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jeffb

csc aint breakin the clear coat..

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im stripping chrome of an original 55 revell buick 1/32.. the chrome went quick, but the clear wont budge. its been in the tank for two weeks. ive stripped many, many kits and this is the first that wont come off. ill try all the others, but id rather not try 47 different chemicals to get if off. what sayith the flock?

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easy off oven cleaner in the yellow can....always worked for me B)

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im stripping chrome of an original 55 revell buick 1/32.. the chrome went quick, but the clear wont budge. its been in the tank for two weeks. ive stripped many, many kits and this is the first that wont come off. ill try all the others, but id rather not try 47 different chemicals to get if off. what sayith the flock?

You're dealing with 55-yr old vacuum plating here, Jeff. This type of plating has used many different clears for base-coating the plastic over the years, varnishes, non-penetrating lacquers, modified clear enamels, the whole gamut.

My stripper of choice for "chrome" for decades has been sodium hydroxide, commonly called lye, which is the active ingredient in oven cleaners (Easy-Off), drain openers (Drano in every drain once a week stuff), and of course is available in crystalline form as "Lewis Red Devil Lye", which is available in most every supermarket in the land, in the cleaning supplies section of the store, right along with drain openers etc. Lewis Lye can be mixed to just about any strength you want, simply by adding more of the crystals to room temperature water (NEVER add water to lye crystals though--Vesuvius can, and will erupt, right in your face!) I like to use about 5 teaspoons of Lewis Lye to a glass cereal bowl of lukewarm (room temperature) water, and stir that gently to dissolve the lye. At all times, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) needs to be worn--gloves (try the modern Nitrile Exam gloves), eye protection (safety shield), and at least a long sleeved shirt--as Lye burns, will dissolve skin, severely injure the eyes). Generally, with this concentration, plating comes off the plastic faster than it can dissolve, and with the parts left in the solution for a couple of hours, the clear basecoating can be scrubbed off with an old toothbrush under running water at the sink.

Another thought as well: With some clear coats, especially those that yellow, they can actually stain the plastic (some styrene blends are notoriously porous!), and while the plastic surface itself is clean, that staining can mislead one to believe that the clear basecoat isn't gone yet (been there, experienced that!).

It goes without saying, however, that lye should never be used in any sort of non-ferrous metal such as copper, brass or aluminum (lye will dissolve aluminum in a NY minute--remember that plating in nearly all model car kits is extremely thin pure aluminum!), but glass, plastic or stainless steel vessels are just fine with it.

Lye is also bio-degradable, in fact it occurs in nature--simple water on any sort of wood ashes creates the stuff, which is more than can be said for some of the other chemicals that get mentioned in threads such as this one. It can be poured down the drain safely, will dissolve grease in the kitchen sink drain for example.

For some of the modern "modified enamels", especially Testor's and Tamiya lacquers, lye seems to have virtually no effect, that's when 91% or stronger isopropyl alcohol (so called "rubbing alcohol" in high concentration) comes into play.

Trisodium Phosphate will also dissolve most of those clear coats used in vacuum plating, A/K/A Westley's Whitewall Cleaner. Straight TSP can be had at any good home improvement or paint store selling furniture refinishing supplies, it's used in stripping some kinds of varnishes from wood.

Hope this wordy missal helps!

Art

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Art, I don't think Red Devil Lye is readily available anymore. It is a major component in meth produciton and most stores no longer sell it for that reason.

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Scale Coat will take it right off, It's sold in th model train section at most hobby shops, And costs around $10-$11 here is a pic of the bottle.

post-4101-033418600 1292125369_thumb.jpg

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Again, I say Simple Green. Safe to use, fairly inexpensive. The only paint I have had trouble removing with it is flat black.

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