Removing Factory-applied Artwork

Removing Factory-applied Artwork


Don't you just hate when this happens?

We've all been there. We buy a numbered locomotive, passenger car, freight car, or anything else and we want to change the number. You hear about neat tips and tricks from that friend of a friend of a relative of a club member of yours and you give it a try. Sadly, some of those efforts result in disaster and subsequently a trip to the paint shop, scrap bin or target practice range. Or if you're modelling the 70s, it might look right at home in the repair lines of your car shops. In which case, you've done a fantastic job! We polled a number of modelers on our Facebook page to get their feedback on how they remove artwork/numbers from their various models. The end result was a wide selection of methods. We're sharing the ones we felt would be most practical and not detrimental to ones health. If you have any other ideas, or wish to provide insight into any of them, please feel free to contact us (call, email or fax) with your words of wisdom.

General Disclaimer

Performing any of these methodswill void the warranty of your Rapido model. They are listed here only as suggestions to aid you in removing factory-applied numbers and artworks. Performing each technique is done at your own risk.

Below are a selection of methods as suggested by our customers. Their names have been included so that we can provide credit where it's due. Techniques have been listed here as copies of the messages we received with modifications applied where necessary.

List of Methods to Remove Factory-applied Artworks

Method #1: Plastic/Vinyl Eraser

Suggested by: Aaron Coats, Richard Murray, Sean Trofin

Tip: Use a plastic/vinyl pencil eraser (the white ones) to gently remove with a light, circular motion. Tread lightly around silver paint and stainless finishes. If using an electric eraser, it is recommended to use very light pressure and an erasing shield.

Method #2: Testors Easy Lift Off

Suggested by: Rob Arsenault, Kenneth Eastman, Michael Patrick

Tip: Use a Testers product called ELO (Easy Lift Off). It does not work right away but 30 seconds later ... gone. As soon as the numbers are gone, stop and wash off with water. It also leaves a shiny spot which is fixed with gloss/dull cote.

Method #3: Automotive Cut/Polish Compound

Suggested by: Phil Bartlett, Aaron Denning

Tip: Use an automotive cut and polish liquid compound. In Australia and the UK it's called T-Cut. It’s great for removing tampo-applied ink. It does vary with time on the colour you are trying to remove. For light colours like yellow, it can be left on for about 25 minute. After sitting, rub with the end of a cotton tip and it should come right off. The good thing also; it polishes the area, leaving a gloss surface for a decal if needed.

Method #4: Sanding Stick

Suggested by: Chris Whitney

Tip: Use a 600 grit sanding stick with a couple drops of water on an HO Scale Osgood-Bradley coaches. Use some masking tape to protect the rivet lines.

Method #5: GoJo Hand Soap

Suggested by: Patrick Gagnon

Tip: Gojo hand soap and a Q-tip works on most models. Lay a glob over the lettering to remove, let it set for a while then rub the lettering with the Q-tip.

Method #6: Scalecoat II Wash Away Paint Remover

Suggested by: Zach Hart

Tip: Use Scalecoat II Wash Away Paint Remover for all my model paint striping needs. It's reusable and safer than 91% isopropyl alcohol.

Method #7: Kleen-flo Brake Cleaner

Suggested by: Dan Darnell

Tip: Spray Kleen-flo Brake Cleaner into a small glass bottle, dip a cotton swab into it and apply to the numbers. It works VERY fast so you must have a paper towel ready to wipe up the mess. Afterwards, clean any residue with a cotton swab and alcohol. Do NOT spray the brake cleaner directly on the car. You can't move fast enough to prevent damage to the paint.

Method #8: Rubbing Alcohol

Suggested by: John Hughes

Tip: Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. Worked on an FPA2. Zero issues.

Method #9: Walthers Solvaset

Suggested by: Michael A Tierney

Tip: Take Walthers Solvaset and cut a piece of paper towel the size of the lettering to be removed. Then, brush on the solvaset until the towel is completely soaked and let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove the paper towel and completely dry the area. Then, rub a piece of scotch tape over the lettering and slowly peel it off. The lettering usually all comes off but multiple attempts might be required. It works on many other manufacturers models too.

General Problems and Inquiries

If your model arrives with damage or there is any other issue, the best thing to do is to call our support team. They take care of all of our warranty repairs and they are all swell guys. The toll-free number is 1-855-LRC-6917 (1-855-572-6917) (outside North America, + 1 905-474-3314 or 905-474-3324).

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