Stripping Warhammer models

A quick article on Stripping 
warhammer models. metal, plastic and resin

Most of the limited edition and rare items are metal so can easily be dipped in nail polish removers, acetone or paint stripper with no effect on the model but i always strip metal in Dettol as it cleans all the grime and dirt too, leaving a shiny clean model. I am including how to strip plastic and resin models too
 all with one product.

Dettol Liquid Antiseptic
This is the type you need the brown liquid in a clear bottle the active ingredient that strips the paint is the 4.8% Chloroxylenol.

The smell of Dettol can put some people of but it is one of the more benign solution you can strip with it is also one of the cheapest costing about £1 per 250ml from shops such as B&M, Home Bargains and similar shops.

What you need.
Dettol. (Enough to cover you entire model)
Container with lid
Tooth brush
Cheap Disposable gloves

What Can you Strip
Forge world Resin
Fine cast (much care is needed see details)
Polystone (busts and statues)

What type of paint can you strip
Games workshop
Standard Acrylic
Army Colour
vallejo (Game colour etc)

I have several tubs of Dettol as I buy a lot of bulk Warhammer with the intention of stripping it and repainting it myself. But it is possible to strip with just one tub that is big enough to fit your models in. however two tubs are better and I’ll explain.

If your model is glued together with super glue the Dettol will soften the bond and probably mean it will fall apart when scrubbed. Be aware of this if you scrub over a sink just in case a bit drops off and goes down the drain.

The Below methods can be used on Metal, Plastic and Forgeworld and polystone
NOT FINE CAST YOU WILL RUIN IT. use the next method 

Double Tub method
  1. Fill your one of your desired tubs with Dettol, up to a level that will cover the model and a second tub with enough to cover the model. You need to be able to get you hand into this second tub.
  2. Place the models into one tub and make sure they are covered by Dettol and leave for 24hr. the other tub will be the scrubbing tub.
  3. After they have soaked you will see that the paint has change consistency and has slightly expanded and can be moved around on the model. Put on your gloves. Carefully take one model at a time from your soak tub and put it into your scrub tub.
  4. Submerge the model in your scrub tub and begin to brush the paint of the model continue until all the paint has gone or as much as you can get off. the model can be soaked again it needed. submerging the model helps to prevent splattering the paint and Dettol around.
  5. If you are happy with the result wash the model under water.
  6. leave to dry   
Single tub method
  1. Fill your desired tub with Dettol to a level that will cover the model and leaves some Dettol in the bottle
  2. Place the models into the Dettol and leave for 24hr
  3. Put your gloves on and take one model at a time, over a sink or newspaper use the brush and gently rub the model, using the Dettol in the bottle to keep the model wet. Do this somewhere you don't mind getting dirty as the Dettol and paint is easily splattered around
  4. Rinse under water
  5. Once rinsed the model will need to soak again if there is paint left on it as scrubbing a model covered in water turns the paint into a nasty tar like substance. or you can dip the model into the dettol to remove the water but this slowly dilute your Dettol and allow paint into your Soak tub
  6. leave to dry once happy

For Fine cast a different method is needed which take up several hours at a time per batch

Try to get the models finished in 3 hours as Fine cast is a porous resin and will start to absorb the Dettol which will chemically alter the model leaving it floppy and easy to damage there is speculation this was done on purpose by GW to try and kill the 2nd hand market
  1. Fill your tub with Dettol to a level that will cover your model
  2. Place your Fine cast in the Dettol and leave for 30mins NO LONGER
  3. return and gently scrub the model in your scrub tub or over the sink
  4. Submerge and repeat 2-3 until you are happy. As the amount of paint on the model begins to reduce leave your model in the Dettol for less each time. Try to get all the paint of in three hours.
  5. wash in water and leave to dry when happy
Clean your brush
After dettoling the chances are your brush is a bit manky if you want to extend the life of it or reuse it then i suggest giving it a quick swirl around in some nail varnish remover

Hive Tyrant in the back corner
results after being striped

Before (ebay listing picture)


Soak tub notice the Dettol is pretty clean
and the scrub tub, very dirty