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Thread: Removing old decals (that weren't put on properly)?

  1. #1

    Removing old decals (that weren't put on properly)?

    Hi everybody,

    I know decal topics are about as common as "which are the best brushes?" but this is with a slight twist...

    Back in the days before I discovered Micro Set and Micro Sol I used to struggle with decals and used to avoid using them wherever possible (preferring to freehand) but when I did use them they looked awful but I made do.

    I have a fully painted Cadian army and the paint job is absolutely fine but the decals are shockingly bad and I want to remove them and do them properly.

    So they were "affixed" (badly) with nothing more than tap water and faith in the Emperor....

    I have tried re-wetting them and soaking them off but they just won't budge. What's more frustrating is that they weren't varnished so most have chipped or started to flake off but I just can't remove them fully or cleanly.

    So I didn't use any sort of decal softener, decal fixer or varnish but want to remove the decals from infantry and tanks and re-do them properly.

    Are there any products that would make it easier to remove them without damaging the paint work? Could I use decal softener to get them off? The decals have been on for about 7 years.....

  2. #2
    Veteran Sergeant MDSW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Texas, USA

    Re: Removing old decals (that weren't put on properly)?

    Vinegar should soften them up without harming the paint. If they were not affixed very well and have air beneath the decals, you should be able to get some to soak underneath and loosen/dissolve the decal. I have not done this, but worth a try!
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  3. #3
    Inquisitor Captain Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada

    Re: Removing old decals (that weren't put on properly)?

    Decal softener will make them more pliable, but it also will melt them onto the model if you don't get them off right away. What I used to do was actually sand them down/off (with a miniature file or very, very light and small sand paper, the kind you get at hobby stores to smooth paint) as they were on raised areas and then painted the area (as it is usually note a highlight area) and started again with a new decal.

    My two cents,


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