At the Greenberg this past weekend I picked up a nice little IVES 3241 set with 3 cars. The train runs very well but the amount f dust and dirt caked on just looks nasty. Like my 3242, the paint flakes off if you look at it funny. So I'd like to clean it up as much as possible without destroying the original paint. Any suggestions?
Those early ones don't usually flake. I think that is just play wear and tear. Is it actively flaking?That paint is hard to clean, without cleaning it off completely or permanently damaging it. Red is very fragile.
Tepid-slightly colder water and a very soft toothbrush will remove a lot of the dust/dirt, but make sure you dry it completely afterwards. Water spots will show up if left to dry. Soap will likely stain that paint.
I would go get you some soft microfiber towels. Soak one in tepid water, ring it out and gently start wiping the pieces down. Rinse the towel frequently, and change the water for clean as it will get filthy quick. A little time and elbow grease will make it look significantly better. Use a dry one to dry as you go.
Wash the towels in the washing machine with detergent first, before cleaning your trains, to get all the mfg. chemicals and dye residues off.