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Cleaning rusted wheels/bogies?

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I recently dug out my old HO Lima class 33, my first ever locomotive:



and found that at some point in the last 25 years in storage it had evidently been exposed to damp and developed a nasty case of bogie rust:




What would be the best way of removing this / cleaning it up?

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Not as bad as it might look.

Strip the bogie down and the rust will clean off the plastic parts with a damp cotton bud - although some staining might be left.

The wheels are brass and cannot have rusted - what you see is ferrous rust that has simply spread over the wheels and will cleam off with fine wet and dry paper.

The axles are steel and could have rusted so give these a good burnish with fine wet and dry - then put a film of oil on the whole axle to help prevent rust reoccuring.

If the securing screw is rusty either replace with a new one from Peter's Spares or refurbish the existing one with rust remover.


All in all the bogie should clean up ok and if serviced and lubricated should run ok.

I'm sure as your first loco the bit of work needed will be well worth it to you to get her back into use or display.

Good luck, hope it goes ok.


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I would use a brass brush (suede shoe brush or a a circular brush in a mini-drill*). This will shift the rust without scratching the metal - it usually even safely restores the blackened finish. The coupling loop looks to be beyond salvation, but Lima couplings are still easy to source from scrap vehicles and the loop is not really needed on a locomotive anyway.


* Not sure about the supply situation in Japan.

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