SD45. The shell has been left untouched for years.
A few hours ago, the shell was immersed in Kroger brand 91% ISO and sealed
in Tupperware for less than two hours. The blue paint and lettering
dissolved rather quickly coming off with the help of cotton swabs. The grey
paint took light scrubbing with a soft bristle toothbrush to be able to get
down to the bare plastic. There were no bad effects to the Kato plastic.
The Kato paint came clean out of the latch and grille details as well.
Rather than peel like the P2K paint, the Kato paint dissoves in the stuff. I
did no harsh rubbing nor scrubbing to get the paint out. It was no sweat at
Just for kicks, I'd also threw in an Atlas C30-7 decorated in BN into the
same vat of 91 for the same amount of time as the Kato and the paint comes
off in little flakes when lightly rubbed with a cotton swab. I'm assuming 91
ISO will also strip the new Atlas GP40s too.
I'm gonna try a new Kato ph1c GP35 next.
I just hope everyone else has the same results with the other paint
STRIPPING P2K MODELS
Has anyone stripped a proto 2000 engine from its factory paint job
yet? I know brake fluid works for me on a lot of different types of
paint but not all , and I have yet to try to strip a Proto. Thanks
for your help in advance.
Frank and the rest,
I recently stripped one of these using the Chamelon brand stripper - works
great - just pour the bottle into a glass jar or a plastic cup, and dunk the
model ito it - whole thing minus running gear of course!
Let it sit for a couple days, cover the container with some reynolds
plastic wrap or a lid of some sort so the stuff doesn't evaporate away on
ya! Paint should basically fall off.
Some places might require a little scrubbin' w/ toothbrush, and if it
doesn't all come off first time, soak again.
When finished, use an old stocking to strain out the paint particles from
the stripper, and put back into the bottle.
I have stripped Kato, P2K, Atlas, Bachmann, Accurail, Bowser, MDC with
this stuff, and have had no problems getting the paint off.
Use 99% Isopropyl alcohol, available at your local drugstore or
supermarket for about $1.50, if you are lucky enough to live in the
U.S. (Apparently, some other countries consider it a dangerous material
that needs to be regulated.) If you're truly lucky, you might find them
it on sale at a buck for two bottles.
I would suggest to use any stripper on the model in a sealable
plastic bag. That way you save on the amount of stripper you can't
probably re-use. And you can handle the bag to get coverage at
different spots on the moel should the need arise.
This method works also with etching brass and pc-boards.
I've been following this thread as I too have a P2K unit to be
stripped. I was wondering what happens to all the factory glued on
detail parts when a P2K is stripped either with that chameleon stuff
or Isopropyl alcohol? I've never undetailed a engine before so I
assume if they don't fall off some kind of debonder might be needed?
I'm asking because my SW7 project needs the P2K SW9 pilot/walkway
assembly and some of the handrails need to come off at some point
either before or after stripping.
The units I have have the details molten on from the back. I.e. these
are put into their respective holes and the prutuding end on the
inside of the shell is heated with some soldering iron to melt it.
Crude but kind of durable. But not always precise.
© S.A. McCall