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Stripping Paint from Resin Miniatures

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Totenkopf Supporting Member of TMP writes:

Another great remover of paint is a product called "Krud Cutter Tough Task Remover." I found it in my local Walmart. I know it is also available online from Amazon. It is fantastic on metal figures. I make no claims on it's use with Resin or plastic. However, like Simple Green, Krud Cutter is also biodegradable.

Revision Log
11 December 2007page first published

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miscmini Fezian writes:

This Workbench article provides details on how I strip paint from resin miniatures. Now and then, I'll see "Stripping Paint" in the subject line of a TMP posting. The posting is usually from an individual wanting to know which solvent is best, or what solvents can be used for stripping paint from metal, plastic, or resin miniatures. The responses generally include acetone, caustic lye-based solutions, Pine-Sol, paint thinners, Simple Green, and sometimes even automotive brake fluid.

To strip paint from metal figures, I prefer to use acetone or Pine-Sol. However, I've found that both of these solvents will "attack," dissolve, or soften plastic and resin figures in models. Because of these unwanted side effects, I use Simple Green when dealing with plastic or resin minis.

Simple Green

My intent is to remove the paint from two resin models, without losing any model detail, and without working very hard at it.

The Miniatures

I came upon two 15mm (1/100) resin IL-2s produced by Armaments in Miniature. These are nice models, and I wanted to strip the paint without losing any of the detail and without harming the models. The models were assembled and painted about 18 months ago. They were painted with Rust-Oleum aerosol primer, brushed on Model Master paints, and had a top-coat of Testors Glosscote and Dullcote.

The Materials

Simple Green (diluted with water at a 1:1 ratio), Ziploc bag (or other suitable container), toothpicks, toothbrush, and rinse water. International availability and Material Safety Data Sheet information for Simple Green can be found through its website.

The Process

I generally use a jar with a lid to hold the solvent and the subject; however, in this case the models were a bit too big for the jars that I had on hand. I decided to place the models and the Simple Green in a Ziploc bag and to store the bag in a portable basin. The bag allows me to limit the amount of Simple Green needed to fully cover the models. It also allows me to seal the contents. Although the fumes are not dangerous, I do find the constant smell to be annoying after a while.

I made sure the models were covered with the solution, sealed the bag, put the bag in the portable basin, and slid the basin under my game table until I had time to get back to them....