I need to find it again but there was a nice breakdown somewhere of all the different substances and how well they did. There was one that did well on plastic and on metal and stripped with little scrubbing and very quickly.
Oh, and if you have a dremel or any other rotary tool, buy a soft brush attachment for like $5 at a hardware store, that makes it even easier in the tiny nooks and crannies. But it's messier, don't wear nice clothes or be near anything that can stain when you do that.
As Djinn said, you can find brake fluid worldwide, but you HAVE to use gloves and should probably do it outside. Also it's reusable, you can keep a small can of it and keep recycling it to strip paint, it should last quite some time.
Stripping metal figs is way simple: acetone (nail polish remover).
Plastics you have to be careful with because the plastic can break down, get soft or even melt depending on what you use: metals don't.
You CAN use simple green, Pine Sol, CSC on metals too...but why?
If acetone didn't melt plastics I'd use it for stripping everything because it's lightning fast. Unfortunately, acetone does eat plastic like a fat man at a cook-out. Green stuff ends up like goo as well.
So toss your metal figs in a old jar and pour in some acetone. Let it set for maybe 5 min or more. Swish around. The bulk of the paint will be loose by now. Use a old toothbrush and scrub the paint off. Most figs will be stripped by now.
One caveat: some figs are painted badly and gunked on so thick that it takes longer. I had a set of scout snipers that I swear they must have used testors paints on. Even in acetone it took a day of soaking and multiple scrubbings to get clean.
As always, your mileage may vary.
[P.S. If you use your Mom's or sisters nail polish remover (which is what acetone is), you should replace it. Best if you ask to get some of your own. Thankfully my wife paints minis as well and gets the BIG BOTTLE of it because she knows she'll use an ounce of it, and I'll use half the bottle on figs. As always, if you use somebodies stuff, be sure to replace it and ask permission before using somebodies stuff...and all that.]
ok well i recently got a rhino off ebay to do some practice mods which was very badly painted and it was plastic so i wanted to strip it, there were so many layers of paint i started with surgical spirit taking it down to the plastic then i used an old tooth brush and nail Varnish remover with no asotone to remove the paint from the detailed areas.
Once this was done i washed the rhino in warm water 4 time so that the surgical spirit could not melt the plastic. There is one other way which i know of and that is to use boiling water this softens the plastic and this means that the paint is a separate layer and the bonds between the paint and the plastic are broken, once this is done scrub it with an old tooth brush.
to remove paint from a metal model you need to use surgical spirit and soak the model this does remove the paint and the glue. the glue does need to be filed off but this means that any misbuilds can be corrected.
Also, gonna sound funny, just sometimes if you have a poorly glued model, a chisel is nice too. Back in 2nd ed this kid just gave me a dreadnaught because he had poured about 2 (yes 2 ) bottles of superglue on it trying to get it to stick, finger nail polish remover laughed at me as well as most of my other cleaners sooo... hammer and an old flat razor blade had to do the job, felt like a diamond cutter.
I think we need to see if we can start a breakdown of our own, I wish Icould find that darn website it was GREAT and had a time breakdown on all the major brand of paint remover, if they where toxic, what you could use them on, what other things you would need.... sigh. Maybe we can recreate it for ourselves and get it posted as an article!
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