Thursday, 18 April 2013

Safely Removing Paint Blemishes from Bare Plastic

G'day, Readers!
(Do I actually have "readers"?)

I seem to have been writing on this blog a lot recently, but I'm not quite done yet.

This time, I will be addressing a truly fearsome, yet common blemish: THE PAINT BLEED.
You know the one; Your lovely new figure is all shiny and perfect except for that single spot where the paint from one part has been, for no obvious reason, liberally applied to the part next to it as well. 
If the erroneous colour lies on top of another painted surface then the perfect solution is just to blot over it with a dab of (you guessed it) more paint.
... but what if the splodge is on a bit of unpainted plastic?

In figures, skin (along with occasional other parts) is usually made from unpainted plastic, sometimes with a light gradient applied to it. Painting over blemishes on these bare plastic areas doesn't really end up looking all that nice, because, let's face it, the textures just don't match up.

So what do you do if you've got a figure where paint has bled onto bare plastic?

Surprisingly, I'm going to tell you in an extremely longwinded manner.

As in my last post, my subject today will be one of the Lucky Star Nendoroid Petits! This time, it's Tsukasa Hiiragi B!
Have a look:
Isn't she cute? I love all the colours in this set! ^__^
If you can't see any paint bleeds, that's probably because I took the picture after I had already fixed it... but if I had taken the picture before fixing the bleed you probably wouldn't have seen it anyway.
Luckily, none of my figures are suffering from any major bleeds or smudges at the moment, but I still wanted to write about this method, so I will be doing it on an itty bitty teeny weeny little bleed which I noticed on Tsukasa's hand.
Here it is:
The orange paint from the chocolate pastry thing she's
about to chow down on has bled onto her hand slightly.
This is an infinitesimal bleed.
It's about 1mm across – barely visible – and I usually wouldn't have bothered to fix something this small, but I wanted to write this vexatious post it was surprisingly eye-catching...
This method is just as applicable to larger blemishes, however.

So... The tools for this job: 
From left to right: A big needle, a regular needle,
super fine sandpaper. (It is so fine)
Yup. Pretty sophisticated machinery, this. Not like, some stuff I found lying around in my house or anything...

I mentioned in a previous post that you should not use regular sandpaper on figures and I stand by it. Regular sandpaper will make your figures look like they've been attacked by a platoon of small, angry porcupines, and, in many cases, this is not desirable.
"Super fine" or "polishing" sandpaper is usually safe. You could also use very fine files or other dooverlackeys which serve the same purpose, if that's how you roll. I myself have several miscellaneous sanding tools in my collection. You can usually buy them at hobby stores.
The sandpaper I will be using in this job is a sort of rough sponge which was given to me by a friend who collects ball jointed dolls (that's right, kiddo. When you get too far into this sort of hobby that's the kind of creepy, wacked-out thing you do... swapping sandpaper squares like hippie freaks...). I included it in the picture so you can get an idea of just how "fine" it really is. As you can see, it barely looks rough at all... YES. IT'S THAT FINE. (So very very fine.)

It even says "super fine" on the back!
(Just in case you'd forgotten that it's fine...)
Anyway,
I used the two needles to remove most of the excess paint.
It would have been better if I could've used the large needle by itself because, as needles go, it's fairly blunt and doesn't scratch figures very easily. Sadly, it just wasn't breaking up the paint, so I swapped to the smaller needle to scratch up the surface of the blemish (taking care not to go though the paint to the figure underneath). I then chipped off the bulk of the scratched paint with the large needle.

At this point, I would usually show a blurry picture of my purple hands, but I think in this case it would be more constructive to actually explain to you how to use the needle;
1. Hold it as you would hold a pencil (or a scalpel, if you fancy yourself as the surgeon-y type). You'll have maximum control this way.
2. Always start gently, applying minimal pressure, making very light scratches. Gradually increase the pressure until the paint starts breaking up. You don't need to go any harder than this. If you plough in at full speed, you'll probably just scratch your figure.
3. Be patient! Proceed slowly and carefully. It takes a bit of zen to remove paint cleanly.
4. If it's just not working, try a different sized needle.
This may be a good time to mention that the reason I am painstakingly using a needle to remove the paint instead of just sanding the whole lot off is because I want to make a nice sharp edge where Tsukasa's hand meets the pastry (I assume it's a pastry).
If I had a splodge in the middle of her face, away from other painted parts, I would probably get it off with sandpaper alone (much faster and easier), but it's hard to make clean edges that way.
If you have a large bleed, you may want to try removing the paint around the edge with a needle and then gently sanding the rest off with fine sandpaper.
In my case, though, the area is so small that the whole thing is edge.

