to expand my fleet without spending money, I looked into stripping
paint from some old shells that I have. After doing some research,
I decided to try brake fluid. It's by far the cheapest method, as
you can pick this stuff up at the dollar store for a buck a pint.
I tested it on three different shells. 1) an old Model Power/Tyco
shell previously painted in Santa Fe Warbonnet, 2) an old Bachmann
Brill Trolley, and 3) an Athearn GP-35 previously painted in Erie
Lackawanna. The process was to set the shells in the tub of brake
fluid and let them soak for 20-30 min. After that, I came back and
with ample ventilation, scrub the shells with an old toothbrush. It
took quite some time, but the results were fantastic. The most difficult
area to remove proved to be the stripe around the Athearn GP-35 which
was 2 layers of paint. After an hour or so of scrubbing, I left it
there. I got most of it, so I am satisfied. Overall, the brake fluid
proved to be a really effective stripper. I'd recommend it, but watch
out! This stuff CAN attack certain types of plastic. It's best to
test a small amount on an unseen area first.
||Here are all
three shells lined up.
||Again, from other
||Closeup of the
Athearn GP-35. Sorry about the blurriness. Note the stubborn grey
stripe around the body.
Trolley. This one had paint on it that I just could not get off! Some
of the orange/gold wouldn't come off after several days of scrubbing.
I did notice some cracking of the finish on this model. A sign that
the Brake Fluid may have been attacking the plastic.
||The Model Power/Tyco
(?) shell. This one really went well. The fluid took nearly all the
paint off save for some stubborn areas of detail.
Workshop - last updated 03/15/2004 - email firstname.lastname@example.org