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Removing factory lettering?

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Removing factory lettering?
Posted by hwolf on Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:03 PM

I just bought a BLI 2-8-2.

I need to remove the current road name. I tryed Micro Sol per Cody's tips but it didn't work.

I hope not to damage the paint.  Any good ideas?

Harold

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, April 10, 2014 2:55 PM

I use Solvaset and an ink eraser sharpened to a point and it's always worked well.

IF you have an air eraser, use baking soda and about 60psi and you can get the lettering off quite easily. That's how I removed (almost) all the Chessie lettering and also "faded" the orange stripe on this Athearn Genesis unit ....

 

Mark.

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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:08 PM

WOW! You did a good job with that air eraser? Hope it was a big one. Whistling

Frank

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:25 PM

zstripe

WOW! You did a good job with that air eraser? Hope it was a big one. Whistling

Frank

 

Here's a link to the model without the "pretty backdrop" !  Smile, Wink & Grin ....

http://roachcustompainting.weebly.com/gri-gp9-6199.html

Mark.

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Posted by hwolf on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:41 PM

Mark

Is the Solvaset a decal softener the same as Micro Sol? Is an ink eraser the pink ones?

Harold

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Posted by sh00fly on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:42 PM

I was able to remove some very stubborn LifeLike P2K lettering with Testors sanding film.The MicroSol trick works great for Athearn lettering but sometimes the paint below the lettering is more sensitive to the product then the printed lettering is.

I have successfully used the Tan 600 Grit Film and gently rub off the lettering. This film is very fine and it won't scratch the paint finish underneath. It will burnish it slightly, this works even better as you won't need to gloss cote before applying the new decal.

Chris Palomarez

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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:44 PM

Mark,

I thought the backdrop, was the model and the,,Yeah! Right!. Laugh

It's nice how it blends in. I did see it before. Yes

Frank

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:45 PM

I find Solvaset to be stronger than Micro-Sol, even though they are designed for the same application. Most ink erasers are the gray ones (pink isusually for pencil) and have a very mild abrasive in them.

A friend of mine has also claimed the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works, but I can't verify that as I've never tried it.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:50 PM

zstripe

Mark,

I thought the backdrop, was the model and the,,Yeah! Right!. Laugh

It's nice how it blends in. I did see it before. Yes

Frank

 

I've fooled a lot of people with that picture thinking it was real ! I must have taken about 50 pictures of the model to get the angle and lighting correct to lay over the real picture ! This is the real picture I layed my model over ....

Mark.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, April 10, 2014 5:46 PM

As someone who models shortlines, and therefore has frequently relettered locomotives, I have had the best luck using "dry" methods that mechanically remove the lettering, rather than wet methods that rely upon dissolving the lettering.

Factory lettering is paint.  So you are essentially trying to remove the top layer of paint only.  If you are trying to remove only one layer of paint while leaving the bottom layer pristene, as if there was never a layer on top of it,.....well...good luck with that.

Looks like the baking soda thingy works well.  I follow a recommendation that I read in an issue of MR, and use a curved bladed hobby knife to gently scrape off the top layer of paint (lettering).  Then touch up the blemishes left behind, brush on gloss coat only over the area to be relettered, then dullcote. 

The new lettering almost always covers up the blemishes anyway.

- Douglas

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Posted by cowman on Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:42 PM

Harold,

Ink erasers are the gray ones.  I have seen them in pencil form, which would be easy to sharpen into a point, as suggested above.

Richard

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, April 11, 2014 9:06 AM

I'll second the Solvaset-and-eraser method. I've used Micro-Sol too, both work fine. I've used the eraser at the end of a regular pencil with good result, although it can wear down pretty quickly.

Stix
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Posted by cjcrescent on Friday, April 11, 2014 8:57 PM

Another method that you may want to try, was posted in another forum. The modeler there wanted to remove 'Pere Marquette" from a Spectrum berkshire tender. Like most of the factory paint jobs out there, the lettering was pad printed on, and the usual methods, including many already mentioned, weren't working.

He knew that he needed something to remove the paint, without damaging the underlying coat. On an inspiration he tried canned gelled alcohol. This is the stuff used under pans and such to keep food hot. I believe that one brand is called Sterno. Because it is gelled, the alcohol stays where it is applied and doesn't run all over the model and works only where its applied.

Using a paint brush he applied the alcohol to just the lettering, and within a few minutes, the lettering was completely removed, and there was no damage to the underlying paint at all. The pictures that he showed told the tale. The lettering was completely gone and there really was no damage to the paint underneath at all. He used IIRC, soap and water to remove the alcohol, and the paint came with it.

