Thursday, June 24, 2010

J's Chimes: Hobby Maintenance

After keeping your models in the display cabinet for a long long time, starting to feel a bit worried. As time goes on, scale models made of PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) will tend to produce an oily surface or bend when exposed to room temperature for long periods of time. Due to the fact that PVC is cheap and also easily molded into shape, it is commonly used for hobbies such as this. So now the thing is, how or what should you do to maintain them?

Am really sad that my Hatsune Miku figure has this stickiness problem on her right arm that I had no choice but to take it out from the display cabinet and place it on my desktop. Collecting dust on the outside beats becoming oily and sticky. Thus also browse through the web for tips of maintaining my models and had found something interesting that might help you too.

10 Tips for maintaining your PVC models

1.) Keep it in cool temperature. No direct sunlight or hot areas...

2.) Put your models in a freezer for about 20min. This method could help harden the PVC and also drys up the oily or sticky surface due to the temperature when exposed for long periods of time.

3.) Do not clean your figure with chemical liquid or warm water. If possible avoid water. But only use a small amount water to clean parts of your figure that is dirty. Use the special kind of cloth for cleaning camera lenses or spectacles to clean your models as other alternatives like tissue could result in the dust particles sticking to your models instead.

4) If you have a hard time to remove the figure from the stand as most of them are made of plastic), do not use force. Just put the figure inside the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. It is because plastic will shrink and expand more then PVC.

5.) If you have more then 1 figure stand close to each other, make sure they don't touch each other. The paint would leave a mark on the other model and vice versa.

6.) Famous brand such as Max Factory, Kaiyodo, alter, good smile company, etc.. uses quality paint. However quality doesn't always mean it is not susceptible to such problems. Thus try to put a plastic to every joint that removable to avoid direct contact that will leave a mark after a long time. For example, hats on a model's head which is also painted could eventually rip off the paint on the model's head and vice versa that would leave a mark. Thus the reason why manufactures always put a plastic between the joints or cover of a new figure to prevent such from happening after long periods of time.

7.) Avoid puting heavy objects for example weapons, items, etc on your figure hands for long periods of time because PVC will bend over time. Thus you might need to take it out once in awhile to avoid such losses.

8.) I hate to say this but PVC, along with the paint, is poisonous after exposure of long periods of time. This sticky and oily surface is seriously as toxic as lead like the previous case on China's lead poisoning on toys incident. So you might wanna go wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.

9.) Models bend out of shape? Put them in the freezer for about 10 - 15min. You'd need to make it stand in a position you wanted before putting it in so that the position maintains after you take it out. Another method is to use a blower for the bended part of your figure but do take note that heat might affect the paint of the figure.

10.) Do check your figures every once in a month or so just by touching them to know the conditions of your figures. If it starts to become oily, bending or sticky, it means you'd need to do something soon. Do check those still in the boxes too as they too are not safe from such damages.

I hope that these tips could help you to properly maintain your scale models and figures for years to come. I guess I have to do something about this too, else risking my models going sticky and oily and bendy and stuff...

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