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@CK posted:

I've stripped paint off a plastic locomotive shell using straight Simple Green.  It took several weeks and some scrubbing but it got most of it off.  For plastic models I've used brake fluid, but it stinks and you need to be mindful of disposal, but boy does it work and it's pretty quick.

I tried the brake fluid on Lionel O-27 Fa's and ended up with a pile of goo

It’s only one little spot that I need to remove that has the Lionel Line logo. I do plastic model kits and I have a bunch of plastic sanding sticks that go from course to extremely fine and buff the plastic surface to a shine.

I was thinking about just carefully sanding off the part that I don’t want with very fine grit and then buffing the plastic back to an original sheen.

It doesn’t have to be perfect because I am placing a decal over it.

If there’s really no good way to easily remove the paint in the one little spot that I want then I think I will go that route.

Not sure what you mean by painted on markings.  I’m guessing your talking lettering. The trouble with anything liquid type it also removes the paint underneath or at least it softens it up. You could consider a really fine grit sandpaper. Dip it in some water or sand it in the sink.

If it’s just lettering. I’ve been recently changing rd. numbers on rolling stock in order to build up a fleet of hoppers. I bought a Paasche Air Eraser and just mask off one or two numbers. It removes the numbers easily and more or less just dulls the underlying paint. A coat of clear gloss and add decals with different numbers and it’s done. I wouldn’t advise trying to strip an entire car with this method.

Last edited by Dave_C

Easy Lift Off will take off the lettering but you may remove some paint.  Easy Lift Off works pretty fast so you want to go slow and not use a lot of it or you'll wind up taking off a lot of paint.

You might also try 90% isopropyl  alcohol.  The alcohol works a little slower.  Make sure you get the 90% or higher not the 78% as it doesn't work nearly as well.

Neither of those will damage the plastic.

With either approach you'll just need to apply the solvent to a Q tip and rub slowly on the lettering.

There was no underlying paint underneath the markings I wanted to remove and it was only about a one inch area.

So I just went ahead and sanded the area very very lightly for a period of time with different grits of my sanding sticks for plastic models.

Absolutely did the trick and the plastic buffed back to it’s original sheen. You could never tell anything was painted on it so I will call it a success.

However, I’m going to order some of the Testors Easy Lift Off as that sounds like good stuff to have in the tool bag!

Thanks to everyone for the ideas!

@coach joe posted:

Glad it worked out for you.  So the plastic underneath was the body color and therefore unpainted?

Yes, it’s a Lionel line track maintenance bumper car. Probably circa 1980 or so…

Only markings were white paint on the plastic shell. The shell itself is a burgundy plastic. And that burgundy color happens to be almost a perfect match for the Lionel Polar Express burgundy color so all I needed to do was remove the white lettering.

The deck that the workmen stands on I painted and for the blue color I used a Tamaya spray can that was recommended as a good color match for the blue.

I am replacing the Workman figure on the deck with a Santa Claus and I have changed the sign that spins on each bump to a directional arrow for the North Pole. Will run in the center of my small Polar Express layout. When I’m finally done I’ll post a pic to this thread.

Last edited by johnrr6
@johnrr6 posted:

Yes, it’s a Lionel line track maintenance bumper car. Probably circa 1980 or so…

Only markings were white paint on the plastic shell. The shell itself is a burgundy plastic. And that burgundy color happens to be almost a perfect match for the Lionel Polar Express burgundy color so all I needed to do was remove the white lettering.

The deck that the workmen stands on I painted and for the blue color I used a Tamaya spray can that was recommended as a good color match for the blue.

I am replacing the Workman figure on the deck with a Santa Claus and I have changed the sign that spins on each bump to a directional arrow for the North Pole. Will run in the center of my small Polar Express layout. When I’m finally done I’ll post a pic to this thread.

Sounds like a terrific project.

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