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Marvin

Oh, the degrading hardships of stripping.

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Hey, all. I posted before in the stripping guide but figured it'd be best not to eff it up anymore. I've started trying to strip some lead (supposedly pewter, but the models are lead, from my research) miniatures from the 80's. I was really excited about the pieces, and I got a great deal, but they were previously painted--a kid's work, from the looks of it. I've never dealt with this before, but I'm guessing they're enamel paints. They're very shiny and glossy to look out, very smooth to the touch. I was ready to blast in with acetone and strip the mothas down.

 

Only it's not working! A couple pieces on a six-hour soak followed by good scrubbing with a tooth brush has yielded little result. I decided to give them longer, added in more miniatures and let them go overnight. twelve-hour and eighteen-hours scrubs have produced little to no mentionable results. The acetone's turned murky, so something's happening, but I'm not losing the paint in any significant way. My understanding was that the acetone should be quick and effective, so obviously I need to try something else, right?

 

I'll keep giving the minis currently soaking in acetone more time. Should I periodically change the acetone out, though, or stick with what's in there?

 

What else might be good for removing tough old paints? We're looking at the toughest of the tough, apparently.

 

I know a lot of folks swear by Simple Green, so I picked a jug up and have started soaking several minis in it. My understanding is that it can take 24 hours to tell whether it's really doing it, though. So I'll probably just leave it until tomorrow morning (maybe check it tonight, just to see). Sound about right? This a good option under the circumstances?

 

I've also got a can of lacquer thinner. I'm going to try it this afternoon, most likely. I'm good with handling chemicals (licensed for all manner of nasty stuff thanks to my job), but still not really excited about it. Feel like this is hedging toward the nuclear.

 

I'd love advice about these methods, and I'm certainly open to other suggestions. Any wisdom y'all have is greatly appreciated.

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For metal, I let it soak thirty minutes to an hour, and it strips clean and attractive like. Plastic, I let it sit a little longer. If there's parts of the metal that didn't scrub easily then I let it soak again after the first scrub for awhile.

 

I typically don't let it stay I the Green stuff for more than a day because it...tarnishes the metal. You can still paint it, I just hate the look.

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For metal, I let it soak thirty minutes to an hour, and it strips clean and attractive like. Plastic, I let it sit a little longer. If there's parts of the metal that didn't scrub easily then I let it soak again after the first scrub for awhile.

 

I typically don't let it stay I the Green stuff for more than a day because it...tarnishes the metal. You can still paint it, I just hate the look.

 

Whoa, so you go 30-60 minutes with the Green and have it coming off? I will check my sample much sooner if so.

 

I have heard about it staining/darkening the metal--which is why I was hesitant about trying it. I'm not happy about that prospect. But I'm digging for answers on these, heh. My understanding is that it indeed will not harm the details of the metal and will be fine for painting, ultimately. That's true, right?

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I havent had any loss of detail on bones, metal, or plastic minis when using green stuff.

 

Darkening seems happen when left for over a day. The start of it at least. I ha one poor barbarian guy that was forgotten over a weekend and a trip...........he was nearly grey by the time I found him. He was brittle too.

Edited by MissMelons
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I've never had any kind of problems or discoloration with Simple Green even soaking for 2-3 days in the stuff, then taking a stiff bristle toothbrush, warm water, and soap to the figures. 

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I've never had any kind of problems or discoloration with Simple Green even soaking for 2-3 days in the stuff, then taking a stiff bristle toothbrush, warm water, and soap to the figures.

My metal changes every time. Maybe it's the local water after I scrub then?

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No idea why it'd do that to some people and not to others. I wouldn't think it would matter though, you still have to prime it up and then paint it so that discolored metal shouldn't even show up.

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I went and gave the Green sample a look. It's been about an hour, hour and a half. Tried scrubbing three pieces with different color paints, and saw some better results than I had with the acetone, though still a long, long, long way from coming clean. But I seemed to have stuff coming off, which is exciting. But I'm still worried it won't get 'er done. But I'm hopeful. And flip-flopping lol. I'm going to let it keep going and will check it this evening. I may hold off on the lacquer thinner if this keeps looking promising, too.

 

 

When it comes to scrubbing, should get a toothbrush with very stiff bristles or stick with a softer one?

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I'd recommend stiff bristles. Even soft metal figures are much harder than a stiff toothbrush, so I wouldn't worry about (and haven't seen when stripping myself) damage to the figure from scrubbing.

 

FWIW, I've normally used at least a 5-hour soak, and often left figures overnight.

 

For really recalcitrant paint, I use an ultrasonic cleaner as part of the process.

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The stiffer the bristles the better in my experience. Also if you look over at Siri's thread about her big black dragon, she had that whole thing soaking in Simple Green for like 3-4 days and a bunch of scrubbing to get 2-3 layers of 15+ year old paint off of it. She's now in the process of repainting it.

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I never leave a piece for less than 24 hours. None of my minis, not even the old Partha's are lead so I don't know if that would be an issue at all

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Whoa, holy ljlkknrgoi34ijognkdlfg. Siri's already become one of the people here whose stuff I look to, because she clearly does awesome work, but that's like she did it just for my benefit. I've got dragons coming soon that'll have to be stripped and repainted. That gives me both hope and ideas.

 

The paint on these SOB's is just ridiculous, though. It looks like pictures of Testors I've seen, though I can't be sure. If it is, I can see why people hate it so much.

 

I've left the ones in the acetone, though I tried scrubbing some again and didn't have muich luck, and I'm definitely leaving these in the Simple Green. See what happens.

 

Thanks for all the advice, y'all. Anything else is of course still totally welcome.

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Oh, another question: When doing multiple soaks/long soaks, should I change the Simple Green (or the acetone, if any acetone users come along) out every so often, or does it retain its effectiveness?

 

Also, should I use an open or closed container for Simple Green, or does that matter?

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Oh, another question: When doing multiple soaks/long soaks, should I change the Simple Green (or the acetone, if any acetone users come along) out every so often, or does it retain its effectiveness?

 

Also, should I use an open or closed container for Simple Green, or does that matter?

 

I soaked 4 figures in a cup of Simple Green for up to 3 days as they had old paint/thick old primer on them. Took them out, scrubbed, and put back in if the stuff hadn't come off to my satisfaction. I removed one figure after a day, another the next day, and the final two the 3rd day, using the same Simple Green during the entire process. So I don't think that it changes the effectiveness at all. They were in a big old coffee mug I use to soak my figures that need the bath, open to the air.

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