Formula 409 and Modeling

Posted 09.28.2005

I’ve
been getting a lot of e-mails and questions as to what is 409 (Formula 409) andwhere can I get it. Formula 409 is, according to their website: ” a unique formula that allows you to easily dissolve daily messes on contact, while delivering a streak-free shine that cleans your kitchen to a beautiful sparkle!” Here’s the official 409 website: http://www.formula409.com/

Basically it’s an all purpose cleaner/degreaser. A cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms. I use it all the time for messes in the kitchen and when I’m modeling. I’ve always used it to clean up ink from my technical pens on my drawing table
when I use to do illustrations. I also would soak my pens in a 409/water solution as recommended by an art teacher to clean them. Because of that past experience with the product I began to use that same solution for cleaning up technical pen ink while doing panel lines on kits. You can also use it to strip chrome and paint from kits to varying degrees of success.

Stripping Chrome and Tamiya Paint from Sprues

Get a few bottles of 409 and pour them into a small plastic box that’s large enough to hold the sprue of chrome coated parts. Next
submerge the parts in the 409 and let them sit overnight. You should probably cover the box during this process to keep the smell in (not a bad smell, but still can be overpowering in large amounts) and pets/kids out. Then when you’re ready remove the sprues and use a toothbrush to get rid of any bits that may be leftover in grooves and panel lines. The 409 will not harm the plastic.
Rinse with water.

Now after I did this for my Type 100 Hyakushiki kit I noticed a residue leftover on the parts that would not come off with 409.
After rinsing the parts in water I soaked them in isopropyl alcohol (90-100% will work fine) and wiped them with a cloth and no more goo.

You can also strip Tamiya Acrylics with 409. However I got the same goopy residue and it was somewhat worse than when stripping
chrome. The alcohol removed that as well. I recommend stripping Tamiya Acrylics with plain 90-100% isopropyl alcohol. It worked far better than 409.

Cleaning Up Technical Pen Ink on Models

If you go out of the lines, dip a small ripped off bit of paper towel in a solution of water:409 (70:30) so that the towel is just
barely damp, and wipe away the mistake. You may get some streaking if the towel becomes saturated with ink. If that’s the case, merely get a new piece of solution-soaked paper towel. Since it’s a diluted solution of 409 it would take far longer to affect the paint. As a precaution, try not to rub too hard to too often in the same spot as it may affect the paint.

Where can I get 409 in the USA

In the US you can get formula 409 in most grocery and ‘mart’ stores. Here’s some places that I know carry it: Walmart, Target,
K-Mart, and most large grocery stores that carry cleaning products.

Alternatives to Formula409 in Other Countries

409 is readily available in the United States but apparently not elsewhere. People often ask about alternatives to the product in
their country and I really don’t know of any. I’ll ask around and put any that I find here. I recommend contacting the company directly at http://www.formula409.com/

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