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For Beginner Figure Collectors #18: Maintenance of Figures

Hi Friends,

Maintenance and dusting of figures do take up a lot of time, and if you find enjoyment or count it as your relaxation time, it'll be a plus.

However, for many, it's stressful when you are trying to get rid of that one dark spot you never knew existed. Today's tutorial would be to provide some suggestions on how to clean your figures, as well as some first-aid for your figures.


1. Cloth

To clean my figures, I use a microfiber cloth for larger parts as well as for the display shelf, but of course, that will not be enough for the dust that manage to find its way into the small creases and holes in one way or another.

2. Brushes

For those, I would turn to use my trusty make-up brushes. They come in various sizes for all those difficult-to-reach areas in your figure's sculpt (especially for scale figures!) and have soft bristles so they wouldn't harm your figures. For that same reason, I wouldn't use paintbrushes since their bristles are usually stiff, and might cause paint chips.
Just be sure not to double-up those brushes as your real make-up brushes. As much as oil from make-up is bad for your figures, dust from figures is terrible for your face as well.

3. Air

Compressed air is another way to go about cleaning your figures. In fact, this might make it easier to get that dust out from those places your brush might find trouble sneaking into.
Just that brushes should be cheaper, and you need to be careful not to use too much of that compressed air on a single area. But oh well, you can use what's left after you're done with your figure to clean your computer. I'm sure your computer would appreciate it as well!

First-aid for Figures

This section is for figures where you have issues with, such as paint transfer or dirt streaks. Plasticizer problems  that make your figures sticky would be targeted as well!

1. Magic Eraser
This is my very first solution to any streaks or markings on my figures which are difficult to remove with simply water or a wet tissue. I'll like to credit this brand for curing most of my mishaps.

Of course, a normal eraser would work very well too, in a case-by-case basis. Just make sure that the part in contact with the figure is absolutely clean or you'll risk leaving more marks on the figure!

Do note that if you use the magic eraser too vigorously, you might also remove some of the paint, so being gentle and meticulous is the way to go! You may also wish to refrain from using this on areas with black paint because somehow it's easier to strip away the darker colors and lighten them, thus ending up with a lighter color, which would result in a problem which is more difficult to solve.

2. Wash or Soak

If the problem isn't resolved with a magic eraser, you should move on to this second step. This step is also useful for getting rid of that sticky film, otherwise known as plasticizer, on your figures.

Add a tiny bit of soap or detergent to a pail of water and soak your figures in it. Make sure that the brand and type of detergent which you use is not too strong and ensure that it is always diluted. You can soak your figure in the soapy water for up to a day, depending on how diluted or concentrated your solution is, but personally, I'll take it out within 3 hours.

Pat dry your figure with a microfiber cloth and allow the rest of the moisture to air dry.

3. Alcohol

This isn't the method that I'd use regularly, and I don't recommend it unless the problem you are facing with your figure is that severe.
Dip a Q-tip into alcohol and use it to clean the affected area. Be sure not to use too much alcohol as it might harm your figure by stripping off the paint. The alcohol would evaporate quickly upon contact with the air so your figure would be good to go in a few moments! Just be sure to cap your alcohol solution properly as well so it doesn't evaporate too~

4. Thinner

This is the last and most extreme method I'll expect anyone to try out. Do note that thinner might strip away the paint layers on your figure so do use it with caution and in moderation.

The steps to using thinner is largely similar to that of using alcohol. Use a Q-tip for better precision and ensure that you only target the affected area to reduce collateral damage after you are done, if any.

Next, have fun with your good-as-new figures!

From Your Fellow Collector,
- Bootlegs
- Sale of your figures

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