Stripathon! or, An Evening with my Good Friend Alcohol…

No, no, no. Not that kind of alcohol, and not that kind of stripping.

I spent some time tonight disassembling and stripping the paint off of some Walthers hopper kits to prepare them for detailing.


Yesterday these dozen cars were in such varied paint schemes as Conrail, FEC, William Bros./Blue Circle Cement, and even WC/AC. It’s interesting how underneath the paint the cars were also cast in varying colours of plastic.

A bath of 90% rubbing alcohol from the drugstore attacked the paint and lettering quite nicely – in less than five minutes the lettering was literally floating off of the yellow cars. Most of the paint came off quite easily by scrubbing with an old tootbrush, although it took a little elbow grease to get most of the paint out of the corners.

5 thoughts on “Stripathon! or, An Evening with my Good Friend Alcohol…

  1. I must say, your post didn’t quite live up to the title’s expectations. 🙂

    I’ve read that Simple Green cleaner (which can be found from Canadian Tire) also strips paint, etc., off miniatures pretty well, but I have yet to try it out.

  2. Chris, I don’t know why, but I never seem to have any luck stripping factory paint from plastic models. Just two examples: it took days to get the paint off of a Proto 2000 SW9 body, so eventually I gave up. I stripped the paint from a pair of Walthers coil cars and I never did get the paint out of the corners. I’ve used 99% alcohol, 90% alcohol, Pinesol, and the purple degreasing detergent that you get at Walmart (I forget the brand name). The last one worked the best, but still, I think I’m cursed.


    • I had a couple of old Walthers coil car kits (remember Walthers KITS, in the old red & grey boxes?) that I was trying to strip as well but the alcohol wasn’t doing much to touch the paint on those at all even after soaking for two days. These hoppers on the other hand start scrubbing right off in 5-10 minutes!

  3. I guess it varies depending on the paint the manufacturer uses. I’m always reluctant to buy a painted car that I would like to repaint. I would hate to spend the dough and then find out that the paint won’t come off, or that only enough paint comes off to ruin the factory finish 😉

    My roadswitcher project is getting close enough to being finished that I can start thinking about other, much simpler projects like those coil cars.

    What are your plans for these hoppers?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− one = 7