Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Stripping Part 2

As promised, following on from yesterdays first post regarding getting old paint off older miniatures, here's part two looking at the 2nd method I experimented with.

Fairy Power Spray
As I mentioned yesterday you pay about the same money for 375ml of Fairy as you do for 750ml of Mr Muscle so is it twice as good?

With the Mr Muscle I simply poured it over the models as it's a water like liquid, not quite so simple though with the Power Spray. Fairy have used a gel in this bottle which, when squirted through the 'trigger thing' lands as a kind of foam. This makes it a bit more inconvenient to coat your models as I basically had to empty the bottle with endlessly repeated trigger presses to coat the contents of the bowl. What I ended up with looked like this:

Buried in there is more plastic Space Marines (caution thrown to the wind), the odd Eldar and Valhallan and a couple of Space Marine bikes. I then encountered a few problems with the Fairy, there's some plus points over Mr Muscle too though so read on!

Problem One: Slime

Fairy is a gel so, when you pluck a model from the fresh scented bowl of gloop they look like this. Like they've been attacked with frog spawn.
In hindsight I wouldn't dunk models in a filled bowl of this stuff again, I'd lie them down and spray them individually - the Fairy would last longer and there'd definitely be less slime.

Problem Two: Foam

So you start brushing, the paint comes off nice and easy. Easier in fact than with Mr Muscle (a definite plus). The problem is that the brushing causes a foam to coat the model. Tricky to see where to scrub now isn't it? Mr Muscle does also foam when brushed, but not to this extent.

Problem Three: Goo!

The reason I didn't simply rinse off the foam seen in problem two was I've read various accounts of stripping models + water = goo/tar that sticks and won't come off. I can't explain why this happens but, what ever method you use, you're going to get this to some extent. Mr Muscle made the paint come off in little particles and the odd 'skin' that'd role up and off. This is somewhat worse with Fairy. Hanging off the weapon in the picture is the paint from this chaps head, chest and gun. I didn't want to put him under a tap and have this glue itself back on. For the good of the internet I should have experimented but this was the worst example and I didn't want to ruin one of my favourite old models! Sorry for being chicken.

Right, that's the slightly more tricky process covered. It's not as big of a deal as it looks really though as Fairy Power Spray is, out of the two, much faster at getting paint off and much better at stubborn/thicker layers. Remember the awkward Cadian Lieutenant and Reaper from Part One? They'd been in Mr Muscle for at least 14 hours. I gave up on them and dropped them in the Fairy to see what happened and, after 2 hours of a soak and a brush, those little devils looked like this:

Here's some other metal models to show lots of cleaned tricky to get to places (inside lens sockets, between armour plates etc)

Note remnants of 'goo' on a couple of bases, this will tidy up quite easily.

Fairy, simply, is VERY good on metal. As I've said there's a bit of goo but it comes off so easily you have a minute to spare getting rid of it all. I rinsed these all under a warm tap when I was happy I'd got rid of any extra lumps and strings of paint, you can then give them a touch up at the tap or, if you've missed a big patch, stick then back to soak again in the bowl.

Fairy also gets the paint off the plastic very quickly but (there had to be a 'but' didn't there) I don't think it's as through as the Mr Muscle:

You can see the very patchy middle Marine, that's as good as I could get him with the toothbrush so he's back in the bowl to soak more. The other Marines shown were all red (middle dude is a Dark Angel) and this came off better, but not quite as clean as this marine from the Mr Muscle. Also, they've picked up some of the sticky flecks (see the back beaky Marine) which aren't shifting now they're dry, so again back to soak. 
Note: I didn't do a Dark Angel in Mr Muscle so, for fairness of the test, I've popped one in overnight tonight and will add the result as a sepeate post so check back in a day or two.

O.K, I realise I'm writing a lot but we're almost there!

Fairy has...a nemesis (cue dramatic music)

Black undercoated/primed plastic. It's allergic to it I think. Two Ravenwing (black) bikes went in that bowl, both are still very much black! See below:

So it's soaked enough that the paint came off the Attack Bike parts in no time. The metallic paint from the trim and exhausts is gone, as is the control get the idea. The black primer is still going strong though. 
Again, I didn't do any black undercoated plastic in Mr Muscle so I've dropped one in to see how it does.

In conclusion (for now) I think, for metal models, Fairy definitely wins hands down. The ease the paint came off with  and the fact that it tackled the 'tough' models that Mr Muscle literally couldn't manage makes it the better option in my book. The goo is managable as long as you keep an eye on it and the foam isn't a big deal. Plus with a little planning you could probably spray individual models rather than batches if you wanted as the gel would probably coat it long enough to soak.

The jury is definitely still out on the plastic results for now so check back and I'll get that posted as soon as I can. In the mean time Dettol (brown) has been mentioned a few times to me so maybe I'll do a part three and compare that sometime soon too.

Hope this has helped a little,

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