Wednesday, October 12, 2022


Tidying up my study over the weekend I opened a box containing a locomotive build I started almost two years ago in December 2020, and which for some reason never made it to the blog. Given December 2020 was just a few months before our second son was born, my free time disappeared and I didn't get very far and the part built chassis get stored away in a box. Unfortunately time hasn't been particularly kind to the model, although it would appear that's my fault for not reading the instructions properly.
As you can probably tell from the photo this is the chassis for a 16mm scale locomotive, and it's constructed from laser cut steel pieces. Specifically this is one of I P Engineerings deluxe heavy duty dual gauge chassis. The kit this is part of has separate instruction sheets for the chassis and body and as I like to have the chassis running first I started by assembling the chassis.

The instructions were easy to follow and include numerous photos showing the chassis being built up with the raw steel pieces, and given that it will be completely hidden on the final model, I did just that and gave no thought to painting it. In retrospect I know steel rusts but this was the first time I'd used steel in a model build so didn't think anything of leaving it as it was. Clearly that was a mistake.

To be fair the first instruction on the sheet for building the body reads...

Start by preparing and painting the chassis components as the steel will eventually go rusty if it is not protected
which, as I now know, is completely accurate. But that brings us to something else I've never had to do before: remove rust from steel parts. There were some spare buffer plates in the kit which I don't need but which had also rusted so that gave me something to experiment on.

After a hunt around the Internet the most promising option, given what I had in the house, was just to spray on some WD-40 and then rub it down with a pan scrubber. As you can see this seems to work nicely. There is still some slight discoloration of the metal surface, but it looks pretty good to me. So next step for this kit will be to strip the chassis down completely, before removing all the rust, painting the parts and then re-assembly.