Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stripping Paint: Waterpik Style

So in my ongoing quest to find the ultimate solution to stripping minis (because I have a LOT to strip it turns out), I tried a couple of new things I haven't used before:

The first was to "upgrade" to a stronger solution. I've been using regular Simple Green to soak my minis, and while it does a pretty good job, it wasn't as strong as I would like. Still seemed to be a lot of paint not coming off and multiple soaks required.

While I was browsing at Canadian Tire looking for alternatives, I saw this: Simple Green Max

Pro series!

I have no idea what makes it "MAX" but decided to give it a try. I can already tell it's doing a better job than regular simple green. More paint is coming off, and doing so more easily. I'll try using this for a while but might also give Super Clean a try.

Next step is figuring out tools to use. My old toothbrush isn't really getting the job done well enough. I've ordered an ultrasonic cleaner, and will try that. I should also look at Home Depot for a brass wire brush (looks like a toothbrush but with brass wires) which should be more effective but might be harsh on plastics.

But last night I took a 20% off coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a Waterpik. I figured it would be like a mini power washer and help remove paint from the deeper nooks and crannies and recesses.

This one.

Well. I'm not sure if I can really recommend using one. It did definitely get more of the paint off - not all of it mind you - so that's good. But holy cow, MESSY. I was using it in my laundry sink that I have installed in my painting room for purposes of quickly cleaning up my airbrushes etc. It seemed like no matter how far away I held it with my arms, what angled I used, etc....water was deflecting everywhere. I was getting soaked, my painting desk was wet...water just FLIES. It's almost awe-inspiring how far the water deflects off the models. So at first I was like "ok, that was a waste of 30 bucks", because I don't want to dress up in a rain suit to strip models. But in the car this morning I had a thought: what I might do is cut out a sort of "shield" from clear plastic packaging (like from eleectronics etc) and attach it to the spray wand. Basically like a blast shield against the back of it, so that when the water deflects, it hits that shield more and not my walls and face. We'll see, I like trying to rig up weird solutions to stuff (MacGuyver!). I'll let you know how that goes....

In the mean time, I've been working on a Rhino for the Dark Angels. I'm not super excited with how ti's turning out - it feels like one of my less impressive jobs and kinda messy. But it's a Rhino, and I'm painting this force to be really nice looking but not display perfect. One thing I really want to do is stencil on a big Dark Angels Symbol on the top hatches, but I can't seem to find any good large examples online to use. I dont think I want to try free-handing it.  If anyone has any files or suggestions, let me know!


  1. Have you tried nail polish remover, has to be acetone free though because otherwise it reduces your grey plastic to mush.

    Hope it helps

  2. if you're really struggling, brake fluid works really well but has some pretty scary health concerns. I've used it on plastic and metal and it will take off most paints (including the primer coat) while leaving the plastic and metal in good condition. Don't use it with resin and make sure you wear gloves and a dust mask at the very least. (google brake fluid carcinogen)

  3. You really need to get a powerful degreaser like super Clean or Purple power or whatever they call it... I swear, all you will need is a toothbrush after a 24 hour soak at full strength and it works on metal plastics and resin with no issues even separates the glue on metal ...it is not kind to greenstuff though, it dries it out

  4. I really think though it needs to be the purple formula degreaser whether generic or not;)

  5. Cool I might try Super Clean. Blaise I've tried brake fluid in the past, I think I'm too uncomfortable with the health concerns associated with it :) Haven't tried nail polish remover Skaltar, but I think the super clean might be more easy to get economically in larger volume :P

  6. I've head that L.A. Awesome is amazing and can be found at any dollar store. It's a yellow color

  7. Yeah I've heard that too! Not sure if it's in Canada though.

  8. I got a Waterpik years ago from my parents (brand-new, not used, as far as I could tell). Never used it on my teeth. However, one night I was having some really annoying crackling noises inside my right ear whenever I moved my jaw. My wife (who is a MD, ie family doctor), took out her doctor thingamabob and after a quick look, told me it was a bit of hair that had fallen into my ear canal from a haircut I recieved earlier that day.

    "What would you do if a patient ever showed up at your office with this problem?" I asked. She then described a device she had that flushed out people's ears with a gentle blast of water.

    "Hmmm... like this?" I said, as I dig the long forgotten present from under our bathroom sink.

    5 minutes later, I had a clean ear, and a huge wet mess on the side of my shirt and couch.

    *Disclaimer: Please don't try any of the above without a medical degree. I shudder to think of all the things that COULD have gone wrong... in hindsight it was an incredibly stupid gamble, but man oh man, that was one heck of an annoying crackle in my ear.

  9. Hi there! Can I offer some advice on how to use the Water Flosser. You need to place the tip in your mouth first. Second, lean over the sink with your mouth open. Third, turn on the unit. The Water Flosser tip should never come out of your mouth. Here is an instructional video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-sErOkFFgg hope this helps.

  10. Well, that is a bit surreal :) To clarify, I'm not using the Waterpik for it's "real" purpose, I'm using it to strip paint off of scale models because of the high pressure it generates.

  11. Hey, ever thought of trying out an ultrasonic cleaner? Works wonders.