Here's what it looks like after the needle treatment (that sounds so scary – I just noticed):
Most of the erroneous paint has been removed.
You can probably see that there's still a little bit of paint left.
Most of this can be sanded off.
Although the super fine sandpaper won't scratch the plastic, I still use it gently and with caution. I don't want to grind away actual plastic from Tsukasa's hand, and I also don't want to remove any of the paint from other parts of the figure (sandpaper is a gun at removing paint).

After sanding, the former blemish looks like this:
In the picture it doesn't look much better than before sanding, but
in person it's a noticeable improvement.
And... we're done!
Now Tsukasa is free to enjoy her pastry (or whatever it is) in peace!
Om nom nom!
Afterthoughts;
I use needles for this sort of job, but really you could use any small, sharp object. Triangular-bladed craft knives, pins, thumb tacks and extremely sharp cactus spines are all suitable candidates.
Just remember, you're trying to remove the paint without damaging the plastic underneath, so be gentle.

Well, that's all from me for the moment!
As per usual, if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I usually reply within a day or so.
Good luck with your repairs!
     Cheers!
          Sparkey


64 comments:

  1. On my pvc scale figure, a small section of the top coat of the skin was accidentally removed. That spot now looks shiny compared to the matte finish of the other parts of the skin. How would I go about removing the shine?

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    1. Hi!
      There are two ways of removing shine from a plastic surface that I use.

      The first one is to paint over the blemish with matte lacquer.
      There are various clear matte lacquers available which you can paint onto shiny spots to make them matte again.
      An easy one to use is Liquitex Matte Medium and Varnish (you can usually buy it at art shops and it's non-toxic – Win!). Thin it a little bit with water and carefully brush it on, taking care not to use too much – you only need a tiny bit! If you have to do more than one coat, allow the previous coat to dry before applying the next (this generally takes around ten minutes).
      Another useful product is Mr. Topcoat flat matt (sadly, not non-toxic. It needs to be used in a well-ventilated area). This comes in a spray can. In my opinion it has a better finish than Liquitex matte medium, but I'd use it with caution because, since it's a spray, it tends to coat large areas whether you want it to or not, and it can and will get onto gloss areas of the figure and make them matte too... but if your whole figure has a matte finish it should be fine. Just spray a little on the area where it's needed.
      Again, only apply a small amount of lacquer! Thick layers of Mr. Topcoat don't look nice.
      Also, before using any lacquers, it's best to wash the figure under cold running water and allow it to air dry. There's nothing more annoying than getting dust or fibres stuck under the lacquer!
      Lastly, if it somehow goes horribly wrong (and if you take care not to use too much lacquer, it almost certainly won't) you can remove these two products with methylated spirits.

      The second method is to sandpaper over the shiny spot gently with fine sandpaper such as the kind shown above. This will scratch the surface slightly giving it a nice matte finish. It's the easiest option, but I would only recommend this for bare plastic areas (IE not coated in any kind of paint or finish).

      I hope that helps you!
      I know lacquers can seem daunting at first, but once you get down to it, they're pretty easy to use.
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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  2. hey, first time i comment in your blog, its pretty amazing.
    just one answer, i got a actsta nakajima subaru that is broken where the pigtails join, how i can glue a milimetrical pvc tube.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for the complement!

      Ahh! How annoying! It certainly is difficult fixing such tiny things.

      If the break is very close-fitting (the two pieces fit together smoothly with no gaps) then try using some Supa Glue. Just dab a tiny bit on with a toothpick or something similar. You'd be amazed how well it bonds, even on tiny surfaces.

