Removing Decals from Your LGB Cars
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

I know people who would never even consider removing the factory decals from their LGB equipment. If you are a collector, and want to maintain your LGB purchases in their pristine factory condition, please skip this article.

However, if you are the type of modeler who can grab a can of spray paint and change the factory color to something more authentic, this article is for you.

I model the Colorado & Southern Railroad, circa 1930's. But like everybody else, when I first started buying railcars, I bought whatever struck my fancy (and what was on sale). So I was stuck with railcars of various roads, none of which the actual Colorado & Southern would have allowed on its tracks. The solution seemed easy: Remove the factory decals and reapply appropriate C&S logo's. Finally, someone suggested Scalecoat Paint Remover. Mine is a clear liquid in a plastic bottle, but the Scalecoat II paint remover now at hobby shops has a light green tint. I haven't tried the Scalecoat II, but I bet it would work too. I noted that several other brands of paint removers advertise that they will also remove decals. One bottle should last forever, because the goal is to remove the decal, not the paint.

My procedure is to get a Q-Tip wet with the Scalecoat and gently rub the decal. Go easy. Let the product work. With just the slightest bit of effort you can remove the decal and leave the underlying paint intact. Works great on changing numbers. Two identical gondolas, numbering 916, for example, can become cars 91 and 16. A DRGW cattle car can become whatever line your railroad runs.

I have even tried this technique on engines. I had a Helena engine for the Iron Mountain Railroad and I use a little Scalecoat to make the engine a generic black, suitable for decaling with whatever engine number I selected.

I highly recommend this method. Work outdoors so the fumes don't get to you. Wear gloves to protect your hands and, most importantly, have fun.

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