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