      If that doesn't work, or if the break is a bit messy, then you may have to "drill and pin" the piece. That can be fiddly with really small parts, but it really works.
      Have a look at Method No. 2 in this article for a detailed explanation of drilling and pinning: http://figurefixer.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/generic-action-figure-repairs-two.html
      It sounds quite technical, but once you know what to do, it's not that hard. If you're having trouble drilling, you can always heat up the plastic a little bit with a hairdryer. That makes it easier.

      If you have any more questions, as always, feel free to ask!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    2. Hey,
      I stumbled on your blog while searching for a way to fix a very badly fixed nendo part and I wondered if you could give me any advice for fixing it properly.
      Recently I bought a secondhand Milihore F. Biscotti nendoroid. She was quite cheap and supposedly in good condition. And yes, the princess herself was lovely, but I found her bird Harlan had some very sloppy (and horribly visible Dx) glue stains around the lower part of the neck. Upon closer inspection, the joint there has been completely glued stuck, probably a failed attempt to fix a broken pin or something. This means, however, poor Harlan can no longer turn his neck round, AND I can no longer put on the long reins supposed to be held by Biscotti. And to finish off, the short reins are somehow glued stuck on the collar too...
      So, her bird being one of the reasons I bought Biscotti to begin with, I'm desperately looking for a way to fix this. Is there any way to dissolve the glue, both in the joint and the stains on the neck without damaging the paint? I'd like to open the joint so I can try to fix it properly, but I have no idea how. Maybe it's an impossible task, since it's all very hard to reach, but I'd like your opinion on this.
      Thanks in andvance.

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    3. Uh-oh. That sounds nasty!
      Glue can be very very hard to remove... sometimes.

      TO THE CHEMISTRY LAB!!! (or the bathroom... as it were...)

      Your best bet to remove this glue would be some kind of solvent.
      My personal favourite solvent is ethyl ethanoate, also known as ethyl acetate.
      You can make it at home.

      The first thing you need is ingredients. Some ethanol and some acetic acid, to be accurate.
      These can be obtained in the forms of methylated spirits (AKA denatured alcohol) and plain white vinegar.
      Sometimes denatured alcohol is coloured. Don’t buy this, because the dye may stain your figure. Instead, buy a brand which is clear.

      Note: DO NOT USE ISOPROPANOL / RUBBING ALCOHOL IN PLACE OF ETHANOL / DENATURED ALCOHOL! They are different chemicals, and if you use isopropanol, you will inadvertently create a solvent which can dissolve plastic. RUBBING ALCOHOL = NO!

      Now, in a sturdy plastic tub – an ice-cream tub will do – mix the vinegar and ethanol in roughly equal parts.
      You will notice some interesting things happening in tub, including swirling, a small amount of heat and a weird smell.
      This is because a chemical reaction will be taking place between the ethanol and the acetic acid. When the reaction has finished, what you will have is a mixture of acetic acid, ethanol, water and ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is most commonly known as non-acetone nail polish remover, but – fun fact – this chemical is also used as a flavouring in sweets and cakes and as an industrial solvent! It's naturally found in fruits like pears and blueberries.
      If there’s any methanol in the methylated spirits, you will also have a small amount of methyl ethanoate, which is also a useful solvent (and also sometimes used in nail polish remover).

      The mixture you will have created is not overly dangerous, but it’s best not to inhale the vapours. I recommend working with the stuff outdoors or in a room with an exhaust fan, like a bathroom.
      Please also note that most of the chemicals in the mixture are flammable, so don’t let them get anywhere near sparks or flames.
      Be sensible and exercise general caution around solvents.
      Make sure that no children or pets have access to the mixture.
      Treat this mixture as you would treat a tub of nail polish remover… because it actually IS a tub of diluted nail polish remover (plus alcohol, plus acid, plus some other stuff).

