Working with brass

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I have one of the diesel switchers in brass and before it can be polished, or painted, the protective coating has to be removed. Iv'e tried metal polish and fingernail polish remover without any luck. Do any of you know what will take off this coating?
    Iv'e read, a number of times, that an engine was a brass model and had been painted to match the roadname. I would think that this coating would be removed prior to painting. Any suggestions?---------------------John
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Lacquer thinner (MEK) , I would think would strip it!
  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    maybe you could soak it in goo gone,but as for thinner id test it if youve never tried it as it might cause abbration or markigs.
  4. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Having painted brass steamers in the past unless you can see that the clearcoat is overly heavy'by that i mean really built up around the small detail's I wouldn't worry to much about removing'll make a good base coat for your paint.
    I would be more concernd as to which type/brand of paint i was going to use.
    Mine was always Scalecoat as it leaves a beautiful gloss finish ready to be decaled and then a coat of dulcoat to seal everything and ready it for any weathering you may wish to apply.
    Also with Scalecoat you need to bake the finish dry....Mom! dad's baking trains again!!!!
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I agree: the clearcoat is useful as a primer if it's not applied too heavily, as the manufacturer usually applies it over a coating of brass-coloured paint, which is in turn applied after the model has been thoroughly cleaned. (The brass paint covers both the solder joints and any brass that has been discoloured by heat during assembly.)

  6. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    There is an old B&O SW7 type switcher that works a couple of small sidings at a nearby Andersons plant. Moves the tank cars to the main I guess. The blue is mostly faded, lots of rust and dark stains.
    We drive past on our way to Kokomo and my brother and I had both seen it and agreed it was a pretty cool looking engine. I had said at some point that I would like to model it someday. I was thinking of an inexpensive plastic one to heavily weather like the prototype.
    About a year ago, he presents me with the EMD SW7 in brass. It was a gift, and rather expensive, so I was thinking of polishing rather than painting, but can't polish thru that coating, so that's what this thread was about. I think it would look great polished and all shined up because it's sort of dull looking now. I might try the paint thinner, that won't hurt the brass, and thanks all for your suggestions----------John
  7. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    If your serious about a highly polished brass display model you could always have the shell sandblasted and then reapply the clear coat.
  8. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I'm thinking I might dis-asssemble, drop the shell, frame and truck sides into a large can of paint remover for an hour. The surface is very smooth and the brass shines beautifully thru the couple of open spots in the clearcoat, so if I get the rest of the clearcoat off, I can shine it up by hand.
    I remember this clearcoat is murder to get off of imported sword blades also. Lots of elbow grease and fine steel wool for an hour or so. I'm clear out in the country, in the middle of nowhere, but I might try and find someone with a sandblaster. That would give a nice even finish--------John
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Do remember that polished brass doesn't stay that way. If you were in the military, you should remember those brass belt buckles and insignia that had to be polished all the time. They came with a protective coating.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    As I noted, the brass coloured paint is to cover the solder joints. When you strip it off, you'll expose not only the brass, but also the solder, which will stay polished for about 10 seconds. You may also be surprised at how much solder there can be on some older brass models.

  11. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Your both right, and I keep forgetting about the solder. This was just going to be a static display anyway. Thanks all of you for the good advice---------------John

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