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Removing old paint from large models.

7 replies
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  • Member since
    February 2019
  • From: East Jutland, Denmark
Removing old paint from large models.
Posted by Flamingbaconeagle on Thursday, March 14, 2019 4:50 AM

This might not be the correct subforum, but here goes (and in case it isn't, I expect the mods to move it to the proper one): 

Anyone got any good ideas for how to strip paint from large models? 

Obviously I could just soak them in rubbing alcohol (which is what I do for small models), but honestly it seems like quite a vaste of good rubbing alcohol (which is also what I use for my trangia, and keep around for that purpose..).

For reference the models that need stripping is a few WH40K tanks, all based on the old Rhino chassis. Which is to say that they are hollow (and also plastic), and it would take a LOT of rubbing alcohol to actually submerge it. 

So: Any suggestions? 


  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by BarrettDuke on Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:41 AM

Depends on the kind of paint. If it's some kind of acrylic, then soak them in Windex. Barrett

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:08 AM

Try spray Easy-Off, a toothbrush, gloves and running warm water.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:11 AM


Try spray Easy-Off, a toothbrush, gloves and running warm water.



Best and easiest method for large models.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Boston
Posted by Wilbur Wright on Sunday, March 17, 2019 11:09 PM

I second the Easy-Off method.  Best if done outside in good weather if possible.

Have patience as well , it may take a few rounds.

Put the model on old newspapers, cover it with Easy Off,  then cover that with more old newspapers let sit for 20 minutes.  Then use the old tooth brush and rinse.

Repeat if needed.

  • Member since
    February 2019
  • From: East Jutland, Denmark
Posted by Flamingbaconeagle on Monday, March 18, 2019 4:30 AM

Now to find out what the equivalent of Easy-off is here in DK. I suspect that answer is "oven cleaner".

I've also been considering nail-polish remover - my wife's got some that's acetone free - but I fear it may just straight up eat the plastic..

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, March 18, 2019 9:05 AM

I use Purple Power cleaner.  I was skeptical at first, but tried it and it works.  You have to soak it for awhile, six hours or so. It will work on acrylic and enamel.  I have not tried it on lacquers, however.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by jmoran426 on Monday, March 18, 2019 9:39 AM
I use brake fluid for large model railroad projects. Even the newer type brake fluid works well enough except on some of the older, cheaper models that used hardened enamels. Those take some scrubbing with a tooth brush. I use a Tupperware dish to hold the fluid, put in the model for a couple of hours, remove the loosened paint with a tooth brush or flat-edged blade. Flip over model for other side or odd shapes.



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