Friday, 12 April 2013

Misc. Figma Care – If a Figure Seems Disappointing

To my long un-updated blog,

This will be a landmark post, ladies and gentlemen!
That's right.
I am finally writing an article in which my subject will be A FIGMA! :O

Today I will be sprucing up Figma Araragi Koyomi, because he's a bit unappealing, and has been ever since I bought him.
Here he is:

Okay, so there are a couple of things you might notice right away.
Araragi had three main problems and because of them I had never really liked him, but it's really not his fault and all he ever needed was a bit of TLC.
Since I fixed these minor issues I've started to really like him! He's actually really cool!
So... The Actual Problems:
1. His paintwork is really dull and unappealing.
It looked cool on the prototype, but my figure looks kind of flat (it's a bit hard to tell from the picture, but he was really boring compared to my other Figmas).

2. He has a smear of ugly glue on the front of his shirt. :(

3. There's a slight chance that you've picked up on this already, but his arm keeps falling off.

The Actual Solutions To The Actual Problems:

1. The Dull Paintwork.
Many Figmas seem to suffer from a phenomenon I'm going to call "Factory Dust". It's not very noticeable, but they have it straight out of the box and it really dulls the paint, especially dark colours.
I think it's probably caused by a coating of fine dust or powder, but luckily, it's still easy to get rid of.
Just rinse the figure under running water. No soap required.
That's it. No tricks (apart from keeping the plug in so that small parts don't go down the drain if they accidentally fall off). Plain, cold, running water straight from the tap. 
It works on Nendoroids too, and doubtless many other types of figures which just don't seem as bright as they should. 
If your new figure looks a little dull, try giving it a cold bath!
(Somehow it took me about nine months to think of this...)

Araragi's colouring came up really nicely after cleaning. It's actually really surprising how much better he looks. I didn't realise he had that much "Factory Dust" on him!
    .... I have no idea what the stuff actually is, though... I'm guessing it's something to do with the packaging process, but I will probably never know.

An effective yet impractical method of washing figures.

OK, next!
2. The Ugly Smear of Glue.
First up, a photo:
When I got Araragi, there was more glue on his
shirt than shown here – I only remembered to take
 a picture half way through removing it.
Damn! So ugly!
Like so many of its smudgy conspecifics, this blemish is small but super visible and super annoying! (... it may even be super glue........... heh.)
I don't know how many figures come out of their shiny new boxes with horrible glue smears on them, but I figured I'd write this up in case anybody else is having this kind of problem.

To remove the ugly smear, I used a really big sewing needle to chip away at the glue:
An embroidery needle? It's fairly sharp but it's huge – nearly 10cm (4") long!
Very gently chip away at the glue, taking care not to damage the plastic underneath. In my case the glue was on one of the "flexible material" (AKA rubbery) parts of the Figma which meant it came off quite smoothly.
I say the glue came off smoothly, but there were still a few little bits left over which wouldn't come off with the needle.
Because I am a very obsessional person, I carefully filed these off with a fine grade emery board type file. It's meant for making PVC jewellery and I think it's officially a "polishing" file.
Seriously, some of these files are so fine that you can file the surface off paint without scraping through to whatever's underneath. It's fishsticking amazing!
I highly recommend getting some because they're also great for removing paint smudges (and they're cheap. I got a pack of three for ≈$6.00).
    ~ yeah, you know I didn't really mean "fishsticking".
An equally good alternative to a file would be fine grade polishing paper (like sandpaper but
super fine. Regular sandpaper isn't much good for figures because it leaves noticeable scratches).
On a side note, Araragi's colouring has heaps more impact now that he's clean!
Right. The glue is all fixed! On to the next problem...

3. His arm keeps falling off.
Yes... um... it does keep falling off.
Ever since I got him, it's been fairly loose. It stays on okay most of the time, but when I try to pose him it pops off with very little provocation. The socket in his shoulder just seems a bit too shallow.
To be honest, I haven't managed to fix it yet. I tried a few things and none of them worked, but if I manage to repair this loose joint, I'll write a post about it.

For now, Araragi's arm will have to stay loose, but he still looks WAY better than he did when I got him!
... and his arm isn't too bad anyway...

             ... at least, Mayoi doesn't think so.


Anyway, I hope this post was at least a little bit helpful, even if I didn't end up fixing Araragi's arm!

As always, best of luck with your figures!


  1. Dun u try putting a little glue (ONLY thin layer) at the joint?
    Let it dry & pop it back into the body

    1. Hi! Thanks for the advice!
      I tried that already and the glue just peeled off when I tried to put the shoulder back in, but I should probably try with a different kind of adhesive!

  2. For the lose arm have you tried heating up the plastic? To do this you'd use a hair dryer and I'd suggest pointing it at the socket first (don't keep the hairdryer too close to the figure but a good amount, alternately you can try warm water instead which might be a bit gentler) then put the arm into the socket and run it under cold water. If the arm is still loose then try the same thing but this time heat the ball joint and stick it in the socket and again if that doesn't work, I'd say heat both the socket and the ball joint , stick the joint into the socket and run under cold water (be a bit careful though and if you do do this don't heat it up too much). This is a common trick people use for joints that are too tight but I'm thinking it might work for loose joints too because it would help the PVC expand and then cool into the proper shape/ size it's supposed to be.

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  5. the arm falling off was the one thing i needed to know!! lol. i just opened my Eren Jaeger Figma, and during the joint testing the left arm popped off just like Araragi

    1. Haha oh no! Sorry I couldn't help you there!
      I guess I just tend to leave my figures on the shelf most of the time... so for me, it doesn't matter that much that Araragi's arm is loose.

      ... HOWEVER, if the loose arm is bothering you, I have heard of a method which might work (though I haven't tried it personally).
      What you do is get yourself some regular PVA wood glue. Take off the loose arm and put a drop of glue into the socket. Now put the arm back in and wait for it to dry.
      The glue is supposed to act as a filler which makes the joint fit snugly, just like it should. It won't freeze the joint because it doesn't stick to plastic.
      And the really good thing is that normal PVA glue is water soluble (though it is possible to buy water resistant types, so read the label), so if you make a mistake and need to remove the glue, all you (theoretically) have to do is soak the figure in water for a day or two.
      I've been meaning to try this method with Araragi for ages, but I haven't got around to it.
      ... also, I can't find my PVA...

      All the best,

    2. The hero is name's christ and i've struggling in this kind of problem a thousand times, especially with figma and nendoroid. From my point of view, Glue will make em stick, of course, but its only matter of time till the glue lost its effect. As for ur problem, u could use "clear nail polish" which totally can make ur joint looks great again. Adios

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