Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Soak far, part three

Honestly, the Coke experiment was a disappointment. The paint that did come away needed a good scrape to remove it, and anything in undercuts was immovable.

So, back to the drawing board. Clearly I needed to get a bit more professional. In the last post on this subject Rumblestrip recommended "Nitromors", which is a paint and varnish removing gel so should do the job.

My visit to the local DIY superstore, Homebase, revealed a profusion of potential products, In the end I went for their own brand, for two reasons:

1) It seemed to have the same active ingredients
2) It was less than half the price of "Nitromors" (£3.25 v £8.99).

The main downsides seem to be:

1) It is more expensive than Coke
2) You can't drink it, even with rum in it.

This stuff isn't exactly liquid and isn't exactly gel. It's more like the consistency of PVA glue, a fairly slow moving fluid.

Anyhow, I put the figures to be cleaned in a jar and topped it up with the cleaner. And put the top on, because this stuff gives off fumes.

As you can see it's a sort of white colour.

After a few hours it started to go a bit browny/greeny, so I gave it a shake to mix it all up. It was clear that flakes of paint were coming off.

You are supposed to leave it for 40 minutes. I took a few samples out with tweezers after an hour and gave them a quick scrub with an old tooth brush and they came up nice and clean. I think I have a difference between figures that were undercoated in grey car paint primer and those where I used thinned black Dulux, but I'm not sure. I couldn't tell at this point if the metal on some of them had become pitted by the process. However on reflection they looked okay.

So I left the jar overnight and by the morning it was definitely
that green/brown vomit colour you got at primary school when you mixed all the colours together during an art lesson to see what it would look like and then got told off by Mrs Stuart because no matter no hard you try there aren't any new colours in the universe for you to discover through the random mixing of poster paint..

I strained the mixture through a sieve and they do seem to have been sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure. I then attended to them one at a time. I should probably have used gloves but I couldn't get a grip on the figures properly. I tried holding them with clamps or tweezers, but that didn't work either. In the end I scrubbed them under running water and I've still got most of my skin left.

The paint came off really easily on most of the figures. Some of those which were a combination of car undercoat, premium varnish and lots of under cuts still have a few remaining scraps that won't come off, but that won't be a problem.

The annoying side effect was that there were a few figures in the batch that I'd had to repair after their first painting. Mr Irregular does sometimes make figures with thin ankles and a few had come off their bases. These are usually easily fixable with superglue. Well, this stuff dealt with the superglue too. And it may have dissolved some Miliput or similar I was using as a base supplement. It certainly did for the polyfilla.

So a success, I would say, with some more figures back into the lead mountain.


  1. I can confirm that Nitromors will dissolve Milliput.

  2. Best thing I,ve found is Dettol

    1. This worked just fine and did what it said on the bottle.

  3. Try Detol.

    Stinks unless you like its distinctive pong but much kinder to the environment and the hands (unless you have a minuscule nearly invisible cur).

    1. I'm sticking with this now, seeing as I bought a bottle of it. Plus I don't really do this all that often.

  4. Nitromors...other paintstripping products are indeed available (at a considerably lesser price). It is remarkably toxic though.

    And,although it is true you cannot drink paintstripper, I would hold out that the same is true of Coke, irrespective (almost) of the amount of rum available.



    1. Well, it might be just a location thing. Hard not to go to Cuba and not drink coke with rum in it. Or the other way round.

  5. I used B&Q Paintstripper when I was forced to strip some figures that were covering in only what could be described as Artex it was so thick. They were 15mm scale and cost almost nothing. I put them in a jamjar with the lid on and left them soaking for 24 hours. A pair of nylon gloves and some point nosed pliers and a toothbrush plus about four hours work later resulted in figures looking like they had just come out of the spin mould. They were totally clean. Some went into the spares box whilst lots ended up in parts of other armies. My Cilician Armenians and Delhi Sultanate commanders elements were just two examples on my blog.

    1. My issue was the varnish, I think. I didn't need 4 hours to scrub the figures up, but I was only cleaning about 40 of them.

      I use Artex equivalent on my terrain pieces, but not on my figures.

  6. I've never been keen on Coke but have found the the Fentimans cola (quite gingery) and the Fevertree version (with vanilla) pleasantly drinkable and both good with rum and lime. The Dalstons cola was also good and quite spicy, next time I might try it with brandy instead of rum (and possibly orange bitters instead of lime) as a Christmas pudding inspired cocktail.

    1. Sound like good recommendations. I suppose for a proper Cuba Libre you shouldn't really be using Coke anyway.