Sonntag, 10. März 2013

Tutorial: Stripping Paint from Miniatures

Stripping paint from metal miniatures is easy... Nearly every dissolver out there works for this purpose to a greater or lesser extent, but as soon as people try to strip paint from plastik miniatures, people start thinking, since mostof these dissolvers will not only disintegrate the paint but probably the whole miniature...
My preferred agent for cases like this is Sterillium, a German germicide which you can get at most pharmacies. Actually this stuff is quite pricey and since my bottle was nearly empty I searched for a cheaper solution...

... which lead me to 99,9% propan-2-ol/ isopropanol/ isopropyl alcohol. In fact, this is the active ingredient in Sterillium. You can get this stuff in most pharmacies as well and it's much cheaper (ca. 2,50€/l). You might even get better prices online if you buy it in 5l jerrycans, although I doubt that you will ever need that much.

Test object to propan-2-ol was this Balrog, whom life hasn't been good to... He had a nasty cover of paint an glue.

Once soused with some propan-2-ol, the paint started to rub off immediately. 
Please note: It will not come off completely on its own! Best way to strip the miniature is to use an old toothbrush to get rid of the paint.

After a reaction time of 5 minutes I started brushing the paint off. As you can see the agent works pretty quickly. A longer reaction time would be helpful, but I had to speed things up a bit since I was a bit in a hurry.

Although the propan-2-ol looked quite nasty at this stage and had dissolved most of the paint, I put another miniature in to check if the agent still works once used.
Please note: You can see that I'm working with my bare hands. You should not do that! The propan-2-ol does not only dissolve the paint but will effectively degrease your skin as well. Wearing gloves is highly recommended. If it comes to working with chemicals, alsways have Breaking Bad in mind: Lab security comes first!

Test object 2 was stripped clean after some few minutes. Propan-2-ol can be reused several times. If you're discontent with the colour you might filtrate it through a coffee filter, but this will only remove the larger bits of paint. The changed colour will stay.

Final results: After 30 minutes of work the Balrog was completely clean. Only some of the metal-glue can still be seen at some parts. Maybe a longer reaction time would have helped here but I doubt that. This stuff is really nasty and needs to be removed mechanically.



  1. Viel Erfolg, ich bin gespannt...der erste Post klingt ist schon mal interessant; ansonsten das zweite 3er-Team binnen einer Woche, welches einen Blog in Gemeinschaft herausbringt. Neuer Trend ?!

  2. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.