Fifty-One Shades of Gray

I have talked, or rather blogged, about paint stripping in previous blogs.  It is not a job I enjoy.  I have ruined models with different concoctions (Pine-Sol really doesn't like Walthers train cars) and have had comments about the smells in the house.  Isopropyl Alcohol smells like a hospital.  Pine-Sol has a nasty stink that never goes away once it's touched one of your models.  Simple Green smells like flat pop.

For the most part, the chemicals used do the job.  Some paints float off the plastic minutes after going into alcohol, but won't budge in Simple Green.  Sometimes it happens the opposite way.

But there is one thing...one thing that does not play nice with any paint stripper:

Athearn Gray...specifically, the gray they use for Seaboard, or L&N equipment.

I once read that the least popular model railroad locomotives sold were Seaboard System and L&N.  While the paint schemes are attractive, the paint just does not want to come off.  This may be the reason they're always so cheap on e-Bay and other sites...custom painters don't want to tackle the paint!

What takes minutes for other paints does not even affect the gray paint...it takes vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush just to remove some of the paint.  Some...as in, you might have a difficult time getting it all.

I have had Santa Fe blue and yellow units dropped into fresh alcohol and the paint floats off in minutes.  Barely any scrubbing required, and usually only because of the depressions around doors and in grills.  The gray does not budge...what is it made of?

I may have to try Super Clean, or get a grit blaster.

And remember...if you're stripping down anything, a mask and gloves don't hurt.  Goggles are probably a good idea as well.