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Painting, detailing and decaling Tips, techniques, and discussions about painting, detailing or decaling rolling stock or scenery.


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Old 10-19-2019, 10:57 AM   #1
NorfolkSouthernguy
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Preserving BRASS units for display

I have been wondering for some time now how to display my brass units while keeping them clean from tarnish. I have a pair of sisters (as I call them) Overland SD40-2’s as well as maybe 4 or 6 other brass units. These units are in absolute superb condition and I want to keep them that way. It’s one thing to own brass units that you cherish but it’s another thing to be able to display them to enjoy.

I know the tarnishing begins right away once they are exposed. I bought a couple of wooden display cases some time back with glass doors made for trains. They may have 6 shelves each or so and hang on the wall. I plan to put some of my high end units in the shelves and add LED lighting to each shelve to make a nice display.

However, the concern remains that tarnish will take over making them a complete mess. I read just recently a way to avoid the tarnishing of brass in only 2 steps.

1 - Take a fiber cloth dipping it in some paint thinner and wipe down the unit to remove oils, dirt etc.

2 - Take a fiber cloth or a small paint brush and use polyurethane to basically seal the unit or coat it from unwanted debris.

I have no interest at all to paint these Brass units now or in the future. They are too beautiful to even think of painting them.

You simply can not “believe everything you read on the internet” right?. Has anyone heard of this method or used this process? Or do you have a sure thing method to share achieving the same wanted results?

👍
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:17 PM   #2
wvgca
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they should have been coated with varnish, or similar, when they were made ....
paint thinner will remove this, and another coat of sealer should not be nessecary ..
all they need is occassional dusting with a mild soap solution, and a dessicant if they are in relatively sealed enclosure ..
the two steps you mention are only applicable to raw uncoated brass items, which would tarnish quickly [within weeks]
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:28 PM   #3
NorfolkSouthernguy
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Oh wow that was a close one then. I had planned to do the steps I mentioned but thought a stop here and asking wouldn’t be a bad idea.

So just leave them as is then? I had looked at a Mohawk product online that is a spray (like a spray paint can) that is used to protect brass and make it easier to clean them up after they been out a while.

The seller I bought these engines from implied if I didn’t keep them in tissue, in a plastic bag and in the manufacturers box they would ruin. Perhaps that is what worried me and made me paranoid the most. Being they are a $1100.00 set I want to keep them pristine as they are now. I have always kept my brass pieces put away so heck I don’t know the proper care for them.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:48 PM   #4
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about the only that makes some sense is the plastic bag, it will the interior drier than without it .. a sealed display case does accomplish much the same .. in both cases, add some dessicant ..
They wouldn't have survived untarnished from thier trip over the water if they weren't sealed ..
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
Big Ed
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This 2-10-0 Locomotive has been sitting under a plastic cover for over 20 years.
This is from the early 50's and has a lot of run time on it. As noted in the one picture where the chain rubbed on the tender piece in between the trucks.
But overall it has suffered no damage due to sitting.

Probably not as pretty as yours, why don't you show us them?






P1010024.JPG

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Old 10-21-2019, 10:28 AM   #6
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That engine looks great Ed. It looks as good as my sisters do. I had it all wrong I guess. I am sure glad I came on here and asked because I would have ruined them along with all my Brass.

We learn something new every day and I learned something new for sure. I have no problem showing you the sisters Ed. I just need a bit to find them in my stock and get them out for a photo shoot. 👍

Thanks for the help gents.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:53 AM   #7
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