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Removing paint from plastic model kits.

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  • Member since
    December, 2012
Removing paint from plastic model kits.
Posted by rmontesb on Saturday, January 31, 2015 8:25 PM

Hello!

I´ve just pulled out from a box an old Revell 1/48 ME109 kit that was partially built and painted by me a long time ago. I want to finish it now, but some parts were painted with the wrong colors.

Is there a way to safely remove enamel or acrylic paint from plastic model kits?

Your responses and advice will be highly appreciated.

Regards, 

Tags: 1/48 , aircraft , ME109 , Paint , Revell

rmontesbAlien


 

On the bench (2015-11-06): Lindberg 1/48 JU87 Stuka, Hasegawa 1/72 A-6E Intruder and Starfix 1/48 (??) Messerschmitt BF-109 G.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 31, 2015 9:15 PM

I use fume free Easy Off oven cleaner. Normally for pieces parts, I'll put them in a large ziplock bag and spray them with the foam and let sit overnight. But for a more precise method, you may wish to spray some in an old cup and scrub with an old toothbrush.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Saturday, January 31, 2015 9:57 PM

Ditto to what Rob said. That's how I've done it in the past myself.

Gary

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
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Posted by GreenStyrene48 on Sunday, February 01, 2015 3:32 PM
I've had success with oven cleaner too. It was a store brand lye oven cleaner. Make sure you have good ventilation and wear safety glasses. I spray the parts and let them sit, then rinse and scrub with an old tooth brush.

Lye will dry out your skin but you can wash it off and neutralize with lemon juice or vinegar, etc. may take a few attempts to dislodge thick paint, but even 20 year old paint comes up.
  • Member since
    January, 2012
  • From: Barrie, Ontario
Posted by Cdn Colin on Monday, February 02, 2015 8:08 AM

Methyl hydrate works wonders on acrylics.

I build 1/48 scale WW2 fighters.

Have fun.

  • Member since
    March, 2011
  • From: Gateway to Cape Cod MA
Posted by jb4406 on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 10:37 AM

I have been very successful using "Castrol Super Clean" to strip enamels from old kits. I pour some in an old plastic container & let the parts soak overnight. If there are stubborn areas, let it soak a little longer. It works faster on flat finishes but will work on gloss as well, & in my experience, will not harm the plastic (except clear pieces).  It's biodegradable, but as with anything used to strip paint, you should always wear gloves & goggles. A similar (and slightly cheaper)  product is called "Purple Power".

"The difficult, I do  right away. The impossible will take a little longer."

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 11:29 AM

I use Super Clean, too.  I first tired it a couple of years ago, to remove the chrome from a sprue of chromed parts.  It took it off in under 2 minutes.   I find that it will soften paint in about 5 to 10 minutes, at which time I can gently scrub the paint off with an old toothbrush.  I do find, though, that if I soak parts longer, the paint will lift off and dissolve into the liquid.

It is not nearly as caustic as oven cleaner, whose principal ingredient is lye, as noted in the earlier post.  Also, you can use a batch of SC over and over, whereas oven cleaner is a one-shot product.  I keep a couple of glass jars of various sizes, filled with SC, for parts of various sizes.

I use it to strip paint from plastic, and also from metal figures.  I also use it, since it's a de-greaser, to clean kits before I start building, just a couple of drops in the warm water that I use.

I also use it as a brush cleaner, for acrylics, and it also has household uses (I unclogged a drain with it).

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

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  • Member since
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  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 12:06 PM

I have used Pine Sol in the past, but am not sure it is still available.  Just soak the model in it and most of the paint will slide off.

John

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Cameron, Texas
Posted by Texgunner on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 12:10 PM

wolfhammer1

I have used Pine Sol in the past, but am not sure it is still available.  Just soak the model in it and most of the paint will slide off.

John

And, it will smell good too!Big Smile


"All you mugs need to get busy building, and post pics!"

  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • From: Atlanta, GA
Posted by Mustang8376 on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 1:29 PM

If it was painted with Acrylics, Simple Green can strip it off with no issues.  Just let it soak.  Enamel can be removed by Easy Off.

Current build: Monogram/Revell Mig-21PF


Completed: AMT 1/537 USS Reliant

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 11:45 AM

Mustang8376

...Enamel can be removed by Easy Off.

I have to disagree.  I use enamels to paint my toy soldiers, Testor's gloss enamels, for example, and I have stripped them off with Super Clean, using the method I described in my previous post.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
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Posted by BLACKSMITHN on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:43 PM

Avoid Pine Sol! I soaked a model in that stuff overnight and not only did the paint turn into a gummy, sticky, impossible to clean mess, but it softened the plastic as well. It may be a fine product for cleaning floors, but not for cleaning paint off plastic models.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by Weird-Oh on Friday, February 06, 2015 9:34 PM

I tried the oven cleaner route, and although it took off some paint, there was much more than just hung on. On the advice of someone in a modeling forum, I went to Lowe's and picked up a bottle of Purple Power, which did a much better job. I soaked the parts for a couple of hours and most of the paint came right off, leaving me just a little to scrub off. The stuff is strong, though - I used it outdoors and washed the parts off with water as soon as I took them out of the solution. Latex gloves are a must.

www.lowes.com/pd_242634-58116-4320P_0__

  • Member since
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  • From: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
Posted by Digital_Cowboy on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 9:08 PM

Okay, every now and then I see this question come up.  And I have to ask what to me is a rather simple and easy question.  If one originally used enamel why not use  enamel thinner to remove it?  Why try and use all of these "exotic" chemicals to remove the paint?

