Greetings one and all,
If you’re like me, you might have an army of miniatures somewhere that you painted years ago and, after all this time, have the urge to repaint them. Or maybe you’ve even won a box of “pro painted” minis from eBay, and would like to strip away that “pro painted” effect? Well, if that's the case, you're going to need a good paint stripper for the job to take those models back to the base, and for me personally, the best paint stripper I’ve found so far is Unto the Breach: Paint Blitzer.
Unto the Breach: Paint Blitzer comes in either a 1L bottle or a 500ml bottle and has a safety screw-cap to keep the contents fully contained, because it also carries an “irritant” hazard label on the back and so it is very important to keep this product away from small children and also advised that you wear gloves when using it. The product itself though is a thick white-ish liquid, not unlike hair-conditioner. It’s also very easy to read and understand the instructions on the back of the label as there is a handy guide for not only plastic models, but metal and resin as well. Though if you want to know more you will have to check out their website, which they direct you to on the label as well, which is nice.
Because Paint Blitzer comes in one big bottle, you will need to decant some of it into something else to be able to properly use it; any kind of tupperware or bowl is ok, but I’ve been using an old glass jar that I can screw the lid onto while it works it’s magic. It also means I can keep the liquid safely contained for further uses, which is handy. And while I’ve yet to use Paint Blitzer on a very large number of models, the few I’ve been working with have come up great, and I can fit a few into the jar at a time which is handy. I wouldn’t advise mixing models of different material types, because each material has different properties and may react differently to the Paint Stripper.
As mentioned, Paint Blitzer can also be used multiple times to strip models which is a great saving, but you will find that it does lose its potency each time; although in practice, I've personally found myself yet to reach this point. I have found that each use dirties the liquid as the paint dissolves into the Paint Blitzer solution. It’s not a big deal, but when it turns nearly black I tend to just get rid of it.
For this review I’ve gathered a selection of models to strip; one plastic Space Marine, one metal Terminator and one resin Tech Priest. I'll go over each one, but in general, the process is exactly the same. Pour Paint Blitzer into the jar, place the model into the Paint Blitzer so it is completely submerged and then go do something else for 45mins - 1 hour, come back, scrub the model with a toothbrush under cold water and either be happy with the result or repeat the process. I’ve found that adding a dot of washing-up liquid also helps with the cleaning process once the first go-over with a brush has been carried out. On the topic of brushing though make sure you don't just brush in one direction; turn the model about in your hand so the bristles can get into every nook and cranny from different angles as this will help with the paint removal.
So without further ado, let's start stripping.
Here I have one Primaris Space Marine (this is actually the model I did for the first guide on this site).I placed him in the jar and filled the jar so he’s completely covered. Once I’d done that, I went off and did other things for a while. I then returned about an hour later, and as you can see, the paint has started to leak into the Paint Blitzer solution.
Now I can't say this enough; WEAR GLOVES! Because it’s an irritant and I didn’t wear gloves when I first started to use it, the Paint Blitzer made the skin on my hands dry out and left a bit of a distinctive smell. On the topic of scent, Paint Blitzer doesn't actually smell too bad nor is it very strong, which is a big plus in my books as my partner is very sensitive to chemical smells. This is also good if you have kids or pets. Though I still also don’t advise sniffing it because it can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled as noted on the back of the bottle)
I then got to work with an old toothbrush and cold running water and bam! The paint just washes off. I'm even more impressed that Paint Blitzer just cuts through the undercoat too, which I’ve always found to be particularly difficult for other paint strippers to get off.
Another thing to note though is that any basing materials should be removed from the base of the model before using Paint Blitzer. In my experience I found that basing materials can become soft and can come away from the base entirely, which contaminates the solution.
In the end I gave my Primaris Space Marine two baths (though it hardly needed the second one), which completely stripped it, but it did result in it coming out with a very slight discolouration, as you can see.
The metal model is the very example of a “pro-painted model”; thick layers of an unknown type of paint, especially around the face. Again, this model was placed in a jar and covered in the Paint Blitzer solution and then left for an hour.
After an hour I donned my gloves and started to scrub away at the paint. Most of the paint just washed away easily, however in the deepest recesses some of the most stubborn paint was still stuck there, and so back into the jar it went.
Eventually, I decided to break up the model, as this gave the solution and myself better access to every part of it, but this isn’t entirely necessary. After another hour (and dinner), I got to work cleaning up the Terminator again and as you can see, it's nearly completely clear of paint.
If you are following the instructions on the side of the bottle then you’ll see that they state resin should be submerged for no more than 30 mins maximum. This is because prolonged exposure to the solution can soften the resin, so bear this in mind when using Paint Blitzer with any resin models. But, with that in mind, as with my Space Marine and Terminator before it, my Tech Priest went for a swim. And to be safe, I pulled it out after 30 minutes.
When its 30 minutes were up, I pulled the Tech Priest out and started to clean it. The paint did come off, but not as easily as it had for the metal or plastic models. This is most likely due to the limited time that the model was in the solution, but it still doesn't look too bad.
I decided that I’d put the model back into the solution for another 20 minutes to give the solution a bit more time to work on the leftover paint, but I must stress that this is my experiment and that the instructions say to not do this, so any melting would be my own fault.
Giving the Tech Priest the extra bath seems to have been successful, but I would advise you to use your best judgement when deciding if you want to risk it with your own models.
Due to how deep some of the creases in the robes of the Tech Priest were, I did have to go over it with a toothpick just to pick out the last scraps of paint, but nonetheless, it has come up looking lovely and clean.
So what are my final thoughts on Paint Blitzer? Honestly, I think it’s great. It's very easy to use, incredibly effective and doesn't have a harsh scent. I think if I were to improve my own methods when using it, I would use a slightly firmer brush or maybe have a selection that I could use. The fact it can also be reused is a big selling point for me as well. Overall, I can 100% recommend Paint Blitzer. It's the best paint stripper I’ve ever used and I’ll be using nothing else from now on.
You can get your own bottle of this paint-removing magic at https://untothebreachhobbies.com/
And they now ship internationally, so there is no reason not to try it.
Hi, thank you for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and that it was useful to you. Articles like these take a lot of time to research and write, so if you did enjoy it or found it useful maybe you’d be so kind as to drop me a donation. That way I can continue to fund the products and books I need to keep delivering high quality articles like this.
You can donate to me at https://ko-fi.com/graypaints
For updates when I release an article, why not Subscribe and join us on our Social Media pages?