Stripping built models


Time and again good deals can found for built kits on ebay or in swap meets. Most of the time the kits are either damaged or not up to one's standards so reverting to the original kit parts is desired.
This is an MMS Panzer III, part of a lot of 4 wargame standard tanks bought on Ebay.
The paint was abit thick for my taste, obscuring much of the details especially the grille patterns on the air intakes.



I used domestic paint stripper, which can be found in hardware stores. This a gel and is a mixture of various toxic products. Given the fumes I think it is nuts to spray this in a home environment as they seem to recommend. The gel clings to stuff, including skin, where it leaves a burning sensation, like acid. I brushed some of the stripper on the model and the effect is immediate. The paint peels off before breaking down and after a while the glue, presumably CA, is also dissolved. Leaving things overnight, the parts are washed in brush cleaner and scrubbed with an old toothbrush. The toothbrush partly dissolved as well.



This process works fine on metal models. I tried it on a resin kit of Fordson armored car. The main hull survived but smaller parts like mudguards became either brittle and broke upon contact or acquired the consistency of cooked pasta. This model was build using epoxy (there was too much of it not to notice) and it softened sufficiently so that you could peel it off like rubber. This stripper seems to be too strong for resin. It goes without saying that plastic models should not go near this stuff.

I read that oven cleaner can be used on plastic kits. I need to try this soon.