Re: Disassembly of BS Boxcar

Stop these emails. Thank you. <lwreno@...>

It is possible, BUT...... I have stripped and repainted many of these cars using 91% isopropyl alcohol.  Complete disassembly is not needed nor recommended due to parts shedding and breakage.  These cars are not designed for routine disassembly.  I soak the car for about 1/2 hour for starters.  The paints used by the manufacturer do not all react in similar ways to the alcohol:  their bc red fortunately goes away fairly quickly but their under frame black  is very stubborn.  Get some fairly stiff brushes because every surface needs to be scrubbed to remove the paint that hides in corners and some sort of nearly insoluble chemical residues that occurs occasionally in the process.  Mostly you remove the coatings by abrading  them rather than by simply dissolving them. These paints are some sort of solvent based mix and do not easily dissolve like Tamiya or PBL's Star brand.  The  alcohol seems to act mainly by releasing their surface binding.   There may also be some evidence here and there on the bare plastic afterwards of mild reaction to the paint.  Watch out on boxcar roof panels, for example.  Some polishing  with a heavy cloth or even fine sand paper (1200  grit or finer) may help these areas return to a completely smooth surface.  The plastic used on these cars, by the way, is very difficult to attach parts to via regular solvent glues such as Testors or MEK.  ACC works, but is not exactly eloquent, as we all learn in time.

Stripping the under frames is just plan heavy labor.  The paint does not lift voluntarily but must be scrapped off with sharp instruments fine enough to get into the tight areas.  I use the tips of small jewelers screw drivers with good effect here.  Many glue joints on the  under frames can and will fail so watch out that you don't  damage things any more than you need too.  Also go through the paint chips and other debris on the bottom of your stripping container looking for any small parts that end up there.  Grab irons love to pop off and coupler lift bars invariably join them in the gunk.  Check your door hardware as you go to make sure you know where  it is.  These  pieces are molded in red plastic that makes them hard to see in the paint chips.  The grab irons are  actually blacken wire and easier to see.  However, they stubbornly retain paint and may require scrapping with a screw driver blade for complete  cleaning.  

I really don't recommend this job unless you have very compulsive standards for the finish of your rolling stock.  Both Thinfilm and San Juan decals give noticeably better lettering and you just can't beat Star Brand paints for high quality and ease of application.  Stripping a Blackstone car tends  to demystify it and reveals the limitations of Chinese workmanship in rather depressing ways.  I estimate that I put in about 2 hours of actual labor per car to do this job.  The  under frame is by far the greatest expenditure of time and energy to deal  with.  The exteriors are relatively easy in comparison, but there is always the occasional car with some degree of plastic deformity due to the manufacturer's not quite compatible paint formulas.  Residual manufacturer's adhesive, whatever they use, can be a real nightmare to get rid of.  Parts reattachment can be done effectively, but watch out for truss rods getting stretched or deformed because they don't like  this sort of handling all that well.

Fortunately, the tan paint used for interior surfaces does release fairly well from the metal under frames so you boxcar and gondola interiors can be repainted as you wish.  

Good luck!

-----Original Message-----ou
From: Dusty <>
To: HOn3 <>Sent: Fri, Feb 22, 2019 6:56 pm
Subject: [HOn3] Disassembly of BS Boxcar

Has anyone taken a Blackstone box car apart? I'd like to try to strip and repaint a couple. Maybe it's not possible?

Dusty Burman  parts 

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