Friday, February 15, 2008

Stripping Paint Off Of Old Figures


The other night I bought a nice size lot of figures from an add on Craigslist (a local free classifieds list ). The young man selling it was very nice and I got a bunch of good useable stuff for a great price. I will be using the Chaos marines in my Nurgle army, so they will be converted .



Some of the figures had old paint and it was too thick to just prime over, so I decided to try some paint removal techniques that I have heard others have used to remove old paint.

First oven cleaner; about $5; this stuff is pretty nasty so be safe with it, I had used it before with plastic model car kits and it worked well, so I figured it would be OK on plastic and metal figures.



Second was the Simple Green; about $5 ; I really don't like the smell of this stuff, but it is much less toxic than other methods so I will give it a try.



Last Dot 3 automotive brake fluid about $1.50 , some very nasty stuff, ( Lord Nurgle would aprove ). Having worked in the automotive industry I have seen the damage this stuff is capable of, needless to say gloves are a must and don't spill on anything. I used half of an old soda can, to avoid having to clean up.



I will use an old toothbrush to scrub the figures after a good overnight soak.

I put some metal and plastic figures in each tub and covered them with the cleaners , spraying the oven cleaner to cover the figures with foam and covering with a lid , pouring the Simple Green and brake fluid over the figures until they were covered.







I let the oven cleaner soak overnight and when I pulled the figures out it looked like little had happened , but when I started to brush them with the toothbrush , the layers of paint started to peel off , these guys had lots of different colors on them , the metal ones seemed to let the paint go much quicker, while the plastics seemed to hold on to the old paint more , but they may have had more layers , so I brushed of as good as I could and then returned them to the tub for another spray and soak.

After first oven cleaner soak and scrub, plastic on the right metal on left.



I will add more after they soak a bit longer.

So here we go, everything has had a good soak , a scrub and another soak 2 days total
heres how they look;


oven cleaner


Simple Green


brake fluid

You can see the change in the color of the solvents,
here are the figures after the last scrub;


oven cleaner


Simple Green


brake fluid

seems to me they all did ok on the metal minis , with brake fluid not doing much even to the metal ( I would have guessed that it would have been the best)

On plastics the solvents were much less effective , with Simple Green working much better than the others . Please not that these plastics have MANY coats of paint and a single light coat may have come of with less work, and as you can see some of the pieces still show color , but they are stripped , with the light color of the plastic holding a tint.

I will take all the plastics and soak them all in the Simple Green and see if I can get any of the paint off from the other solvents.

So Simple Green seems to work best , and is much less toxic, and no special gloves or containers are needed.

here is one that was stripped and then repainted as one of my Nurgle Chaos Marines;



Viewer Warphammer added;
"I always find that the oven cleaner works best for me on metal. It might be worth adding that you should clean the models with soapy water afterwards for people that don't do this often."

If you do end up using brake fluid or oven cleaner , make sure you give it a good wash in soapy water after you finish stripping the model , so you have a clean surface to paint on , since Simple Green is soap, just rinse it off real good with water.

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I always find that the oven cleaner works best for me on metal.

    It might be worth adding that you should clean the models with soapy water afterwards for people that don't do this often.

    Great post though.

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  3. About stripping paint off of metal models, I'd try some Laquer thinner. Maybe dilute it a bit with water first. But yeah, laquer thinner is too strong for plastics, but definitely not too strong for metals.

    Give it a shot, man.

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  4. I personally use Rubbing alcohol, the highest concentration you can find (90%?). It starts to take affect after maybe 30 minutes and all it take is some vigorous scrubbing with a tooth brush.

    Please try this and see how it compares.

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  5. Thanks for the informative post its really helped. I had heard about Brake Fluid but was sceptical, surprised to see that it actually works.

    Nice Blog by the way :)

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  6. Thanks a lot!! That really helped cause ive got sum old models that i hav to repaint but the paint is on too thick...thanx again!

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  7. Those seem to work well, but in my personal experience, I used Westley's Bleche-Wite. It is a tire cleaner, so it is pretty toxic, but it is really cheap. I follow the same steps you showed, just putting the models completely covered in a container, let it sit overnight, then scrub it with a toothbrush before rinsing it. I never thought of using an old pop can though, thanks for that. If you just wanted to do a single model though, an old medicine bottle works well with it's tight cap. I also noticed that the paint and primer came off a lot easier with metal models than plastic when you did it. This happened to me a lot, too. The paint just seems to stick more. And a friend of mine prefers to use Castrol Super Clean, a degreaser. It seems a little too industrial sterngthish to me though. I just thought I'd drop these suggestions here in return for the ones you had. I am trying to build up a tyranid army, and I am just having trouble getting some of the paints out of the tiny crevasses mainly on the arms of some of the older models I have gotten. If you know anything that can help with that, it would be greatly appreciated.

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  8. I Simply used nail polish remover and vigorous scrubbing and got paint off a plastic mini within 10 minutes, however i had applied that paint only 24 hours earlier so that may have had something to do with it.

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  9. Ive had some limited luck with regular Pine Sol as well. Takes a couple days but the result seems similar to the Simple Green example.

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  10. If I leave my models in simple green a week...or a month, I have great success, thanks for the tip.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. I have had the most success with Pinesol. It strips the models clean, although it does not seem to take off glue, it works equally well on metal and plastic, and the only problem I could see is that it changes the color of the metal to a dull gray from the more shiny new metal look. the again, I also soaked the models for a whole week, what can I say, I have endless patience.

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  13. Dawn Power Dissolver, if you can find it in a local store otherwise walmart.com has it really cheap when they have a stock. This stuff is my new holy grail. 15-20 minutes and you can rinse most of the paint off your models. My buddy tried simple green on some terminators he used a fancy car chrome paint on for over a month and this stuff even managed to get that to fall off while rinsing after a day. Best model paint stripper ever!!!!!

    Works pretty good on dirty dishes too i hear...

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  14. another way of stripping is with dettol

    http://limited-edition-warhammer.blogspot.co.uk/

    is a good website detialing the Dettol method

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  15. I left a dozen RTB01 Beakie Marines in oven cleaner during my last deployment. When I returned home they were completely stripped of paint (Testors enamels and some craft store acrylics) with the added bonus of all the superglue had turned to easily removed goop. Just make sure to remove the superglue residue with an old brush before using soap and water. The S&W will turn the superglue solid again.

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