Stripping Plastic Miniatures

Stripping plastic miniatures can be a nightmare if you go in haphazardly Here’s how to safely tackle this tricky task.

Removing paint from your models is already a tricky task, stripping plastic miniatures is taking it to the next level.

Stripping Plastic Miniatures

Stripping miniatures is a simple enough process.  Put them in some sort of chemical product to break appart the paint; brush the paint residues; clean off the chemical from your miniatures.  Voila!  Just like new!

When it comes to stripping, the main difference between plastic and metal miniatures is how durable they are.  While metal miniatures can take a lot of abuse from the various products you can use to strip, plastic not so much.

Some of the more potent stuff will break apart your plastic miniature just as easily as it does paint.  This has lead to many horror stories from unsuspecting hobbyist trying to get a fresh start on a miniature.

Do You Really Need to Strip

Perhaps the most important thing about stripping models is knowing when to strip, and when you can simply paint over.  This cannot be overstated as stripping plastic miniatures is a delicate task.

Acrylic paints are very forgiving when it comes to repainting, and you have a lot of leeway before you cover up some details.

Ask yourself if your model really needs stripping. More often than not, you’ll save yourself the trouble.  Paint stripping is best used as a last resort technique.

Better Safe Than Sorry

To avoid damaging your model, try the solution for controlled periods of time.  When figuring out new products, try in 30 minutes increments.

Leave your model in the solution for 30 minutes, brush it up with an old toothbrush to see what happens.  Then try another 30 minutes, before moving on to another hour, and so on.

The goal here is really damage control.  Unlike with paint, once you mess up stripping, you don’t get a second chance at rescuing that miniature.

Products for Safely Stripping Plastic Miniatures

My rule of thumb when it comes to products is to try some of them out until you find one that works for you, then stick with it.

No product is ever perfect, and knowing the ins and out of a product far outweighs the chase for something marginally better.

Simple Green is the best product out there when it comes to stripping.  It’s safe for plastic and resin, doesn’t cost a fortune, is non-toxic, and smells like root beer.

Very similar to Simple Green, isopropyl alcohol is safe for plastic and resin and gallons of it won’t break the bank.

Isopropyl with a proof lower than 90, 70 being the most common, also somewhat work.  It takes a lot more time, and sometimes the primer does not get stripped.

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