I have an MTH tender with a giant Red Sox logo on the tender. I want to remove it and replace it with a different logo. What’s the best way to remove it without damaging the underlying paint?  I’ve thought about spray painting over it but that would just create another layer to deal with. Does immersing the tender in water work, or maybe Goof-Off?.  Any help would be appreciated. Thanks......

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I’ve never tried this on MTH, but I’ve been able to remove lettering on Williams and Lionel with mineral spirits on a Q tip without messing up the paint.

Takes some patience, doesn’t look look like anything is happening at first.

Avoid alcohol, it will remove many paints.  I use Naphtha (lighter fluid) around painted stuff, it's much less likely to damage the paint.  Whatever you use, try it first on a hidden area and make sure it won't wreck your paint.

If the logo is really a decal, have you tried Solvaset?  It will loosen real decals, but won't affect your paint.

Paint used on plastic is different then the paint used on diecast. For plastic I had some luck with Testors Easy Lift Off (ELO). Try it on the inside first to make sure it won't damage the base paint. Its slow but usually safe on most base paints. You may still have repaint if it leaves too much of a haze but at least the graphic won't be visible under the new paint.


Yep, the paint on plastic I've found is easily damaged with Alcohol, but so far Naphtha hasn't damaged any.  I haven't tried ELO, may have to give that a try.  I searched around and it seems a number of people have good things to say about it.

That is not a decal on the side of that tender. That is tampo pad printed graphics. Very similar to all the graphics MTH uses on their diecast body shells. However, with plastic shells, as everyone has pointed out, some chemicals will leach through and eat the plastic. Leaving you with a pile of poo.......you’re going to have a tough road to remove all that paint and leave the base color behind perfectly unblemished. If this was a diecast shell, graphics can be easily wiped away with a rag dampened with lacquer thinner...but under no circumstances can you do this with a plastic shell....it will go bye-byes.....my suggestion would be to repaint the tender shell how you want it, to lesson the affect of the offending graphics, wet sand the graphics to blend into the surroundings with fine paper, 800 or finer.staying away from fine details such as rivets or stanchions that are cast in details.  Then prime and paint as desired....that is the only safe way I’ve found to redo those railking plastic tender shells.....hope that helps, don’t mean to tread on anybody’s feet..........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

WOW.... Who would have thought! Thanks for the info, Pat!

I actually Googled “How do you remove tampo printing from plastic?” .  Naturally, there is a YouTube video that demonstrates how to do it using Testors Easy Lift Off (ELO). It may take several tries but it’s supposed to leave the original plastic finish intact. Again, thanks to everyone who replied back!

I like ELO and brake fluid. They are slow and patience required, I use that Mr clean eraser. I did try the sanding pat mentions and it was fine on a black tank car, I repainted, put another decal on top and covered with dullcote. Disguised what was underneath!

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

A - maybe the - primary point, only touched on above, is: are they "decals"? Are they "paint"? Are they "ink"? None of those 3 things is treated the same way as the others, and one needs to know which medium was used.

I have removed true decals by soaking in water for a couple of days. I remove printed lettering on metal pieces with acetone. Plastic pieces are harder to deal with; the sanding method I use when I can. Thankfully, most of my removal/re-lettering is done on non-toy-level steamers, and most of them are brass or die-cast beginning to end.

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