Sunday, 18 December 2011

Stripping paint from Blood Bowl miniatures

Yesterday morning the postie delivered a whole team of (second-hand eBay bargain) Orcs to Nerd Towers and - as is normal with most things when something new arrives - we immediately dropped everything and spent some time getting all excited about the newest thing to be working on!

They're the "older" - 2nd or 3rd edition - style Orc team called The Orcland Raiders, not the American Football style team we've mentioned in a previous post, but they were (relatively) cheap with the added bonus of already being painted.

An orc team from Games Workshop. We're not expecting ours to be painted to anywhere near this standard!

 None of us here have painted (or even shown any interest in) miniatures-based board games for nearly twenty years or more, so having a pre-painted team seemed like a good idea. Until they arrived....

The paint job on each miniature is ok-ish.
The basic colours are in the right places, and sometimes even the details are quite nicely done. But the colours seemed a bit "muddy" and not all the finer details were picked out in quite the way we'd have liked, so we've all decided to buy each other a set of Citadel paints (or similar acrylic-based colours) for Xmas and have a "getting-re-aquainted-with-painting-miniatures-again" session in the New Year.

Which means stripping all the miniatures we have and starting again.
We tried the usual tricks of Dettol, Fairy power spray and a whole heap of other detergents (there's no excuse in not keeping the place clean and tidy any more) but each was quite fiddly and required lots of soaking, scrubbing, re-soaking and so on. So we put on some rubber gloves and dropped the miniatures into some industrial strength paint and varnish remover. This is a white jelly-like substance, but the miniatures are ready for scrubbing after just 30 minutes soak.

The stripper causes the acrylic paint (and top coat varnish) to become a slimy coating over the entire model:

A quick scrub with a toothbrush and most of the paint comes off in just a minute or two under a running tap. Not all of the paint came off in one go, with some of the paint proving quite stubborn in the deepest of recesses. However, this does help show up some of the finer details of the model, which may have got lost under the previous paint job.

After each model is stripped, we leave to soak in a bottle of clean water, to remove any nasty chemical residue left by the paint stripper, then dab dry with a towel and leave to dry out for a few hours in front of the fire.

We're going to take reference photos of all our stripped models, so that we can see where the finer details are after we've splodged paint all over them - it's very easy to miss the little bits and bobs, but it's these tiny examples of attention to detail that make the miniatures so impressive in the first instance - it'd be a shame not to show off the exquisite modelling to its best, which means painting and highlighting these parts that could otherwise go un-noticed.