One question I have seen pop up repeatedly on the boards at the Multiverse is how to remove the factory minimate paint? There are two main methods that I use. The first is a product called Goof-Off, which is pictured above. You should be able to get this at any hardware store, and it is very cheap. I put a little on an old rag, and it rubs the paint off in less than a minute. Sometimes it can leave a sticky film behind after rubbing the paint off, but if you keep on rubbing for another minute, this film can also be removed. For more precise applications, such as removing part of a face, I use a cotton swab.
You have to be careful with minimates that are painted a different color than they were casted in. For example, if you try to remove the evil grin from M.Bison, you will also remove the skin color, as that head was cast in white and painted skin color. One good way to tell the color of the plastic is to look inside the joints. If you use Goof-Off on a clear minimate, like the Invaders Human Torch, the surface will end up looking slightly cloudy. Also, if you leave your rag soaked in Goof-Off sitting on certain types of plastic overnight, it will melt it. This is strong stuff, so be careful.
The other method I use for removing small sections of minimate tampos is cutting it off with a sharp hobby knife. The tampos are slightly raised off the surface of the plastic, and if you are extremely careful, you can cut them off without marking the plastic.