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Subject: Removing paint from plastics rss

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Tom McThorn
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I figured I'd ask in here because of the high level of knowledge on the topic.

I picked up (cheap) some 40k plastic terminators. They were painted and I soaked them in pine sol overnight and today when I'm cleaning them the top layer of paint came right off...leaving behind a sorta sticky coating on the figures. What would be a different/better chemical to try? I've used Jasco in the past...but it's fairly nasty and goes right through standard latex gloves. It does remove paint though. I also have access to denatured alcohol and acetone.

any suggestions?

I don't want to mess them up; they're currently soaking in soapy water.
 
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Chris Hobbs
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Two ideas, one I've tried and one I haven't:

Simple Green: This seems to be a popular recommendation, and is very unlikely to negatively affect plastic. I used it recently to strip a coat of primer that failed to dry. Most of the minis needed just an overnight soak and toothbrush scrub, but one stubborn bug bear I ended up leaving to soak for a week, probably too long as it still smells faintly of Simple Green a couple of months after finishing it. These were Reaper Bones resin/plastic minis.

Brake Fluid: I know this gets used for metal minis, but I'd be awfully cautious on plastic. Try it on one and see if it disfigures it first?

Good luck!

Chris
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Ryan Mayes
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I've used Mr. Clean. I let them soak for a few hours then use a tooth brush to gently scrub off the paint. It got 95% of the paint off. Some paint was left over in the crevices but I didn't worry about it because I repainted them.
 
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Simple Green mostly worked for me. The only thing it didn't work with was some Orcs that were primed black. That stuff didn't move at all.

For those, I had much better luck with Castrol Super Clean.
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Adam Brant
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I've seen this before and ended up destroying the minis trying to get it off. That sticky coating may be soft plastic or some sort of super-hard-to-remove primer. Try letting it dry for a day or 2 and see if it hardens and the detail remains. If it does, you may be able to just prime and paint the way they are.
 
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Tom McThorn
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I took one and tried denatured alcohol on a rag and it removed the gunk.
I'm soaking a spare piece to see what happens.

*update*
The piece didn't melt so I'm hoping tomorrow some time w/ a toothbrush and the alcohol will clean them up enough to prime.
 
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Jeff Worley
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Third for Simple Green. Non-toxic and you can usually scrub any metal or plastic minis clean after 24 hours.
 
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Mark Geesebrook
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Genghis wrote:
Simple Green mostly worked for me. The only thing it didn't work with was some Orcs that were primed black. That stuff didn't move at all.

For those, I had much better luck with Castrol Super Clean.


+1 for Castrol Super Clean. Tough on paint, soft on plastics... for the most part.

Brake fluid is more agressive but can be disastrous with some types of plastic.
 
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J J
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I can guarantee (from personal experience) that brake fluid will remove paint quite well and quite safely from any metal or styrene miniature produced by Games Workshop. You just drop the miniature into a jar of the fluid and leave it. Depending on the amount of paint in question, you may need to wait between two days and a week or more. You will need a toothbrush to remove the remains of the paint.

I have no idea what various paint-stripping items will do to the new resin stuff from GW.

For better results, use actual paint stripper (the thick goo you can paint on), but while this is perfectly safe on metal, it will melt plastic if you are not quick and careful.
 
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Tom McThorn
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After dealing with the mini's I've found that:

Pine Sol doesn't work great. It will get most of the paint off but also starts to mess w/ the plastic if left on too long plus doesn't get the primer paint off. The minis also smell like a clean bathroom....

Easy Off Oven Cleaner: Works pretty good but is sort of toxic. It managed to get most of the gunk off but some of the paint (I think the previous owner used enamels) didn't come off.

Goo Gone paint remover: Kinda works. Non Toxic but easy off is better.

I have some more coming in the mail and will give brake fluid a try. Considering it's been in the 30's at night and not much above 50 during the day I can't prime them until we get a little bit warmer weather.

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