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D&D 3E
Repaints of D&D minis 
29th-Apr-2008 01:42 am
This might be off topic for this community - I'm on mini_painter, but feel like they're more of a show-off-my-cool-new-minis sort of community.

I like a lot of the castings for the D&D minis, and the price is certainly right for a lot of them, but the paint jobs are usually somewhere between mediocre and offputting. I'd kinda like to repaint them if I bought any of them.

Does anyone know a good way to strip the existing paint from the plastic minis without wrecking the plastic? Or given the minis' size and material, would it work better to just spray primer over the existing paint job?
29th-Apr-2008 09:22 am (UTC)
Try soaking them in brake fluid; that usually strips paint off rather nicely. Test it on something you don't mind losing first, obviously.
29th-Apr-2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
Painting over what's there will only make the details in the surface disappear. As for paint removal, you can try what was suggested, or you can go with paint thinner if you use an oil based paint. If you used acrylics (like I do), Pine Sol does a decent job as well.
29th-Apr-2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
paint thinner will dissolve the plastic mini, won't it?

I assumed he was talking about the collectable miniatures.
29th-Apr-2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I missed that detail, Zilvar, thanks. Don't know what paint thinner would do to the plastic other than something "not good." Of course depending on the paint the used you might not be able to get it off...
29th-Apr-2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
There are paint strippers available nowadays (I'm specifically thinking Chameleon Paint Stripper) that claim to be plastic safe, although I would not vouch for them having never tried them myself.. even if you do give them a whirl I think it'd be wise to keep a close eye on the effects they're having as you're using them.

I've also heard tell of "Simple Green" doing the job.. infact those same rumours would have you believe that any pine oil based cleaning solution should do it. But again, I have never tried that myself.

It's been a long time since I painted miniatures and back then I wouldn't have advised paint stripping plastic miniatures. When I was involved in it, the best way to strip metal miniatures was to dunk them in Acetone for 24 hours.. if you even attempted to do that with plastic miniatures the plastic melted/dissolved.. great fun :)
29th-Apr-2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
That's why I like the brake fluid; I used to use it to take enamel paint off plastic scale models (polystyrene). Soak hem for a few hours, and the paint would soften and lift off, leaving the plastic beneath perfectly unharmed.
29th-Apr-2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
*nod*. I've never tried it, but if it works, it works :)

I think the recurring theme that's cropping up in all of our responses is the very real need to test whatever substance is chosen against an appropriate sacrifice erm, victim sample plastic figure in case of unexpected results.
30th-Apr-2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
I wish I had some helpful suggestions myself, but I don't. Heck, the plastic miniatures have one feature about them that discourages me from considering repainting them. That is that they are cheap and meant to be so. Cheaply made, cheaply painted, and really expendable. They are only representations, after all, and as is the particular case with common miniatures like skeletons and orcs, the only objective is to amass buttloads of them for mass attacks against your PCs anyway. Whether your miniatures physically get stepped on or whatever in the process should not be an issue because they're cheap anyway. I almost wonder if it would be worth the time spent to repaint them when you can go out and get unpainted miniatures from Reaper or some other manufacturer and apply the paint job you really want. But, I understand the desire to be able to touch up the plastic minis.
30th-Apr-2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Wait, the plastic minis are painted? I thought they were just molded plastic and the plastic came in that color from Day 1. I guess you learn something new every day...
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