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Restoration HELP NEEDED


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33 replies to this topic  – Started by legolooney , Jan 14 2010 11:08 PM

#1 legolooney

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:08 PM

Hi guys,

My friend was chucking out some old LEGO and, knowing my obsession, offered his collection to me. I of course accepted expecting a few basic bricks and some tattered instructions.

Instead i got a variety of sets that he had kept separated including quite a few old pirate sets. The best being a Caribbean Clipper. :pir-cry_happy:

On closer inspection i found that nearly every brick from the Caribbean Clipper was either dirty or extremely faded. :pir-hmpf:

All Pieces
Posted Image
As you can, most of the pieces are very faded. I don think  you can cure fade...

Hull colour Comparison
Posted Image
This is fade, not dust which is extremely upsetting.

Faded Bricks

Here are some more shots of some faded parts, it brings a tear to the eye... :pir_bawling:
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


Of course the first thing i did was soak all the pieces in warm soapy water.
Posted Image

I will now do a piece count and build what i can of the model

Watch this space...

Here are my questions...
1. Is there any way to fix faded bricks?
2. Can you wash and iron sails, if so what is the best way?
3. What are the best Cleaning products to use on LEGO?

If you need a closer inspection, Large High Quality photos are available on my Flickrpage.

Thanks in advance :pir-classic:

#2 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:52 PM

I can't help you with your questions, but I see a big plus from this: If you can't tidy these parts up, imagine what an awesome ghost ship you'll be able to build with these parts!

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#3 Scouty

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:42 AM

I don't think they're faded. I don't see how they would be or even could be! It seems like they were kept from the sun and placed in a container?
I recall that ABS plastic (especially the good 'ol kind they USED to use)/LEGO bricks can't fade. They can be yellowed, but not faded.

This is a guess, and certainly indicated by the gold paint on the 2x5 brick, that these bricks got coated with something (perhaps thinner?) that bound with the parts and produced these horrible results.

Hopefully you can find the cause of the problem, so that you can find the answer to the problem :pir-classic:

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#4 curtisrlee

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:02 AM

Wow, how about giving it to me and I'll see how I can wreck it up some more fix it!!  :pir-skull:  Just kidding!!!!  :pir_laugh2:

Theres not really much I can help with, but you can try washing the sails with water and then get a phone book (or 2 or 3 or 4) and flatten your sails that way (that is how I do it)  :pir-classic:
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#5 Aquila D'oro

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:20 AM

do you know what those stains remind me of... that white stuff that forms on chocolate after a while in the fridge :pir_laugh2:
anyway i hope this info helps:

1) i've had similar marks like that on  lego parts/ship hulls i dont think they are permenant as they look - i would recommend getting an old toothbrush and scrubbing it with a little bit of water  :pir-classic:  from my experience they have come up like new -  i did a whole SES brick by brick  :jollyroger:
also note... the the hull section is "old brown" rather than the new fangled colour nonsense lego produces these days  :pir-tongue:

2) as for sails i tried a combo of products; firstly i soaked them in highly concentrated Omo front loader washing detergent, i've also used stain removers like "preen" or "sard - oxy action" but i think the omo/washing detergent works the best.

Note: when i mean concentrated i mean get a shallow plate/dish put in about a table spoon or 2 of deterergent and a small amount of warm water (just enough to dissolve the detergent and cover the sails) have the sails soak in that for an hour or so, also give them a gentle rub and turn them over evey little while.
They will need to be quite thoroughly rinsed to get rid of the detergent.

Be warned though you may get some frayed edges (leave them! dont cut them because they can be set back in place)

3) not sure about best detergents for the bricks sadly - i'd just go with the tooth brush as its not chemically abrasive.
i dont recomend trying anything thats too abrasive in general, i had some faded white bricks and the only real way to fix it was to take off the top layer; i used very fine sand paper/polish which worked but i couldnt to get the shiney lego finish back = had to get new bits  :pir-hmpf_bad:  lesson learned

i dont think there are any issues with ironing sails, though i would use a clean white cloth on top of the sail to seperate it from direct contact with the iron itself (however this may just be my iron which seems to leave marks on things)

Edited by Aquila D'oro, 15 January 2010 - 05:24 AM.

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#6 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 04:13 AM

I have had a lot of luck with cleaning sails in the dishwasher.
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#7 AhabDarab

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:27 AM

If I had to guess, I'd say that they look like they were played with in either a bathtub for an extended period of time (soap scum) or in a chlorinated pool(ouch).

