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Caring For Your Model Train

Aug 11, 2008
If you love your model trains and you enjoy running them or even looking at them in displays then you might notice that over time they get dirty. Just like any other keepsake model trains can require a good deal of cleaning and upkeep to keep them looking rather nice. Dust and debris can cause the trains to run poorly if it is allowed to accumulate. So, how do you go about keeping them nice and clean?

You will need to gather a few cleaning accessories before you begin to clean your model train set. By gathering these beforehand you will save yourself time and aggravation. These cleaning utensils include a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, cans of compressed air, dust rags, contact cleaner, lens cleaner, and some small hobby paint brushes. You will also need to have a few extra batteries on hand in case one of the electrical components that use them need fresh ones.

Once you have all this together you can begin. Start by removing each of the cars one at a time. Take each one and carefully blow them off with compressed air. This will remove a good deal of the dust from each of the cars. Next you will want to use a paint brush to get the rest of the dust from the body. After it has been well dusted you can then clean the windows with the lens cleaner. Do this for each car that needs it.

You will then want to move on to the electrical connections and contacts. These can be cleaned by using the compressed air to blow out all the dust. You then need to use some contact cleaner to finish cleaning them. You can then use the hose attachment on a vacuum to finish cleaning the rest of your display if you have it set into a diorama. Make sure that you do not inadvertently suck up some of the display components.

Your cars will not have to be replaced unless they are just plain worn out. This can take a long time so you should not have to worry about this cost. If they do happen do to tear up then many times they can be repaired rather than being replaced. Look for chips and scratches in the paint jobs on the cars. If you do find some then you can fix them rather easily.

After cleaning them thoroughly just take a bit of fingernail polish in a matching color and brush it lightly onto the scratch. It may take a layer or two depending on the opacity of the polish. If you need to do a full paint job then you will need to very carefully disassemble the car. Make sure that you keep all your screws and parts for that one car in a zip up sandwich bag. That way you will not take a chance on losing any of the parts or getting them mixed up with any other parts from other cars.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train care, and compact model trucks.
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