Gundam Model Tutorial – Removing Paints in 5 minutes
Hi again! We are back to this tutorial section. Hopefully you enjoyed the “How to do realistic battle damage” tutorial I shared last time. Today is about how to remove paints with break fluid for Gundam models, especially when you made mistake with the paint job.
This technique has been tested for my Bandai kits for a few times and it worked. There is no guarantee for your kits. It is hazardous so try this at your own risk, keep it safe and away from children!
The magic ingredient – Break Fluid!
Removing paints with Break Fluid for Gundam models
Let’s prepare our tools and stuffs.
- Empty container – Preferably container with wide bottom, I uses hair gel container.
- STP Break Fluid – The magic potion. It is cheap and below BND / SGD10.
- Soap Water – Water with soup (shower soap / normal soap will do)
- Unwanted Cloth – I uses this thing to wipe paint, thinner and dirty chemical stuffs.
- The target – My poor GM Quel, see what happened to him here.
Today’s demo is the GM Quel that is primed with Mr Surfacer 1200 and Tamiya Acrylic Paint.
I’ll use the head part as comparison.
Pour the break fluid into the empty container, for my case I only filled it up to 25%. Break Fluid is like lubricant and it has slight smell, but much lesser than thinner & paints. But don’t purposely take deep breath with it =..=.
Open parts and dump them into the container filled with break fluid. You can fill it up as long as the fluid can cover the parts. Shake the container and you can see the paint slowly melt away from the surface.
The fluid turns pink because the red paints melted.
After 3-5 minutes of shaking, take out the parts (you can use chop stick if you know how) and check the paints. Sometimes there might be left over paint at the detail parts or holes. Use toothbrush to slightly brush it off.
Once there is no more paint left, wash away the break fluid with soap water. Lastly, dry the parts with cloth.
Once it is done, the parts will be really clean. In this demo, the Tamiya Acrylic paint is stripped and only left the Mr Surfacer attached on the part.
Why I recommend this method
There are pros and cons of this break fluid paint removal technique. I have tested this technique with a few kits and different paint type:
- HGUC 1/144 Jesta – Tamiya Primer / Industrial Primer, Anchor (Industrial Spray Paint), Tamiya Spray Can (Lacquer)
- HGUC 1/144 Geara Zulu – RJ London (Industrial Lacquer Spray Paint)
- HGUC 1/144 GM Quel – Mr Surfacer, Tamiya Acrylic, Gunze Hobby Color.
- It is fast. Why leave it overnight when I can just get it done in 3-5 minutes?
- It seems safe for Gunpla. I dipped all the parts (including the PC parts) in this demo and everything looks ok. For my Geara Zulu, I tried leaving the parts overnight in the fluid and it doesn’t damage the plastic.
- Apparently it doesn’t remove Mr. Surfacer. You can spray new paint on it after cleaning.
- You can do it multiple times. The poor GM Quel went into the break fluid TWICE.
- It is cheap. The STP Break Fluid I used cost less than 10 BND / SGD (Around 8 USD).
- Easy to get. Unlike paints, you can easily get break fluid from car spare part shops or supermarket.
- The part’s surface will turn into matte (no more shinny parts).
- You need something else to remove Mr. Surfacer.
- Require soap water to wash it away.
- It is hazardous. Don’t soak your hand with the fluid for long. And keep away from any kids.
Please share with me if you tried this technique, or you have some better method! I’m looking for ways to remove the Mr Surfacer.