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The Stripping Materials Compendium


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#1 Enchantra

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 10:24 AM

OK I've seen a heck of a lot of threads on stripping minis, at least one a month so I figured why not make one thread everyone can access to get the information from?

If anyone has anything they want to add to this thread let me know and I will add it to the lists.

So well here goes nothing:

Implements that are useful in stripping:
Beading needles
Toothbrushes (Old ones used for this purpose only)
Electric Toothbrushes (As Ary says it saves your muscles.)
Paper toweling
Steel wool
Toothpicks
Sanding sticks
Files
Wire brushes
Paint Brushes (Hogs hair or other stiff bristles)
Breathing masks and eye goggles (Thanks Ary for this tip. One doesn't want to be breathing in metal particles or get them in their eyes.)

Stripping solutions for Metal minis:
Pinesol
Acetone
Nail Polish Remover
Paint stripper
Brake fluid
Simple Green
Polystripper
Rubbing Alcohol
Paint Thinner
3M's Safest Strip
Citristrip Gel (Thanks Claymoore)
Castrol Super Clean
Windsor and Newton Brush Cleaner

Stripping Solutions for plastic minis: (Test on a crap mini first for overall safety.)
Simple Green
Pinesol
Brake Fluid
Rubbing Alcohol
Oven Cleaner

***Please note some solutions might not be safe for stripping lead minis as they might cause lead rot. Always test a piece first. Anything acidic is NOT a good thing to strip lead with.

***Plastic minis have a tendency to melt when exposed to certain chemicals, so always test a crap mini first. Some chemicals to avoid with plastic minis are ones with an acetone base such as Nail polish remover or acetone itself. Some of your paint strippers will also melt plastic minis. Also according to Spike, Simple green can melt plastic minis. Others though say it works fine. Always test a crap mini first!

***After stripping a mini always wash it in warm soapy water to remove any traces of the stripping agent. This will save you frustration down the road.

***Simple Green will melt cured greenstuff, so if you have done a conversion you might consider a different stripping agent. (Thanks Durak)

Edited by Enchantra, 29 January 2005 - 08:48 AM.

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#2 abngi

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Posted 28 December 2004 - 09:13 PM

I give the minis a soak in simple green, then dump them into an ultrasonic cleaner (small jewelry-cleaning type). No scrubbing after they finish swimming, just put them under a faucet and all the paint is GONE.

Best $50 I have spent in a long time, for the time/effort saving factor. I buy a lot of "used" minis to recondition, and now I spend the time painting the minis instead of stripping them.
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#3 Paintrix

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:22 PM

I have just tried Castrol Super Clean to strip a resin model, as recommended on garage kit and historical mini sites. Worked beautifully in a few hours without any damage to the resin. 90% of the paint and primer rinsed right off. Some deep fur and hair texture needed a quick scrub. The Super Clean also degreased the resin nicely for repriming.

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#4 LSTR

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 10:28 AM

Citra-solv stripped a mini of paint and primer I am working on in less than an hour. All natural ingredients and more environmentally friendly than some other options.

Oh hey, it's Earth Day too!

P.S. this stuff will turn plastic into goo overnight. Just ask the platic cup I used... oh wait you can't, it's goo.

#5 darthfoley

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 02:39 PM

Dawn Power Dissolver - best stuff I've ever used for stripping minis, and safe on plastic.
So sayeth the thread killah.

#6 Mr.Wizard

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 10:06 AM

There is a substance known as Polly Scale Easy Lift Off that promises to not eat plastic.
And all they found was just a statue standing where the statue got me high - They Might Be Giants

#7 mabudon

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:24 AM

So, IF I were to strip, say mid-80's Ral PArtha or Grenadier stuff, I should NOT use my "secret weapon", Easy-Off heavy duty??

I've been working on plastic minis so long I have to get a feel for working with pewter/metal stuff again- better if I don't start off destroyin anything
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#8 Aryanun

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:12 PM

For the older, lead minis, you can use Pine-Sol or Simple Green, but know they will discolor and "blacken" the mini. Some of mine did (Grenadier and RPs as well as some Superior). I've had no problems, though, with 3-M's Safest Strip (a paint stripper I got at Lowe's). It's also faster than the cleaners.

After stripping, I recommend giving them a good cleaning. With the older minis, there is a much larger lead content, so you need to be a little more careful when removing mold lines and flash and create "dust" from them.

And a battery operated toothbrush is your friend.
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#9 mattmcl

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:59 PM

A dremel can be handy as well, preferably one with adjustable speeds.

#10 painter64

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 10:44 AM

I have been using "Greased Lightning Blast" from Walmart. It's a degreaser, cheap, in an orange bottle and smells good.
It has worked well for me on metal, plastic, and resin figures. (it also works well on automobile engines - so dilute it a little.) If you have little kids around, be sure they don't drink it (smells good, but you don't want to degrease their "innards".

#11 PurityThruFire

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 07:44 PM

I use this stuff I found at Advanced Autoparts called "Purple Power".
I dunk my minis in for an 8 hour swim and they come out pretty clean for the most part.
I hit the minis with an electric toothbrush and all is well.
Just my $0.02

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#12 Mad Jack

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 05:15 AM

I've had pretty good luck on metals with Citri-Strip, which was on the list in the original post. It's an orange gel about the consistency of hair gel. I just glop it on and about two to four hours later, I wipe off about 95% of the paint with a paper towel. It easily stripped one of the original TSR D&D miniatures I painted over 15 years ago with enamels, except for a few really-hard-to-get-at spots that required a couple seconds of poking at. It's got a nice orange-y scent and it won't strip your lungs if you stop to eat lunch while it's eating paint. It's designed for indoor use on housepaint, varnishes, stains, and stuff. The first time I tried it, I decided to leave it on for about eight hours cuz I had no idea how long it'd take to work - after about four hours it took the paint off the mini, the paint off the handle of the crap brush I applied it with, and looked like it was about to start happily munching away on the nylon bristles too... ::):
*Not For Use With Plastic*

#13 Breltar

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 05:24 PM

Citra-solv stripped a mini of paint and primer I am working on in less than an hour. All natural ingredients and more environmentally friendly than some other options.

Oh hey, it's Earth Day too!

P.S. this stuff will turn plastic into goo overnight. Just ask the platic cup I used... oh wait you can't, it's goo.



Simple Green is too, they use it on US Navy Ships and it is fine to flush down the drain.

#14 Bear

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the tips. I signed up specifically to ask the question of how to remove paint easily.

#15 PaintByNumbers

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:45 PM

What's the best way to strip many years old oil paint from detailed areas of old softer lead alloy minis, without completely ruining the detail?




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