Re: Painting HO Scale Brass

Paul Hillman

Thanks everybody for the wonderful in-depth info on painting brass. My main concern is adherence of the paint especially on handrails & corners of parts. Grit-blasting down to clean brass and/or etching with vinegar & salt (HCL) are the beginning. Baking is a necessity, I agree also.
It appears that Scalecoat I paint wins out as the preferred paint to use for brass. However I have a problem acquiring it. I'm north of Houston, TX, and Walthers says (and my local Hobby Shop) that Scalecoat can't be shipped to Texas due to some "specialized permit". (Maybe I could drive to a hobby shop in Louisiana or Oklahoma. That's only a few 100 miles !) Maybe it's even illegal to bring it across the state line?
Seems like all other hobby paints are available here. Since Scalecoat is enamel-based, what about the qualities of like Testors enamels? Or, some kind of acrylic that "shrinks" for good adherence?
I tried the vinegar & salt and it worked ! I didn't leave the parts in the mix too long, but the cleaning-etching was obviously working. When ready to do the final cleaning, will leave the brass in the mixture longer, watching for any bad-affects on the solder (maybe). It doesn't bring it down to a "shiny" brass color. The surface remains darker in areas due to surface oxides, or whatever, not "dirts" or oils. Will the proper paints adhere to these surface-oxides, or is grit-blasting best down to entirely clean brass?
I tried CLR cleaner and it seems to do about the same level of general cleaning as the vinegar & salt, but don't know about it's etching ability. It tends to leave a reddish color, due to the copper in the brass, I believe.
Paul Hillman

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