Another paint stripping question

Keith May 24, 2019

  1. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Hopefully, when I can eventually get back on what remains of 2 good


    I’m looking to maybe do some paint stripping of a number of cars.
    May start with the MDC/Roundhouse UP coal liner coal hoppers.
    Have 36 cars that I’d like to repaint for my own private road!
    Same the with several Atlas shorty beer can tank cars, in a variety of colors!
    Also for same private road name! Have up to 25 cars! But will probably not strip them all.

    Also wondering about custom decals. Would like to do my own private road name, using
    DRGW style lettering! Would like white lettering, but am considering maybe doing my own.
    In a light rusty color, to help maybe age the cars a bit!

    Comments/suggestions much appreciated!!
  2. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    I have found Pine-Sol easy and cheap. But it must be the old fashioned original version, the one that makes your house smell like a public restroom. That can be a bit hard to find.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Been years since I bought any but the best MRR paint stripper I ever used was Chameleon(sp) paint striper. Worked on everything I tried and no damage to plastic.

    Can't speak to custom decals but would guess there are several options.
  4. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    For paint stripping 91% alcohol, available at Walmart works well on newer models with non solvent based paint.. I've stripped LifeLike and Walthers locomotive bodies as well as Bachmann and other manufacturer's products. For custom decals you will have to shop around as prices seem to be all over the place. I have used a printer called Solidesign, especially if you are doing a lot of cars. Here is their website:
  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    Getting custom decals with white printing is not going to be easy. When Alps still made printers, they had a shite cartridge. There are other dyd-sub printers still out there but they are very expensive and made for large commercial users.

    I believe that Microscale decals are made by silkscreening, but getting good results on fine print like they do would be mind numbing.
    I guess you could get rubber stamps made, that's the same as pad printing. Imagine getting everything straight!
  6. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    I've had very good luck with Testors ELO (Easy Lift Off) paint remover and Chameleon Paint Stripper, but unfortunately neither one is currently available. I've also had very good luck with Scalecoat II Wash Away which is currently available at most hobby shops and online. On a side note, Minuteman Scale Models purchased the Scalecoat line a number of years ago, so not only is the paint remover available but the majority of the Scalecoat I and Scalecoat II paints still available. One of the big advantages with Scalecoat II Wash away is it's reusable.

    A number of years ago I had some custom decals made using one of the well known cottage industry decal companies that advertised in Model Railroader magazine. If you have photo ready artwork available, the price is very reasonable. If they have to create the artwork, that naturally adds to the cost.

    A third option is purchasing Ink Jet water side decal paper and printing your own decals as long as you don't need to print white. You will need some type of program like Corel Draw, Paint Shop Pro, Windows Paint, etc. for creating your artwork.
  7. NS Top Gon

    NS Top Gon New Member

    I have had good luck with 91% alcohol for complete stripping. I found by accident that if I wanted to just strip the lettering and keep the same base color, I could soak with full strength Simple Green Degreaser for a couple of hours. It worked well on Atlas and Life Like models. For complete stripping, I found some models had to be removed during the soak and scrubbed with a soft nylon brush or old toothbrush to speed up the process. I have only stripped one MDC/Roundhouse hopper. It was oxide red colored plastic that I just wanted to strip off the lettering since I was painting it black. I used the 91% alcohol and it turned the plastic a dull light rust color. It looked good for a rusty, weathered interior so I just painted the exterior black.
  8. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks for the suggestions!! Wondering if any might
    work in an ultrasonic cleaner? Or not safe?? Also heard, long
    ago, the Easy Off oven cleaner, sprayed on car(s) and sealed
    in plastic bag worked. I’ll keep everything in mind, when I’m
    ready to start stripping cars.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    I've heard that about Easy Off as well Keith but I've also heard it can attack certain plastics so if you go that route, do a test run first. :unsure:
  10. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    I use several methods. For Kato shells I use 91% alcohol or Testors ELO. For everything else I use Scalecoat II Wash Away or 91% in a pinch. I've read elsewhere, and found out, that Wash Away can make a Kato shell a bit brittle. I don't know if others have had the same experience. The only thing I use Easy Off(in the yellow can) is for stripping the chrome plating off of plastic model car parts. Never tired it with model rr items.
    As far as ultrasonic cleaners, I've used them with 2nd hand horribly painted metal table top miniatures after a soak in Acetone. Which by the way I'll go ahead and mention DO NOT USE Acetone with PLASTIC unless you like globs of goo. I never bother to take the minis off the plastic base and the acetone does that work for me well. Very, very well. So much for that public service announcement
    Back to the ultra sonic cleaner. I wouldn't think it would damage anything the mini figs come out fine. I only use water and a bit of non-scented Dawn dish detergent in mine when we dump mini figs in it after a soak. I've some $2 train show freight cars lying around for test purposes. I should slap them in some 91% and try it. I need to practice using Tru Color paints in my airbrush anyway.
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I have simply put the stripper solution in a long narrow glass jar and then placed that in the ultra sound bath filled with water. Solves the problem of a mess in the stripper bath. I use something like a small narrow olive jar. I also warm my stripper to about the temp of hot tap water about 130 Deg. F. Speeds the stripping action, I love Chameleon paint stripper just good luck finding it.

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