Why a picture of Dettol on a model railway blog? Read more to find out how a household disinfectant can help your railway modeling.
This is great model making tip I’ve read about a lot in the military diorama and wargaming blogs but not seen raised in the railway modeling community.
Essentially, it’s how to remove acrylic and enamel paints from plastic models but as it’s both cheaper and more effective than standard branded products in the model market I’m sharing it here.
Paint stripping plastic is something all modelers will be faced with at some point.
Whether it’s correcting an earlier accident/mistake or refreshing the paint on an old model the old paint needs removing before applying new coats. (Not doing so leads to loss of detail and a poor seal).
You could just buy the standard off-the-shelf paint removers sold by model shops. They’re good but typically expensive.
But as I’m out to show you, there’s a much cheaper alternative.
And that alternative is non-other that school children’s loathed disinfectant Dettol.
As said I don’t take credit for the idea. I read about some time ago on other model making blogs but it doesn’t seem to have had much attention in the railway space.
A step by step guide is described over on Realm Of Chaos.
- Dunk the model in undiluted Dettol for approx 4 hours.
- Remove the model from the Dettol and scrub it with a toothbrush and one if the thick washing liquids.
- Rinse clean in cold water.
That’s it. Simple. Effective. Cheap.
With fresh Dettol and reasonable soaking time, old paint comes off easily and cleanly.
One word of warning, however, as I learned with a Ratio signal box I wanted to repaint (see right), soaking in Dettol will also break down glue. For me, this wasn’t actually bad as it means the model can also be glued again so correcting a couple of gluing errors but it’s something to be wary of.
Read the full guide on the link above but let me know how you get on and if it works for you.
>A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.