Hello Ya'll I was wondering if...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by vanda32547, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    I was told a while back that in order to strip the old paint off of rolling stock one should soak it in ... was it "brake fluid"? Is this true and what needs to be done in order to strip the old stuff off?

    Thanks for any suggestions,
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Well, Bob,

    It depends entirely of what the old stock is made of. And what you want to strip off.
  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I've used brake fluid to strip paint of a number of different rolling stock(most recently CSX6638's Gauge box car) with good results. I usually let it soak overnight, then take a old toothbrush(or cheapy from the dollar store) to brush off the old paint. Make sure you wash it real good with soap and water before repainting. Some of Bachmans rolling stock is made in yellow plastic, trying to get all the yellow out( as I found out from experince) isn't going to happen.
    Hope this helps
  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I use brake fluid to soak off the paint and decals on plastic rolling stock or locos. I let it soak for about 1 hour then scrub gently with a old toothbrush. If need be repeat the process untill you have everything off. Very cheap plastics like some Model Power and older Bachman and Life-Like are very soft and detail parts like stirrups can brake off if left to soak for hours on end. However the scale quality of the afore mentioned is so bad I rarely ever consider using em' in the first place. There are a lot of rubber and plastic parts inside your brake system on your vechicles which is why it's safe to use brake fluid on any kind of DECENT grade plastic. Brake fluid is water soluable so clean up is a breeze. The preceeding is based on my experience only and does not necessarily reflect the views of management, staff, sponsers, other Gauge members, the United States Armed Forces, Sadam Hussien, members of Hollywood's elite left wing or Dorthy and Toto! :D :p :rolleyes: :D D*mn I've been watching toooooo much T.V. lately! :eek: :D I always rinse well with luke warm water and prime before painting. I never have used soap like 88 but it can't hurt. Like 88 said some will have color molded into the plastic so after you get off what you can a coat of primer to give you a even base color will ensure a good paint job.
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member


    you're right, brake fluid it is. You should get it at any automobile supply store. However, it is not exactly cheap :D (at least here in Europe).

    When I was (re-)modeling and superdetailing racing cars I used it to strip metal model cars (like BBurago models) from their paint. Do just like Tyson said - soak it overnight etc. etc. I submersed the model in a glass bowl which was big enough to completely cover the model with brake fluid.

    However if you have a plastic model, a little bit of caution is in order. I would place a drop of brake fluid on an inconspicious part of the model (say on the inside of a tender shell) and let it react overnight. If the plastic doesn't dissolve or feel sticky, then you can go on with the model. Otherwise you have to look for another paint remover - or you have to sand down any raised printed-on markings, and then spray new paint over the old paint coat.

    (On my first try I had a bad experience: I dunked a whole (!) Ferrari into brake fluid without prior testing - next morning the metal shell was practically clean, but almost all of the plastic parts had turned into a gooey mess! :mad: )

    Hope this helps - but don't ask me about the chemical composition of brake fluid. Sometimes I wonder why the brake pipes on my car still exist... :eek: :D

  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Gee whiz, Ron, that musta taken lots of brake fluid! Did you drive it in or push it? :D :D :D

    My bad experiance with brake fluid had nothing to do with trains, besides it eating the paint off the fender of my Jeep, I didn't know there was American brake fluid and British brake fluid, and the two are different, and they are not friendly with each other. Well, then I bought an MG with the brakes out. After the repair and topping it off, I found mixing dot 3 with whatever was in there turns it all to jelly. Yep, no brakes at all! Whooooooo doggy, to quote Jed Clampit. Junky old MGs sure seem plenty fast when they have no brakes! After flushing it all out and putting in some cstrol brake fluid which is happy with both fluids, it was OK. The prediction was that it would eat all the rubber seals and have to redo all the brake cylinders, but that never happened.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Brake fluid is mostly denatured alcohol with some sort of lubricant.
    You can get denatured alcohol at any Home Depot or paint store. It is sold as a paint thinner. I like Pine Sol cleaner full strength to strip paint from plastic. Brake fluid and denatured alcohol can tend to dry out the plastic. I've found Pine Sol is very gentle on plastics. I've even used it on Atlas/Kato shells without damage, and they are known to be delecate.
  8. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    WOW...you guys are great!

    Thanks for all the insite and comic releif in some cases. The Pine Sol comment intrigues me. You stated that you used it full strength? How long did you soak the item? Heck, even my wife can't complain about the smell of that as a stripping agent. :D

    Maybe she can use the left over soak to clean the floors ;)

    Thanks again,
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I soak an item in Pine Sol over 24 hours +/-. I would put it in in the evening, and take it out after work the next day when I got home. Once I forgot and left a shell in Pine Sol for a week, and the shell started to soften, but I took it out and rinsed it. After it dried, it hardened right up with no damage and no evidence it had ever softened.

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