On occasion, figures need some maintaining. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, sometimes you’re at a loss on what the best methods would be. Today, I’ll share with you the methods that I use, that I’ve found effective to clean dirty figures, fix leaning figures, and dusting figure displays and figures.
Let’s start with the more common problem of leaning figures. Those of you that own Ignis may or may not have gotten one that leans. Unfortunately, mine started leaning, so I’ll use her as an example.
The problem with Ignis, is that her pegs are located in the front of her feet, not the back at the heel. There’s a lot of forward force going on, and it causes the ball of her foot to start bending ever so slightly.
Months later (for me actually, it was closer to a year) she was noticeably leaning forward. This lean here though, is after about two or more years. I wanted to leave her like that for a while, just to see how far she’d go.
So now, let’s talk about how to straighten her up.
Use a hair dryer. It does not have to be a powerful one. Usually standard dryers will work. The best is if it has a “funnel” at the barrel so you can focus the hot air into a concentrated location. Put your dryer on the hot setting (not warm). Use the high setting.
Aim the air at the location you want to bend. It’s generally the ankle area that is leaning, nowhere else. Don’t worry about melting paint. It won’t. Much higher temperatures are needed to literally melt paint.
Hold your finger under the ankle while heating, mostly until your finger can’t stand the heat anymore. Heat the ankle until it is hot to the touch (not blister-forming hot, but hot). The ankle should now be fairly bendable.
While holding that position, run the ankle under cold water. Be sure to turn the tap to max, as water tends to warm a bit when traveling through the pipes. You want that cold water, FAST.
Maintain this until your hand feels numb from the cold. Seriously. You want to make sure that the plastic has cooled all the way down to its re-solidified state, otherwise it’s all for naught.
I decided to also put Ignis back on the display base to get the proper positioning and ran the whole thing under cold water. I made sure to run the cold water all through her legs, not just the ankle, as heat dissipates throughout the entire leg.
You may have to repeat the process of heating and cooling to get the proper position, but it’s generally okay to do this.
Continue to run her under cold water for maybe 3 or so minutes.
After you’re done, test the weight distribution by placing her on the table. When I first got my Ignis, she was able to stand without a base, so this time, I’ve pulled it back enough weight that she actually tips backwards. This should stop her from leaning forward, as the weight distribution pulls her back, but her foot pegs will keep pulling her forward.
One major aspect of figure maintenance is dusting them. If you don’t dust them, sometimes the dust will accumulate and actually get stuck, making the dust hard to remove. This is due to sticky particles in the air such as cooking oil, and other nasty stuff. If you don’t maintain you figures, they can sometimes start turning black and sticky! (depending on how humid your area is).
This is what’s under a display base. It’s so clean. So you can tell the difference between the dust covered and dust free surfaces. I’d say that this is probably three weeks worth of accumulated dust.
I also use an all purpose duster brush. it’s made of really fine pvc strands and incredibly soft (like string) If I hold it upside-down, the brush will just flop. You want to get a brush that’s soft enough that it will go between all the small cracks to get the dust out.
Finally, I also use compressed air. I don’t use this as much, because it’s not incredibly effective, but can get some dust out of the tighter areas.
Sometimes, especially figures that sit, can accumulate some crap here and there and get dirty. Or you may find that your figure has marks in various places for some reason or other.
Sometimes, this stuff comes off easily with just a little warm water on a towel, but other times, it’s embedded into the surface slightly. Using fine-grit sandpaper is an option, but usually causes more harm than good. The plastic surface usually has a certain sheen to it, and if you use sandpaper, you’re changing the texture of that sheen, and when light reflects off of it, it will be noticeable.
It’s the same concept of how to remove ink marks from a table by rubbing toothpaste into it. You see, toothpaste actually has a sandy sort of texture to it. Try rubbing some between your hand sometime. However, using toothpaste on your figures is probably not a good idea.
The Magic Eraser will sort of apply a very fine sanding on your surface that’s on a nearly microscopic level. All you do is add water to the sponge, and start rubbing at the surface.
Well, that’s another post. I hope this will help you in maintaining good figure health!