Monday, January 10, 2011

[40K] Arguing With Paint, Vol 1

So I have this lovely group of marines, all suited up and ready to be pressed into service. The figures are all assembled (well, with the exception of 2 that have lost their arms) and almost all are painted, too.

What more could a girl ask for?

They could not be garish grey and orange. They were modeled after a local high school team's colors and the orange on these guys is TRULY unfortunate. Have a look:


So the natural solution is to strip, prime, and repaint.

I threw the models I want to use at 40K into the dip, put the cover on them, and then did chores for a while. I came back to relieve these models of their orange frocks, and found serious disappointment.

Perhaps there is some special trick of which I am unaware, or perhaps there's a formula that helps ease the paint off of little men, (or maybe these guys were painted with GLUE and not paint) but most of the models in question are still sporting some (if not all) of their former threads. Have a gander at this gent:

You can see some of my efforts- the orange on the sword is starting to be removed, and the face is nice and bland.

Others behaved much more nicely, and showed their understuff far more willingly. Perhaps they are exhibitionists? But even in the same batch, I got varying results.

The guy on the left, as you can see, is ready to be reprimed and designated in colors of my choosing. The guy on the right is a stalwart to his company (I think Ultramarines due to the logo on his shoulder) and refuses to be sent to another command.

I've removed paint before, but most of the models were white or tan- and so the paint was easier to remove. Most of the fellows in my force are dark grey or black and are less cooperative. An example can be seen here:

Same methods, much different results. That guy with the bolter was a breeze, but "chainswords, yo" is driving me batty.

I discovered that a few wanted to take things off this morning, after they'd dried off from the tub. Here's one:

Frightful as he is, this is a far shot less paint than last night when I gave up and hit the hay.

These guys were in the drink for at least an hour, with an equal amount of time being scrubbed, and these are my results. My last time out, it went much faster- so I'm wondering if I was lucky, or if there's more for me to learn.

I did pick up a few things on my own. As I went along, I discovered little tricks- brushing in a circular motion seems to work best. Dipping the brush in the juice prior to scrubbing certainly helps. Apparently, despite my proficiency in such, swearing does not do a darn thing to help.  Please note that I didn't believe it, and tried several variations before accepting that verbal denigration is not the best method for removing paint from minis. I'm more than a little persistent, if just a slight bit dense.

Regardless of what my guys LOOK like, I have a game tonight and I'm eager to play. I am pretty sure I'll get trounced (and honestly, I expect to do so for a few months until I get my feet under me), but I don't mind. Most of the guys in our league are fun to be around and will give me pointers as I play.

I'll try to have a report of how my game goes later this week and possibly pictures, although I am not sure I want to subject you guys to that kind of torture. Thank goodness this isn't a comp event, or I'd be toast.

 [maybe a teeny tiny sander would work....]

Please feel free to share any similar tales of woe, or tips you might have to pass along.


  1. What solution are you using to remove the paint?

  2. Good luck in the game tonight, give 'em hell! Sorry I don't have any advice for you concerning your paint stripping woes, I haven't had much success with it either. I am impressed however by that Ultramarine scout's tenacity.

  3. Differences in what's on the mini will make a difference. Sealers and such will have to be gotten through first before the paint starts coming off, so sealed figs probably will take longer soaks and/or more work than ones that are just painted. Older paint that's very thoroughly dried may be harder, as part of how the stuff like Simple Green works is by interacting with water, IIRC. Some sprays may be hard to get off too, and if they're the bonding kind, good luck. Once you get other colors off and just have black bonded primer or whatever left, that's probably as good as you're going to get.

    I've started using an electric toothbrush for stripping, works great. The spinning/vibrating does a lot of work fast for little effort, and since you're not applying a lot of pressure like you normally might with scrubbing, you don't knock pieces off nearly as much. Just use a different head than you brush your teeth with!

  4. Straight Purple Power as they were out of Simple Green at the hardware place. Fully immersing the dudes in it.

  5. Simple Green is the best I've found, but you have to make sure it's the concentrate jug, rather than the diluted bottle.

    An old too brush works well, though you could try a metal toothed brush from a hardware store for stubborn ones. (Careful with the metal one that you don't end up sanding or scratching the plastic)

    White primer comes off best, black the worst.
    Primer usually comes off metal models easier than plastic ones. (Primer has more bonding going on with plastic)
    If there's a clear coat on the model, making paint hard to scratch, this might protect against stripper too - you might have to rough these up with a metal brush.

  6. The stuff that's taking forever is probably varnished. I had a big batch of Cryx that had to go into the NitroMors; it was the only thing that was going to shift that outer coat.

    The older paint thing is interesting, and clears up a mystery that's been hanging around since I tried to scrub up some Night Goblins last year...

  7. I find Dettol the best way to strip paint

    its an anticeptic pharmaceutical soap that is used mainly for medical reasons but it has a strange effect on acrylic based paints and dissolves them like muckus (I hope I spell this correct...) anyways, there are 2 things though that you need to be careful with, the paint that will come off will react strangely to water meaning that it will stick to anything that will touch so you would like to use some container that you wouldn't care destroying, and the fact that the place will smell like hospital afterwards .. :P

    I have done miracles with this one though, bringing back to life minis that I have long thought dead!

  8. If you can get come Simple Green, try soaking them for longer than a day. It's worked really well for me if I leave then sitting in it for a day or two, especially on the harder to strip models. When you are brushing them, try running them under hot water; that always helped me.