How To Strip Paint from Miniatures

Everybody has some miniatures with less than adequate paintjobs. Be they some you painted ages ago or some second-hand purchase, you think they deserve a new paintjob.

The first time you want to strip the paint from a miniature can be daunting. Search the internet for advice and you’ll find what looks like black magic. Whatever product someone recommends doesn’t work at all for someone else. And amongst the people who use the same product some leave the miniatures there overnight, others just a couple of hours because otherwise they’ll melt the miniatures… We have hobby specific tools, primers, paints,… everything except paint cleaners or removers. Until now!

This is a review of AK Interactive’s Paint Stripper, which I’m posting as a tutorial in hopes that more people will find this post that way. In short, the Paint Stripper just works.

To begin with we’ll need some miniatures with a paintjob you’re not happy with for AK Interactive’s Paint Stripper to work its magic on. In my case, some Lord of the Rings models I got from eBay for cheap. The paint on Saruman’s robes was specially thick.

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Use a small recipient to pour the liquid and let the miniatures there for about 3-5 minutes. As I had a little of extra room, I threw there a couple of plastic Uruk-Hai to see if it also works with plastic, as I only had used it for metal miniatures before (Spoiler Alert: It works with plastic too).

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The Paint Stripper is hazardous, so don’t do anything stupid like drinking or cleaning your contact lenses with it. It has a slight odor, so I’d say is best to use it on a well ventilated area.

Get a bowl or cup with soapy water and an old toothbrush. At this stage the paint is softened and it’ll come off easily with the toothbrush. No problem if the miniatures stay for more tha 5 minutes drowned on the Paint Stripper while you work your way with the toothbrush. In fact, it’s a good idea to leave the miniatures with most paint last.

Below you can see how the miniatures look after a gentle pass with the toothbrush.

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If you’re not happy with the results, just repeat the process. After another 5 minutes and a little more vigorous scrubbing, the miniatures look almost as good as new.

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It didn’t work so well with the plastic miniatures, leaving traces of the original primer. But I’d say it’s good enough for me, and the minis didn’t melt or lose any of its details.

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So there it is, an easy to use product that should be easy to acquire too. Now to repaint those miniatures!

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Comments 1

  1. Thanks up until now I had seen on various sites that Dettol was the best paint stripper for plastic models but I have had mixed results – from very good to poor.
    I shall try some of this on some of my earlier attempts.

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