      Now that you have your solvent mixture, try rubbing some of it onto Harlan to make sure that it doesn’t react with the paint. If it doesn’t, submerge Harlan in the mixture.
      I’ve used this stuff in the past on figures, and in my experience, it doesn’t damage the PVC paint which is used in the manufacture of Nendoroids.
      However, I still recommend checking the figure at one minute intervals during soaking to make sure that the paint is not softening.
      If you’re lucky, the troublesome glue will start to soften or dissolve after a few minutes. You may need to scrape off the outer layer and re-dunk to remove all the glue.
      If nothing is happening after about fifteen minutes, then the ethyl acetate is not reacting with the glue and you’ll have to try something else.

      The second thing to try would be acetone based nail polish remover. You’ll just have to buy this one.
      Be careful with the acetone, because it CAN dissolve paint. You’ll have to paint it onto the glue with a small paintbrush, leave it, scrape away any dissolved glue, and repeat.

      If that doesn’t work either, then I really don’t know what you can do.
      Contact the seller and ear-bash them, maybe?
      It can be very hard to remove large amounts of glue without damaging the plastic underneath.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    4. I didn't have acces to both chemicals needed for the ethyl acetate, so I used a little acetone-based nail polish remover on a horrible glue stain on Mili's sitting body part (yes, turns out the previous owner glued her on Harlans back. Sigh) But, alas, it didn't seem to work. Guess it was pretty good glue... But after thorougly analyzing the glued parts and hours of scratching with needles and other super thin, sharp objects, I managed to break open both Harlan's broken neckjoint and the part where the reins attach to the collar. All she needs now is a new replacement joint! Luckily, 'cause only some glue stains remain as proof of her bad treatment now. Anyway, thanks for the advice!

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    5. Well, I'm glad you've got your problem (mostly) sorted out! I'm sorry the solvent didn't work.
      I'm glad scarping did the trick though... Gees. I wonder what type of glue it was!? It sounds weird to me...!
      Anyway, all the best!
      Sparkey

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  3. Hello !

    I was looking for some answer to my problem, maybe you can help ... I have a pure neemo flection XS body, and one of the arms was always falling of, and today the little piece it makes the arm fix to the body broke. it just broke a little bit, but enough to make the arm a little unestable,...do you know how to fix such a little piece ?

    Thank you !

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    1. Hi, thanks for your question.
      Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the puree neemo flection body, but I might be able to give you some suggestions if you can show me a very clear, close-up picture of the broken part.
      Cheers!

      Delete
  4. Heya, I was wondering if you had an email? I have a bit of a question! I have some rather old Sailor Moon keychains, and they're a bit gross... They need to be cleaned somehow, and maybe repainted. I was wondering if you knew what paints can be used (in general) on figures? Or maybe I can email some pictures to explain the situation. They're sort of... Stained, maybe is a better word? I dunno. Hope to hear back!

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    1. Hello!
      Thanks for the question.
      I normally use acrylic paints on my figures, but acrylics scratch easily, so they may not be appropriate for key chains.
      You're right though! Some pictures would be useful, as long as they are focussed properly so that I can see the texture of the surface. My email is sparkeydavis@yahoo.com

      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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  5. Nice blog you got there! I just have a question I want to ask about a Saber figurine that I have recently purchased. On Saber's hair (blonde), there appears to be some white dots. When I feel the dots, it feels like extra paint protruding from the surface of the hair. I tried removing the dots with toothpicks and the edge of scissors, but it does not seem to work. Is there any advice you can give me on removing the dots? Here's a low quality image of the dots: http://puu.sh/d0Py0/06f17b41b6.png
    Thanks

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    1. Here's a more detailed picture of the dots. http://puu.sh/d0Rp2/5c0df239f7.png

      Delete
    2. Hello!
      Thanks for your question, and thanks for showing pictures! That always makes things much easier!

      After looking at the second picture, I'm inclined to agree with you; these are definitely protrusions and not paint spots.

      From what I can see, the moulding on the hair is quite low-quality. If you look at the edges, for example, you can see that the seam hasn't been completely removed. In cases like this, extra bumps or pits are often part of the plastic itself, and not a problem with the paint, which could explain why they don't come off easily.

      This is quite a difficult problem, and if it was my figure, I'd leave the bumps on, but if you still want to remove them, you can try filing them off with a very small, medium grade file. Then you can smooth off the surface with super fine sandpaper and repaint the filed area afterwards.

