Battletech Minis Restoration - The Unseen and Reseen

Howdy GWJ!

I recently unearthed my entire Classic Battletech miniatures set and need some help.

I would like to strip their old coats of paint in mass and then re-paint them. These are vintage Ral Partha pewter miniatures from the mid-90's and early 00's so their original paint coats are just beat up.

Any advice on methods and/or materials? I'm particularly interested in solvents or liquids that will quickly remove the paint without damaging or scoring the pewter.

For those curious, I've got about 90ish battlemechs/omnimechs and around a dozen vehicles. They were buried in my dad's shed and suffered very little physical damage from nearly 20 years outside. There's a few that have lost arms or legs but otherwise survived surprisingly well.

I've never done it or really been a minis person, but I always see Simple Green soaking as the recommended way to strip a mini.

But triple check with experts before doing anything I say.

What kind of paint was used on them originally? Old school enamels require different stuff than the newer acrylics.

It was predominantly acrylic.

Yeah, Simple Green is good. Even better is Purple Power.

Let em soak for a few days and then take a toothbrush to them. I've never had any damage to metal miniatures stripping them this way.

If you want to get really intense about it, you can use one of those ultrasonic jewelry cleaners in a simple green bath, which is like magic.

Awesome, thanks!

I'd be curious to see pics if you have the time.

I am going to strip them over this weekend. I’ll put together some before and after pics.

Awesome.

Update:

24 hours into the soak and the Simple Green knockoff I used was not great for paint removing. Some minis had paint come right and others had no significant change in coat even after rigorous scrubbing.

The super glue came off very clean with little effort so that's something.

I am going to let them soak for another day and if that doesn't change anything I am going to rinse them and go to real Simple Green or possibly Purple Power. Failing that I will escalate to solvents.

Depending on whether or not they were sealed (or god forbid somebody used minwax on them) they can take a bit longer for the soak to have a good effect. I usually leave them in for about a week or so, shuffling them around every couple of days, but then again I am lazy and usually not in much of a hurry.

aspect wrote:

Depending on whether or not they were sealed (or god forbid somebody used minwax on them) they can take a bit longer for the soak to have a good effect. I usually leave them in for about a week or so, shuffling them around every couple of days, but then again I am lazy and usually not in much of a hurry.

Very helpful, thank you!

I figured based on the difference in ease that they just needed more time.

Update:

The Simple Green knock off did nothing! I rinsed my minis and moved to Plan B:

100% Acetone.

My test vehicles were stripped in minutes.

They have some discoloration in the surface of the pewter but otherwise are in excellent condition.

My next step will be will be to do a test paint and prime of the vehicles to see how they look.

If they appear to take new paint well with no significant loss of detail or strange discoloration, I will begin acetone bathing the rest of the regiment.

I will be taking some snaps and updating this thread periodically.

I'm guessing you have old-school Testor's enamel paint on those instead of the new-fangled acrylics on the ones that it won't come off.

Give the acetone a day or so to dissipate, and make sure you prime them and you should be fine.

Krylon and Duplicolor both make good primers for automotive use and they work well on metal minis if you're going the spray route. I used to also use it with a brush as well for really fine detail work or to get places the spray can't hit well - just spray it on a lid of a plastic tub and dip the brush in the puddle. Work fast and don't spray a lot at a time.

I've never used the Reaper or etc ones on metal, but the bottles/website text claim they work well.

If you have access to a 3D printer, there is a bunch of stuff on thingiverse.

Battletech misc.