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Author Topic: Removing manufactures decals from Bachmann locomotives  (Read 3752 times)
« on: June 24, 2014, 06:50:29 PM »

Is there a way of removing  manufactures decals from Bachmann locomotives; decals on a Black body?

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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 12:54:09 AM »

I'd recommend Super Clean, a degreaser made by Castrol. I bought mine at a O'reilly's auto parts.  Seemed to work better than brake cleaner. Soak some cotton balls in it and let sit on the decal. You can use wooden tooth picks to help scratch off the decal. 


Patrick Kramer

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 09:33:41 PM »

The lettering isnt is stamped-on paint or ink.
and yes, superclean works well:


Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 09:15:58 AM »


While I have used Superclean with success on some items,  I have noticed over the years that not all products work on all paints or lettering equally well.   I have had situations where the product used took off the paint on the side of the car and left the lettering in place, because the paint on the side of the car was different(weaker) than the paint or ink used on the lettering.  Sometimes brake fluid works best, or even denatured alcohol.  A product called Goo Gone works well on some lettering, but not others.  Sometimes lettering is stamped on an unpainted surface, some products will attack the plastic surface and ruin the car.  At least one I tried to remove the gold lettering from the letterboards of a passenger car and nothing worked.  I ended up using 500 grit wet dry sandpaper glued to an angled stick. I used it wet, the surface was dull after the lettering was removed, so I had to clear coat it before re lettering.

I would say you should expect to find the paint surface dulled after removing the lettering no matter what product you use.  I spray a clearcoat over the area, then apply the new decals. Depending on the result wanted I apply a second and possibly third coat of clearcoat over the surface.  I also use Testors Dull coat for flat finishes,  or even Krylon Clear Matte, or Krylon Clear Satin depending on the needed finish.

I have found on black locomotives the factory finish is often more of a satin than clear.  Most recently I relettered a Bachmann Annie that I used for a Garden Railways article.  I used the Krylon Satin and the result was amazing, it seemed to match the sheen on the loco very well.

I always try superclean first then brake fluid second if the superclean does not work.

The point is you may have to experiment a bit to find the right product.  I ruined a couple of cars over the years and they went into my parts bin, but I learned a lot along the way.

Be patient and take your time. if you are removing lettering from your super expensive locomotive, go easy with the chemicals, do a small part at a time. Never let the chemical sit on the surface for a long time. 

Have fun with your project!



Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
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