Sunday, 6 February 2011

Anyone can be a stripper...

...if they put their mind to it. So, rather than doing anything productive this afternoon, I thought it high time that I have a shufty through my stripping pot. My stripping pot looks like this:

An old glass jar that once contained tasty, tasty fish (sadly the fish didn't actually come wearing tiny capes). Generally, whenever I buy minis on ebay that have already been painted, they get thrown in the pot and forgotten about until the next time I decide to spend several hours getting wrinkly fingers. Up until today, the pot looked like this:

I think it's mostly GW minis in there, and some of them have been in and out of the pot for a couple of years now. The gunky looking juice in there is standard household disinfectant. I've heard of the wonders of Simple Green, motor oil and whatnot, but disinfectant is generally easy to get hold of, and seems to work well enough. I've tried nail polish remover before (eye-wateringly stinky), and have heard good things about medical alcohol, but for now (or at least until this bottle runs out) I'm sticking with disinfectant. Now for the serious part: when handling hazardous liquids, make sure you follow the appropriate health and safety measures, and use whatever protective devices or materials you need. For example, when working with disinfectant, I donned this hat:

See? Perfectly safe. Also worthy of note is the podcast playing in one ear, balancing the perils of being distracted when handling small parts over a dark hole that leads to the alligator-ridden sewers with the rewards of having something to listen to whilst spending a couple of hours scrubbing at miniatures over the sink. On the subject of scrubbing miniatures, I had an epiphany today: I've been going about it ass-backwards up until now! In the past, I would scrub at the miniature with an old toothbrush (and scrub and scrub and scrub...), and then use a pin to winkle out an little globs of paint left in the crevices. Today however, I found that (for me at least) it's much more effective to go at it with a pin first - especially if the mini had in it's previous life received an over-zealously thick coat of paint, as you can often peel great chunks off in a single sheet.

 A quick scrub with the toothbrush later, and there's only a few globs left in the deepest recesses, ready to get picked at with a pin. It also seems that the longer you work at it, the more the paint seems to dry out, and sometimes reaches a 'sweet spot' where it's soft enough to affect with the pin, but rubbery enough that when you go at it it drags off in a sheet rather than just scratching away thinly. I also read somewhere that if you get a miniature wet whilst scrubbing it, the paint becomes harder to remove. I don't know how true this is, but I try to avoid it just in case.

Once this is done, any minis that still have significant amounts of paint on go back into the jar for another soak, and any minis I'm happy with go onto some kitchen paper to dry out:

Which gives us a variety of mostly clean minis, ready to get butchered by my painting skills. 

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