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Removing Printed Details (Oxford Diecast Van)

Removing Printed Details (Oxford Diecast Van)

The other day it came up in conversation about removing printed details such as company names, from the sides of Oxford Diecast van models. This would give you a plain white van or a blank canvas, which would allow you to add your own decals for customising. So for this article, we’d thought we’d try this out.

Tools You’ll need are:

  • Cotton ear buds or Q tips
  • A soft cloth or kitchen paper towels
  • Unless it’s your workbench, something to cover your work surface
  • T-cut or similar

Let’s get started…

If the model is still in the box, remove the lid & undo the two screws that hold the model on to the base.

Be careful when handling the model as so not to break the wing mirrors off.

Using a clean new cotton earbud, apply a little T-Cut (or similar) on to the cotton earbud. Using little downward pressure, gently move the cotton earbud over the printed detail area you want to move.

After a short while, you’ll see the printed details start to disappear. Change the cotton bud regularly as you slowly work the printed detail area.

Eventually, as you keep rubbing the printed detail will disappear as you can see on the right. Be careful not to press on too hard as this could take the paint off as well, which is what we don’t want to happen.

Here you can see we’ve just about removed the printing along the lower part of the door. The next job is to remove the bigger logo & fleet number from the door. Again using the same process. Take your time & don’t rub too hard.

After around another 20 minutes or so, using the same process the larger logo & fleet number was removed. The T-cut was then removed as much as possible using a damp cloth, then the body side wiped dry using some kitchen towel or soft cloth. A little Autoglymn Super Resin polish was used to remove any T-cut residue.

Using Nail Polish To Remove Printed Details

Another method suggested was to use nail polish remover. So we’ve tried this method out for you as well. This method did & didn’t work for us as you’ll see. Having found a bottle of nail polish remover in my other half’s makeup drawer, we’ve tried using this on the van’s bonnet & drivers side door.

The cotton bud was lightly dipped into the bottle of Nail Polish Remover & using the same process as before, lightly moving the cotton bud over the printed area on the bonnet. This time no downward pressure applied on the cotton bud.

The nail varnish seems to lift & dissolve the printed details almost on contact, as you can see here. However…

…Disaster struck!! The paint also lifted off the bonnet as well as you can see here. Maybe I’ve left the nail polish remover on too long on the bonnet or other possible? All is not lost though, as I’ll strip the paint back off the bonnet & repaint either in white or a different colour to replicate a replacement bonnet has been fitted & awaiting repainting.

Just to see if it was an issue with the paint or how the model has been painted, I’ve tried the nail polish remover on the driver’s side door. Regularly wiping with clean water to remove nail polish remover to prevent a repeat of what happened on the bonnet. This time it worked fine.

So out of the two methods, the T-cut takes longer but does a great job so would suggest that for trying out for the first time on a model. The nail polish remover method is faster but more care is needed to prevent it also lifting & removing the paint.

We’ll look at adding weathering as well as sorting out the bonnet mishap in an upcoming article.


Happy modelling

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  1. ClaytonCanuk

    Good advice on the removal of decals, never tried it myself but can imagine how it could quickly go wrong.

    • Iain

      Sadly for us, the Nail polish remover worked a bit too good, but still a good learning curve.

      • debbie

        Hello, Iain stripping your model decals off. I was told by a guy from corgi models how to use the nail polish. I was told to put fresh nail polish remover in a small plastic tub. Dipping a clean q tip into the remover & gently wipe over decals to remove them and to change your q tips regularly you will be left with a clean painted surface Gently dry. with a clean soft kitchen towel. This I have done to a number of 0.0 diecast models then I had decal box make me my own highway maintenance company signs. Debbie OReilly

        • debbie

          Anyone wishing to use Decalbox will find him on Ebay.He’s a very talented man who use to work for Dinky & Corgi. He’s also known as GM Models. FROM Debbie OReilly…………………….

        • Iain

          Yes that’s the process that was used in this case, unfortunately, it lifted the paint on contact.

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