SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

How to remove decals from a finished model?

369 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Michigan
How to remove decals from a finished model?
Posted by gawrycht on Monday, September 17, 2018 8:07 PM

I recently finished an old Accurate Miniatures 1/48 A-36 Apache (10 years in the making!). I intended it to be a “practice“ model but it actually came out good enough that I thought I would display it.  

Much to my dismay I found that my roundels on the fuselage are noticeably misaligned!  One is closer to the cockpit than the other. 

I used Humbrol Decalfix ... and may have used a little Micro Sol in the process. I didn’t clear coat yet though.    I resigned myself to buying a new decal sheet (for one roundeSadl) but, before I do, is there a way to get one of the decals off without ruining the paint job underneath?  Looking for a magic bulket I guess.  Thanks for any tips!

  • Member since
    September, 2017
Posted by Sailing_Dutchman on Monday, September 17, 2018 11:08 PM

I have had success using Tamiya masking tape to pull off decals before they were clear-coated.

   

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 12:17 AM

Sailing_Dutchman

I have had success using Tamiya masking tape to pull off decals before they were clear-coated.

 

LOL but thats probably true. A mechnical remedy would work.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:29 AM

Once upon a time here in NSW Australia, we had waterslide vehicle registration decals which we had to change every year. It was illegal to leave an old one on the windscreen, so it had to be removed. You could use a razor blade to scrape it off, but that resulted in thousands of little fragments all over the place. 

I found that the old one could be removed intact by laying a tissue soaked in Windex over it and leaving it for an hour or so to soak in. Then you could lift the corner with a razor blade and it would peel right off. 

This may not be a good idea if your model was painted with acrylics, but I suspect that you'd get the same result with plain old water.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 9:08 AM

I also use masking tape for removing decals, but it doesn't work as well if you have used a decal solvent like Micro-sol or Solvaset.  These actually melt the decal so that the ink sinks into the paint. Give tape a try, it may get most off.  There are a number of problems that can arise from using decal solvents.  I regularly use decal setting solutions- they are pretty benign.  But solvents can bring problems, so I only use solvents if I have to for a real problem decal.  The problem with using it to remove old decals is that it may disolve the decal carrier film but not the inks.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 9:44 AM

Personally ;

 I have done many restos of old models and I find Straight WINDEX to work best . One thing though Warm it it the Microwave first !

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:45 PM

IF... the kit was sprayed with enamel clearcoat to seal in the decals, I don't know how you can remove it. Worse case, you'll have to repaint the area again.

 

Tanker - Builder

One thing though Warm it it the Microwave first !

 

Would that melt the plastic if you do that? 

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Michigan
Posted by gawrycht on Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:40 AM

Thanks for the tip Phil H.  I think, after reading all the posts I am going to try the Windex first and, if that doesn't work, then the soaking/tape method.  

The paints used were enamel since I haven't been able to spray acrylics successfully yet (probably a mixing ration error on my part) ... and the saving grace is that no clear coat was applied yet.  I just used the decal setting solution, and maybe solvent once, because the decals in the kit seemed too thick to lay down over panel lines, etc.  

Will post back to share results...

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: Michigan
Posted by gawrycht on Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:41 AM

Any problems with the Windex discoloring the underlying paint that you've noticed with this method?  They were applied over enamels so my guess would be no, but wanted to ask before I give it a try...  Thanks!

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.