      I hope that helps!

      All the best,
      Sparkey

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  6. T_T Why didn't I check carefully before buying it T_T
    I think I'll just leave the bumps on in this case then.
    Really appreciate your advice! You sound professional XD

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    1. Hello again!
      You're not to blame. It's really hard to see a figure properly through all the packaging! I have the same problem myself.
      Bumps aside, your Saber is very appealing. Kind of makes me wish I had the space for scale figures!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I just went to the same shop again where I bought the Saber and found several other figures that have paint defects as well. It's a shop I have been visiting for a long time, and the figures I bought before were fine. Not sure whats happening o_o

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    3. That's probably nothing to do with the shop. Most likely it's just luck! Factory defects do occur sometimes.

      You're also more likely to be noticing those kinds of problems now that you've become aware of them.

      The only reason it could have something to do with the shop itself is if they're selling bootleg figures. Initially when I saw your Saber, I thought she might be a bootleg, but after some more research, I think she's most likely a genuine figure with a quality control issue. These things can happen to the best of manufacturers.

      Delete
    4. I guess there really is no perfect with figurines. Btw, is it ok to add you on facebook? You seem to be quite knowledgable about figurines. Maybe we can chat about anime sometimes.

      Delete
    5. Sorry, Anonymous, but I only use facebook for people I know well. I disregard friend requests from anybody else.
      Besides, I don't have much to say about anime. I love collecting action figures, but I don't actually watch many of the shows.

      You're right, though: no figure is perfect.
      True perfection only exists in mathematics: trying to achieve it anywhere else will most likely lead to frustration and ultimately insanity. I say embrace imperfections, because they are what make any given thing unique, and uniqueness is great.

      Delete
    6. Oh I see. That's cool XD
      Sorry if I startled you with the facebook inquiry.
      Speaking of mathematics, its my weakest area T_T
      I try to avoid it whenever possible. Luckily, my college program does not require me to take mathematics. I like your view on perfection and imperfection though. I just wish that some figures had less obvious imperfections sometimes. Well, I only got myself to blame in the end.
      If you're interested in figurines, feel free to check out my profile: http://myanimelist.net/profile/Interim
      I've linked a couple of my figurines to the spoiler tabs.

      Delete
  7. Hi.
    I just want to ask. I accidentally dropped my cast off figurine and there's a dent with scrapped plastic on one of her breast. Also i see a shiny spot which is very noticeable and looks distracting as hell, especially when i cast a lighting directly at her. What do i need to do to fix this problem? If you're wondering, the figure is Reiko wingfield made by skytube. This figure is extremely hard to find now.

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    1. Peeled off plastic*

      I hope you can understand what i'm trying to say >.<

      Sry english is not my first language.

      Do i need to use sand paper to get rid of it? What do i need to use to cover the dent?

      Delete
    2. Hello!
      Your English is very good! It's very clear what the trouble is.

      I think the best way to deal with the scrape is to smooth it down with some super fine sandpaper. Be careful not to damage the paintwork when you are doing this.

      If the shiny spot is on bare plastic, then sandpaper will remove it as well.
      However, if the shiny spot is on a painted area, I recommend dabbing it with some "Liquitex Matte Medium and Varnish", "Liquitex Matte Medium" or a similar matte finishing product from a hobby store.

      I hope that answers your questions!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    3. Thank you for the reply.
      How can i tell if the paint work is damaged or not? because i tried to remove the scrape plastic with a screwdriver (which was stupid of me) but i didn't put a lot of pressure so is it safe to assume that i only damaged the top coating? Lets say if i damage the skin paint, then i can still repaint the area right? Do you have any tips on how to paint a pvc figure? Its my first time trying to fix a damaged figure.

      Delete
    4. Hello again!
      Sorry for my slow reply! I've had a busy few days!

      You can tell the paint is damaged when you can see a different colour underneath a scratch or a dent.
      Luckily, skin areas on figures are almost never painted. Most figures are moulded from skin-coloured plastic, so it's only the face, hair and clothes which have paint that can be damaged.
      Sometimes hair or clothes are made from solid coloured plastic and left unpainted as well.

