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Model Railroading > Stripping KATO paint


Date: 11/13/20 05:13
Stripping KATO paint
Author: tuxedorailfan

Ladies and Gents, 

I'm getting ready to build a round of KCS SD40's in their 90's appearance. Long story short, what is the best way to strip Kato paint? I'm sure there's a thread here, but figured I'd start a new one to get some "new" input. 

I've heard horror stories and I want to make sure I do it right before I get in to deep with these. 

Thanks in advance, Dylan.



Date: 11/13/20 05:33
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: sp8192

Kato paint doesn't strip easily.  91% alcohol or 99% if you can find it.   Soak for a couple days, then use an old rag and scrub scrub scrub hard.   From all of the Kato's that I have stripped, the paint is ruthless...but it will come off.   Use a stiff old tooth brush to get in the smaller cracks.   Don't give up, keep scrubbing!   Let's see some progress pics as you go along in your journey!   Attached is one I did a few years back from a Kato....as you can see,  after it is stripped, the plastic will still have a tint to it from whatever paint was the top coat.   You will need to shoot a coat of primer after you strip..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/20 05:40 by sp8192.




Date: 11/13/20 05:38
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: exhaustED

Rubbing alcohol i.e. isopropyl alcohol?



Date: 11/13/20 05:46
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: tuxedorailfan

sp8192 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Kato paint doesn't strip easily.  91% alcohol or
> 99% if you can find it.   Soak for a couple
> days, then use an old rag and scrub scrub scrub
> hard.   From all of the Kato's that I have
> stripped, the paint is ruthless...but it will come
> off.   Use a stiff old tooth brush to get in the
> smaller cracks.   Don't give up, keep
> scrubbing!   Let's see some progress pics as you
> go along in your journey!   Attached is one I
> did a few years back from a Kato....as you can
> see,  after it is stripped, the plastic will
> still have a tint to it from whatever paint was
> the top coat.   You will need to shoot a coat of
> primer after you strip..

I've built a few before, just never done a Kato model out of the paint fear. I've heard stories and wanted to make sure I do it right before I screw it up. 

On a separate note, the 690 is on my list to do as I ran it when I was a teenager here in Meridian. I loved those Snoot nosed units.



Date: 11/13/20 07:45
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: BoilingMan

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rubbing alcohol i.e. isopropyl alcohol?

Yes. And I agree, I use the 91% I didn’t realize 99% was sold- that would probably be even better.
(71% is pretty weak)
It’s all a bit difficult to find these in these days of COVID-19, the hand washing/sanitizer crowd has really cleaned out the pharmacy’s supplies.
SR

Hmmm... There’s probably a joke in there somewhere.



Date: 11/13/20 08:21
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: exhaustED

BoilingMan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Rubbing alcohol i.e. isopropyl alcohol?
>
> Yes. And I agree, I use the 91% I didn’t
> realize 99% was sold- that would probably be even
> better.
> (71% is pretty weak)
> It’s all a bit difficult to find these in these
> days of COVID-19, the hand washing/sanitizer crowd
> has really cleaned out the pharmacy’s supplies.
>
> SR
>
> Hmmm... There’s probably a joke in there
> somewhere.

Lol, yeah it was in very short supply for a while, might be a bit easier to find now depending on where you are.



Date: 11/13/20 09:02
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: MrMRL

Pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart) all typically carry 70-91% isopropyl by the quart, do it yourself electronics stores would more likely stock the top end 99%.

And yeah, Kato models (especially older 1990s-mid 2000s era) are difficult to strip. It's almost like they some how powder coat their shells with colored pigment as opposed to a more traditional wet airbrush paint process. This allows for a very thin yet durable color coat on top of the shell while retaining all the fine tooling details. That pigment is difficult to break down though with alcohol, and harsher chemicals have been known to damage or even melt Kato plastic. you have to really let it soak for 24-36 hours, scrub away with an old toothbrush, soak again, wait 24 hr, scrub... and in the end there wil still be a ghost of the colors, but primer will take care of the residue.


I have read of successful Kato paint removal with media blasting, but then it you don't have the required hardware already, that can become an expensive endeavor.


~ Mr. MRL



Date: 11/13/20 10:22
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: tuxedorailfan

MrMRL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart) all typically
> carry 70-91% isopropyl by the quart, do it
> yourself electronics stores would more likely
> stock the top end 99%.
>
> And yeah, Kato models (especially older 1990s-mid
> 2000s era) are difficult to strip. It's almost
> like they some how powder coat their shells with
> colored pigment as opposed to a more traditional
> wet airbrush paint process. This allows for a very
> thin yet durable color coat on top of the shell
> while retaining all the fine tooling details. That
> pigment is difficult to break down though with
> alcohol, and harsher chemicals have been known to
> damage or even melt Kato plastic. you have to
> really let it soak for 24-36 hours, scrub away
> with an old toothbrush, soak again, wait 24 hr,
> scrub... and in the end there wil still be a ghost
> of the colors, but primer will take care of the
> residue.
>
>
> I have read of successful Kato paint removal with
> media blasting, but then it you don't have the
> required hardware already, that can become an
> expensive endeavor.
>
>
> ~ Mr. MRL

Mr.MRL I actually thought about you earlier... I purchased two of the Athearn MRL tunnel motors to strip down to become KCS 4500 series units. I know that's blasphemous, but sometimes things have to happen!



Date: 11/13/20 15:09
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: BNModeler

Try Scalecoat Wash Away, works every time



Date: 11/14/20 14:37
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: up833

There are some posts here on TO about Chamaleon paint stripped and if they are still in business. BUT, I tried it once on a Kato shell. As directed the paint didnt come off but it did cause the plastic to become brittle and easy to break, I would describe it as crumbly. Looking at the contents I think its "Glycols Esters" thats bad for the Kato plastic.
RB



Date: 11/15/20 11:04
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: CNW

up833 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are some posts here on TO about Chamaleon
> paint stripped and if they are still in business.
> BUT, I tried it once on a Kato shell. As directed
> the paint didnt come off but it did cause the
> plastic to become brittle and easy to break, I
> would describe it as crumbly. Looking at the
> contents I think its "Glycols Esters" thats bad
> for the Kato plastic.
> RB

I have used Chamaleon on Kato shells and have also experienced the brittle and crumbling issues.  After trying several methods, I've settled on grit blasting using household baking soda as the grit media.  The grit blasting also works great on truck side frames and plastic handrails to help the paint stick better.

Dennis



Date: 11/15/20 12:52
Re: Stripping KATO paint
Author: PHall

I've used the 91% alcohol on Kato shells and it works just fine without causing any damage, just gotta be patient.
An ultrasonic tooth brush works pretty good at getting the paint off after the soak too.



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