Stripping and Strippers

Stripping paint from your models…wait, what did you think I was going to be talking about?  Anyway, sometimes you get a deal on a painted model that you want to strip the paint from because either it’s poorly painted, the paint scheme doesn’t match your army, or any of a hundred different reasons.  This leaves you with a dilemma, how do you get the paint off your model without damaging the model and details?

If the model is metal, like the one I’m stripping paint from here, there are a couple of different options.  I’ll actually put a small table in to give you some options for stripping paint from models.

                            Plastic Safe?         Metal Safe?       Time to Soak      Recommended?

Oven Cleaner —       NO                         YES                      1 hr                     NO

Brake Fluid —          YES                        YES                   24-72 hr             MAYBE

Acetone       —          NO                         YES                     24 – ?                   NO

Simple Green —       YES                       YES                     24-48 hr              YES

I would recommend Simple Green for a number of different reasons.  First of all, it’s the most gentle to work with, you can use your bare hands, and it’s the least toxic of all the chemicals, which also means it’s good for metal, plastic, and resin.  Second, it works pretty fast to remove paint, after 24 hours and a good scrubbing you will have gotten rid of most of the paint on the model.  Third, it’s cheaper per fluid ounce than the other chemicals.  I think those three reasons set it aside in my mind as the paint stripper of choice.  Don’t wash your car with it though, and keep it away from furniture that has a finish on it.

So to strip paint from a model you don’t need a lot to begin with.  Just simple green, a glass jar with a lid, and the model.


From there, you can either leave the model on the base, or do like I did and pull the base off because you intend to put them on a different base, or just want to start over with a clean base.  Place them in the jar, fill with simple green (I filled about half way in anticipation of using this jar of simple green again for other models).


 In the next 3 pictures, from left to right you can see that I pulled the model out after about 24 hours of soaking and it looks like the paint is pretty well the same as it was before.  With some scrubbing using and old toothbrush (for resin or plastic models with fine, thin details be very very very gentle), you see that I’ve removed about 95% of the paint.  At this point you could easily re-prime and paint the model.  I chose to put it back in to soak for another 24 hours because I want the primer out of all the cracks and small details.

finishedIn conclusion, don’t be afraid to pick up a poorly painted model at a swap meet or on ebay, especially if it’s an out of print model such as this orc shaman that will soon be my new wierdboy in my 40K ork army.  I picked this guy up for a song, and I am glad I did!

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