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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

Welcome fellow Dakkanauts! May I present to you the future of paint stripping your miniatures



So today I had the idea of using the agent I use to clean my paintbrushes to strip some models I wasn't happy with; Isopropyl is a pure alcohol that can be bought readily from DIY stores, chemistry lab companies and even from Ebay in vast quantities. What makes the stuff so special is that it not only gets rid of paint and other household stains in seconds, it evaporates very quickly upon contact with air, meaning that it leaves no residue or odour. And more importantly to us hobbyists, it leaves no trace on plastic, resin or metal, and it can only remove paint if abrasion is applied, meaning that no accidental spillages will damage the paintjobs you laboured into for hours. Sounded like the perfect stuff to do some model reworking, as I shall demonstrate to you now.

A word of warning before you use this - while it will do no damage if it hits your skin, this will cause serious harm if it gets in your eyes or mouth, and any exposed volumes of the substance will emit heavy vapours that are dangerous to inhale. I therefore advise that you only do this in a well ventilated area, and that you seal any container you use to put your Isopropyl in immediately after use

Here's what you need:
A bottle of Isopropyl
A suitably sized, sealable container to put the Isopropyl into
A failed model project
An old toothbrush
An old towel to work on
Some kitchen towel
A bowl of water (this is optional since Isopropyl evaporates in seconds, but have it if it makes you feel more safe going about this)


Step one is to get some Isopropyl into your container to a level that is ideal for your miniature/s. Once this is done, get the models in question and chuck them right in!


This is the failed project in question - a Scout from the Lost Patrol box set. When I built him I didn't have the right tools to deal with the mould lines, and the paintjob itself has obscured a lot of the detail on him. No matter - all traces of this happening shall be gone!


Bon Voyagie!


Remember to seal the container as soon as the miniatures are in, otherwise the Isopropyl will evaporate and the vapours will be released. You only need to wait for about 10 seconds till you're ready for the next stage

After 10 seconds have passed, get the model out (yes it's fine to get this stuff on your hands, or you can just use your toothbrush), load up your toothbrush with some of the Isopropyl, and get scrubbing!



You'll notice straight away that the paint comes off the model with even light abrasive action. That's what we have the towel down for!


Alternatively if you don't want to scrub your miniature, you can get most of the paint off using a piece of kitchen towel - just soak the miniature and the towel and the paint will simply brush off the miniature!


Remember that either way you do it, keep soaking your toothbrush/kitchen towel in Isopropyl, as it will evaporate very quickly after application. It's also fine to reuse the Isopropyl for each miniature.




The final result - in just a minute I got the Scout back down to his red plastic base (on his left you can see a scout I did earlier more clearly). Magical stuff!

And remember, no damage to the plastic or your hands, and no odour left clinging to the model after!


Just keep in mind that you will get paint all over your hands and onto the work surface, so make sure you have something down to deal with that.


And that's a wrap folks! Hope you enjoy seeing the results as much as I did

G.A

G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
Made in bg
Storm Trooper with Maglight






Isopropanol is the best paint stripper out there. I've always suggested people to trow in the bin all other chemistry such as Dettol and whatever greenish stuff is out there.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/22 01:47:06


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

 DalinCriid wrote:
Isopropanol is the best the paint stripper out there. I've always suggested people to trow in the bin all other chemistry such as Dettol and whatever greenish stuff is out there.


I've only just discovered its use as a paint stripper (I used it to clean my brushes before) and I have to say I'm really glad that I have found it out; seems like not enough people use it over more well known methods like Dettol submersion. Shame really

G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
Made in us
Guardsman with Flashlight





Houston

I personally use Simple Green myself just because I can use it for pretty much anything outside of stripping paint.

It's good to know that the Isopropyl Alcohol can do the same though. How many miniatures do you think you can strip before having to toss it?
   
Made in nz
Trustworthy Shas'vre






One thing I'd like to know is how long you can leave minis in there for.
I like Simple Green because I can leave minis in there for literally years with no ill effects. SOme other products work fine so long as they're not bathed for longer than 5 minutes. Which one is this?
   
Made in bg
Storm Trooper with Maglight






ultimateweapon200 wrote:I personally use Simple Green myself just because I can use it for pretty much anything outside of stripping paint.

It's good to know that the Isopropyl Alcohol can do the same though. How many miniatures do you think you can strip before having to toss it?


Quite a lot. Once you are done with stripping, pour the used isopropanol in a jar and close it. That will prevent the fluid from evaporating, because it's just like alcohol and you can use the stuff again.

