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Monday, March 12, 2012

#426 Project ~ Cleaning and Preparing Brass for Painting

Dusty and tarnished, #426 is in need of a good cleaning and surface preparation if its going to hold paint for the years of busy service I have planed for it.

 Firstly~ I completely disassembled the model and removed anything that is not brass from the shell.

 Secondable~ The shell is soaked in a 50/50 mix of Pine-Sol and water for a few minutes. If I was removing paint I would have let it soak overnight.

Scrub-a-dub gently with an old tooth brush, front, back, and in-between. Thoroughly rinse with clean water afterwards. Water and brass are pretty rambunctious together and cause a lot of trouble. So I sent that water packing as soon as possible.I used the wife's blow-drier to dry the model immediately. 

Now that the model is clean and tarnish free, we need to get all oil/grease off of it. A fifteen minute soak in White Vinegar will not only do that but also chemically etch the brass, giving it a tooth that will help the paint adhere better. Rinse and dry again. The model can't be handled with bare hands anymore since oils from the skin will prevent the paint sticking. I have actually seen a paint chip in the shape of a finger print on a model once! So wear cotton gloves to handle the model from here on out.

What a difference! Nice bright brass again. But notice it isn't a mirror finish. If it was new brass, a bead blasting would be recommended to etch the surface. So we are now ready for the paint shop. Yes sir! Off to the paint shop!