I was thinking we should do a sticky on removing paint so you don't have to go to the painting clinic or anywhere else. Everyone should submit their experiences and what they used and any pics if they have them, and we'll sort of compile an article. I also have a lot of material, because I have a whole army in need of stripping and a lot of different solvents I can use - I'll also take pictures.
And, I am aware this topic comes up very often, and that we have a sticky linking to the painting clinic, but I also believe it is a lot easier to simply make sticky instead of having to browse the forum since the search function doesn't work.
So, here it is
PAINT REMOVAL GUIDE v0.3
(last updated: 7. July '06)
1. Acetone (and other products containing it)
A clear, colorless fluid. Has a sharp smell, evaporates quickly, feels cold on the skin. It is highly volatile, poisonous and may irritate the skin.
Is also used as ingridient in other cleaning products (nail polish remover)
Effects: Very rapidly dissolves GW paints, superglue, green stuff, also eats plastic very quickly! Very useful for metal models, DO NOT USE ON PLASTIC MODELS!
Cleaning: Soak the models in Acetone for a few hours (you can get good results in as little as 5 minutes, depending on how much Acetone the product you're using contains), 1 day should remove most of the paint. Don't forget to remove the plastic bases from your models and once again, don't use Acetone on plastics!
After soaking, scrub them with an old toothrush with hard bristles and rinse them under warm water.
Contamination: Acetone gets contaminated really quickly, so your first bath might take as little as 5 minutes, while the next one might already be an hour or so... it all depends on how much you use and how many models you clean at the same time.
Availability: Can be bought in most hardware stores, nail polish removers also contain it (they can be found in cosmetic stores).
Safety issues: If you soak your models, make sure you store the container in a ventilated place, it evaporates quickly so when working with it, make sure you don't have any flames in the vicinity
. Also, it dissolves fats, so your skin will feel very dry after contact.
Environmental issues: Check your local environmental laws, otherwise I think you're not allowed to pour Acetone into the drain, but because those are really small amounts and most of it evaporates anyway, I think you should be ok.
2. Brake fluid
A yellow, oily fluid, used for hydraulic brake systems (in cars, for example). Is volatile and has a high boiling point (depends on the standard you use). Comes in different standards, DOT 3 and DOT 4 seem to work best, but you shouldn't use DOT 5 (DOT3 & 4 are based on glycerol, and DOT5 is based on silicon or something)
Effects: Slowly dissolves paint, plastic glue, also softens green stuff, and doesn't damage metal or plastic (IT'S 100% SAFE FOR PLASICS (i left a model in for a bit more than 3 months, it came out squeaky clean)
Also, it should dissolve superglue (but it takes a looong time)
Cleaning : Soak your models in a Brake Fluid bath (doen't mix with water i think, so don't dilute it). It takes a while (anywhere from 6 hours to a few days, even weeks), but it's worth the effort as you can literally peel the paint off when done. Be careful, as the glue melts and your models will fall apart. Make sure to scrub off the messy sludge that remains in the recesses, and rinse the models under running water very well, as the oily residue tends to stay on the model and make your life harder when you paint it
. It might be a good idea to give your models a nice soapy bath, not only for your warriors to relax after a hard stripping, but to wash off the brake fluid completely.
3. Castrol Super Clean (CSC) (works well for metal and plastic minis)
4. Simple Green (a great tutorial: http://www.40konline.com/index.php/topic,79520.0.html
5. Pine Sol (not sure if it's safe for plastic)
6. Cleaning Petrol (Benzine) (doesn't work, all it does is melt plastic minis from the inside out)
7. Lysol All-purpose Cleaner (use for metal, NOT PLASTIC)
8. Epoxy Paint Thinner (thanks to OmegaOne for that one)
Has a strong, distinctive smell, also evaporates quickly. It is used to thin paints so they can be applied with an Airbrush.
Effects: Thins the paint, so it becomes less dense; it loosens the paint on metal minis. Also, it turns plastic into goo if used improperly, so you have to be very careful and fast when cleaning palstics with it.
Cleaning: Take a toothbrush, a glass of Epoxy Paint Thinner, a glass of water, and some toilet paper. It might be a good idea to do this outside, if there isn't enough ventilation where you are.
Now, take the model, and dip the toothbrush in the thinner. Scrub it where is needs to be cleaned, and dip the toothbrush in water quickly thereafter and scrub again till clean. Use the toilet paper to dry it. (Editor's Note: You might want to give the model a good rinse under running water, too)
The models might have a grey/black look afterwards, which is probably because of the primer, but it shouldn't be a problem. The details are clear and paint sticks well to it.
This method is quite difficult, so unless you've got some experience, or no other solvents, I wouldn't recommend using it.
9. Dettol (Works well, just don't use the pre-diluted one)
Here's 2 links on how to use Dettol:http://www.40konline.com/index.php?topic=101638.0http://www.40konline.com/index.php?topic=106929.0
(Thanks to Zany Reaper and xxRaVeNxx for those)
10. Window Cleaner (I doubt this one works, but it might be worth to try, I've heard it works, but very slowly)
11. Methylated Spirits
12. Orange TKO
13. Coke (Now, I've heard Coca Cola can be used to clean windows (truckers supposedly use it because it's cheaper than detergents), remove rust (this one's fishy), clean oily residue off of engine parts (fishy one, too), and, clean Chrome. Mabye it also cleans minis, who knows?
(I'm gonna try this one out sometime soon, Zany Reaper says it doesn't work, but I'll check anyway)
Alternative methods (unconventional, non-guaranteed, dangerous, experimantal, not tested
- putting your models into the washing machine - useful only for metal models (also remove the bases), as the plastic doesn't seem tough enough to survive a washer-warp-whirlpool (submitted by Azumi_chan)
- Eon Kull
- Zany Reaper
This is all so far, please tell me about any mistakes, missing or incorrect information, weird language, grammar and spelling mistakes (English isn't my first language)... Also, if you feel you should be credited for any info, PM me. I'll check all the information, get some pics, links, I'll do a little dictionary too, so, expect some updates every few days