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Removing Decals

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  • Member since
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Removing Decals
Posted by JGray on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 3:46 PM

I have a need to remove some of the decals from ready to run freight cars in order to change their numbers.   Could someone please share a good technique for doing this?

Thx.

Jim

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  • From: Canada's Maritime Provinces
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Posted by Railphotog on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 4:05 PM

RTR models lettering is not done by decals, it is usually printed on with special ink/paint.   There are several different methods of removing lettering, not all work on all models, even by the same manufacturer.

I've used Walthers Solvaset decal solvent on a cotton swab to remove lettering on some models.  It works some times, but you need to watch carefully as you go along, as the paint underneath can also be removed.   Others have used waterless hand cleaner, rubbing alcohol, commercial model paint remover, etc.    There is no one solution for all models, its mostly a matter of experimenting.

On one steam engine tender I was able to successfully remove the printed on lettering with Solvaset, but this left the area shiny on the satin finish paint.  So I needed to repaint the side of the tender again with black.

Test and test again!

 

 

Bob Boudreau

CANADA

Visit my model railroad photography website: http://sites.google.com/site/railphotog/

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Posted by Flashwave on Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:13 AM

One more thought to what Photog has said: MicroSOL is usually considered to be less potent than Solveaset. So you might thry that. It may still take up paint, ut less so. I hope. Or not. I've only used it a few times, but with success.

-Morgan
PR, CEO of the Madison Railroad in HO. no, not that one, the one based off the City of Madison Port Authority.
Exchange Passes? PM me.  
Green Signals Dad, Love ya.

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Posted by hdtvnut on Thursday, March 31, 2011 5:40 AM

I have had good success with Solvaset and either a swab, or, if this hasn't started to work after a minute or two, a common pink pencil eraser.  F.I., I removed the letterboard stuff from a whole set of MTH SP Daylight cars so well that no residue was visible nor repainting necessary.   

Then I put the new decals on the resulting shiney surface, masked everything outside that area, and sparingly applied Dulcote spray.

Hal

  

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  • From: Brooklyn, NY
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Posted by Mike Kieran on Friday, April 01, 2011 3:22 PM

I've used Floquil/Polly S Easy Lift Off Decal remover with great success. I'm removing the Railbox lettering to put on my own private roadname.

__________________________________________________________________

Mike Kieran

Port Able Railway

I just do what the majority of the voices in my head vote on.

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Posted by Proto87 2011 on Thursday, April 14, 2011 8:45 AM

As I have suggested to multiple people trying to remove decal there is a MR Expert Tips video on how to remove decals.

Disclaimer: I AM A TEENAGER!!!

     PirateMe

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Posted by B30-7CR on Sunday, April 17, 2011 8:14 PM

Have you ever painted a model and did not like the look of the
paint? Or maybe you have an old model you would like to redo
but don't know how to go about it? Here are a few tips that will
help you. When stripping paint from plastic models you have
to be very careful what you use or you may damage the plastic.
The best product I have found to work is called Purple Power
or CASTORAL Super Clean Engine Degreaser and it should
be avalible at most retail auto parts stores such as Auto Zone
or Advance Auto. WARNING: Besure to test the solution you
are using on an unwanted part before putting your model in it
to be sure it does not damage the model.THIS WILL WORK WITH LETTERING, JUST NEED TO REPLACE ROAD NAMES!!

Crap happens. When it does, stop, take a deep breath, and call the wreck train.

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Posted by Flashwave on Monday, April 18, 2011 4:45 AM

B30-7CR

Have you ever painted a model and did not like the look of the
paint? Or maybe you have an old model you would like to redo
but don't know how to go about it? Here are a few tips that will
help you. When stripping paint from plastic models you have
to be very careful what you use or you may damage the plastic.
The best product I have found to work is called Purple Power
or CASTORAL Super Clean Engine Degreaser and it should
be avalible at most retail auto parts stores such as Auto Zone
or Advance Auto. WARNING: Besure to test the solution you
are using on an unwanted part before putting your model in it
to be sure it does not damage the model.THIS WILL WORK WITH LETTERING, JUST NEED TO REPLACE ROAD NAMES!!

Yes, but a decal solution is intended to mess with the decal. A paint-stripper (which is what auto solutions are mostly used for) is designed to mess with paint. Which do you think is more likely to remove a decal without removing paint?

Oh, and FYI, 91% Isopropyl alcohol works just as well not factory and non-enamel paint jobs and is much safer on the plastic.

-Morgan
PR, CEO of the Madison Railroad in HO. no, not that one, the one based off the City of Madison Port Authority.
Exchange Passes? PM me.  
Green Signals Dad, Love ya.

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Posted by shurlock1 on Sunday, February 02, 2014 7:43 PM

I wanted to change my road numbers on my scale MTH GG1. What I did was with clear shipping tape block put the numbers top and bot side to side. Then got a Qtip dip it in Camelion paint remover and rub it on the numbers. Got a pen eraser and just scratched the numbers and wiped dry. Then I got some 600 grit paper and water and polished the numbers off and then dried off. It should be a great finish for the decale then I will spray a dull clear over the decals and it should look great.

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Posted by H.Dale on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 5:35 PM

I have a Walthers N scale switcher that I just ordered.  I would like to re-number it.  How can I tell whether the numbers and logo are decals or painted on?

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Posted by Mark R. on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 7:02 PM

H.Dale

I have a Walthers N scale switcher that I just ordered.  I would like to re-number it.  How can I tell whether the numbers and logo are decals or painted on?

 

NO factory paint jobs use decals .... period. They are all pad printed directly on the model.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by NP2626 on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 7:09 PM

When changing a car number I have found it pretty easy to modify an existing number into something else, such as a 4 to a 1, 8 to a 3  by simply rubbing with a pencil eraser where I want the number to be changed.  Or, use some weathering chalk to hide some of the number.  Pretty simple and fool proof.  

NP 2626 "Northern Pacific, really terrific"

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association:  http://www.nprha.org/

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 12:44 PM

If you are changing the road name, and number, you could also take a tip from the big guys, (real RR's), and "patch" the area you are changing. Either plain colored decals, or mask area around the "patch" and paint on the box to "patch" the logos/reportingmarks. I have done this once, and looked good to me. And, as I mentioned, it's prototypical. The real RR's do this. So why can't we?

Just a though, and option, for those changing their models....

Note: This is also helpful for when the Pad-printed logo removal method removes the undercolor too....

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 1:38 PM

I use Solvaset and a rubber pencil eraser...the eraser on the end of a pencil will work, but it wears down pretty fast. Just put on some Solvaset and start erasing. When you feel a little friction, but on some more Solvaset. In time the lettering begins to dissolve and you can just rub it away.

I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect a "gum" eraser would work - and might leave less 'shavings' then the rubber does. 

Stix
  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: Sedro Woolley WA
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Posted by skagitrailbird on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 2:20 PM

The link below will take you to a YouTube video posted by Microscale entitled "Removing Athearn Lettering." I would think the technique will work on other manufacturer's products, as well.

Roger Johnson
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    December, 2006
  • 102 posts
Posted by bing&kathy on Friday, February 20, 2015 2:40 PM

   I have used a "gray" ink eraser to rub off the lettering. Have had near 100% success in removing pad printed lettering. The less than 100% Oops - Sign  was on my first try and resulted in some touch up painting. No big problem.

God's Best & Happy Rails to You!

Bing  (RIPRR The Route of the Buzzards)

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