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wdmartin

Removing commercial paint

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This is a Lunar Handmaiden.

 

lunar-handmaiden-01.jpg.425541314a713bbb71a9296ada72c1ea.jpg

 

She was produced by Wizards of the Coast for some kind of minis game.  I honestly don't know what one or how it was played.  I picked her up off eBay in a lot of other prepainted plastics, and was taken with the sculpt.  I've already removed the large, square base she came on.

 

I'm toying with the idea of repainting her.  Any tips on removing that spray-painted commercial paint job?  It's sloppy as heck, particularly around her moon-shaped hair doodads.  Is this a job for a Simple Green bath followed by a bunch of scrubbing with soap and a toothbrush?  Or will it take more than that?

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In my experience, the paint for prepaints is so ridiculously tough it might as well be considered part of the miniature. Any chemical attempt at removing it will probably destroy the plastic underneath as well.

 

If you have some sort of spray primer, give it a coat and look again? It might not be as bad as you think it is.

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You could experiment with some things on a sacrificial piece...  See if Simple Green, brake fluid, or some commercial paint stripper will soften it enough.  I'd imagine anything that would strip that paint would also ruin said figure's surface, as the djinn suggests.

 

Brush on primer for the painted bits and rejoice that at least she has transparent hair?

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I have had good results with painting over the factory finish with Reaper liner, after washing the mini with soap and hot water. The liner goes on pretty thin right out of the bottle and works as both a primer and shade.

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I usually side with chemical solutions over mechanical ones. Too easy to destroy plastic surfaces. But have you considered a really light method of buffing the paint off? Perhaps a dremmel with a cloth head and some gemstone polishing compound? It wouldn't just strip the paint with a few passes, it might make the clear parts less surface-cloudy.

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I have had some success with stripping Heroclix minis, but it isn't easy. I used acetone from a hardware store. You have to be careful with the figures (they are a soft plastic similar to Bonesium) the acetone will cause them to swell and get soft. I was able to remove the paint with several rounds of soaking them in the acetone for 30-60 minute and then scrubbing with an old tooth brush or one of those really small brushes for cleaning braces. When most of the paint was removed the minis had to be left for a day or two to re-harden.

I don't know if the paint on your mini is the same as the Heroclix or not, but I think that using acetone on the transparent plastic will probably etch it and make it cloudy.

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 Yeah, the acetone will probably not play well with the translucent part of the figure...

 

What I've done a few times is to leave the figure soaking in Simple Green for about an hour or so, then lightly scratch at the surface of the paint with a hobby knife. If you can soften the paint enough, you can sometimes peel or scratch it off if you have a very light hand with the blade... I usually start with a toothbrush or stiff plastic-bristled brush to get as much of the paint off as I can, then give it another good soak and scrape away at it a bit.

 

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