Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pass the Dettol

No there hasn't been any medical procedures happening on the Bogong and Geehi. Nor has there been any need to kill any germs. I have been stripping paint and using Dettol antiseptic disinfectant to do it.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to buy an Alco Models On30 brass Victorian Railways Na locomotive. It is a beautiful model, but it came painted in an orange paint scheme that Puffing Billy used in the 1990's. It wasn't really suitable for a late 1940's era layout.

I decided that it was time to paint it a nice basic black. The issue was, how do I remove the paint. After seeking advice from modellers more knowledgeable than I, we decided that soaking in enamel paint thinners was the way to go. I don't know what the orange paint was but after three days of soaking no amount of scrubbing would remove any paint.

So it was on to plan "B". A google search of " removing enamel paint from models " came up with this link to wikihow which suggests using Dettol. I had read on a forum sometime ago that modelers had used Dettol with success so looking for a non toxic approach I thought I would try it.

I followed the instructions on wikihow which recommends mixing one part Dettol with one part water. I don't know if it was because the loco had been in enamel thinners or it happens normally but when I put it in the liquid it started to bubble. It continued to bubble for hours. The kids thought it was great. Wikihow suggests soaking for 24 hours but the bubbling was making me nervous so I pulled it out after 12 hours. I still had an unharmed loco but the paint was literally falling off. Some of the details had thicker paint that wouldn't budge so I put it back in for another 12 hours.
Virtually all paint was gone. It did take a bit of scrubbing with a toothbrush and tooth pick to get the last of it off . A wash under running water has now gotten me a model ready for the paint shop