Semi-noob - paint and decal questions

Hi,
I need to repaint an RC truck that I bought at KMart. The body is made of thick polystyrene and not lexan. I have very limited time to finish the
project and am wondering if there is a way to prep the body for new paint using chemicals instead of sandpaper. The truck has lots of ridges and seams that will be tough to deal with if I have to sand.
Are there any products out there that I can use to properly rough up the existing paint so that the new paint will stick? This is in the interest of time and not because I want to avoid hard work
Also - there are some parts that are chromed. Is Easy-Off still the preferred way to de-chrome polystyreme?
Finally - what is the consensus on the inkjet-based waterslide paper for printing your own decals - does it work, what are the pitfalls, what are your suggestions, etc. or should I just print the decals on the clear adhesive label sheets that Staples sells?
Thanks much!!
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"Reactor" <bruce.gettel-at-myactv.net> wrote:

By "prep" do you mean prep for a final new color coat(s), as in priming? Just spray it with cheap automotive primer.
Why do you want to de-chrome the chrome? If you just want to re-paint it, then you should not have any problems spraying over the chrome.
Inkjet decals are fairly common. Many of the aftermarket airliner decals are printed this way (many are also ALPS printed); and their quality and reputation is very good.
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Well, yes and no. Bare metal has to be prepped and sanded before being primed else the paint will eventually chip and wear off.

What's to prevent the water-soluble ink from dissolving when dipped in water then? More considerations are that inkjet decals will fade over time and are not especially opaque. Personally, I'd avoid them like the plague.
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Al Superczynski wrote:

will
I don't play with InkJet decals, but I think that many InkJet inks nowadays use inks which are waterproof when dry.
Peteski
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On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 21:35:11 -0500, "Reactor" <bruce.gettel-at-myactv.net> wrote:>The truck has lots of ridges and seams that will be tough to deal with if I have to sand.

Use a Scotch-Brite pad or something similar to scuff it up. Automotive paint stores sell pads that have finer grit but they're more expensive.

Castrol Super Clean degreaser, 409, Fantastik, and Scalecoat paint remover are all viable alternatives. The best product is probably Strip-a-Kit, though: http://www.hangar3.com/sak.htm .

See my other reply elsewhere on this thread. Laser-printed (or copied) decals are much better. The best 'home-made' decals are done with ALPS printers though and there are several sources of custom decals available for those that don't own an ALPS printer.
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Reactor wrote:

Are you sure it is polystyrene? If it is, just cleaning it is enough preparation, though a primer wouldn't hurt.
But if it is polyethylene, good luck! That stuff is almost impossible to paint.
I print my own decals frequently. You need actual water slide decal paper. Micro Mark sells it, a few other places do. There are two kinds, inkjet type and regular (laser) type. I use the later, take a printout on plain paper to a copy shop and have them copy it to the non-inkjet paper. A copy machine works the same as a laser printer.
With either paper you must clearcoat the decal paper before soaking in water.
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