Okay, so it was for fun and experience, but that doesn’t sound as good.
Today* I stripped… a bunch of deamonettes… All of the pictures in this are clickable for larger versions. Some are cropped pretty close already though.
My friend Will gave me a bunch of abused and neglected minis he had no intent of ever using. Poorly (and incompletely) painted, sloppily assembled, bases long gone. So if I’m going to repaint these (hey, it could happen some day. I’ll certainly catch up on Dr. Who and Buffy before I run out of mini’s to paint, but that’s another conversation) I’m going to need to strip them. I have a crap ton of other bequeathed minis in terrible shape which could be useful if stripped and reassembled (we’ll come back to this) so I figured starting with the ones I’m most likely to paint next would be good.
If you’re going to use this guide, here’s what you will need:
Patience – Lots of it!
Pine-Sol – Might as well go economy size, the extra you can use to clean your house.
Glass Jar or Plastic tub – Make sure it has a tight fitting lid unless you really like the smell of pinesol.
Stiff toothbrush – You want hard bristles here.
Dish Soap – You’ve probably already got this.
Gloves – Not a requirement with Pine-Sol, I didn’t use them but my finger skin is now all dry and crackly … it doesn’t hurt, but it’s a little unpleasent.
So there are lots of guides out there, touting all kinds of different chemicals, most of which are more hazardous than Pine-Sol. I like low hazard and biodegradable for pretty much anything I’m going to be dipping my hands in, plus I happened to have a bottle of Pine-Sol under the sink already. So I tossed the minis in a plastic tub, poured Pine-Sol in until they were submerged just, and the let it sit for two days. Depending on how caked on the minis are, you might want to give it longer. Certainly you’re going to want to wait at least 24 hours**. I didn’t think to take a real before picture, but the mini in the pictures above is straight from the tub. A little of the paint has flaked right off, but most is still loosely attached and you can see not much care was put into painting her.
So I set up a bowl of warm water in the sink, and about 1 minute of scrubbing w/ the toothbrush, occasionally dipping it in the soapy water and/or rinsing under running hot water, yielded this version of the mini. You’ll notice there is still a little bit of paint here and there. Mostly in the nooks and crannies. I may toss these minis into a fresh batch of Pine-Sol for another couple of days to see if I can get them spotlessly clean.
Now, on the mini to the left, you may notice has a huge green and white splotch on her leg, back and butt. I’m fairly certain that is superglue. I wasn’t really able to remove that even w/ a hobby knife. This is where some of the other more toxic chemicals might do a better job. That said, the Pine-Sol did detach all of the arms, and I was mostly able to pick off the superglue with my fingernails, only occasionally having to resort to my hobby knife.
And at the bottom of this post you can see the complete minis drying on a thoroughly soaked paper towel.
*Actually, I did this earlier this week, but my webhost was suffering a DDOS attack and took WordPress down for a few hours. Conveniently the hours when I was going to post this.
**One of my other friends Duncan, who is possibly the best painter I know, has apparently also used Pine-Sol to great effect. He claims that only 3-4 hours are really needed to get most of the paint off.