Stripping plastic models has always been a nightmare to me. Nail polish remover works great on metal figures, but eats through plastic like a hot knife through butter. Luckily I grew up in the era when nearly everything was metal, so I wound up stripping with acetone.
I’ve never been lucky with plastics though. I’ve had a modicum of success with Simple Green and a ton of elbow grease, but it frankly isn’t worth the effort. As such, I don’t buy used plastic models from people (well, at least not painted ones), unless it’s at pennies on the dollar so I can resell them; however, I caught wind of another option that was supposed to work: Castrol Super Clean.
Now, I don’t recall where I heard about this, maybe it was Dakka, or possibly some other source (though thanks to my Frugal Gaming goals, I do know that it was in April of this year). I’m not sure if I had a definitive need at the time, or it was just an amazing tale I’d heard online, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Besides, I always have some models laying around that could use a good stripping.
I should also mention that you can buy the stuff at ACE hardware, but Walmart also carries a generic brand that seems to do just as well as the real thing (I’m assuming that because I haven’t tried the real thing–I did buy it, but when I found that you can buy twice as much of it from Walmart for 70% of the cost, I returned the stuff to ACE).
It took me seven months to actually start using the software (I decided to strip a backpack for my deathwatch that I’m going to work on painting up).
I won’t bore you with the details/write up as Dakka has already got a pretty detailed description (See link above), but I will go out and say that it was pretty great. The backpack, after soaking for just two hours came out relatively clean (clean enough that I didnt’ care to go back and do it again). I also cleaned off a bunch of realy poorly painted flyers I had laying around, and they look pretty good as well. Note, that it actually strips the paint off quickly, but the primer seems to take considerably longer to wear down (but even then, we’re talking about hours instead of waiting days/weeks).
The only things I have to add are that gloves are a good idea. I’ve played with all sorts of strippers/chemicals in my day and I don’t generally wear them, but that’s because I’m dumb. Don’t be like me. I started using this for a while, and it wasn’t bad, but after exposure, I did develop some small blisters on the backs of my hands. It’s minor and will pass quickly, but a good pair of gloves is a small price to pay–and they’re reusable.
I’m glad to have found a good solution for stripping plastic though, and I’ll keep this in my back pocket for the future. Hopefully someone else stumbles upon this post and comes to the same conclusion as I did.