Best Way to Remove Waterslide Decals

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lowga

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Found this Estes Citation Patriot at a flea market. In good shape--needing only a chute, new shock cord, and paint.

Never had to remove waterslide decals before, but it seems warranted in this case. What's the best way to remove these decals without damaging the body tube? Thought I'd remove decals, sand the tube, primer and repaint. I'm sure this has been done thousands of times, but never by me.

Any tips or advice? Thanks in advance.

Estes Citation Patriot.jpg
 

kuririn

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Since you're going to sand the tube anyway, why not just sand it off?
I mean, you could use an expensive solution like Micro Set, it lists "decal remover" on the bottle as one of its' uses. But why bother?
 

rklapp

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If it’s waterslides, sand/primer/paint. If vinyl, just heat and peel, right?
 

Bill S

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It can make a difference if some decal sealant was put on the decals like Microscale Liquid Decal Film, or something similar. Otherwise, if you are planning on repainting the rocket, maybe start with some 400 or even 600 grit sandpaper and gently sand and see how it goes? I haven't tried it personally, so take it for what it is. :)
 

GlenP

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Are you going to try to make your own decals when you refinish it? Metallics and white are hard to recreate with the typical home ink jet printers and water slide decal paper.

Maybe Estes has some replacement kit decals if you call them and ask.
 

lowga

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Hadn't really gotten that far along. The kit is still in production, so I'll send an e-mail to see if Estes is willing to sell the decals separately. Thanks for being more forward-thinking than I am, GlenP.
 

ZeroCooL

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Estes should have them in stock. When the dog ate my Estes ESAM-53 decals (Literally!), I sent an email, paid a small fee and they shipped them right out.
 

GlenP

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I agree, I kind of like the road worn look it has. As long as you can repair the recovery system and restore it to flying condition, I would keep it as is for a while. Heck, just clear coat it to preserve the that relic-ed look.
 

lowga

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Gentlemen--you may be right. Sometimes I think that I've gotten too hung up on the perfect paint, and finish. As a kid, we built them, painted them with Testors and a brush, and flew them.

Time to get back to that kind of rocketry. Flew a lot more, worked on paint a lot less. I'm going to take your advice. Repaired the shock cord tonight, and added a nylon chute. Going to clear coat it, and fly it. Just as it is.
 

rklapp

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You gotta pay extra for shabby chic design. It's the haute couture.
 

Mike Haberer

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Gentlemen--you may be right. Sometimes I think that I've gotten too hung up on the perfect paint, and finish. As a kid, we built them, painted them with Testors and a brush, and flew them.

Time to get back to that kind of rocketry. Flew a lot more, worked on paint a lot less. I'm going to take your advice. Repaired the shock cord tonight, and added a nylon chute. Going to clear coat it, and fly it. Just as it is.
It's the only way to go. My philosophy is akin to Bo Schembechler's view of what can happen when you throw a pass in football. 3 things can happen, two are bad. First, the engine CATO's on the pad (bad). Second, the engine lights, but the ejection charge fails or the parachute doesn't open or the shock cord breaks - aka, recovery fails and you make a hole in the ground (bad). Third, good flight and recovery (good). I mean, we're sticking pyrotechnics in the rear end of a tube and lighting it. What could go wrong?
 

MALBAR 70

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I recently ran into this problem with an Estes Alien Space Probe. The 25+ year old decals were brittle (even after coating them with Krylon clear gloss) and I did my best to get them on the rocket. Needless to say , it just didn't look good so I ordered a set of vinyl from Stickershock. At this point I needed to remove the old, crappy decals. The first thing I tried was using a damp paper towel to soften the adhesive, no luck. Next I tried using Gorilla tape (very sticky) to lift up the decals, this sort of worked but not great (although it did get quite a bit off). In the end, I resorted to sandpaper (220 then 400) and a repaint_

I agree with the general consensus that the OP's Patriot should be left the way it is.
I have several yard sale rescues in my fleet and to most of them all I did was give them a spit shine, replace worn/missing recovery gear and fly them.
 

lakeroadster

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Gentlemen--you may be right. Sometimes I think that I've gotten too hung up on the perfect paint, and finish. As a kid, we built them, painted them with Testors and a brush, and flew them.

Time to get back to that kind of rocketry. Flew a lot more, worked on paint a lot less. I'm going to take your advice. Repaired the shock cord tonight, and added a nylon chute. Going to clear coat it, and fly it. Just as it is.
Legit Rocket Patina... :goodjob:
 

Bill S

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I have several yard sale rescues in my fleet and to most of them all I did was give them a spit shine, replace worn/missing recovery gear and fly them.
I figure these kind of rockets are great for testing out new engine combinations (testing non-recommended engines like Q-Jets/composite motors), and if you lose them, its not a big deal, unlike that beauty of a rocket you spent 10 hours on.
 

MALBAR 70

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I figure these kind of rockets are great for testing out new engine combinations (testing non-recommended engines like Q-Jets/composite motors), and if you lose them, its not a big deal, unlike that beauty of a rocket you spent 10 hours on.

Yup, I refer to these types of rockets as LEV's... Low Emotional Value.
 

rklapp

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I mean, we're sticking pyrotechnics in the rear end of a tube and lighting it. What could go wrong?
We cut off the bits that are broken, glue on new bits, stick a pyrotechnic into the tube, and hope it goes better.
 

stantonjtroy

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The best way I've found to remove water slides is packaging tape (the tan plastic kind). Place a piece on and rub it down well but leave an end up to grip it. Then pull it up with w quick jerk. Grab another piece of tape and continue.
 
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