Kids, your dad let you down.
Whenever I approach a big paint job – say, my house, I tell Mrs Simian that the key to success is good preparation. Haste makes waste. Measure twice, cut once. And in the bits where the paint isn’t falling off, you can really see where the mission statement shines through (and not the undercoat). So why don’t I follow my own advice when painting miniatures?
Earlier this year I pimped my Mirkwood Elves, putting green stuff hoods, flairs (not FLARES, I’m not a monster for god’s sake) and sundry folds, knots and bobbins on little plastic dudes who had been painted a few years before, including each given a wash with Games Workshop acrylic washes. I was lazy. I was foolish. Because I ran out of Scorched Brown paint just recently and, unable to find some nice Vallejo replacement for it, resorted to replacing my out of range Scorched Brown with GW’s more recent, fangled Rhinox Hide. The name is half right, because the paint does indeed hide – into every crevice and crack, avoiding the already-glazed surface of the Elf cloaks. I had to strip them down – but what with?
Modellers swear by lots of products for safe stripping – Dettol is highly effective, but mixed with water turns into a horrid tar; brake fluid just sounds scary, as does acetone. In the end I opted for Simple Green, an al-purpose household cleanser that doesn’t dissolve plastic, leaves green stuff relatively unscathed (it softens it a little temporarily, and can loosen its stickability), and smells like Listerine. The lads are soaking in it right now, and early tests show that the paint is coming off as far as the black undercoat, which is good enough for me. If the green stuff survives long enough for a bath tonight, we’ll be back on track.
But ugh, why can’t I heed my own advice?