"Chillon! thy prison is a holy place, / And thy sad floor an altar" wrote Lord Byron, the father of the Romantic movement (and also the father of the first programmer Ada Lovelace). Whenever you crawl a dungeon in Descent, Dungeons&Dragons or Baldur's Gate, you are retracing the 1816 poet's visit to Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva.
The best tool for paint stripping in my book is... brake fluid. The one used in cars. You can buy it at any gas station and at many run-of-the-mill supermarkets. It is designed not to damage metal car parts or plastic pipes but also to prevent corrosion and remove impurities.
Did you think the jewellery section of the retail giant is not for a grimdark hobbyist like you? Think again! If you search for steampunk gears you may find top quality bits that can be purchased cheaply by the bagful.