I am planning to repainting an MTH Premier GP_38 engine. The current paint scheme is a Florida East Coast. I want to paint it into a Lehigh Valley scheme. The body of the engine has been removed and all trim and accessories have been removed so I have a bare shell.I have painted several engines in the past but never an MTH. I used ScaleCoat stripper as I have in the past. This stripper usually works very fast and gives a clean surface to work with. I tried the stripper with the MTH engine and it had no effect. Whatever paint MTH uses seems to be very tough.Since the Scale Coat stripper didn't work I tried Testors stripper and Magic Strip stripper. Same results.. I have used brake fluid in the past but I am reluctant to do so because it sometimes causes paint adhesion problems. Has anyone had experience stripping MTH engines and has any suggestion as to how I should go about it

Thanks Joe

Original Post

I have stripped quite a few O scale bodies from Atlas, MTH, and Lionel.  I use 94-99% isopropyl alcohol. Be sure to work in a space that does not have an open flame (gas stove, gas oven, hot water heater, dryer, etc.). Put your shell in a large container with a lid (it is best to set something in the bottom so the shell sits off of the bottom), fill the container almost to the top with the alcohol, put a layer of sandwich wrap over the container and then put on the lid.  Let this soak for 24 hours. Then use a stiff tooth brush or kitchen brush to help scrub the paint.  Sometimes it is a tough job, especially if the shell has been painted with thick gloss paint.  One of the hardest strips was a RailKing Overton coach body.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Consider bead blasting, I did that to some MTH boxcars and it worked very well.  Of course, if you use fine sandpaper to knock down any edges of lettering, you could just leave the old paint on it.

That’s what I do with 99% of my repaints...I leave the old paint right on there, unless there is an adhesion problem from the get go.....I avoid strippers, and chemicals at all costs on plastic bodies.....scuff with fine, and I do mean fine paper to blend out lines and multiple colors, scuff the entire piece with fine scotchbrite, then wash, seal and coat....and you get paint work that looks like this: E8135966-FC17-4239-BD97-23774CD402E3

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep


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Having never painted an engine or car, none the less, this is of interest to me.

I'm looking at a engine right now that might be a future project.

Do you actually use a (small) paint brush, if so, how do you avoid brush streaks...?

I would think that a spray technique would leave a more even coat, and avoid streaks...

Pat C...


*** If you find yourself in control, then your not going fast enough   ~    Mario Andretti...    ***

I just thought I would up date everyone as to the status of my MTH diesel repaint project that initially generated this discussion . I tried Jack Hess method and it does work.The problem that I ran into is the MTH locomotive shell had three different layers of paint. The Florida East Coast paint scheme used on the shell was blue and white with red striping .The entire body was painted white, with a blue covering 3/4s of the body .Red striping completed the paint scheme along with white lettering.On top of all of this was clear coat to seal the lettering. Following  Jacks instructions it took 2 weeks to remove all of the finishes to get a completely stripped body. I just painted the shell the other day using Tru Color paints with good results.I hope to complete the project this week and hope to share some pix .


Pat C... posted:
I would think that a spray technique would leave a more even coat, and avoid streaks...

Gosh, I don't know anyone that actually tries to repaint a whole locomotive or car with a brush, and I can't imagine that having a decent result!  I'm an amateur painter myself, but I use rattle cans.  I've tinkered with an air brush, but tinkered is how I'd describe it.

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