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:
What would a river do on a battlefield without a bridge to fight over? The design here was made with lumbering battle tanks in mind »
How to build terrain 12-06-2011 Khaiell
With the Gathering Storm series of books players can enjoy putting power armour, light infantry and sophisticated technology of the Adeptus Mechanicus all in one army. You could have been enjoying the same concoction for 30 years by playing Squats. I will show you how I paint my "Honourable Guild of Plasmaniacs" »
Modelling 01-04-2017 Khaiell
On our YouTube channel...
The Death Guard models released in 2017 are gorgeous, whether the ones from the starter boxes or even the "easy to assemble" ones. So are the special edition models any more special? »
YouTube 22-12-2017 https://youtu.be/vQJBsrYH9W4
How to kitbash the old and the new Citadel industrial "Sector Imperialis" terrain to make the elements look cohesive. And how to make them pipes actually connect afterwards despite the conversions. »
YouTube 02-02-2018 https://youtu.be/gkZMRsakhVk