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Lead Rot


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Lead rot is definitely white and can look a lot like a miniature with dandruff. Blackening or browning of an old figure is a sort of surface corrosion but doesn't damage the miniature's structure. It's not the same thing as lead rot, but a lot of people think it is.


Once lead rot starts, it never stops, but it can be slowed down. Lead rot isn't THAT easy to start, however, as it requires many years in a high humidity, sealed environment (IE, a display case that isn't properly ventilated). "Keeping old miniatures in a low-humidity environment with regular air circulation" is the general consensus on how to prevent it from occurring.


Most miniatures made today are done so with lead-free pewter, which is no danger whatsoever of being subjected to lead rot. Chainmail figures are lead-free pewter.


The yellowish discoloration (or yellow with subtle purple and red overtones) you see on modern miniatures is often due to the pewter being overheated when the miniature was cast. It can also happen when the heat reacts with the release agent (such as talc). It's not really a problem at all.


We had a long discussion on lead rot on the Citadel collecting list a few months ago. There were several really good links from it discussing lead rot, but alas, the thread is buried and Yahoo search is ... well, crap.


Anyway, hope that info helps.



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