One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

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One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby Archon Revuge » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:26 am

My modelling skills are still pretty fledgling, but I recently added a new resource to my arsenal: Humbrol weathering powder. Around the same time I noticed that, despite being kept out of direct sunlight, one of my favourite figures - a Vintage Collection R2-D2 - had succumbed to the dreaded plastic yellowing. I decided to dirty him up a bit using some of the aforementioned powder, and I'm really happy with the results. The yellowing has been completely incorporated into the weathering, and the added grime brings out a lot of details in this figure that weren't as prominent when he was entirely clean.

Unfortunately, photos don't show off the finer shading of the weathering all that well - but hopefully you'll get the idea. You can read more about my process here.
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby batmanreturns » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:50 pm

hiding the yellowing using paint is one way to solve this issue yes.

if you have vintage figures etc,and want to use a technique that works properly,i can suggest the method i have used in the past.

you will need regular toothpaste [as a medium] and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. [35% h.p]

mix the h.p with the toothpaste to create a thickish paste,and apply the mix to the figures yellowed parts with a small brush.
put the piece in direct sunlight for at least 30 minutes,wash off,then re-apply the mix if you need to.
note that hydrogen peroxide is corrosive to skin,so use gloves and use with caution.
i have never seen this mix damage the plastic on the figures by the way.

i was able to completely restore my vintage figures that had yellowed with this method. several applications were required usually,
but the end result was very pleasing.
this technique works, hope this helps.

cheers.
"never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. if people all over the world would do this....it would change the earth." -w.faulkner.
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby MattG » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:18 pm

Your weathering looks nice Archon. :)

I personally haven't gotten around to experimenting with peroxide myself (mainly because I haven't found an immediately convenient source of the right concentration). Each approach serves a different goal and preference, I guess.
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby Archon Revuge » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:23 am

batmanreturns wrote:i was able to completely restore my vintage figures that had yellowed with this method. several applications were required usually,
but the end result was very pleasing.
this technique works, hope this helps.

Thanks for the heads up on this! I've got several other yellowing figures that wouldn't really be suited to the "cover it up with weathering" technique, so I may have to give the approach you suggested a try...
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby batmanreturns » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:45 pm

cheers archon,
the weathering on your figure looks really good,as matt said.

i use h.p on an almost daily basis in my work,so i understand the chemistry behind it.
the h.p bombards the plastic with oxygen molecules, but as a chemical,is neither acidic nor alkili, so it usually wont
damage plastics [unless its over-applied]

the toothpaste needs to be mixed in as a medium only,and the idea is to get as much h.p in the mix without the batch becoming too thin to apply properly.
also, putting the figure in bright sunlight is vital to the chemical reaction that takes place.
the h.p usually remains active only for around half an hour, after which,it can be washed off,and if you require,another
batch can be made up,and applied.

i source my h.p from hamchem, here in hamilton. the trade name for the product is 'steripure' and the h.p content is about 35%
if memory serves me correctly. [edit: i dont believe it falls under the DG act either (dangerous goods) so should be able to be shipped to you without any issues]
i usually pay $20.00 for a litre.

glad to help,i was eager to put this up here when i saw your thread,as i have tried this technique myself,and reckon the results are
brilliant.

cheers.
"never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. if people all over the world would do this....it would change the earth." -w.faulkner.
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby Archon Revuge » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:26 am

batmanreturns wrote:i use h.p on an almost daily basis in my work,so i understand the chemistry behind it.
the h.p bombards the plastic with oxygen molecules, but as a chemical,is neither acidic nor alkili, so it usually wont
damage plastics [unless its over-applied]

It's great to hear this from someone in the know. While I was aware of this process, I'd always been a little too daunted to try it!
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Re: One way to fix an R2-D2 with yellowing plastic...

Postby batmanreturns » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:53 pm

a while back,i aquired a set of the original [11-12 ?] 1977 kenner figures,with the intention of restoring the set to 'as new'
condition.
i had the opinion that i would have to live with the yellowing, so the discovery of this method was a real 'bolt of lightning' to me.
its a game changer i reckon.

i have used this method on my vintage collection of nintendo game & watch games also,with the same epic results.

also of note: the method didnt seem to upset,or affect the other paint colors on the vintage figures.
anyways,i have exhausted any further useful input from myself into this thread, thankyou for putting up the subject, i have been very keen to share this info since discovering it myself.

stay groovy, MTFBWY.
"never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. if people all over the world would do this....it would change the earth." -w.faulkner.
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