Model Restoration

Section 2 - Paint Stripping.

Warning - the substances used in this section are extremely corrosive and should be used carefully. Always wear rubber gloves, eye protection and clothing protection such as a plastic apron. If you should come in contact with the substances, wash the area thoroughly with cold running water and seek medical help immediately.

Now that you have the model stripped to its component parts it will be ready for removing the old paint.
There are basically three methods that can be used 2 of which use caustic solutions to dissolve the paint the other method involves using sand or glass beads blasted at high pressure. This last method known as sand or bead blasting requires fairly expensive equipment - an air compressor, bead blasting gun and a booth to operate in. It is used mainly by professional restorers so I will just cover the first 2 methods.

The first method is to use a proprietary paint stripper such as Nitromoors.

This is a thick gel like substance that is painted on to the part, left for a few minutes then brushed and rinsed with water (Always read the instructions of the product you use as times and methods may vary for different manufacturers). This process is repeated until all the paint is removed.

The other method is to use a substance called Caustic Soda.
This is usually available from hardware and DIY shops - its primary use is for cleaning drains and is made by various manufacturers.

This is used to make a solution in which the model is submerged for a few minutes and then rinsed in cold water. I use the following method:

Use a polythene container (NEVER metal - it will dissolve) large enough to take the parts. Place all the parts to be stripped in it.

Pour boiling water over the parts until they are submerged.

Add the caustic soda to the water - NEVER ADD WATER TO THE CAUSTIC SODA - it will spit everywhere.

Add at the approximate rate of 1 or 2 teaspoons to a half litre of water.

Add it slowly as the water will boil up and froth.

Leave the part in the solution for a couple of minutes then using a piece of wire, old pliers etc. (definitely NOT fingers) hook out the part.

Check to see if all the paint has been removed - if not put back in the solution for another couple of minutes. An old toothbrush or small wire brush can be used to brush softened paint out of corners and detailed areas.

Once all the paint has been removed, wash the parts thoroughly under cold running water for a few minutes.

This will remove all traces of the caustic solution.

Dry the model using kitchen towel or just leave to dry naturally.

The stripped shell ready for repainting.

Don't forget that the baseplate, wheels and any other parts will need to go through this process. They can all be done at the same time to save on solution.


Proceed to section 3 - Repainting / Return to Restoration Main page

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