Come back! It’s not what it looks like! Today I’ve been stripping paint off some models I bought cheaply from a facebook trading group.
A while back I purchased a Mounted Theoden (Helm’s Deep pose) and Hama on foot. These models were pretty cheap and I snapped them up quickly but it did come at a cost. These models were (I hope the seller doesn’t read this!) badly assembled with heavy flash and mounting points (where the metal enters the mould or vents out) still present. In the case of Theoden his horse was split down the middle deep enough to insert a lolly stick, which meant he wasn’t seated properly either.
This wasn’t so much of a problem though as the paint covered the gap, and everything else. In short, it was in dire need of taking back to bare metal. With a little brute force and a smattering of ignorance I managed to disassemble the models, parting the heavily super glued joints. I had to refer to the Games Workshop website at one point to make sure that Theoden’s arm did actually come separately and that I wasn’t about to snap it off. At that point I also saw the price GW was charging for a new one of these in Failcast™, oh boy!
All stripped down the parts were all dropped into an old glass coffee jar along with a generous helping of nail polish remover (Note: Use the stuff that contains acetone but never use it on plastics – dettol is far better for those). So I have to point out now that this wasn’t today, this was about a week ago, if not longer. Most people would say that overnight is enough to remove the paint but I’ve been ill and it got forgotten. Today I took the models out of their little chemical jacuzzi and set at them with a toothbrush. Small tip, cut the toothbrush bristles back to about 1/3rd the length, it lets you scrub harder but does make getting into the recesses trickier.
After a long scrub, wearing gloves (acetone dries out your hands and can crack your skin), most of the paint has come off. What remains is, I think, the black undercoat. I am however wondering if leaving the models in the acetone for so long might have discoloured the metal, if you have any ideas then please let me know.
So here in all their glory are Theoden, his horse and Hama. The next time you see them they should be cleaned up (so they actually fit together) and assembled. They might even be based and undercoated.
So, do you buy 2nd hand models? Do you strip them? Has this article been helpful to you or do you have any tips or advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!