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"Stripping gloss enamel" Topic

10 Posts

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alan L14 Aug 2018 3:48 a.m. PST

Looking tips on how to strip Humbrol gloss enamel off some 1/3000 ships I painted some 40 years ago. They need a proper paint job in matt acrylic to fit in with new models I am getting.

JimDuncanUK14 Aug 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

Probably needs a traditional paintstripper like Nitromors but I'm not sure you can buy that now.

I've heard of some folks using brake fluid or even caustic soda.

Whatever you use it will probably be nasty stuff.

Winston Smith14 Aug 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

Try Pine Sol, or Simple Green.

Winston Smith14 Aug 2018 5:48 a.m. PST

Or, if the paint job is decent but too glossy, why not spray with Dullcote?

22ndFoot14 Aug 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

Dettol in the UK.

Timmo uk14 Aug 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

Toolstation do a Nitromors style paint stripper. Gloss enamel over bare metal should come off quite easily.

alan L14 Aug 2018 10:16 a.m. PST

Thanks for the tips.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2018 11:26 a.m. PST

Or, if the paint job is decent but too glossy, why not spray with Dullcote?
+1 Winston Smith. This is the easiest solution of all. Do you have photos of the originals to share?

Removing paint from small miniatures, especially tenacious paints like enamels, is a lot of messy, smelly trouble, and exposes you to nasty chemicals. In the end it's often impossible to get all the original paint out of the tiny nooks and crannies and crevices anyway, and the process destroys most glued joints (masts? boats? basing?). I've found it's usually cheaper to sell off the unwanted models and just buy bare lead to start over the "right" way (however I currently define that…).

This is a judgement call, but I have been able to work miracles with very poor previous paint jobs by simply overpainting and revarnishing. If the original paint is too thick and obscures details, this is not going to work, but given the rather crude nature of most 1/3000 naval models, I bet some drybrushing, washes, lining, and perhaps an overpaint of the occasional badly-colored surface would be more than adequate.

If you just don't have an eye for that, another option is to simply primer over the gloss enamel. I have found Testors and Tamiya primers (both brush-on and spray) stick really tenaciously to previous gloss enamel coats (I prefer Testors/Model Master because it flows better and goes on thinner). This method will thicken the layers of paint even more than a light overpaint/stain/drybrushing, but if the original paint isn't thick enough to obscure the cast-in details, it should work.

I've also used a combination of these techniques in salvage operations (re-primer and then repaint some surfaces, overpaint or stain/wash/drybrush other surfaces, line and touch up specific detail spots, etc.).

Another reason to keep the original paint is that those gloss enamels make an extremely tough protective layer. If you also seal the bottoms, there should be no way for the lead to oxidize from the inside out (which can be a concern with castings from 30-50 years ago…).

- Ix

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

I see Humbrol makes their own primer. It might be worth contacting them to ask if it will adhere to fully cured Humbrol gloss paints.

- Ix

alan L14 Aug 2018 1:20 p.m. PST

Yes, I think some black wash and matt varnish might do the trick.

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