---------------------------------
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  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:14 PM

Enamel thinner will attack the plastic after a few minutes of the plastic soaking in it. Dried paint does not come off as quickly or easily as fresh or wet paint. The exotic stuff mentioned above won't attack the plastic, plus, most of it is enviromentally friendly.

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
Posted by Digital_Cowboy on Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:42 AM

Devil Dawg

Enamel thinner will attack the plastic after a few minutes of the plastic soaking in it. Dried paint does not come off as quickly or easily as fresh or wet paint. The exotic stuff mentioned above won't attack the plastic, plus, most of it is enviromentally friendly.

DD,

     Thank you, as I said, I've seen this question come up in the past.  And I've always wondered why it was that people didn't try the thinner that was made for the type of paint orginally used.

     Question, if one didn't soak the model in the thinner, but applied it with a toothbrush, or even an airbrush would that work?:

---------------------------------
Digital Cowboy
Live Long and Prosper
On the Bench: '64 Ford Fairlane; '09 Corvette Coupe

  • Member since
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  • From: Cameron, Texas
Posted by Texgunner on Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:18 AM

Cowboy, if we're talking about solvent-based paint, then no, the thinner will craze the plastic.  amhik...Wink

Gary


"All you mugs need to get busy building, and post pics!"

  • Member since
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  • From: Mt. Washington, KY
Posted by Geezer on Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:32 AM

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by Souda99 on Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:47 PM
I recently asked this same question. Some suggested Simple Green to me and I just tried it out last week. It took off both the acrylic and enamel paint that was on my 1/700 Oliver Hazard Perry. I just let it soak for about 6 hours and then used a soft bristled tooth brush and a nylon bristled gun brush and the paint off. Do like I did and take the advice and used rubber gloves. This technique also had an added benift for me as it losened the glue that was used so now I can rebuild it more carefully using better techniques, although I suspect the reason it took the glue off is that the glue I used has most likely gone bad.
  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Sunday, February 22, 2015 6:07 PM

Digital_Cowboy

Devil Dawg

Enamel thinner will attack the plastic after a few minutes of the plastic soaking in it. Dried paint does not come off as quickly or easily as fresh or wet paint. The exotic stuff mentioned above won't attack the plastic, plus, most of it is enviromentally friendly.

DD,

     Thank you, as I said, I've seen this question come up in the past.  And I've always wondered why it was that people didn't try the thinner that was made for the type of paint orginally used.

     Question, if one didn't soak the model in the thinner, but applied it with a toothbrush, or even an airbrush would that work?:

I don't think so. The paint remover (whatever type you use) needs time to soak in and loosen the paint. Just applying it with a toothbrush or airbrush won't give it any time to soak and loosen the paint (a minimum of a few hours would be needed with any of the removers listed previously). Again, if you try to use paint thinner for this, you're just asking for trouble, as the thinner will attack the plastic and mar it - probably to the point that sanding out the blemishes won't work. Try it on a piece of painted scrap plastic to see if does what you want.

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    November, 2014
Posted by BLACKSMITHN on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 3:10 PM

I just did this very thing. I had primed an already painted model I bought on eBay. Once primed, I realized that there were some severe surface blemishes which had been concealed by a thick coat of paint applied by somebody other than me and I wanted to resurface the whole thing. I soaked it in Simple Green. The primer came off in about an hour. The thick paint layer came mostly off in 24 hours with some scrubbing with a soft toothbrush. There were some spots where the paint was laid on really thick, and that required an additional soak after toothbrushing the surface layer away. No harm done to the plastic at all!

  • Member since
    July, 2015
Posted by DONALD MAURER on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 5:59 PM

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

I
Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 

Geezer

In the same vane (AMHIK), I've found that a wetting down with CA accelerant like zip kicker, will easily remove enamel.

 I had some clear canopy for a F4B/N 1/48 scale Phantom, that I applied liquid mask and had a small area that was not covered.  Removing the mask after air brushing found that spot.  I took a Q -tip very lightly soaked in Zip Kicker accelerant and lightly rubbed , removing the paint.  Only a slight foggy residue remained.  I soaked the canopy in Future floor wax, eliminated the fog.  The clear plastic was not harmed.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 6:18 PM

Squadron makes a pretty good product called Chameleon. I use it when needed, it can be reused too.

Yeah, we include a statement in our maintenance manuals for the signage we design that "Simple Green" use voids the warranty. Just strips the paint right off.

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