Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ultrasonic Cleaner

I got this for DKK 239,- in 'Harald Nyborg' in Odense, and had to try it out for paint-stripping right away!

The two ancient skeletons I started painting with Humbrol Enamels more than 20 years ago (the scythe-wielding ones) were submitted to this first attempt.

I first tried using white spirit as cleansing liquid, but it didn't really hav much effect on the enamel paint.

Then, I tried using liquid 'brown soap' (a kind of soap apparently unbeknownst to non-Danes), and after 3 'treatments' of 480 seconds, each followed by a scrubbing with my brass brush, the middle figurine looked like you can see below.

The helmeted skeleton as shown below was treated 4 times, and as you can see it also still had some paint residue in some creases.

My next step in this process is to leave the minis in the soap for a couple of days, before using the ultrasonic feature again (to allow the soap softening up the remaining paint a bit more)

This is much more effective than leaving minis in a jar with brown soap for months and months, and I shall be using the ultrasonic cleaner for all paint-stripping operations from now on.

Next time I shall try leaving the subject in the soap 24 hours before appying the ultrasonics, as I think the ultrasonics might have an easier time loosening the paint if it has been softened up a bit in advance.

Who knows, maybe I'll even get some of all those old Space Marines I have had in soap for ages (I am not going to play any later version of Warhammer 40.000, but I might use them for other Sci-Fi and/or Post Apocalyptic settings)

If you find yourself stripping minis often, I would recommend getting one of these. I haven't tried stripping acrylic paints, but I assume that the process is much faster, as 'brown soap' dissolves acrylics easier than enamels.

Some primers may require the minis to be left in your paint-stripping solution a bit longer (like the enamels), but I think the combination of ultrasonics and a dissolving (not corrosive, mind you, at it will damage the container) solution of some kind should prove effective.


  1. Huh, I hadn't considered using an ultrasonic cleaner. It seems that you found it to be fairly effective. Was it expensive, though?

  2. At today's exchange rate it amounts to £23.59. It also comes in a slightly more expensive larger version with a more square tank, but this is more than sufficient for my purpose.