Removing lettering from RTR carriages

 
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

What is the best or suggested method?  I would like to remove carriage lettering to change it to something else, preferably without having to repaint the carriages.  General Googling suggest metho with a cotton tip, isopropyl alcohol with a cotton tip, or both/either solvent and then sticky tape over the area to "pull up" the lettering.

I understand that I can just try it to see what happens, but I was hoping to get a head start from the experts here at Railpage.  If all else fails, what is the best for stripping back all paintwork on RTR models without damaging the underlying plastic?

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  barkfast Station Master

I havent actually renumbered any stock - but there is a great article in the British "Model Rail" No 105 - June 2007. The article refers to 2 different methods: 1) Metho & cotton buds 2) Scraping the old decal with a knife.

For the metho-method:
1) Rub area with a cotton bud soaked in metho - changing the bud frequently as it becomes soiled. Dont press too hard or the base colour will also be removed.
2) Immediately rinse the surface with clean water to remove any remaining metho and then rub the local area with 1000 grade wet/dry paper, used wet, taking care not to remove any raised rivet detail.
3) Ultra-fine grade steel wool (grade 00000) can then follow to remove any remaining marks, rubbing in a circular pattern. again, take care not to remove any of the base paint.
4) The area can then be buffed with a clean toothbrush to restore an even sheen. if any white deposits appear then traces of spirit are remaining (if so repeat steps 2 and 3)
5) Spray a lite coat of gloss varnish to give the new transfers a suitable surface to adhere to



The knife method:
1) use a very sharp scapel/exacto to scratch the bulk of the old transfers off
2) clean up with metho and cotton bud

Hope this helps!
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

I havent actually renumbered any stock - but there is a great article in the British "Model Rail" No 105 - June 2007. The article refers to 2 different methods: 1) Metho & cotton buds 2) Scraping the old decal with a knife.

For the metho-method:
1) Rub area with a cotton bud soaked in metho - changing the bud frequently as it becomes soiled. Dont press too hard or the base colour will also be removed.
2) Immediately rinse the surface with clean water to remove any remaining metho and then rub the local area with 1000 grade wet/dry paper, used wet, taking care not to remove any raised rivet detail.
3) Ultra-fine grade steel wool (grade 00000) can then follow to remove any remaining marks, rubbing in a circular pattern. again, take care not to remove any of the base paint.
4) The area can then be buffed with a clean toothbrush to restore an even sheen. if any white deposits appear then traces of spirit are remaining (if so repeat steps 2 and 3)
5) Spray a lite coat of gloss varnish to give the new transfers a suitable surface to adhere to



The knife method:
1) use a very sharp scapel/exacto to scratch the bulk of the old transfers off
2) clean up with metho and cotton bud

Hope this helps!
barkfast
Thanks for the suggestions!

Before I start, I hope to get more/further information because the lettering is probably not decals but screen printed (?) or painted on top of the base layer.  Perhaps there is a different method....?

Just using the "measure 10 times, cut once" principle Smile
  The railway dog Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
I've used Floquil stripper to remove small screen printed  lettering & gotten away with it. I dipped it on with a cotton bud, took the lettering off straight away & immediately gave it a thorough wash. Not sure I'd be game to do that on larger work, & it would probably depend on the individual makeup of the paints.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Most lettering on RTR models these days is paint so removing it is just a matter of taking it off the surface with as little disturbance to the base colour. Not always achievable though as the base colour is also paint and uses the same kind of thing to remove it. You can do it and everyone has their own pet method that works for them. You might try a Google search for something or try a search on You Tube there might be a video on there that shows you how to do it.
  Bills_Billboards Chief Commissioner

depending on the colours i just make a decal that covers the old number , instant renumbered/coded wagon

Bill
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

depending on the colours i just make a decal that covers the old number , instant renumbered/coded wagon

Bill
Bills_Billboards
Not a bad solution, but in some cases there is something where I want nothing Smile
  bam551 Beginner

i have removed letters of my rolling stock i used a sharp hobby knife to scrape it off
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

i have removed letters of my rolling stock i used a sharp hobby knife to scrape it off
bam551
Doesn't that scratch/mark the underlying paintwork?  If it does, can it be polished up to look the same....or is there some other magic method?
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

An update - and perhaps an indication of poor skills Smile.  The lettering runs along the top of the sides of the carriages for almost the full length.

  1. Scrape off lettering - for me, total failure on four test carriages.  In every case, despite very gentle attempts with a spectacularly sharp set of (real) scalpels, the damage to the underlying paint was beyond gentle buffing and is noticeable, meaning attempting to colour match and repaint after buffing away the scrape marks.
  2. Metholated spirits/water rinse - certainly removed the lettering, as well as the underlying paint.  Impossible to remove black lettering on top of the silver paint without also removing almost all silver paint.  On the positive side, no buffing required before respraying Smile
  3. Isopropyl alcohol - same as (2), but faster!!


So, I cannot remove lettering without the need for respraying the carriages.  Perhaps others have the magic touch, but testing on four carriages over the past few weeks, I just cannot do it.  It seems that any approach remains a repaint......
  anzac1959 Chief Commissioner

I havent actually renumbered any stock - but there is a great article in the British "Model Rail" No 105 - June 2007. The article refers to 2 different methods: 1) Metho & cotton buds 2) Scraping the old decal with a knife.

For the metho-method:
1) Rub area with a cotton bud soaked in metho - changing the bud frequently as it becomes soiled. Dont press too hard or the base colour will also be removed.
2) Immediately rinse the surface with clean water to remove any remaining metho and then rub the local area with 1000 grade wet/dry paper, used wet, taking care not to remove any raised rivet detail.
3) Ultra-fine grade steel wool (grade 00000) can then follow to remove any remaining marks, rubbing in a circular pattern. again, take care not to remove any of the base paint.
4) The area can then be buffed with a clean toothbrush to restore an even sheen. if any white deposits appear then traces of spirit are remaining (if so repeat steps 2 and 3)
5) Spray a lite coat of gloss varnish to give the new transfers a suitable surface to adhere to



The knife method:
1) use a very sharp scapel/exacto to scratch the bulk of the old transfers off
2) clean up with metho and cotton bud

Hope this helps!
I use the knife method using a sharp hobby knife, ive done a 49 and a 48
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzac1959/9255797588/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzac1959/9255797650/
  frosty Junior Train Controller

I use a cotton bud dipped in solvaset. Takes a little while and requires more than one dip into the liquid, but it does the trick.
BUT, once the lettering starts to come off, reduce the pressure. You will take off paint if you maintain the same pressure.
It takes some practice, but it does work well.
I have re-numbered plenty of wagons, carriages and locomotives this way.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

I use the knife method using a sharp hobby knife, ive done a 49 and a 48
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzac1959/9255797588/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anzac1959/9255797650/
anzac1959
Hi

I admire the job you have done, but the outline remnants is what I am trying to avoid - I cannot put anything over the top from where the lettering is removed.

Frosty, I haven't tried solvaset, but I suspect metho and isopropyl alcohol are similar.  In both cases, gentle dabbing caused the letters and silver background to "go away", so spraying was still required.... Sad

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