Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cleaning an Old Miniature: Suggestions?

I have an old citadel miniature I'm trying to clean. The miniature is fine, but it's covered with a light brown tarnish and I can't seem to get it off. I've tried simple green which is really good for removing paint, but this is going to require something else. Suggestions?


  1. Do you need to remove the tarnish? Can you prime over top of it?

  2. Are you sure it is tarnish and not just the color of the alloy? When I was experimenting with home-casting, I sometimes got a brownish casting, especially if the metal was over-heated when I poured it (using old lead/tin solder, mainly).

    But if it started out grey/silver and turned brown, I don't know what is going on. I've had lead minis turn darker grey once in a while, and polished them up ok with an old toothbrush.

  3. Some of my old Citadels are dark grey with a brownish tarnish. I've given them a scrub with Dettol, and then cleaned them with hot water with a little detergent, and it doesn't do much to shift it. I've just primed and painted... its too early, and the sample size probably too small, to tell if this carelessness will result in flaking paint or crumbling 'lead'.

  4. You'd prefer to remove the tarnish first.

    I clipped the slotta stems and it's nice and bright there. It's age and should be able to come off.

  5. I've found that Super Clean (formerly Castrol Super Clean) can take ANYTHING off of old minis.

    Pour some in a tupperware container, put the offending mini inside, and seal. Remove the lid in four hours, scrub said mini with a toothbrush, and voila! a clean miniature.

    It's even taken old Testors paint off of old lead figures for me. Good stuff. Below is a link: