Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Unusual Suspects: Cleaning and identifying the figures

After a couple of days soaking in the Dettol, here they are! Five squeaky (almost) clean Warhammer models ready for an undercoat. But who are they? And from what ranges did they originate? 

The model on the far left is, of course, the miller figure from the C46 Villagers series which were released in July 1985. He is a fun little model though practically useless in an army building sense - as there are no weapons at all sculpted on the figure! Like many of the models in the range, he has been sculpted with a touch of the inbred yokel and wears very simple clothes. I do like the tiny details you can pick out of the grains inside the sack though. A model perfect for the front of any mill model. 

Jes the Poacher is up next. There are a number of variants based on this model, most notably Longbow who is also part of the Death on the Reik collection. 

The third model along is a rather snooty female from the Marauder Citizens range released in January 1989. Sadly, she lacks any kind of name save '10' carved in Roman numerals on her base. She looks fairly upmarket, for Warhammer anyway, and shall be painted as a posh lady. 

Behind her is Ruffler, a 1980s village thief sculpted in such a way as to suggest he is stuffing something rather dubious into his jerkin. What could it be? Perhaps a trinket lifted from the snooty lady we were just talking about?

Finally, we have the Citadel lawyer. Book in hand (a copy of WFB3, perhaps?) and no doubt eager to 'correct' your interpretation of the 'rules' at great length. Released as part of the C46 villagers set in November 1985. 

Each model presented me with a different set of challenges during the clean up. Both Jes and the Lawyer had very strange damage to their legs. They were missing their tabs and had there feet covered in a strange glue - possibly some kind of epoxy resin. I was able to chip the glue residue away from their shoes but both of their legs have been stained a strain grey colour. For a while I thought it might be leadrot bot the casting is still sound and strong. A mystery!

The lawyer has been undercoated in something black. It stained my hands for sometime after handling him. Yuck! What did people use to undercoat their models back then? Luckily, the Dettol stripped the black much away pretty quickly and I managed to clean the figure with the minimum of scrubbing. 

The miller was the easiest to clean. With just some tentative blobbings of brown on his sack (careful, Chico!) and I was able to brush most of this away with my thumb once the figure was removed from the Dettol. He shall have the honour of being the first model I will paint. 

Citizen '10' was a bitch. She was covered in a flaky, white undercoat that withstood even the power of Nitro-Mors to remove it. In the end, I had to chip away at the white paint with a cocktail stick and knife to unclog the detail. Ruffler was even worse. This thick, green sludge was adhering to much of the model's detail and after while I released that the filth was Greenstuff! Almost as if a greenstuffy finger had once plucked the model off the tabletop and squeezed it's cargo deep into the model's detail! 

Next step - undercoats! 


  1. Seems like we've had similar experiences stripping old lead. Some of the stuff I've removed over the years defies description. Some of it doesn't even qualify as paint! Good to see they came out so well in the end. Looking forward to seeing them painted up.

  2. It's possible the black sludge undercoat was black gesso. I've been using it for a couple of years now and recently stripped a couple of minis I'd used it on, turned into a black slime which stained everything!

  3. After a week in Dettol to remove paint, any covered in glue are left soaking in Acetone (nail polish remover) to soften it. Works with most glues - and avoids having to chip it away potentially damaging the mini. Deforms plastic though so metal minis only!

    The worst paint to strip is 80's vintage gloss white which seems to yellow over time. No idea what was in it but withstands Nitromors.

  4. Do your mini's stink after a detol bath
    If so how can you get rid of said stink.