      There may be some light airbrushing (like blush) on skin which you should be careful not to damage (you can see this because it is a different colour to most of the skin), but for the most part using a fine sandpaper on "flesh" is totally harmless, since the plastic is a solid colour all the way through.

      For advice on doing paint touch-ups, have a look at this article:
      http://figurefixer.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/small-paint-touch-ups-made-invisible.html

      I hope that helps!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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  8. Hi davis, I have some noticeable defects on my figure.
    Do you know how to get rid an air bubble and some black stains from the skin?

    If you want picture,please look at this blog and tell me what should i do to fix this problem. This is a naked figure so i hope you don't mind.

    http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/19696

    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hello!
      Hmmm, those are some interesting problems you have there.

      Are you sure the bump is an air bubble? If it's just a bump (without air inside), you may be able to sand it down with super-fine sandpaper.
      However, if it is a thin bubble, you would run the risk of popping it. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the shape of the plastic underneath the air pocket.

      The stains on her leg look like they might be hard to remove. Once again, I'd suggest super-fine sandpaper. It might not work, but if you use it with care and start out very gently, it probably won't do any harm.

      Delete
  9. Hi, what happens if i poke an air bubble?

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    Replies
    1. I did some poking with a pencil covered in tape and i used a reading light and point it close enough to the bump so i can see clear contrast of light and shadow and i didn't notice any changes to the shadows. So it appears to be solid.

      Delete
  10. I just purchased Alter's Heidemarie Schaufner 1/8th PVC. However their is a very noticable paint bubble on one of the hands and a small white scuff on the back of that same shoulder. I contacted HLJ (HobbyLink Japan) but I am skeptical as to if they will (or will be able to) replace it because the site already lists the figure as "Discontinued" despite only being released a few days ago. Any suggestions, I'm really panicking!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!
      Don't panic! Those both sound like fairly simple problems you can fix yourself.
      (Also, I think when HLJ says "discontinued" they mean "sold out and the manufacturer isn't making any more". Anime figures are usually produced in quite limited runs.)

      The scuff can almost certainly just be painted over.
      I'm not sure about the bubble, though. Can you show me a photo of it? And the scuff too, while you're at it.

      Cheers!
      Sparkey

      Delete
  11. hello i bought a banpresto figure it got a small drop of paint in the shoe any idea on how do i remove this? because if i use acetone i might remove the shoe paint aswell thanks

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    Replies
    1. Yo!
      There are three ways you can address this issue:

      1. Use the acetone and then, if the paint on the shoe is damaged (it probably will be), repaint that area of the shoe.

      2. This one is a lot like the article above describes: use some very fine sandpaper to scrape off the erroneous paint. This method could work cleanly, or it may leave some kind of blemish (some left-over wrong-color paint or maybe a scratch in the shoe paint). If that happens, you can paint over the blemish to make it look neat again.

      3. Just paint over the drop of paint with some acrylic paints. See here: http://figurefixer.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/small-paint-touch-ups-made-invisible.html

      Any way you look at it, there's a good chance you'll need to repaint.
      However, if the drop of erroneous paint is lumpy, I recommend method 2.

      I hope that helps!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

      Delete
  12. Dear Ms. Davis,
    Nice post! From reading about your knowledge on handling different defects in your post and replies to other's comments, I would like your thoughts on how to remove the three defects on this figure:
    http://postimg.org/image/6n71g9yo1/

    As you can see there are two black spots on her face, 1 well above the nose and 1 below the mouth. I have tried to lightly chip it off with a toothpick but it seems the paint has already settled in. Another problem is the presence of extra, dried glue on her lips. It would be great if you could offer some suggestions to remove these peculiarities.

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    1. Hello, Unknown.

      Thanks for your confidence in my abilities!
      From the picture, it looks as if the two black dots could be removed easily enough with some fine sandpaper or a fine file.

      As for the glue, I think it might actually be "lip gloss". If you look closely at the sample photos for that figure on AmiAmi, you can make out a faint shiny spot on her lip from certain angles.

