🪥 Stripping Miniatures

Updated at 2022-09-05 09:44

Stripping means removing paint from a painted miniature. You'd frequently want to strip second-hand miniatures, or miniatures that you want to redo.

I personally recommend saving your old miniatures for the nostalgia though. You can always buy new minis. 🤷

Things to consider when stripping miniatures:

  1. What is the model made of?
    • Strong solutions might soften or even melt plastic.
  2. What was used to paint the model? Is there a layer of varnish?
    • Acrylics, heavy body acrylics, oil paints, enamels, etc.
    • Different paints might require different solutions.
  3. How thick is the previous paint job?
    • The more layers there are, the harder it will be to clean.

Stripping might remove the assembly glue, but it depends on the glue that was used and what was used to strip the miniature. This is not a problem as you can simply glue them back together after some cleanup.

What is the optimal way largely depends what is available where you live. For me, there is a hardware store brush cleaner sold in large bottles (Tikkurilan Pensselipesu) that works nicely. It's acidic, but not too strong that it would outright melt plastic.

  1. Brush away dust and debris from the miniatures.
  2. Place miniatures into a watertight container.
  3. Pour in the brush cleaner to cover all the miniatures.
  4. Give the mixture a gentle whirl with a disposable stick.
  5. Wait for between 2 hours and overnight.
    • If you leave them soaking for days, it will soften most plastic.
  6. Brush the old paint away under running water using an old toothbrush.
  7. If there is still a lot paint on the miniature, repeat.
    • Little paint residue will get hidden by the new primer.

Green Stuff World's Paint Remover is good but expensive, even if you can reuse it.

It really dissolves all paints I've tried.

Isopropyl alcohol is also cheaply available world-wide. Works relatively well for stripping models.

Acetone is even stronger, but will also melt plastic so use only on metal minis.