The joys of model railroading, chemicals and things which can stink up your apartment really good (not to mention what they can do if you ingest them) if you aren’t careful. Being aware of the potential dangers of different paints and glues, and being responsible with using them is a very important part of the hobby. You need to make sure you read and follow the safety instructions on every product you use.
As part of the project to convert the Bachmann Thomas and Friends Skarloey to the Talyllyn Railway “Talyllyn” (see here and here), I need to remove the existing paint from the Bachmann model. The paint is really thick, especially on the plastic parts. So much so, that when i started stripping the paint, I didn’t realize there were rivet details cast into parts of the plastic cab and parts of the diecast body! The good news is, I don’t seem to need to resort to any really crazy chemicals that modellers use like Automotive Brake Fluid or EZ-Off Oven cleaner that other modellers swear by for stripping paint. A can of Testors Easy-Lift-Off that I had has quickly cut through the Bachmann paint. Unfortunately, this is still a stinky chemical product. Which means wearing gloves when handling parts (a good idea anyways when painting or using adhesives) and fumes, which push the work out to the balcony of our apartment for ventilation, even with a mask on. It’s been a cold couple of nights on the balcony in mid-November with a plastic tray and a collection of brushes removing the paint, but it’s worked, and with a minimum of sanding for intransigent paint, I’ve reached a point where I was ready to put primer on to start the re-painting process.
Bachmann Skarloey, mostly stripped of paint revealing the surprising amount of detail beneath a very heavy coat of paint on the Thomas & Friends model aimed at younger folks.
I’ve primed the stripped locomotive body as well. I’m not happy with the coverage on the cab, there are a couple of spots where the primer went on a bit heavy and ran, which means I’ll probably wind up stripping it and re-priming it, but that won’t take very long.
Skarloey in primer after completing stripping the original paint. Note the new wire handrails on the water tank replacing the cast in bumps form the original version. I forgot to put the 3D printed smokebox door on for the photos.
In my most recent Shapeways order, I received the print for the boiler backhead I drew up to fill the cab and make it look a bit better. Once the body of the locomotive is re-painted and assembled, this will be installed in the cab to make it look a bit more realistic, rather than just a big open space. Along with a driver/fireman figure in the small cab, this will fill the space and make it hopefully look a lot better.
3D printed backhead for Talyllyn’s cab. Clear styrene painted with transparent blue paint will be inserted between the two sets of large rectangles to model the water glasses on the boiler.
I’ve also got a brass casting for a Westinghouse Air Pump to mount on the side of the smokebox, and brass stanchions and wire for the smokebox handrail. Once I’m happy with the priming on the parts, It will be off to the paint shop to spray glossy black over most of the locomotive, with a dull/grimy black smokebox, and cream cab interior.
Once Talylln is complete, the next narrow gauge task on my to-do list is to finalize the track plan for a small shelf layout with OO9 gauge track so I have somewhere to display and run the finished Talyllyn and some OO9 freight cars I’m planning on ordering. I fortunately discovered I have a stash of extra Ikea shelf’s we aren’t using in the apartment (yay cleaning!), so at least I know I have somewhere to work, I just need to come up with a functional track plan and purchase track.