Stripping Minis - A Work-In-Progress


I thought I'd pass on a leassons learned tip on removing paint from figures.

I made the mistake of trying to undercoat minis with Armory black spray paint on a humid morning --> bad juju. The figures were a mix of SST metals and plastics and as well as 10 Warriors. They were coasted with powdery, non-drying paint that gave them a very rough and thickened coat, obscuring details.

After getting over the initial shock, I did some research and decided to try the Simple Green product recommended on the following link.

Good news: Soaking for 24 hours allowed all the bad paint to peel right off the metal figures under warm water from a faucet. Vigorous scrubbing with an old toothbrush worked to get all the stubborn patches loosened.

Bad news: Plastic minis require at least 48 more hours. Even then, only the rough patches and upper surfaces could be removed. I got about half the warriors/SSTs relatively cleaned up although they still have black in deep crevasses. WARNING: The paint is very stubborn and scrubbing causes dislodging of glued bits.

As an experiment, I currently have the remaining plastics soaking for 96 hours in order to try and get the paint off completely. The good news is no melting or softening of the plastic has been noted. I'll update later today when I check on them. If they are not cleanable, I'll probably go to a 50/50 mix of water and Pine-Sol for a shorter period of time.

UPDATE: The 96-hour soak did not increase the paint-removal that much. Paint remains in the creases, but there are no clumps or thick paint remaining. It did not damage the plastic in any way, although some gap-filling putty had been attacked and will have to be reapplied. I am letting them dry to assess whether they are smooth enough.

Cillit bang works. Just put them in for about 6-8 hours then scrub with an old toothbrush, if you leave them in for 24 hours paint is a lot easier to get off. Doesnt work on plastics, I dont think anyway, I havent tried it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.... Dettol. Works on plastics and metals, soak for 24 hours then scrub with an old toothbrush, or a high pressure water source will work too!!
ACETONE aka Nail Varnish remover. Paint drops off, with in minutes. Use a soft brush to get off the difficult bits

I wasn't too sure about using acetone on plastic minis.

Since the Simple Green worked excellently on the metals and has little clean-up or fume issues, I wouldn't recommend acetone over it.


PS - I ordered some Dettol and will test it on the paint residue remaining on the plastics as soon as it arrives.
Narlotep said:

Thanks for the tip. I'll see if I can find some Dettol over here in the colonies. :)


In the USA I know that it has a different name to the UK one (and indeed have some of the same tv ads for them, but with the different product name) I think it'll be Lysol disenfectant.
I suppose it all goes down to the cost of the model, I mean if its one rank and file model. Dont waste your time, buy a new one, its not worth the effort. But large, or expensive models. Then try to see if you can strip it, and clean the model down.