Thursday, 1 October 2009

Review: Simple Green

Just a quick post today to cast my critical eye over Simple Green. This product is cited again and again by gamers as the most hassle free way of stripping old models of their paint.


Commonly found in most stores in the US (so I'm told), Simple Green is a non-toxic household cleaner, used for cleaning things such as baths and kitchen surfaces. It came to my attention around the time I decided I wanted to strip all my old Praetorian figures and re-paint them. On all the major 40k forums I could find at least person extolling its virtues and so, not wanting to risk my rare Praetorians with anything less than the best, I tried to find some.

Living in the UK this was easier said than done...

It would appear that Simple Green is simply not sold in UK stores, so I ended up ordering a 1L bottle direct from their website for the costly sum of £10. Be sure to get the household stuff not the industrial strength, or you may well melt your models...and your hands.


Using Simple Green really couldn't be easier, first find a container like a cup or bowl, pop in your miniatures and then pour in enough Simple Green to cover all the models. There is no mixing or watering down required, just pour the Green straight in.

Now this does mean that you can use up that 1L bottle fairly quickly. It just about managed to cover up the 56 Praetorians I had to strip, but if your looking at doing whole armies and you live in the UK, it could get a bit costly. But more on that later.

1 Platoon, 5th Praetorian Regiment of Foot...having a their group bath...

After this you simply have to let the Simple Green to work its magic. Leave your submerged models to sit for at least 24hrs. Don't worry about leaving them for longer, some of mine sat submerged for over a week and there was no damage to the metal models. I can't guarantee that plastic would be similarly unaffected, but to be honest I don't think this stuff has the power to really corrode plastic.

On point worth mentioning is the smell. Though not entirely unpleasant, it is very strong and you are going to want to store your models somewhere out of the way, like the garden shed or garage.

After leaving the models to sit for at least 24hrs, run a sink full of hot soapy water and grab and old toothbrush.

You can see the paint already peeling off the model before the scrubbing even starts

Take your model and dunk it into the soapy water and getting scrubbing with that toothbrush. It should be the work of a few seconds to get off the majority of the paint, a little longer to get into the crevasses.

And there you have it, done and ready to be repainted!

It took me less than 5 minutes to do the 4 miniatures below, and I had all 56 of them scrubbed down within the hour.

So to summarise...

Easy to use
Does the job!

Cost & Availability in the UK
The Smell!
Can irritate some people's skin (so I'm told)

Since using Simple Green I have discovered that standard household Dettol can achieve the same effect in the same way, so I would recommend UK readers to go with that, for cost reasons. However, if you live in the USofA you might as well go green!

So a great product for stripping miniatures, with only the UK cost being prohibitive for me. Using Oni's great rating system I award Simple Green:
4 Golden Aqulias out of 5

Thanks for reading, I'll leave you with one more before and after shot:


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