How to remove old paint from plastic and metal miniatures

2016-12-16 Khaiell

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.

Picture described below
Stripping and repainting models

Warning: read the label of your brake fluid carefully. The particular one I used contained a glycol ether as its base and was marked as safe for the environment, meeting a bunch of „green” EU regulations. Still it’s a strong chemical and like many household cleaners has to be kept far away from children and used only in a well ventilated area. I also recommend wearing gloves like you would do while cleaning bathroom with some chlorine cleaner.

Start by pouring the fluid into a jar. Then put the miniatures inside:

Brake fluid is ready for the paint-stripping action

Keep the miniatures in the jar until the paint starts to peel of by itself. Depending on the model shapes and paints used it may take a couple of hours or days. In this case it was enough to soak the miniatures overnight:

The paint is coming off like by a miracle

Pull the models off the jar using tweezers. Scrape the remaining paint with an old toothbrush. Note that any glue used on the models is very likely to come off as well. Be prepared for some glued parts to fall off.

Enjoy the models as new!

See the pictures as separate pages: Stripping and repainting models

You may also find these interesting:
Whenever you start a revolution or defend your village from alien invaders, you need piles of stuff to hide behind
How to build terrain 12-06-2011 Khaiell
A how-to guide simply on making flat cardboard bases? Oh yes! There are some serious pitfalls and easy wins in this. For most "area terrain" like woods or marsh a base is basically the whole thing anyway
How to build terrain 13-06-2011 Khaiell
A swamp and its family and relations are rarely seen and that is a pity as they offers interesting strategic challenges. Seem to favour static armies with a lot of guns where in fact it can also become a deadly trap if the enemy manages to outflank you?
How to build terrain 19-06-2011 Khaiell