Rolling Stock & Locos Maintenance


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Hi All! It's been a couple of months since I've taken the locos and rolling stock out of their boxes and placed them on the tracks. What I'm begining to notice now is an unwanted type of weathering called DUST. It seems to gather in the most hard to get at places. I've put a lot of hours into adding details to the locos, and don't want to break parts off cleaning them, So my question is " How do you clean your locos and rolling stock?"
Cheers Willis
I posted practically the same question elsewhere not very long ago. The responses I got could be distilled to this:

1. small vacuum
2. canned air (find at electronics stores)
3. very, very soft brush - makeup brushes were highly thought of.
I think someone should created a washing station that blows compressed air on the engine/cars as they roll through...that way, you don't have to take the cars off the track, just roll through and voila! they're clean....

hmmm.....that just gave me an idea........

Off to the drawing board
I just blow air through my airbrush, sans paint of course, at the dusty locomotives. It's convenient (the compressor is always plugged into to its dedicated socket in the garage), quick and effective.
Well, guys. I have a REALLY dumb question for you. Many years ago, my husband and kids got me a little HO set. This year, I dug it out and set it up beneath our Christmas tree. It's been carefully wrapped in tissue all this time, and track integrity doesn't seem to be the problem, but it runs poorly. Would it help to oil the loco wheels?
Not the wheels, but the gears could probably use it. Also, check the track - it will have oxidized some, and if it's brass.... well, replace it.
Thanks, Jeff! Yes, most of the track is brass, so I'll look into that. Is it OK to use any light oil, or should I look for something special?
Check with your local hobby shop. Gear lube isn't normally a light oil, although there are places it ought to be used as well. And your brass track has oxidized - and brass '"rust" doesn't conduct electricity.
Hmmm! I posted here last night, guess it didn't take. Something funny going on with my PC as this morning it posted a change to a birthday post and all I did was move the darn mouse.
I guess it's pretty well covered above, my suggestion was to clean the wheels and track first before considering lubrication. If lubrication is necessary use it very sparingly. For lubrication I have a teflon based fluid that will not attack plastic. I got it at Radio Shack, but if you have a hobby shop close by they will have a compatable lube made for models. The other statement is I haven't used the RS lube yet and some of my locos date back to the late 70's.
Cheers and good luck

Hi all, and thanks. Compressed air is no problem for me as I have several compressors, so I guess that's how I'll do it. I'm assuming the air pressure will only be between 15 and 20 psi, and use a soft brush to loosen the unwanted weathering.
Thanks Willis
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Willis, definitely use low pressure accompanied by a brush. I had a bad experience with one of my first custom paint jobs, a Norfolk Southern GP38-2, when I blasted it with some air to knock off the dust. Apparently, I hadn't gotten the decals to sit down on the long hood very well, so even a couple of coats of lacquer didn't seal them. When I hit the long hood with air, it got under the decal and blew a portion of it off the model! But, I was able to remove all the decals and start over and the model turned out nicely after all. Much better, in fact.

Claudia, you may wish to get the Labelle lube set for locomotives. It comes with Teflon grease and oil. I use the grease on the gears and oil on the motor bushings. It only takes a small amount, so be careful! Excess oil or grease will attract dirt like a magnet and will really foul up your locomotives.