Trasvi wrote:One thing I'd like to know is how long you can leave minis in there for.
I like Simple Green because I can leave minis in there for literally years with no ill effects. SOme other products work fine so long as they're not bathed for longer than 5 minutes. Which one is this?

From what I've read Simple Green and Dettol strips paint, because there is Isopropanol in the formula. If Simple Green did not damage your minis, the Iso won't damage them either.
I've left some space marines in my jar with Isopropanol for days, although the paint dissolves for less than an hour. There are no effect over plastic and metal, but I cannot confirm anything about Resin.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2016/07/22 01:57:18


 
   
Made in us
Guardsman with Flashlight





Houston

Trasvi wrote:One thing I'd like to know is how long you can leave minis in there for.
I like Simple Green because I can leave minis in there for literally years with no ill effects. SOme other products work fine so long as they're not bathed for longer than 5 minutes. Which one is this?

From what I've read Simple Green and Dettol strips paint, because there is Isopropanol in the formula. If Simple Green did not damage your minis, the Iso won't damage them either.
I've left some space marines in my jar with Isopropanol for days, although the paint dissolves for less than an hour. There are no effect over plastic and metal, but I cannot confirm anything about Resin.



Not trying to downplay your comment but Simple Green doesn't contain Isopropanol, according to their MSDS from their website. Unless my chemistry knowledge is just that old and outdated.

I think that I'd test out the resin. Who knows when you'll need to strip resin.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/22 02:37:04


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

Don't have much to add since DalinCriid has done all the social work for me (thanks mate! )

ultimateweapon200 wrote:I personally use Simple Green myself just because I can use it for pretty much anything outside of stripping paint.

It's good to know that the Isopropyl Alcohol can do the same though. How many miniatures do you think you can strip before having to toss it?


Technically it could be used infinitely since the paint that gets in it will not be soluble in the alcohol, but I plan to change what I've kept in the container I used when the substance isn't transparent anymore.

Trasvi wrote:One thing I'd like to know is how long you can leave minis in there for.
I like Simple Green because I can leave minis in there for literally years with no ill effects. SOme other products work fine so long as they're not bathed for longer than 5 minutes. Which one is this?


Like DalinCriid said, a lot of household products have Isopropyl as their active ingredient because of the great results it brings, so it's very likely that your Simple Green or Dettol is just a diluted version of the stuff - I'm not sure though because I don't have either of those to hand.

As I said in the tutorial, it's only really abrasive action that will strip the paint of the miniatures - you can think of the Isopropyl as "loosening" the paint; I left a model in the liquid for about 6 hours yesterday as I asked the question myself, but not a single drop of paint came off it, even if I shook it about

Isopropyl will only dissolve natural resin, such as the stuff you use to clean violin bows, so it will be fine for your resin miniatures

Thanks for all the responses people!

G.A

G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
Made in de
Experienced Maneater






Trasvi wrote:
One thing I'd like to know is how long you can leave minis in there for.
I like Simple Green because I can leave minis in there for literally years with no ill effects. SOme other products work fine so long as they're not bathed for longer than 5 minutes. Which one is this?

Have some plastic/metal minis in Isopropanol for a year now. They are fine as far as I can tell.


 
   
Made in gb
Towering Hierophant Bio-Titan





Bristol, England

Subbed.
I've just received a cheap Shadowsword from ebay and this thing is B.A.D, the paint is super thick all over with static grass stuck to it as camouflage.
Ordered some Iso so i'll let you know how I get on!

Oli: Can I be an orc?
Everyone: No.
Oli: But it fits through the doors, Look! 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

 Alex Kolodotschko wrote:
Subbed.
I've just received a cheap Shadowsword from ebay and this thing is B.A.D, the paint is super thick all over with static grass stuck to it as camouflage.
Ordered some Iso so i'll let you know how I get on!


Thanks for the support!

Just something you may want to know when tackling that static grass - this stuff won't dissolve plastic glue. I haven't tried it on any models with super glue yet, but I doubt that it would dissolve that either.

Also if the model is a FW Shadowsword, I'd advise that you only try stripping a tiny part of the model before proceeding as I've heard that their resin is quite delicate. However again I don't reckon it will do any damage to hard resin as this stuff is incredibly unreactive; I've spilt it on my clothes, on my bed and on my hands and not a trace of it was left behind after 30 seconds. Plus I've used it to clean the house bathroom and kitchen, and it hasn't damaged any of the surfaces there

G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
Made in gb
Towering Hierophant Bio-Titan





Bristol, England

Good stuff, ive taken some 'before' photos so I'll let you guys know how I got on with tackling a big model I'm the worst condition possible.
I'll probably do a blog type post over in pm forums.

