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To be easy on myself, my painting ability was less than perfect when I first started 40k about 7-8 years ago. After I salvaged what models I could, I have a decent army that needs to be stripped and repainted.

I have two questions:

1) Are their any good guides or tips to stripping paint off my models? Suggestions with chemicals, etc?

2) I have aspirations to be a good painter. I am not looking for professional quality here, but something that hasn't been painted 3 times over and is an eyesore. Are their any good guides to get myself started? Should I buy "How to Paint Citadel Minatures"?
 

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Depending on what minis you've got either Detol/Simple Green for plastics, just soak them in neat solution for an hour or six then set about them with a tooth brush. If you've got metals then use Nitromor's paint stripper, it will do the job in minutes but is highly toxic and generally just horrible to be around, follow the instructions to the letter!

As for progressing as a painter I'd really need to know what sort of a level you're at now to give any advice.
Generally I wouldn't bother with How To Paint Citadel Minitures, there's plenty of info out and about on the web and some really good tutorials here (really GOOD). But it all depends on what level you're at really so it's hard to give much more advice than that, sorry!
 

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I myself am using a regular brake fluid (dot-3 or dot-4) - works best both for plastic and metal minis
Don't buy GW handbooks -look for tutorials on the net they are far better - there should be adecent amount of tuts on this forum and coolmini :) If you have any questions - PM me , I'll help how much I can :)
 

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Simple Green would be your best bet.
Totally agree.

What about Nitromor's paint stripper?
I myself am using a regular brake fluid (dot-3 or dot-4) - works best both for plastic and metal minis
As good as a dedicated paint thinner/stripper or brake fluid is at removing paint, they are nasty stuff to deal with. Brake fluid will eat certain plastics and can damage finished surfaces such as counter tops, carpet, laminate flooring etc. Paint thinner can be very toxic, flammable, caustic and will also destroy surfaces you do not want destroyed. Most people paint and do hobby stuff inside their homes and using such stuff inside isn't a smart thing to do. If you have pets or small children, then the risk becomes even greater. Those chemicals are better used in a garage, shed or workshop, but not in the home, too risky.

Simple Green is the best solution bar-none. It is nontoxic, nonflammable, not harmful to finished surfaced and will not cause burns to the skin and can be used inside the house safely, (it is a household cleaner afterall.) You can pick up simple green in any super market, mega mart or mega home supply store. It is easy to get. Being safe about how you do your hobby is just as important as anything else.
 

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What about Nitromor's paint stripper?
Nitromor's is fine for metal minis but it will eat plastics in seconds. It's also horrible stuff that will burn your skin, strip your lungs and melt your eyes if you're not careful!
It is good at what it does but like I said, be careful and follow the instructions to the letter, do not touch it under any circumstances.
I got some in my eyes a few years ago while at work, it burns like you would not believe!
For every day stuff Simple Green should be fine, for more stubborn stuff on metal minis Nitromor's is the stuff. It's designed for stripping paint and thats exactly what it does. I really wouldn't start messing around with brake fluids and stuff like that, use the tool designed for the job. Again, brake fluid is very toxic and was never designed to be a paint stripper, there's no way of telling what sort of toxic fumes you're breathing, leave it well alone!
 

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Hmm my brake fluid doesnt eat stuff away... You have to have something different there in the U.S. than we in Europe as brake fluid ;) Im using a glass jar filled with DOT which in I bathe the minis - and using it at home - never got sick or toxified or sth :)
It isn't the fumes, it is the stuff itself. DOT 3 and 4 are glycol based, were as DOT 5 is silicone based. The different types, (like 3 and 4) refer to the boiling point of the fluid. Higher performance, off road or commercial vehicles will generally use DOT 4 were regular cars and light trucks use DOT 3. DOT 5 is for high performance vehicles such as motorcycles, race cars etc. Brake fluid is also used in hydraulic clutch master and slave cylinder systems too. Brake fluid is corrosive and flammable and not to be toyed with lightly.

Trust me, I have been an auto tech for 15 years, brake fluid is nasty stuff, be careful with it.
 

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On the painting side of things, the most useful tips are usually :

1. Use a decent brush - the citadel ones are fine, most important thing is to look after it. Make sure you don't let paint get into the ferrule (metal bit that holds the bristles). Clean it often (every 5 to 10 minutes at least), and don't put too much pressure on the bristles. having a good brush tip will help your painting a lot.

2. Thin your paints down. Mixing your paint with a little water makes it easier to put on and control. Several coats of light paint is massively better looking than a single coat which dries too thick.

3. Concentrate on painting neatly and practice. If you can consistently lay down your colours neatly then other techniques will be easier to learn. With the new washes it's very easy to get a great looking paintjob by painting neat base colours and using the washes for shading.

Hope this helps, good luck!
 

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I fully endorse Varakir's views as to painting your models. The more you practice the better you'll become. I always aim to have a somewhat limited pallette of colours, usually 3-4 and I also aim to make the uniforms look, well, uniform. That might sound obvious but you'd be surprised how many armies look different from one batch to another. When you put say 30-40 models onto the gaming board and they look neat, tidy and uniform you'll notice the difference. If they look like you've done three or four batches and they don't quite have that uniformity, you'll notice it stands out like a sore thumb...
Perhaps equally, if not even more important... Make sure you base your models. Just a simple flock/sand base will really enhance the finished look of your models.

Anyway, good luck with your painting and if you get the opportunity post some pictures of how you are getting along. I'm sure if you put "Work In Progress" photos up then the good people of this board will chip in with some helpful tips to help you along the way.
 

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As for stripping paint, I found a 50/50 mix of pine sol/water works great. Drop your plastic models in, let them sit an hour or 2 and take an old tooth brush and brush away the paint. If you leave them too long they will start to get soft.
Pin sol lemon scented is what I used last time and it left my model smelling lemmony for a few hours afterwards but that's it.

For painting:
Use the tutorials here, they were the biggest help to me. Start out taking your time. Make sure you water down your paint, it helps more then you think. Also, get a brush you like. GW brushes are ok, but I prefer the Reaper brushes. Get a few of different sizes for different detail level. Don't use the smallest for everything or you'll get bored and want to hurry up because it'll take forever to paint anything.
Also, paint over time. Don't try and finish a model in one sitting. Take a break, rest your eyes, hands, back, whatever is getting sore for painting.
The biggest thing to help make you a better painter is practice. Start out simple and get more complex with washes and inks at you go. Find paint you like to work with, I use a composition of reaper and citadel paints depending on the colors I want. It took me nearly an army before I started producing things I am actually proud of displaying.
 
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