Removing an old paint job from a model is not an easy task. Sure, there are many DIY solutions out there, from products like Simply Green, Biostrip, to nail polish remover or spirit. But most products either don’t work well, or too well and dissolve not only the paint job but the model and your skin, too. But no more. Unto the Breach Hobbies committed to designing a paint stripper specifically formulated to remove paint and varnish from plastic, resin, metal miniatures, and even “restic” without hassle. Let’s strip some models and find out if Paint Blitzer lives up to its promise.
Paint Blitzer is a paint stripping solution available in 500 ml and 1000 ml bottles from Unto the Breach Hobbies, a specialist tabletop hobby and gaming supply start-up based in London. So far, I’ve seen Paint Blitzer only available in their webshop.
This product was provided by Unto the Breach Hobbies. Thoughts and opinions are our own.
Paint Blitzer has been tested extensively on a range of materials including variations of plastic, metal, and resin. The manufacturer recommends a soaking time of 30 minutes. Hard plastic miniatures can be left up to 2 hours in the solution, soft plastic miniatures up to 1 hours, metal miniatures up to 3 hours, while resin shouldn’t stay longer than the recommended 30 miniatures in the paint stripping solution.
For this review, I compared Paint Blitzer to my current favourite paint stripping product Biostrip. In fact, the smell and consistency of Biostrip are similar, as I was told that one of the active alcohol solvents (which is what gives it the aroma) is similar. When I opened the Paint Blitzer bottle, I immediately noticed the lack of harsh chemical odors, just a mild soapy scent. In fact, Paint Blitzer isn’t aggressive to your skin, though you might want to wear some gloves to avoid messing up your hands.
Paint Blitzer’s formula has been developed to penetrate through varnish, paint, and primer and lift it away from the substrate without causing damage to the model. This is achieved through a careful mix of solvent alcohol and other additives. While other paint strippers might struggle with softer plastic or ‘restic’ miniatures (such as Star Wars legion minis), the manufacturer told me that Paint Blitzer’s superior formula will work well on softer plastic, too.
Let’s see how Biostrip and Paint Blitzer compare. I dug out some very old metal and plastic Epic 40.000 models I picked up on ebay a while ago, all painted with various primers and paints, some even with enamel paints (probably Revell paints). The Whirlwind on the right has been stripped before, but there are still paint residues in the recesses.
Biostrip comes in a container, so I like to dip in the models, shake off the excess, and let the models soak on the lid, which is a very economical approach as you won’t need much to cover the model with stripper and you won’t contaminate the solution in the container. Paint Blitzer comes in a bottle, so you need to pour it into a spare bowl or plastic container before you can submerge your models. You can reuse the solution multiple times or even pour it back into the bottle, but because of the contamination with dissolved paint a certain amount of the potency from the solvent will have been expended, and it will become decreasingly effective with every use.
I left the models to soak for only 15 minutes, not 30, as I felt it was plenty of time to soften the paint job. Then I used an old toothbrush with soft bristles to carefully scrub off the paint and cleaned the models with more gentle scrubbing under cold tap water.
On the top, you can see the models stripped with Paint Blitzer. Even after just a single pass, the models are noticeably cleaner than the Biostripped ones, with less staining and fewer paint residues in the crevices (note the Rhinos were cast in blue plastic). Biostrip did fairly well, but in comparison there are more residues left that would require a second pass and/or some careful scraping with a pointy hobby tool or needle. I feel that where I usually needed two passes with Biostrip, a single treatment with Paint Blitzer will be sufficient most of the time, saving valuable hobby time.
I even used Paint Blitzer to strip a large Citadel plastic hill. I put something underneath to protect my kitchen surface, then carefully poured over Paint Blitzer and rubbed it in like a marinade. After 15 to 20 minutes, I used a larger brush to scrub off the paint and rinsed the terrain piece with water. I noticed Paint Blitzer wasn’t able to remove all of the static grass patches that were likely applied with PVA glue, though it will weaken the bond created by superglue and epoxy based glue or putty.
All in all, I’m very impressed with Paint Blitzer’s performance. I was pretty fond of Biostrip, but I think Paint Blitzer does the job even better.
A 500 ml bottle will cost you £12.99 (£2.59 per 100ml), while the 1000ml bottle for £19.99 will run slightly cheaper (£1.99 per 100ml). Shipping is calculated based on your location, with shipping to the UK, Europe, US, and Australia available. Shipping within the UK starts at £3 for Royal Mail 2nd Class.
A 500 ml Biostrip container will go for about £9, but keep in mind that Paint Blitzer will be slightly more effective and you’re supporting a one-man company here. I also really like Unto the Breach Hobbies’ sustainable approach, with bottles made from recycled material to the natural adhesive paper tape used for packaging.
For our patrons we have a special 15% discount on Paint Blitzer, head over to our Patreon page and find out more. There are also other perks to becoming a patron, such as votings for future tutorials, earlier tutorial access, downloadable desktop wallpapers, and an exclusive hobby paints guide.
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