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Best/Fastest way to strip paint from foam?

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  • Best/Fastest way to strip paint from foam?

    Just bought a new model but, as per protocol, I will be repainting to the Livery of my chosing. It's an LX F4F Wildcat (I know I know, but I need all the cats) and from what I've been reading on these forums, the paint is horrible so I don't wan to paint over it and risk losing my paint job from the original coat flaking off over time. Thus, I want to strip the coat quickly without damaging the foam and get started on the repaint. Any tips are much appreciated. Thanks!
    Current Fleet: Flightline Tigercat, Flightline Bearcat, Eflite Corsair, ESM Skyraider, Pilot RC Yak-54 30%

  • #2
    With the foam FLRC and Freewing models acetone works pretty darn good. Isopropyl alcohol will work but takes a bit more work. As with any unknown practice, test on a small area before jumping in whole hog.

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    • #3
      Acetone and MEK will work, just do it outside , I do it in a tub and use a gallon and a paint brush , then I take a funnel and put a paper towel in it and pour it back in the can when done and toss the bits that are left. R.
      AMA 424553

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      • #4
        MEK is awesome and works where other solvents don't but take every precaution and do everything you can to not get any on you and try not to breath the fumes. Too much exposure to MEK will cause neurological damage and does other nasty things to your body. At the least wear gloves.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beeg View Post
          MEK is awesome and works where other solvents don't but take every precaution and do everything you can to not get any on you and try not to breath the fumes. Too much exposure to MEK will cause neurological damage and does other nasty things to your body. At the least wear gloves.
          Forgot to mention the gloves.
          AMA 424553

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          • #6
            I didn't know about the MEK but I've tried acetone in my Eflite Corsair and after an hours worth of rubbing I cleared MAYBE 5 square inches of paint, and it didn't even come all the way off to bare foam. It was the longest process ever
            Current Fleet: Flightline Tigercat, Flightline Bearcat, Eflite Corsair, ESM Skyraider, Pilot RC Yak-54 30%

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            • #7
              Wet your paper towel with the acetone and let it sit for a few second, then wipe, it does work.
              AMA 424553

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              • #8
                Every manufacturer uses different paint and foam that's why I suggest testing on a small area. Acetone works very well on FMS and Freewing/FLRC models. It may work great on LX but just have to test. I try to avoid using MEK and use it as a last resort.

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                • #9
                  Most paints will come off by pressing packing tape down and pulling it off, paint and all. Then touch up with acetone. Doc

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the good insight! All very helpful
                    Current Fleet: Flightline Tigercat, Flightline Bearcat, Eflite Corsair, ESM Skyraider, Pilot RC Yak-54 30%

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                    • #11
                      Ditto to Docs method, I use packing tape for all stripping which works great. I spent 20 years in the trades spraying lacquer and its fumes even with respirator. Nasty stuff, so I am biased towards any method sans solvents

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                      • #12
                        I remember seeing on the squawk someone using GooGone. I picked up a small 12 oz spray bottle of the stuff at Wallyworld and tested it on my FMS Zero and it is definitely better than the acetone and paper towel method, as it softens the paint and lifts it completely off the foam. Once wiping off the treated paint you must wash the surface with soap and water. Don't get it on you. I think I'll use the tape method and use Goo Gone on the areas the tape doesn't work on.
                        I just received my FW Skyhawk, the finish is astonishing, you can't see any cells. I won't be stripping this finish, I'll paint directly on it!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boots Whirlygig View Post
                          I remember seeing on the squawk someone using GooGone. I picked up a small 12 oz spray bottle of the stuff at Wallyworld and tested it on my FMS Zero and it is definitely better than the acetone and paper towel method, as it softens the paint and lifts it completely off the foam. Once wiping off the treated paint you must wash the surface with soap and water. Don't get it on you. I think I'll use the tape method and use Goo Gone on the areas the tape doesn't work on.
                          I just received my FW Skyhawk, the finish is astonishing, you can't see any cells. I won't be stripping this finish, I'll paint directly on it!
                          Thanks! I'll be stripping an LX F4F Wildcat, and considering its from LX I'm assuming thee should lift right off with a stiff breeze since their QC lacks. I'm just trying to repaint it for my clubs airshow on the 30th so time is of the essence lol.
                          Current Fleet: Flightline Tigercat, Flightline Bearcat, Eflite Corsair, ESM Skyraider, Pilot RC Yak-54 30%

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                          • #14
                            All thou there are many ways to do this, I prefer the acetone method by just pouring it on and brushing as needed. I did the packing tape method and found it to be long a tedious and not all the paint comes off and it pulls the foam also were the strip method it is all removed. I used MEK on one of my cheap buys that was painted with car paint epoxy and that worked just as will but you need to do it outside and need a respirator as you don't with acetone. R.
                            AMA 424553

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