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:
Horses show a large variety of coat colours, much like human hair. Note however that in contrast to hominids they can have contrasting points of different colour: mane, tail and lower legs ("socks")
Real-world inspiration 10-03-2017 Khaiell
As with rivers I love the puzzle-laying aspect of this project. Designing and setting it up is like playing a boardgame on it's own
How to build terrain 12-06-2011 Khaiell
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