      If you still want to remove it, I'd recommend trying the sandpaper on that as well. At least if you can't get it all off, sanding it down will take the shine off it and it won't be so obvious. Just be careful of the paint at the edges of the mouth. You wouldn't want to sand that off as well!

      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Dear Ms. Davis,
      Thank you for your reply! Actually I have tried to remove those dots but it seems that they are not protrusions, but instead what seems to be paint blemishes. Is sandpaper also a viable option if they are paint blemishes?
      Best Regards,
      Kirk Cheng

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    4. I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean by "paint blemishes".
      Saber's skin is an unpainted surface. If the dots are paint of any kind, you should be able to sandpaper them off the plastic.
      If they're embedded in the plastic itself then you've no such luck. I'm afraid I don't know how to get rid of them if that's the case.

      Delete
    5. That said, the dots are very small. Maybe you could just convince yourself they were freckles and leave them on.

      Delete
  13. Hi, I want to ask about my Yami figure -- when I tried to remove some black dot on the face, it seems that my fingers left some sort of mark on the face (only visible when under light) -- before the figure did not reflect light but now when there is light shine on it, the face seems to reflect the light. I want to ask if it is because the paint is actually not dry yet or of another reason

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hello!
      It's unclear from your question whether you painted over the dot or tried to rub it off.
      If you *painted* the dot, then it's likely that the paint you used is just a shiny type of paint.

      If you just tried to rub the dot off with your hand, then this is probably the issue:
      Many figures have a matte texture, which is made by a slightly rough surface on the plastic – if one were to look at that surface under a microscope, one would see lots of tiny hills and valleys.
      Sometimes, if you rub the plastic, you flatten off those hills and valleys and the plastic looks shiny.
      To make it matte again, try rubbing it gently with some extra-fine sandpaper. This will make tiny scratches in the plastic and restore its matte look.

      I hope that helps!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    2. Hello, I tried use the sandpaper but seems like it did not really work -- could it be that a layer of paint came off -- when I rubbed it with my finger? The paint on the face seems to gleam after something contact the surface as you said

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    3. Hello again!
      I doubt that this has anything to do with paint, since the skin parts on figures are almost always made from bare plastic.
      Secondly, it's extremely unlikely that you could have rubbed off the paint with your bare finger.
      If your finger was slightly greasy, the spot might go away if you wash the figure's face gently with soap and water - don't rub the spot too hard. You might make it worse.

      If that doesn't work, could you show me a photo of the figure? Or at least tell me exactly what figure you have?

      Cheers!

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    4. Hi, http://postimg.org/image/qcl74hhvl/
      perhaps I rubbed off the paint on the blush on her cheek or damaged the plastic...
      The surfaces which seem to reflect light only do so after some sort of contact either with my finger or with a small file which I have used to remove other paint problems.
      Thanks for the advice!

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    5. Hi!
      Thanks for the photo.
      The only thing I can suggest that might fix this is, as I said, sandpaper. Please note that it's important to use the right *type* of sandpaper. The kind I use comes from Asian Ball Jointed Doll companies, and from Polymer Jewellery supply stores. It is especially made for polishing plastics to a matte finish.

      On a side note, I will say that the mark is fairly inconspicuous. Maybe you should just acknowledge that nothing in the macroscopic world is truly perfect and leave it as it is.
      I myself have many figures with marks and blemishes in my collection. Once upon a time, those tiny imperfections bothered me too, but eventually I learned to enjoy my figure collection despite them.
      (Though I also learned the hard way not to rub my fingers on the bare plastic parts!!)

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  14. Anyway to get to clear the cloudy Gem on Snow Miku nendoroid 2012?

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    1. Hello!
      I'm sorry, but I don't think there's any way to change the plastic from cloudy to clear.
      But the cloudy gem looks alright anyway, IMO. I had it on display in my collection for several years. Besides, GSC sent replacement parts to everyone who ordered Snow Miku 2012. Don't you have the replacement gem?

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    2. Sadly no, I bought in 2014 from a store that didn't offer replacement parts. I bought two and neither has a nice clear gem oh well they still look nice (They are not bootlegs)

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    3. Yeah, the cloudy gem is nice. In some ways it's more interesting than the clear one, because it looks frosty, like it's made of ice.

