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Doug Sundseth

Reducing the flexibility of Bones figures

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I think that EtOH might not be as good a solvent for the plasticizer as the IPA, but it's a good thing to try anyway.

 

Tonight I tried painting on one of the Hordelings that I treated a couple of days ago. I don't see any difference in surface consistency or paint adhesion and I also don't see any cosmetic damage from the IPA.

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Looking forward to seeing more results from this thread. I've been passing on info to some other forums I post on.

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Day 7:  I've left it for a week, and I'm finally starting to see some difference between the test and control figures.  Overall flexibility of the test ghast is only slightly down -- the ankles in particular are still as flexible in the test as the control.  Where I'm seeing the greatest difference is in the thinner areas.  The fingers are less flexible, and the raised flash around the mold lines are now hardened sharp ridges.

 

That's in line with what Doug has said -- that the leaching of plasticizer would be mostly from surface areas, and that the EToH would not be as active a solvent as the IPA.

 

My takeaway?  This method could be used to harden thin volumes like swords, but for stiffening thick flexible areas, like a dragon's leg, you might be better served warming the model and pushing a pin up through it.

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I have forgotten Bones 1 figures in Simple Green for long periods of time (couple weeks?!) with similar results.  These were painted by my kids and then thrown back into their Bones bin so I haven't reproduced the experiment on purpose but keep meaning to.  Main reason is wondering if the mold lines would be easier to remove and find once they were harder.  

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Dropped a CAV Tsuiseki (72242, looks like it was designed after an A-10) in IPA last night. The untreated Tsuiseki has very floppy wings and vertical stabilizers and is now quite a bit more rigid. No problems in painting so far (finished the Hordeling set a couple of days ago).

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Nothing serious, which would probably require testing to destruction. But I have flexed the stiffened plastic and haven't seen any cracking or deterioration. The Hordelings still flex at the ankles, just not as much as before.

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I'll have to try this on the pathfinder goblins. It'd be cool if they were less wobbly.

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Seeing your preliminary results, it's not so much as the minis become "more rigid" as much as "less floppy". As if your IPA bath leaches out the excess plasticizers, making Bones figures sufficiently stiff on the surface, while still soft and shock resistant in the center.

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3 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

Seeing your preliminary results, it's not so much as the minis become "more rigid" as much as "less floppy". As if your IPA bath leaches out the excess plasticizers, making Bones figures sufficiently stiff on the surface, while still soft and shock resistant in the center.

 

Much the same way that a Bones figure can become less floppy, once its primed, painted and sealed.  That paint layer stiffens it up.

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47 minutes ago, Grumpy Cave Bear said:

 

Much the same way that a Bones figure can become less floppy, once its primed, painted and sealed.  That paint layer stiffens it up.

 

Seems to be noticeably more than that with the thin parts of really floppy figures. But generally yes.

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Update:  I pulled the EToH submerged ghoul out late Monday, ending the test at two weeks (14 days).  By then, the EToH ghoul was noticeably firmer than the Bones II control ghoul, and about as firm as the Bones I ghoul that I had.

 

Then I restarted the test with a ghoul submersed in 70% IPA (what I had on hand, borrowed from the medicine cabinet supply).  Now at only Day 2, the IPA ghoul is already about halfway between the firmness of the Bones II control and the EToH submerged ghoul.

 

I've also started a test for the fifth ghoul -- soaking in pine oil cleaner.  I had left a dwarf mini soaking in the pine oil to remove some paint and had forgotten it for over a month, and it had come out of the bath with the nearly the same firmness as styrene plastic.  I'm trying to reproduce that as part of the test, but with little luck so far: On day 2, the pine oil ghoul shows no observable change in firmness.

 

So far, the IPA does appear to be the best for hardening Bones miniatures.

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So, I saw the ghast sitting in the ipa at my desk and suddenly remembered this experiment.  It was almost foiled when I realized I had moved my control figures and couldn't find them!

 

Day 29 results:  

 

Figure soaked in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) 70% is now nearly as hard as the figure soaked in denatured alcohol (EToH).  Despite early promising results, it did not, contrary to my expectations, get firmer than the EToH-soaked one.  This could possibly be due to the differing concentrations of the two alcohols.

 

Figure soaked in pine oil cleaner (normally used for stripping paint):  Test failure.  No change in firmness.  Instead, the figure is just stained yellow and smells like a pine scented ornament.

 

For reference more than anything, here's a picture of the figures I'ever been using:

 

593883929563b_Reducingbonesflexghastresults1.JPG.7377ce66570e083bec0ec7b80fbe9748.JPG

 

Now to let the two new test subjects sit and outgas for a few days.  My theory is that as the solvents leached out the plasticiser, they've displaced it, and the figures may harden further as the solvents evaporate.

 

(9)

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