Top Tip: Stripping Miniatures

I think hobbyists are divided into two broad groups: those who've stripped paint off of old miniatures and those who haven't.

It's possible to save big bucks on minis by purchasing them on Ebay, but usually you're going to have to work on them some to get value back out of them.  Don't just paint over someone else's crappy base coats and bad prime job!

It's also useful for fixing a model you don't care for, or perhaps updating a favored model for a new army.  Anyway, put the models in a glass jar, fill it with the cleaner, and put the lid on.  Keep your mug away from the fumes and wash your hands right after... and yes, I speak from experience - it burns a bit if you get it in your eye.

I usually do this when my wife isn't around because inevitably you'll have to clean the sink.  Keep the water going and catch the paint in a strainer; don't just let it go down the drain.

Use an old toothbrush and some elbow grease - remove as much as you can.

Personally I've always used Purple Power.  It'll work for both metal and plastic... and it won't melt anything if you forget the models are in the drink!  I've left models for a long, long time before, but it didn't hurt anything.


Faolain said...

Claussen is indeed the superior pickle brand.

Porky said...

Mmm... classic razorback turret.

Nuclear said...

Use simple green. It is WAY less harsh on your skin, and works just as well as the more industrial purple power/castrol super clean.

Flekkzo said...

Funny thing, I never see any good deals on eBay when I look there. I'd love to pick up a few Rhinos to use as wrecks. Strip, cut up, put on a big "base", paint yellow and weather heavily. But I never find stuff like that on eBay:(

So that's why I haven't stripped paint of minis.

Anonymous said...

I'm opposite Nuclear. I go for Purple Power for it's cheapness.

DK said...

Simple green all the4 way. It gives your guys a nice pine smell too :)

Loquacious said...

How long do you leave it in the purple stuff?

Also... maybe you guys are missing an easy fix to the problem, but using a chap plastic wash basin to catch the runoff makes cleaning up way easier. Still use a strainer, but don't run it down the drain right away.

And dude, gloves are cheap. Use them.

Kris said...

Yeah, I use Simple Green. It doesn't always get off all the paint, but few methods do. It's no toxic and I can handle it with my hands. Plus it comes in either pine or lemon scent!

The basket in the sink is a good idea though. Learned that one when the brushing broke off pieces and down the drain went the bolter!

CalPerr said...


its like $10 for a hundred gloves. Don't be getting that stuff in your eye man, you'll go blind.

GDMNW said...

It's all about a bit of mechanical cleaning! The chemicals do most of the work but you can speed the whole process up enormously if you have a quick go with a toothbrush every few minutes.

I like to strip minis in batches. I'll do a metal one every now and then just to cheer myself up as paint comes away much more easily from metal than from plastic.

I find this a great way to cheer up loved miniatures which were painted before you got your "skillz".

I must have stripped my warhammer dwarf army a dozen times. It's my own fault for getting better at painting incrementally.

Thanks for sharing your guide. We love the pretty pictures. Mind you where's our shot of the finished article?

Anonymous said...

I like purple power, I just hate the smell
I wish we had dattol, I've seen videos of people using it, but it's only available in europe

The Hod said...

Great article. I have been shopping around for a good stripper for paints.

I heard of simple green is good but I want to try out power purple.

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