Last week I decided to test the merits of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner as a solution to the problem of stripping paint from my miniatures. So I placed a couple of metal Mordor Orc Captains from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings line of 25mm miniatures into a small glass jar and filled it with just enough Simple Green so that they were covered.
Well, six days later and I've now taken them out. I was a little disappointed to see that they looked exactly the same as when I'd put them into the liquid. So I grabbed an old toothbrush and one of the miniatures and started scrubbing under some running water. Then I got excited. The paint just sloughed off very easily. Even the paint in the various nooks and crannies of the figure came out without much trouble.
I've used oven-cleaner and brake fluid in the past to strip paint from miniatures with varying degrees of success. What I didn't like about those products was their hazardous nature. Simple Green is non-toxic and biodegradable. It also smells nice and leaves the figures feeling clean. To top it off it didn't affect either the metal or the plastic bases. I'm now hooked!
Check out the results for yourself.
The only reason I had these miniatures soaking for six days was today was the first opportunity to clean them. My next test will be to see if Simple Green is as effective with stripping paint from plastic miniatures as it is with metal. I'll also do some test runs on shorter periods of immersion and report back.