I will admit that I was skeptical, but a friend tried it on a locomotive of his, and it does work. YMMV

Carey

Keep it between the Rails

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Posted by PRSL6006 on Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:29 AM

One method that I have used in the past to remove the numbers from N scale Atlas freight cars was copper cleaner and toothpicks. The copper cleaner needs to be the paste variety, as it has a mild abrasive in it. You put a small amount on the lettering you wish to remove, and gently rub over the lettering with the end of the toothpick until the lettering is removed. Mind you, it takes time and patience, but it works a treat if you take it slow. However, larger HO lettering may make this method too time consuming.

As for Cody's method, the whole tape thing wasn't happening for me when I tried to remove the lettering from an Atlas HO Trainman caboose in Penn Central livery (white lettering, green base color). The Micro-Sol did work, but I found I had to keep the lettering wet, and push on the edges of the lettering with the tip of a paintbrush. Eventually the lettering flaked off with no noticeable damage to the base coat.

One last thing in reference to the alcohol gel (Sterno). If you are going to go this route please use ALL safety precautions. Most importantly, a well ventilated area away from open flame or other ignition source. Alcohol in it's liquid form usually evaporates too quickly to ignite, but the gel is, for all intents and purposes, Napalm in a can. It will stick. It will burn. It will cause harm. Please be careful!

Chris Ballinger

Modeling the Clementon Branch of the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines in HO scale

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Posted by KemacPrr on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:07 PM

Cut a small piece of paper towel the same size as the lettering/number you want to remove. Lay the model so the lettering area is flat. Place the paper towel over the lettering and apply a few drops of Solvaset to the paper towel. Let it sit there for at least 5 minutes. Then pick up the paper towel and using a new pencil eraser dipped in Solvaset easily erase the lettering. The paper towel keeps the Solvaset in contact with the lettering enough to soften it. ---  Ken

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Posted by CNCharlie on Monday, April 14, 2014 7:27 PM

I have tried several methods and have found that a product called Goof Off works best for me with a Q tip. I have removed the lettering on several Bachmann steamers both HO and N successfully. The eraser just took too much paint when I tried it even with solvaset. 

You need to be careful with Goof Off  though as it is strong stuff and it will remove a little of the paint. I takes some of the gloss too but in the end when covered by a new decal I find the area looks fine.

Good luck,

CN Charlie 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, April 14, 2014 9:00 PM

I have a couple Athearn F59PHI locos I want to remove the Amtrak lettering, and maybe save the paint.  I've tried all of the above techniques, and nothing works.  I've even tried acetone.  The only thing I haven't tried is MEK, which I know will ruin the finish.  I have not tried the sanding or scrapping.  If I do that, or the MEK very sparringly, I'll have to "patch" the paint.  I also tried to strip an Atlas GP40, and the alcohol bath wasn't successful.  Unless I have to forget about it for a week and let it soak, totally submerged.  Two days didn't do it, and I used the 91% stuff.

Mike.

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:03 AM

This Walthers FM came painted black with yellow lettering and striping (Wabash). I used Solvaset and a rubber pencil eraser to slowly remove the lettering and striping, then re-lettered it with Microscale decals.

 http://cs.trains.com/mrr/m/mrr-layouts/2289588.aspx

 (Not sure why it's not letting me post a pic or active link??) Angry

 

 

Stix
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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:38 PM

OK, not sure what's going on, but when I try to add the picture and link in a post in another of the forums, it works fine??

http://cs.trains.com/trc/f/733/t/229236.aspx

 

Stix
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Posted by steamnut on Friday, April 25, 2014 5:25 PM

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned ELO (Easy Lift Off). Of course, like the other methods mentioned, there actually is no "Easy" about it. You have to take great care and go very slowly.

But the fact is, in my experience nothing is 100% successful. I think it must relate to exactly how the lettering was applied and the type / quality / application of the underlying paint. Taken together, there are numerous types and combinations. If the underlying paint is easily matched, your best bet is to accept some degree of damage. If you are careful and don't have an airbrush, small areas can be successfully brush-painted as touch-up.

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, April 26, 2014 8:27 AM

steamnut

But the fact is, in my experience nothing is 100% successful. I think it must relate to exactly how the lettering was applied and the type / quality / application of the underlying paint.

 
Slightly OT.....I once was looking to strip all of the paint off of a first run P2K GP18.
 
I have since read where Life-Like used a silk screen method that applied the lettering first, then the body paint next.  And I'll say, the lettering was tougher than the body paint.
 
After removing the shell from the container of alcohol, I was surprised to see that I had a perfectly lettered undecorated body. 
 
I was quite disappointed.

- Douglas

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:11 AM

If all else fails, you could contact BLI to see if they have any undecorated tender shells available separately.

Stix

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