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Discussion Starter #1
Like a lot of people I purchased one of the Bachmann 2005 Sam's Club Xmas special sets. It's a nice Annie with a combo car and a passenger car.

But the Xmas decorations, especially the "snow frosted" windows did little for me and I figured it would be easy to remove same.

Easy is a relative term however. But I've haunted the forums here and picked up lots of very useful information including the tip on a degreaser called Super Clean that can be used to remove decals from Bachmann cars without eating the paint and plastic.

But knowing what to do, and knowing how to do it, are two very different things. I do not have a vat to soak something as large as a Bachmann passenger car in, nor do I want to purchase gallons of what is, after all, a fairly toxic chemical.

So I started with Q-tips, laboriously dipping and rubbing and much to my surprise it worked! But it was very time consuming. So I tried to figure out how to localize the Super Clean to only selected spots while at the same time allowing the chemical to stay on the areas to be de-Xmased for a good 10 minutes.

Here's what I came up with.



I used cotton to cover just the spots where I wanted to soak the Super Clean and using an eyedropper put just enough of the chemical to wet the cotton.




10 minutes later I carefully, using tweezers, pulled up the cotton (you really don't want to get Super Clean on your skin) and then cleaned up the goo with Q-tips and then wet (with water) paper towels. The results so far have been good and the process very fast.




In the picture above you see the original passenger car with Xmas decorations on top, and the Super Cleaned combo car below.

Best,
TJ
 
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Super Clean might be toxic but wait till you find out what China used to paint them with...../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
Toad
 

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That really worked well!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Robert, Toby,

The cotton to keep the stuff only where the decals were really made it quick and easy. I was able to keep some lettering, for example, while taking off the lettering right above it.

Super Clean has the consistancy and look of Windex (but DO NOT get this stuff on your skin!) so it will run, but the cotton kept it right where I wanted it with the bonus of absorbing most of the decal paint making only minimal residual clean up necessary.

Best,
TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Toad,

> but wait till you find out what China used to paint them with.....

I can only imagine ;-).

Best,
TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Stan,

> Thanks for sharing that product.

I found out about Super Clean, like everything else I've learned about the hobby including some wonderful information provided by yourself, right here on MLS.

I think I first heard of Super Clean in a post by Kevin Strong (but am not absolutly sure about that) and there has been the occasional reference to it here and there. Took me a while to find it (Wal Mart) and like so many things it sat on my hobby table for months before I got around to playing with it last night. But it will do the job. Have to see if I got all the residual off and that I have not damaged the paint but so far it looks very positive.

I didn't read the label until after I had it soaking the cotton and noticed the label recommends wearing gloves when handling the stuff. Looking at my thumb and index finger this morning I'd say that is probably good advice. I will be MUCH MORE careful in handling this stuff in the future. But it works slick as can be.

Best,
TJ
 

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I've used castrol super clean for years. There is a another product that is a ripoff of it called "coastal power clean" it is the same exact thing and works just as well. But, unlike most i do have a big vat of the stuff. I bought a 22 gallon storage tub and filled it with 5-6 gallons of super clean. When i want to strip an entire car i disassemble it & throw it in for a few days. When it comes out a good rinse and a lil work with a toothbrush and, viola. I also have a coffe can of the stuff that i strip white metal parts and models in. The cleaner last for years, i just pour it through a strainer once in awhile to get the old paint out.
Terry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Terry,

I can see where a vat would be the ultimate, especially where you want to strip an entire car of everything. Wish I had the room for more hobby related stuff, but as it is now, before I can put something in my garage I have to first take something else out.

Best,
TJ
 

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Thanks for taking the time to post, TJ. I wasn't sure what to use, and couldn't remember what was suggested here.

Take care,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Matt,

> Thanks for taking the time to post,

My pleasure, I've gotten so much from MLS that I really like it when I can share something and hope it helps someone else.

Best,
TJ
 
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one never sees the obvious...
how often have i seen wife or daughters with chemical-wet cotton on finger or foot nails to clean up old warpaint....
but i never made the connections to put it to civil use too.
thanks, tj-lee.
 

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Automotive, it's made by castrol. It comes in a purple or white bottle. There is another product called Coastal Power Clean, same stuff.
 

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I used Castrol Super Clean back in 1996 after it first came out. except I used it to clean an engine block. Sucked it straight out the bottle with a spry gun for my compressor and it not omly took the grease off the thengine, It took the paint and primer off to the bare metla. After experianceing this first hand, I would never have thought to use it to take paint off a plastic train car.
I do have one question tho, did you use it full stregnth or did you dilute it ?

Cliff
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Cliff,

> do have one question tho, did you use it full stregnth or did you dilute it ?

I use it full strenght out of the bottle. I sprayed it into a shot glass and used a eyedropper to wet the cotton that I placed over the (what I think are) decals making up the Xmas decorations on the Bachmann cars. The garlands, the wreaths, and the dreaded snow frosting on the windows. Also allowed me to take off selected areas of lettering so I was able to remove references to the North Pole and the North Star Express lettering.

This stuff is very strong and I only would leave it on for about 10 minutes which dissolved the painted decorations but did not seem to touch the underlying paint.

But as noted by Terry, you can use this stuff to take the paint off all the way down to the plastic by prolonged soaking. Terry has a vat of this stuff (also full strength I believe) and can soak an entire car as prep for repainting.

Best,
TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Finished removing all the Xmas decals and paint from the passenger, combo, and the "North Star Express" lettering from the tender.



Of course, now the tender begs for come new lettering. I think decals are probably the way to go as I don't think I have a steady enough hand to hand letter something like that. Have to give it some thought.



Certainly gives the train a very different look, and as I was running it today in 98+ degree weather it did not look so out of place.





The tender has the two rows of raised "rivets" so maybe smaller lettering above and below the rows? I left some of the gold piping around the sides of the tender, but removed same from below the windows and along the bottom of the cars.



Best,
TJ
 

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TJ, I had Stan Cederleaf in Arizona make my decals for me. Got a good price and they look good. He also includes instructions. The lettering on the tender normaly goes in between the rivests. Thtat way you can have a larger size font in there that is easy to read and draws attention to it. By the way, Great Job!!!!! They look good. :)
Cliff
 
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