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"Is stripping miniatures worth the effort?" Topic

31 Posts

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1,903 hits since 16 Feb 2012
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Comments or corrections?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 11:42 a.m. PST

I used to go whole hog stripping miniatures if I was not happy with the paint job.
Then I noticed that some substrates are more difficult to remove than others. Even with identical primer and paint, some were more difficult, regardless of the stripping agent involved.
Don't kid yourself. NOTHING works on some combinations.
Then, it would take forever to clean the gooped-off paint, wering latex gloves, using toothbrushes under running hot water, etc.
Then when I am finished, for weeks the metal still smelled like PineSol or Simple Gren. I was almost afraid to prime them, thinking that with the remnant solvent UNDER the primer, it would … not be good.

I came to the conclusion that the time I spent stripping old serviceable minis was taking too much time I could have spent painting new figres.

Derek H Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 11:48 a.m. PST

Depends on how you value your time really.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 11:52 a.m. PST

Repainting almost always pays dividends.

But stripping first? Some paint jobs are so clumsy it's the only way to save a figure. Otherwise, no.

Personal logo PatrickWR Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 12:05 p.m. PST

A guy in our club keeps a jug of Simple Green in the cabinet, usually full of stripping-in-process figures. It's a great way to strip paint as long as you don't need 'em anytime soon.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 12:09 p.m. PST

Only if it is a good shag….

PygmaelionAgain Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 12:22 p.m. PST

If you need a specific figure for a game, and the paint is an eyesore or completely mismatched to the rest of the similar figures, then stripping it is worthwhile.

If you could easily proxy with another figure, it might be wise to put it back on the shelf until you're out of newer figures to pigment.

I've stripped Warhammer 40k figures so that I could paint them in a cohesive scheme, and because they had the WYSIWYG weapon loadout I was planning to use. Any other manufacturer's figures have only been stripped because they looked dreadful.

Dynaman878916 Feb 2012 12:24 p.m. PST

Someone would have to be a REALLY REALLY bad painter to make it worth my time to repaint their stuff. So it is not worth the effort for me.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 12:34 p.m. PST

I just view the old paint as the equivalent of "primer". It is much easier to just paint over the figures. I try to keep a couple of items on the figure leftover from the original paint job though.

epturner Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 12:35 p.m. PST

I almost cost The Man a new keyboard, spitting my cuppa all over with that comment.



Frederick Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2012 12:55 p.m. PST

Agree with Fritz – I regard the old paint as value-added primer

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 1:10 p.m. PST

I usually take a stab at it but don't exert any great effort. Figure anything that won't come off with a quick soak-and-scrub session is at least as good as primer, so why bother busting your hump to get down to pristine metal? Very few figs actually have such fine detail that an extra coat of paint hurts anything.

Garand16 Feb 2012 1:17 p.m. PST

This totally depends on how bad the base paintjob is and how OOP the mini actually is.

One basic factor about paint: the more layers you put on a figure, the more the detail is softened/becomes obscured. If you like your figures with the sharpest details you can get in practicality, it is often worth it to strip the figures first.

Also if the previous paintjob was applied very thickly (i.e. an amateurish paintjob, either from early in your career or bought second-hand) will only exacerbate the above. Some paintjobs can be saved, but only if they were competently applied to begin with.

If the figure is in-production, and not either rare/hard to get or remarkably expensive, it is often better to just buy some new figures. But if it's OOP, it might be worth stripping to save in the hassle in trying to hunt down a replacement.


Andrew Beasley Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 1:26 p.m. PST

I find if the figure has chipped paint or is partially painted then yes.

Stops lumps and bumps showing up.

pphalen Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 1:45 p.m. PST

One basic factor about paint: the more layers you put on a figure, the more the detail is softened/becomes obscured.

My paint jobs do that to the detail already!
I'm in the "treat the paint jobs as a basecoat" camp, unless there is lots of chipping and/or flaking.

pphalen Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 1:46 p.m. PST

OH, almost forget, there have been times that I ended up with figures that were never cleaned (e.g. Mold lines and flashing) that needed to be stripped.

McKinstry Fezian16 Feb 2012 1:58 p.m. PST

If I got a good deal on badly painted miniatures off of EBay, I will invest the time and effort to strip them but otherwise I don't have anything ugly enough to be worth the effort.

Broadsword Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 5:21 p.m. PST

Getting used minis cheap at conventions or from online auctions are great reasons to strip figures. I use "Purple Power" (engine degreaser – generic version of "Purple Stuff") put 'em in a sealed jar and ignore them for a week. Even breaks down the glue. Rarely do they need a second soaking.

Al |

Mako11 Inactive Member16 Feb 2012 5:34 p.m. PST

Probably not, unless they are no longer available, and you really want them.

Timbo W16 Feb 2012 7:09 p.m. PST

Never tried it.

If I do, by some freak of nature, end up with worse painted figures than my own work then a black wash and re-highlighting works wonders.

CeruLucifus16 Feb 2012 7:54 p.m. PST

I avoid stripping except when the detail is obscured, e.g. by furry primer or similar.

skaran Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 12:48 a.m. PST

With the OG15s I have repainted a large number of Chasseurs and Middle Guard. I did not strip any of them. I just put a new coat of black over the top and away I went. Results were quite acceptable to me. The OG figures did have alot of sometimes overstated details (and sharp edges which cut bristles from my brushes.) So over all I would say it depends on what details of the sculpt are still there and not buried under the old paint.

Iowa Grognard Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 5:56 a.m. PST

I've been buying previously owned GW stuff, poorly painted and cheap, with intent to strip them. I hope it'll be worth it.

A Twiningham Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 6:20 a.m. PST

I used to say it wasn't worth the effort, but Simple Green has changed my mind. Now some of my older paint jobs get an occasional bath and repaint.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 7:10 a.m. PST


religon Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 7:26 a.m. PST

It has taken me less time and with better results than the OP. I find it worth it for poorly painted figures or rare/expensive figures requiring a better paint job or repairs. However, I will touch up an average paint job rather than stripping it.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member17 Feb 2012 8:43 a.m. PST

I'd say about 90% of the time, its worth it.

Martin Rapier17 Feb 2012 10:13 a.m. PST

I never bothered to strip figures. Spray them black and start over. They are only wargames figures, not display pieces.

Hauptmann6 Inactive Member21 Feb 2012 9:40 a.m. PST

With the price of GHQ. I buy badly painted ones and strip them for a third the price. Or if my paint jobs really suck.

Mark DeSantis Inactive Member28 Dec 2012 12:24 p.m. PST

I have a space marine army that I have stripped twice and repainted

womble67 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2015 4:35 a.m. PST

My guide for stripping miniatures with Dettol

Take care


R Strickland Fezian Inactive Member31 Oct 2015 3:27 p.m. PST

@womble: watch it with the threadmancy!

As it's already resurrected I may as well link to this other thread that I added notes about my solution that works to.

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