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Thread: How to Clean Figures

  1. #1

    How to Clean Figures

    What's the best way to clean your old figures? I'm about to clean, replace O-Rings, and sort some old vintage figures.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Captain Matthew.stoops@wmich.edu's Avatar
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    Well, warm soapy (dish or hand soap pump works well from experience) water and a soft bristled tooth brush works wonders on the 60's/70's 12 inch guys, I fail to see why the little guys would be any different.

    For dirtier figures, you may need something a little more extreme, I've heard of several Action Man hobbiests using lighter fluid to take out tough stains I think, but I haven't had the gall to try this myself.

    O rings, I'm sure there's an online store that has the exact size/gauge that you need for the job, it's just a matter of the right google search.

    Unsightly paint misapplications can be remedied with a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover, but be careful with this because most of the little guy's features are paint, and it's not impossible to remove something you didn't want to.

    To sort them, there's numerous reference books and web pages about, again, the right search.

    Hope this helps!
    These go to Eleven...

  3. #3
    Captain Matthew.stoops@wmich.edu's Avatar
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    This site appears to be an extensive catalog of everything, though I haven't trawled through all of it.

    http://www.3djoes.com/

    Could be difficult to know what you're looking for if you don't know the figure names. But if that happens, just post pictures here, and I'm sure a member will know who/what it is.
    These go to Eleven...

  4. #4
    I was thinking about dish soap and a toothbrush, but I wanted to make sure it wouldn't cause any real issues. These are the "survivors" from my childhood so I didn't want to ruin them! Surprisingly only a few need new O-Rings, but it's just a matter of time for the rest.

  5. #5
    Private First Class csi_kincaid@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    I personally use baby wipes or a bowl of Dawn detergent and warm water. Just be sure to dry the figures well when you get done.

  6. #6
    unscented baby wipes are good for light cleaning. Dawn detergent has been mentioned and is good. I also use oxy clean in its pure form, mixing with some water. For tough dirt stains you could use Windex with a Qtip if you get desparare just don't rub too hard.

    Test anything you use on a beat up figure first. Don't use strong substances like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a vintage figure.

    After you have your cleaner, it's time to hit the cosmetics aisle for Qtips (generic brand cotton swabs work too) and cotton balls or cotton pads for makeup removal- you want name brand because generics will shred and get stuck in figure joints. You can also share them with your woman and maybe get points with her.

    For stingy dirt scoring in grooves or crannies (on figures) you can use toothpicks. Plastic ones are best because they will give and are unlikely to scratch the figure. I'll add posts for anything else that comes to mind. And remember you can't hurry art.

    And also that my advice does not come with a warranty.

  7. #7
    So I know it's not cleaning, but is there a way to fix loose joints?

  8. #8
    Private First Class manolive@hotmail.com's Avatar
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    For shoulder and hip joints replacing the o-ring can do wonders.

    For knees if you take the legs apart and put a thin layer of super glue on the pin it should make them just the tiniest bit thicker and will fit snug back together. Just let it dry a day or two before putting it back together.

    Elbows I've seen and heard of people that would put a small drop of super glue in the joint and then just keep it moving until it dries. It has a similar effect to the knee trick by making the pieces ever so slightly thicker. However, like Raven's advice, I've heard of it but never dared try it.

  9. #9
    If you have worn out figures try the super glue idea on a couple of those first.

    I haven't tried that but I'm totally trying it this weekend! It should work with super glue.

  10. #10
    Is it worth replacing O-Rings that haven't broken yet?