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I'm cleaning up my old sets, and am looking for some tips...


6 replies to this topic  – Started by TalonCard , Jul 15 2007 06:24 AM

#1 TalonCard

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 06:24 AM

Hi all,

Well, I'm finally getting around to cleaning up my old pirate sets (my poor BSB in particular is looking quite shabby) and I wanted to pick up some tips on brick and sail cleanin.  Is there any way to even partially restore yellowed white pieces?  What's the best way to wash sails?  I also noticed someone mentioning ironing the front sail in order to keep it from sagging.  Does it help?  Should I use a particular setting to keep it from burning?

I'd really appreciate any and all help I can get!  :)

TC

#2 jamtf

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:43 PM

View PostTalonCard, on Jul 15 2007, 08:24 AM, said:

Hi all,

Well, I'm finally getting around to cleaning up my old pirate sets (my poor BSB in particular is looking quite shabby) and I wanted to pick up some tips on brick and sail cleanin.  Is there any way to even partially restore yellowed white pieces?  What's the best way to wash sails?  I also noticed someone mentioning ironing the front sail in order to keep it from sagging.  Does it help?  Should I use a particular setting to keep it from burning?

I'd really appreciate any and all help I can get!  :)

TC

Well, to restore yellowed pieces, my solution would be throwing them into a bowl with bleach only and leave them for a week or so. Do not leave them to long or in the end the gloss will wear off the bricks but keeping them floating in a bowl with bleach will most likely do the trick and it will certainly enhance some of the yellowed bricks. Some bricks however can not be restored. I once had a white police station that was heavily yellowed. I could not restore it back since the pieces were too yellowed but most of the time, I get good results with this treatment.

I have no experience washing sails so I am not going to comment on that. Ironing is a good way to stiffen them again however.
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#3 Berry Syedow

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 06:42 PM

View Postjamtf, on Jul 15 2007, 05:43 AM, said:

Well, to restore yellowed pieces, my solution would be throwing them into a bowl with bleach only and leave them for a week or so. Do not leave them to long or in the end the gloss will wear off the bricks but keeping them floating in a bowl with bleach will most likely do the trick and it will certainly enhance some of the yellowed bricks. Some bricks however can not be restored. I once had a white police station that was heavily yellowed. I could not restore it back since the pieces were too yellowed but most of the time, I get good results with this treatment.

I have no experience washing sails so I am not going to comment on that. Ironing is a good way to stiffen them again however.
I've also heard that leaving yellowed bricks before the sun can help restore their color.  If they're left in front o' the sun for too long the bricks may become brittle.

To clean bricks, fill a sink/bathtub/plastic compartment with lukewarm soapy water.  Let the bricks sit for a good 15-30 minutes.  Consider using a cleaning tool on parts that have grime and other "stuff" caked onto them.  I've used a toothbrush to clean particularly dirty stuff that didn't want to come off, but be forewarned!  Toothbrushes can scratch up bricks pretty badly, depending on how hard you apply pressure.

I've also heard that some polishers like "brasso" can help smoothen scratched up surfaces.  I've never messed with the stuff myself.  Anyone else have any experience with it?

#4 Mister Phes

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 02:58 AM

View PostTalonCard, on Jul 15 2007, 04:24 PM, said:

Well, I'm finally getting around to cleaning up my old pirate sets (my poor BSB in particular is looking quite shabby) and I wanted to pick up some tips on brick and sail cleanin.  Is there any way to even partially restore yellowed white pieces?
Do you have pictures of your sails Mr Card?  It would be interesting to see how discoloured they are.


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#5 TalonCard

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 04:45 AM

View PostMister Phes, on Jul 16 2007, 09:58 PM, said:

Do you have pictures of your sails Mr Card?  It would be interesting to see how discoloured they are.

I'll post some when I can track down all the sails.  The Armada Flagship, Red Beard Runner, and the Renegade Runner are my biggest concerns; they saw heavy play use and at one point I attempted to put their sails in the washing machine (NOT recommended; they came out even more tattered, albeit very clean).  Has anyone tried hand-washing their sails?

The BSB is in better shape, actually, it just looks bad as it is very, very dusty.  I bought that one as a reissue in 2003 (a childhood dream coming true at last!) and I was VERY careful with the sails.  I applied some kind of protective anti-fray solution (can't remember what; I'll have to find out) right after I built the model.  The sails seem a little faded (I unwisely displayed it under a window for a few years) but this may just be the amount of dust on them.  The front sail is very wrinkled, though, and I can't wait to iron it out so it looks better.  Do I use the lowest possible setting?  I might try putting it inbetween some towels or shirts to avoid burning; I wonder if that would work...

Thanks for the whitening tips; they should be very useful in cleaning up the Armada and Soldier sets.  I'll dig up an old toothbrush for scrubbing.

Now; how about those printed pieces?  Maps, flags, minfigs, Sabre Island walls...  Should I avoid soaking those?

TC

Edited by TalonCard, 17 July 2007 - 04:49 AM.


#6 Mister Phes

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 04:43 AM

For the printed pieces like the maps, flags, etc.  you could try gently cleaning them with a tooth brush and some warm water.


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#7 gylman

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 04:48 AM

I used to use bleach, but now use hydrogen peroxide. It takes a bit longer (1-2 weeks in 10% solution) but bleach DEFINITELY makes your bricks brittle and H2O2 does not seem to.



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