I wouldn't be surprised if it was soap scum. The fats in soap can bond to the plastic very firmly. Think of a plastic bowl that has a stain or an odor. It can be removed, but I wouldn't be able to give advice do it with Lego.

I do wish you the best of luck though.


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#8 Grrr

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:44 AM

I think the previous posters are right when they suggested bath damage (soup, chlorine etc).

I'd suggest dismantling one of the hulls to see if the effect is on the inside too, or not.

If it is, then it's definately been damaged with water, but it provides you with a large surface to test things on withou a permanent visible effect once re-assembled.

Did the detergent you soaked it in make any difference?

Poor parts  :pir_bawling:

#9 RichardD

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:16 AM

The bricks don't have the usual "tide marks" tat you would get if they were exposed to something (the usual culprit is sunlight, but not in this case) while they were assembled.  What happened to them looks like it happened while they were unassembled.  So my guess is that they've been subjected to a cack-handed attempt to clean them in something that was bad for them.

How is the binding strength of the bricks?  Do any of them appear to have gone brittle?

#10 martinsuper

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 02:21 PM

I would suggest as others have, to put her together as is and enjoy your "weathered" looking clipper. By now she is an old gal indeed, and maybe the aged look suits her fine?

I will be honest and say I have two very new looking clippers and wouldnt mind a faided one, ESPECIALLY at the price you got it for!!!  :pir_laugh2:

If you need any other clipper help, please don't hesitate to contact me for anything. It's one of my favorite ships, and after I striggled to buy the first one, the second one came in a package deal for me.

Good luck ole blue coat buddy!

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#11 Ratshot

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:11 PM

View Postlegolooney, on Jan 14 2010, 07:08 PM, said:

Of course the first thing i did was soak all the pieces in warm soapy water.
Posted Image
Don't EVER soak your bricks in warm/hot soapy water, they expand, causing them to lose there grip. Wash them in cold/room temperature water.
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#12 jamtf

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

View PostRatshot, on Jan 15 2010, 07:11 PM, said:

Don't EVER soak your bricks in warm/hot soapy water, they expand, causing them to lose there grip. Wash them in cold/room temperature water.
TAKE MY ADVICE OR YOU'LL BE SORRY!

I never had that problem and I have washed numerous bricks in hot water with added soap. In hot water they may expand a little but not that much. Of course, when they are taken out of the water to cool down, everything should be back to normal again.
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#13 Ratshot

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:43 PM

View Postjamtf, on Jan 15 2010, 04:39 PM, said:

I never had that problem and I have washed numerous bricks in hot water with added soap. In hot water they may expand a little but not that much. Of course, when they are taken out of the water to cool down, everything should be back to normal again.
Then read this. There talking about the Caribbean Clipper as well.


View PostImperialScouts, on Dec 17 2006, 11:34 PM, said:

The pieces were so incredibly dusty and dirty, I had to clean them, had to. So, I soaked them in hot soapy water for fourty five minutes to an hour. Then individually brushed every...single...piece till it was clean. That took me another 20-45 minutes. Overall, the washing made the bricks look squecky and shiny clean, but unfortunately, I think they may have expanded or something because the pieces don't stay on very well. Some of them stay, but some aren't so the ship is fragile Posted Image. Also, my sails got wet and are pretty dirty, but they still look ok. From afar atleast, if your really close they're not so nice. Anyway great review! A 5.....out of 5.

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#14 Legorski

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:13 PM

Ahhhh! My eyes burn! Lego in such a bad state! DX
I can't stand such a sight!

#15 Jack Bricker

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:19 PM

First of all I would wash the bricks in warm soapy water.  I would be very careful not to let the water get too warm.  Sometimes when plastics are stored in plastic bags it can effect the chemical compound of the plastic thus causing discoloration or it could be something dirty, like food, got on the parts.  I would wash them very carefully and make sure they are clean.  If none of this works there is always bricklink.  Hope that this helps. :pir-classic:

#16 Scouty

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:53 PM

View PostRatshot, on Jan 15 2010, 02:43 PM, said:

Then read this. There talking about the Caribbean Clipper as well.

Yes, it wasn't such a great idea. The pieces aren't ruined, though, they just lost the grip with each other. They seem to work OK with other pieces. HOWEVER, further in that thread, I also put them in freezing water and found that they did shrink (a little). While this will get them more to their original shape, it might make them brittle. Maybe not, though, mine have not yet broken (phew!)

You should ask your friend what he did with them or where he stored them that made them look like this.

Also!

