Strip Metallic Plating

This is a technique I picked up from K. Suzuki’s build of the MG 2.0 Hyaku Shiki. I’ve used it on my Hyaku Shiki, and on the old 1/100 MRC-F20 Mobile Sumo. His build video is a nice chill time.

For kits that have metallic plating, like the MG Hyaku Shiki (and others), without access to things like Purple Power or ZepCommercial Fast505 degreasers, the best approach I’ve found is this two step:

  1. Lacquer thinner bath to remove the color coat
  2. Bleach bath to remove the plating

The lacquer bath may not be necessary, depending on whether the kit you’re working on has a color layer over the plate layer. Test on an off-cut piece of sprue from the runner before going hog-wild on the kit.

I’ve found that the color/paint layer on the plated kits protects the metallic layer from the bleach, so getting it off first speeds up the bleach step.

Same for the bleach bath–test that it works and doesn’t harm your plastic.

In both of these steps, leave the plastic in the baths for as little time as will achieve what you need. I’ve never had plastic damaged in this process, but they’re still caustic chemicals.

And wear a ventilator…

Here’s a pic of this in progress on a test piece–the parts where the color has already been stripped were rubbed down with a thinner-soaked Q-tip before going in the bleach, and you can see how much it speeds things up. The bleach does work on the color, but it’s a lot slower:

bleach bath on metallic coating in progress