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  15. Hello, I wonder if you can help me with my problem. I bought a Medicos Rohan Kishibe action figure and it came with this paint stain on the tip of his nose: http://i.imgur.com/TiJ9FCu.jpg it looks so bad and it ruins any close-up photos of him. Is there a way to fix it? By the way, it seems that the face skin is fully painted, and only that spot of "paint" is shiny, while the rrst of the face is matte.

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    1. Whoo! That's the funniest looking paint mark I've ever seen!
      It looks bad, but I don't think it should be too hard to fix.
      If I had this problem, I'd get hold of a very fine file (such as the type used to give a matte finish to polymer clay jewellery... you can buy this kind of thing online or from hobby stores. They often look like emery boards. HLJ sells a few different types), and carefully smooth down the edges of the spot so it blends in with the rest of his face and it's not so obvious.
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    2. Hello, I want to say that I tried your advice and it worked! I used a very soft nail file I have and smoothed the edges of the paint stain and it got a lot better. There is color difference still in that spot but the edges are smooth and it is barely noticeable now, unless you take a close up photo with direct light like this:
      http://s22.postimg.org/p886p33td/IMG_20160416_151936.jpg
      But otherwise it looks a lot better. I'm scared of using the file more because the nose paint may came off, but if I find a more fine file like the ones you mentioned I'll try to smooth it more. Thanks for your help!

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    3. Hello! Thanks for writing back!
      It's always gratifying to know when my methods work!
      If you can only really notice it in harsh light, maybe you should just leave well alone.
      Cheerio!
      Sparkey

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  16. How would yo go about fixing and filling in semi deep dents or scratches on the these types of figures or larger scale figures? (like the face or legs)

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    1. Hi!
      That's a tricky one. Can you show me some photos?

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  17. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with this topic - it's actually hard to find a lot of information on the internet to guide me in my conundrum. I've recently acquired a Banpresto Shin Godzilla figure and it arrived with some cream-colored paint where it's not supposed to be. Do I try and 'pick' it off or do you think it would be better to touch it up with a toothpick and some black paint?

    Some pictures: http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/ad203/mjbdesign2300/IMG_0345_zpsmrtrxfsp.jpg and http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/ad203/mjbdesign2300/IMG_0342_zpsnz3cwspm.jpg

    I'd really appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! Thanks for writing!
      In your case, I would recommend scraping/picking off as much as you can, and then painting over it.
      I don't think black paint on its own will blend in however. You should probably mix in a little red paint as well. Have a look at this page for more info on painting over blemishes:
      http://figurefixer.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/small-paint-touch-ups-made-invisible.html

      I hope that helps!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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    2. Thank you! I used a little Vallejo black primer after scraping just to see how it'd go: http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/ad203/mjbdesign2300/IMG_0351_zpsmsxmtib1.jpg

      Not too bad! Thank you again for the advice!

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    3. Oh, hey! Thanks for showing me a pic of the repair! I think you're the first person to have done that.
      It looks good!
      I'm really glad I could help!

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  18. Hi Sparkey Davis,

    I was reading through your guide and comments and decided to ultimately just ask what your opinion would be for the following issue I'm dealing with:

    I bought a figurine not too long ago and noticed that there was a bit of shine on one part (specifically: an arm) while the rest was a matte finish. Here's are a few pictures: [note: pics are NSFW -- if need be, I will re-take them to make them SFW]

    https://postimg.org/image/hm67m4lh5/
    https://postimg.org/image/85e6vajrv/
    https://postimg.org/image/jmsu9ro89/


    I was wondering what your advice would be when trying to restore the matte finish. I read that using extra fine sandpaper or Liquitex Matte Medium (both from the comments + guide) are two possible avenues, but maybe one option is better than the other for this particular issue?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for your question!

      I would definitely go with the extra-fine sandpaper in your case, since the arm doesn't have a finish on it.

      To explain: From the photos it looks like the problem area is bare plastic. Skin is usually made that way, since it has a more realistic look than paint. I would only ever use a matte lacquer over a painted area.

      Best of luck!
      Cheers!
      Sparkey

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