Monday, May 13, 2013

Stripping plastic models: pt2

By TheGravemind

So that was a fun vacation. By vacation I mean working 7 days a week between two jobs, while moving. Yep, lots of fun. So I've finally settled into my new bachelor pad (glances at girlfriend to make sure she does see), and have some actual free time to work on models. I've got a lot backed up, but I figured I'd finish this post since I left it hanging almost two months ago. Here is Part 1 if you forgot.

Right before the Indy Open I changed up my list, and needed to strip and paint some models. I wasn't sure how to go about since they were plastic. I started off with simple green, but wasn't thrilled about how slow it was taking. I dumped them in pinesol for a day and that did the trick. But I figured I would run a little experiment comparing the two. But then after the Indy open, little 40k was to be done. The new job started and life happens.

So I left most of my models soaking in simple green. But I took two old carnifex heads that were painted and put them each in a cup of solution. This way I would have something roughly equal to compare with.

I soaked them for a week, and took a picture, but they were both roughly the same. The pinesol took the primer off better, but both had the paint easily scrubbed off. And then I forgot about them, so they sat there in the garage for about a month or more before I remembered.

 After a week, can you tell which one is which? The right is simple green. At first you're like, of course it cleaned better. But realize that the primer isn't coming off, while the pinesol does clean to the plastic, but not as evenly.

 And a month later. Simple green cleans off the paint better, but the primer will not come off. The pinesol will take the primer off, but requires more scrubbing over all. To note, I use a $0.50 toothbrush to scrub with. Even after a month in pure pinesol, the plastic didn't "melt". The surface felt a little softer, and may be more receptive to scratching if using a harder brush, but nothing that much more so than normal plastic would.
I went ahead and was brave enough to put my finecast dante in the simple green to see how it did. It actually performed worse, the paint hardly came off, and the primer stayed on completely. Sadly, the primer was the problem for most of my models. Overall, Pinesol will work just fine, and you don't have to be as careful as many people will make it sound, but simple green is the safer/easier way if you have the time.

At some point in the future I'll try and get around to testing different dilutions. 1:2, 1:5, 1:10 and see if that changes how they perform. Until then, I hope this helps people trying to refurbish old models. If you have any questions please ask.

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