Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metal Model Stripping

Brother C here with another quick update on my projects... I did a model swap with Ross for our club for his contest winning Sammael on jetbike model to use with my new ravenwing list (currently in the works - more updates on that to come in the next few weeks). Sadly... the california blue and the rainbow iconography just weren't working for my current Disciples of Caliban theme. So.. yes.. it was a sad day to have to strip the model, but it allowed me to post a little tutorial on it.

The first step is to find a container in which you can submerge the entire model into. Now Ross had constructed this guy pretty well so I was not able to partially disassemble him. if you can remove pieces of your models prior to submerging, I would recommend it, as you will use way less solution.

Now, you need to pick up a paint stripping solution. Many people online use some kind of car lubricant, but I used what we had laying around.. simple green. love this stuff, and it has many more household uses other than stripping models.. (justify spending the money with your wife :) ). you need to completely submerge the model in the simple green. make sure no parts are above the liquid. if you need to adjust the model accordingly. now, just let that sit for 24 hours and it'll be ready.

You know that old toothbrush you have laying around and your wife keeps telling you to throw it away. well you can tell her you are glad you saved it. honestly everyone online says you need a 'stout' brush with sturdy bristles, etc. well... you don't. you just need an old used toothbrush to scratch this paint off. it should come off like butter. if not, try soaking it longer.. you didn't dilute the simple green did you? this should also release the super glue holding the model together so be careful you don't lose little parts down the drain. simply scrub each piece with the toothbrush until the majority of the paint is removed. note* you probably won't get every little speck of paint off. but as you can see from my pictures, it does a real nice job. let these puppies dry on a paper towel and you are ready for reassembly.

you didn't throw away that left over simple green did you ? for SHAME! its still good. that stuff is potent and it'll take more than one little model to use up all its effectiveness.. save for later use with a nice lid or you can dump out 30% of it and make a watered down solution for plastic model stripping.. that's where this leftover is heading. but that's another topic for another day.

Anything to add?

Is there a more cost effective solution you have used?


  1. Brother Sigismund, Veteran of the Forum WarsJune 30, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Just a couple of asides... I have never used Simple Green myself for model stripping, but it sounds like it works much better than what I usually use, which is Fantastik. I hadn't tried removing paint from plastic models after 24 hours of a Fantastik bath, but i let the model soak for more like a week and it does a very good job. Fantastik is NOT so good at getting the primer off of plastic, however.I would like to pick up some Simple Green to analyze its paint-stripping qualities.

    I have also used brake fluid in the past to strip models, and while I can say that brake fluid was also a decent substance, it is somewhat LESS common around the house, and the smell is worse.

    I guess this era of modeling is nigh over, but back in the day, you could actually use acetone to strip your metal models. Acetone would strip paint off ridiculously quickly, but is highly volitile and makes strong, smelly, harmful fumes. Additionally, it would melt ANY plastic component that your models had (I lost a couple of bases that way). Out of everything listed, you also wouldn't want that above everything else sitting around for little kids to get their hands on... BUT, its paint stripping abilities were unparalleled for metal models.

    Just don't put "Finecast" in there.

  2. Hey why dilute for plastic I use full strength for plastic as well man

  3. I have heard horror stories of 'melted' models from not diluting the simple green. plus, honestly if you aren't stripping metal models first, you could conserve resources, by not using an entire bottle of simple green to strip a few models. i'll have to try it myself with a model I don't care much about.. probably an ork. :D