Oli: Can I be an orc?
Everyone: No.
Oli: But it fits through the doors, Look! 
   
Made in us
Tail-spinning Tomb Blade Pilot





My ancient "lab"

An excellent solution to an eternal conundrum. I'm currently using Castrol Super Clean, as that is the recommended solution from the DD article. Perhaps I shall give it a shot.

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Made in gb
[DCM]
Bread for Battle!





Nottinghamshire

I tried this out yesterday with a mix of minis. One after 18hrs shed its paint like a rubber balloon. One softened enough that I could wipe a lot off... One softened a little.
One was absolutely untouched and nothing happens if I rub or scrape it, and another is very slightly rubbery.

Weird, as they're all acrylics.


[ Mordian 183rd ] - an ongoing Imperial Guard story with crayon drawings!
[ "I can't believe it's not Dakka!" ] - a buttery painting and crafting blog
 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

 Buttery Commissar wrote:
I tried this out yesterday with a mix of minis. One after 18hrs shed its paint like a rubber balloon. One softened enough that I could wipe a lot off... One softened a little.
One was absolutely untouched and nothing happens if I rub or scrape it, and another is very slightly rubbery.

Weird, as they're all acrylics.


Were these acrylic paints oil or water based? It shouldn't make a difference but mine were all Citadel system

Leaving them in for long periods of time makes no difference I learned; you'll get the same result if you leave them in for 18 hours or 10 seconds. It's the abrasion that you do with a brush or tissue that does the work

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/26 19:58:50


G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Bread for Battle!





Nottinghamshire

In this case some were all slightly tacky at 1 minute, I could have made a dent in the paint. But nothing like when I left them overnight. I peeled one like a skin entirely.
It's 99.99% Isopropyl, so I can only conclude it's the age of the paint.
They're all 1990s-early 2000s basic marines. The extremely static posed ones.

My partner who's a development chemist is a little confused that it's working at all, which tickles me.


[ Mordian 183rd ] - an ongoing Imperial Guard story with crayon drawings!
[ "I can't believe it's not Dakka!" ] - a buttery painting and crafting blog
 
   
Made in gb
Sneaky Sniper Drone




Nottingham

 Buttery Commissar wrote:

My partner who's a development chemist is a little confused that it's working at all, which tickles me.


I had no idea he was a dev chemist too. I was the same but borrowed some iso from work and tried it last christmas and it worked a treat. Its pretty much the reason why dettol and other cleaners work so since they contain iso too.

The kind of resins they use in water based paints like acrylics and polyurethanes are soluble in isopropanol. We use it at work for cleaning some of our equipment when acetone might be a bit too rough. Dettol may in fact work better due to the detergents it contains clearing up the pigments and redispersing the resin. It may be worth trying iso with a small amount of water and washing up liquid. Say 90% iso and water with washing up liquid.
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Bread for Battle!





Nottinghamshire

Aye, he's a formulation / dev chemist, and a European specialist in some areas that I should know, but they all blurred into one. I can tell you the place he works in person some time. I guess it just shows you can always be surprised.
He said the reason he thought it wouldn't work was him assuming it was PROPAN-1-OL, but the one I bought was PROPAN-2-OL. I am no more informed.

I usually steal his estasol, but with second hand figures it has melted things I thought were metal in the past. Miss using it though, I like the smell, it's sort of sweet compared to acetone and Iso. It also turns superglue pink/orange.

Um. ..Paint stripping!


[ Mordian 183rd ] - an ongoing Imperial Guard story with crayon drawings!
[ "I can't believe it's not Dakka!" ] - a buttery painting and crafting blog
 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar





Southern California, USA

I love Iso alcohol. It'll restore metals to factory new condition in like 5 minutes. Best paint stripper there is.

Thought for the day: Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
30k Ultramarines: 2000 pts
Bolt Action Germans: ~1200 pts
AOS Stormcast: Just starting.
The Empire : ~60-70 models.
1500 pts
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Made in bg
Storm Trooper with Maglight






 TheCustomLime wrote:
I love Iso alcohol. It'll restore metals to factory new condition in like 5 minutes. Best paint stripper there is.


Can you let me know, if you have experience so far, how the ISO works with Risen/Forge World Models?
   
