Paint Prep Question

Project: Large (1/6) scale R/C model that needs to be repainted and decaled. The car is an F1 car. Lots of swoopy shapes, curves and
contours.
Issue: Little time to do the project - short deadline.
Challenge: Car is molded in polystyrene with a very high gloss shine. No time to hand-sand the entire body to the proper level of preparation
Question: Are there any chemical agents that I can soak the car in for some period of time (minutes, hours, even a day) that will take the gloss of the molded poly and allow primer/paint to stick properly?
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since it's an R/C car is it safe to presume the body was originally clear and is painted from the inside? One soulution is to paint it from the outside, or... If you absolutely HAVE to strip it, soak it in oven cleaner or brake fluid overnight, then scrub with soap and water. In either case, wear some good rubber gloves. Once the old paint is gone, use whatever primer suits your fancy (basic Krylon works like a champ)then paint it. If you repaint from the inside and can't prime, no big deal, the paint will stick to the clean plastic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Disco,
Thanks for the response, and sorry for the confusion. This model is molded in red polystyrene - pretty thick stuff when compared to your typical model. There is no paint on it whatsoever. But taking your suggestion to use brake fluid:
Will brake fluid harm the polystyrene?
Will it etch the surface or have a similar affect that will let the primer/paint really grab hold? This RC car will see it's fair share of collisions with walls, curbs, other cars, etc. and I don't want the paint to fall off at every little bump.
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brake fluid usually doesn't harm polystyrene and yours is much thicker than any 1/25th car kit that I have had. It may dull the plastic shine a little but I'd use a primer that has a little bite. Sorry I don't have any product names for you. You might want to stop at an auto parts store and check what they recommend for real auto plastics.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There is not need here to use nasty chemicals such as brake fluid. That is usually used as a paint stripper. Way overkill!
If this is plain unpainted styrene, washing it with degreaser (as simple as dishwashing liquid) and warm water would suffice. If you want something stronger, use Simple Green or even stronger Castrol Super CLean.
Again, rinse clean with warm water. Then don't touch it with your bare hands (so you don't leave any body oils on the model). Once it is dry, you can start painting it. You might have some problems with dust particles electrostatically attracted to such a large styrene piece. Especially in a dry, winter climate.
But as far as the prep goes, simple washing/degreasing will work just fine. Now I'm not sure what you'll use for painting such a large model. Airbrush will not give enought paint volume for a wet coat. Spray can might just be enough. You might need to get a larger spray gun. Like ones used in automorive or motorcycle body shops.
Without a wet coat you won't get a shiny finish.
Peteski
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.