I had mold on my sails. Those weren't so nice. The sails looked OK after cleaning and intense scrubbing, though. Yours are in much better shape!
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#17 jamtf

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:20 AM

View PostImperialScouts, on Jan 15 2010, 10:53 PM, said:

Yes, it wasn't such a great idea. The pieces aren't ruined, though, they just lost the grip with each other. They seem to work OK with other pieces. HOWEVER, further in that thread, I also put them in freezing water and found that they did shrink (a little). While this will get them more to their original shape, it might make them brittle. Maybe not, though, mine have not yet broken (phew!)

Like I said, I never had this problem. Maybe the bricks have lost their grip as a result of their age and normal playwear and them being used over and over again, time after time. I recently "restored" a Lego Western 6716 Covered Wagon (set from 1996 and not that much older compared to the early 1990s Lego 6274 Caribbean Clipper set). All the bricks have been washed in warm water with soap and dried afterwards. The set is now standing on my desk (built) as I am writing this and it is in excellent shape again. No problem with bricks or plates that do not hold or whatsoever.

Some people use dishwashers or normal washing machines after putting the bricks in a towel or something to hold them together. This is also done with hot water at a 30 or 60 degree washing programme. I have never done this myself but some say that the results are quite good (clean and nicely conditioned bricks that can be used again for building purposes).

Edited by jamtf, 16 January 2010 - 11:21 AM.

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#18 Rick

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:26 AM

As I said in some other topic on the same issue, Lego boats (like my 4025) used to have a 'maximum 40oC' in their instruction manuals. That would lead me to think that anything up to that temperature is 'safe' for your bricks. My mom has - at least once - washed my childhood Lego in a washing machine and if anything they grip much better than current bricks and plates.

#19 funkybrick

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:32 PM

You can definitely iron sails or other lego canvas, but I've got no idea whether you can wash them or not!

#20 legolooney

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:02 PM

WOW, thanks for all the replies guys.

the soaking didn't do anything - good or bad

I think it is fade because i found 2 pieces still connected and when i separated them they were perfectly coloured underneath.

I've now built the boat, there are several missing pieces and the main flag's clip is snapped.

I have decided to start buying replacement parts on bricklink, i will probably end up buying the whole thing in replacements

If anyone is interested i'd be happy to sell the set at a very low price.

#21 Lorentzen

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:06 PM

View Postlegolooney, on Jan 16 2010, 08:02 PM, said:

WOW, thanks for all the replies guys.

the soaking didn't do anything - good or bad

I think it is fade because i found 2 pieces still connected and when i separated them they were perfectly coloured underneath.

I've now built the boat, there are several missing pieces and the main flag's clip is snapped.

I have decided to start buying replacement parts on bricklink, i will probably end up buying the whole thing in replacements

If anyone is interested i'd be happy to sell the set at a very low price.

I think it's cheaper to buy the ship as a complete set.

Ship hulls, masts, and the sails are pretty expensive, and if you on top of that also buy all the other bricks my guess is that the total is more expensive than a complete CC from eBay
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#22 Ratshot

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:08 PM

You might have to replace it piece by piece using Bricklink, that what I recommend.

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#23 Lorentzen

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:27 PM

View PostRatshot, on Jan 16 2010, 09:08 PM, said:

You might have to replace it piece by piece using Bricklink, that what I recommend.

Won't that become more expensive than buying a complete CC on eBay?

I sat yesterday and tried to bricklink as many Black Seas Barracuda parts as possible from one seller, just to check out if it could be done.

When I came to 100 dollars I stopped, and at that time I still needed to find 3 of the sails, two of the middle section hulls, all the minifigs, barrel, many of the "wings/wedges", all the biggest of the plates, the flags and the figure head. Plus a few somewhat regular bricks
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#24 Captain Genaro

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 04:17 AM

View Postlegolooney, on Jan 16 2010, 08:02 PM, said:

WOW, thanks for all the replies guys.


I think it is fade because i found 2 pieces still connected and when i separated them they were perfectly coloured underneath.

If anyone is interested i'd be happy to sell the set at a very low price.

This could still be because of bath soap, if it was in water with soap while connected, only the sides would be damaged. ( if that makes sence :pir_laugh2: )
Secondly, I am interested in buying, if you could PM me more info that would be great. :pir-classic:

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#25 curtisrlee

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 06:48 AM

How about painting them back up again?  :pir-classic:  
The idea just popped up in me head suddenly  :pir_laugh2:

Spray paint?  :jollyroger:
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