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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stripping Miniatures 101

So let's talk about stripping. You can make some pretty good cash at it, although it will get you some weird looks from bank tellers when you deposit all those ones. 

Stripping painted miniatures is a different story. It requires far less effort. I constantly hear stories of people using simple green, or brake cleaner, or some other random supply, and how they have to soak it over night, and scrub at it with a brush or needle to get the figure clean. And how plastic figures have melted, yada.

I'm going to present my method. Disclaimer that I did this soak in an ultrasonic cleaner which speeds the process up a little bit. The minis finish stripping in about five minutes in the ultrasonic, whereas without they took about 15, but there is no different in quality.

I present:

Dawn Power Dissolver. A dishwater presoak/additive. In the US, it can be purchased at Walmart. About $5 for two bottles. It's a gel-like consistency. I just remove the top and pour rather than spraying it.

A pretty terrible pre-stripping picture. Taken under bathroom lights. The two Dropzone Commander APCs are basecoated in Vallejo German Fieldgray with a few different highlight attempts in various colors and styles. They were also given a wash with future afterwards, adding a semi-varnish shell. The figures were much darker than this picture gives off. I soaked them in the Dawn Power Dissolve for five minutes....

...and this is what they looked like. No brushing, scrubing, just a rinse under the faucet. The paint literally melted off. I then left them in the mixture for a few hours while I drove all over NoVa looking for airbrush thinner (another rank altogether) and ended up with....

Pretty much spotless. There's a little gray resident in the wheel wells and the vents in the back that I could scrub out if I cared to, but I don't.

There you have it. My method of stripping miniatures. Super quick and a great quality.

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