Made in us
Automated Rubric Marine of Tzeentch




I'm totally ignorant, forgiveness please. Does it need to be a certain solution/percentage of isopropyl? I have 91% at home from the drug store and am thinking of giving it a shot. So far I've been using simple green in an ultrasonic cleaner and that seems okay, but anything that can speed up a process is something I'm interested in.
   
Made in bg
Storm Trooper with Maglight






BossJakadakk wrote:
I'm totally ignorant, forgiveness please. Does it need to be a certain solution/percentage of isopropyl? I have 91% at home from the drug store and am thinking of giving it a shot. So far I've been using simple green in an ultrasonic cleaner and that seems okay, but anything that can speed up a process is something I'm interested in.

I've heard people using 90% and not be very happy, but give it a shot if you have any. I am using 99% of Isopropanol and it literally makes metal models shine like new.
   
Made in gb
Towering Hierophant Bio-Titan





Bristol, England

Boom, the hunter returns.
I've just had my first go at this method and it works very nicely indeed.
Much better than Dettol although there is still some scrubbing involved especially with this beast.
All told it took me about an hour of work with an extra 30 mins of soaking.
The thing was in a proper state when I got my hands on it and it definitely needed a second soak (halfway pics included) and a very stiff brush but it's somewhere close now.
There's still a bit of picking and poking to do with some tools but it's a lot better.
I did add some Fairy Platinum washing up liquid for the second soak and that really moved things along.
The best bit is that you can just run/wash it underwater and it doesn't go all gakky like Dettol.
FIVE BIG STARS *****
Any questions?
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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2016/07/27 22:31:24


Oli: Can I be an orc?
Everyone: No.
Oli: But it fits through the doors, Look! 
   
Made in bg
Storm Trooper with Maglight






That's really awesome man! What surprises me good is that the alcohol even removes some pretty bad base attempts - like bad glued grass on the base. It totally strips this as well.

Is that a second hand Banebalde you bought on ebay?
   
Made in gb
Towering Hierophant Bio-Titan





Bristol, England

Shadowsword but yeah I bought it off eBay and it was in a bad state.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/27 22:50:52


Oli: Can I be an orc?
Everyone: No.
Oli: But it fits through the doors, Look! 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar





Southern California, USA

 DalinCriid wrote:
 TheCustomLime wrote:
I love Iso alcohol. It'll restore metals to factory new condition in like 5 minutes. Best paint stripper there is.


Can you let me know, if you have experience so far, how the ISO works with Risen/Forge World Models?


I used it on a WLG resin Tiger. It made the resin rubbery but after a week or two it was fine.

Thought for the day: Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
30k Ultramarines: 2000 pts
Bolt Action Germans: ~1200 pts
AOS Stormcast: Just starting.
The Empire : ~60-70 models.
1500 pts
: My Salamanders painting blog 16 Infantry and 2 Vehicles done so far!  
   
Made in gb
Sneaky Sniper Drone




Nottingham

Good to hear washing up liquid helps. Ill try that next time. Definitely wont add water to it, not sure why I thought that would be a good idea lol
   
Made in gb
Irked Necron Immortal






The best paint stripper I've used is actually brake fluid it doesnt damage the model at all or make it tacky/rubbery, just wear some gloves when handling it, put your models in let them soak for a couple hours and you can literally rub the paint off to bare plastic with a tooth brush, then just use washing up liquid to wash the stripped model off and youre good as new.

heck if you wanted to you could strip car paint with the stuff.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/28 12:26:38


Morat Noob

New Sylvans eventually

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30k

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Made in us
Innocent SDF-1 Bridge Bunny






I just want to say that Isopropyl Alchohol of high concentrations should not come in contact with your skin. If you are using this stuff please wear protective gloves and read a safety data sheet prior to use.

The OP said it was fine to get on your hands, it is not.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Outer Space, Apparently

 Swabby wrote:
I just want to say that Isopropyl Alchohol of high concentrations should not come in contact with your skin. If you are using this stuff please wear protective gloves and read a safety data sheet prior to use.

The OP said it was fine to get on your hands, it is not.


Absolutely is fine to get on your skin, it evaporates too fast to do any harm; the worse you'll get is a stinging sensation under your nails, and that's if you practically dip your hands in the stuff, and if you bite your nails too

If you have sensitive skin, perhaps it might. I've used it over and over again and my hands are as good and clean as ever, despite frequent contact.

EDIT: It does say "avoid contact with skin and eyes" on the bottle, however I assume that kind of skin contact would have to be full submersion

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/07/28 16:02:05


G.A - Should've called myself Ghost Ark

Makeup Whiskers? This is War Paint! 
   
 
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