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Mold on Minis?? - Advice Wanted


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Couldn't find a better thread to post this in.  Has anyone else ever had mold grow on their minis?

 

I have a set of bones that have been sitting around for about two year. They were super glued to a reaper base. Baking soda and super glue were used to blend the integrated base into the round base. There's also a layer of cheap craft paint as primer.

 

These guys have been sitting on my painting table in a former sun-room for about two years. 

 

I noticed the bases had yellowed a bit, which I've begun to notice on some of my other older bases using baking soda as a basing material. But when I checked on them I noticed small fuzzy looking orange tufts. 

 

I can only assume this is mold.

 

The only things I could think of to cause this are the baking soda or the water used to clean my brush before priming. 

 

Has anyone else seen this?

 

 

IMG_20210407_203450868.jpg

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I've never seen this before. While baking soda will yellow over time, I'd be surprised if this is mold caused by the baking soda as that chemical can be used to prevent mold growth. When you blended the base, you put baking soda down first, then super glue on top of that? Or did you do the reverse (or some other order)?

 

If it is mold, there are ways to clean/kill it, but safety is a factor depending on how you did the baking soda blending, so I'll wait til I get more info from you.

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I had some powdery white mold on a couple of Bones figures last year. They had been painted but not sealed.  But then, I had mold growing all over my basement before it was gutted and remodeled.  I washed with soap and hot water, used a toothbrush to scrub. It stripped some paint but I wasn't concerned about it. 

 

Mold spores float in the air. When they find a place to grow, they do.  They only need moisture and a thin biofilm of organic material, like dust, dirt or what might rub off your fingers from touching it. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ManvsMini said:

I've never seen this before. While baking soda will yellow over time, I'd be surprised if this is mold caused by the baking soda as that chemical can be used to prevent mold growth. When you blended the base, you put baking soda down first, then super glue on top of that? Or did you do the reverse (or some other order)?

 

If it is mold, there are ways to clean/kill it, but safety is a factor depending on how you did the baking soda blending, so I'll wait til I get more info from you.

 

I believe I put glue down first, sprinkled with baking soda.  The only other possible sources of mold I could think of would be my wet palette or my water cup.  But I don't think I was using a wet palette at the time these minis were prepped and abandoned.  And I have changed both palette and cup several times over.  Nothing else in my painting space seems to be affected by the mold (at least nothing else I have noticed).  Interestingly, there's another mini that was prepped and abandoned with the same bunch, but I used green stuff on his base.  No signs of mold there.  However, the green stuff does cover the area between the mini and the base where I had originally glued it.  So no way to tell for sure that there isn't something there.

I'm also not too worried about stripping off any paint or any other minimal damage.  These have been sitting around for so long that they aren't to my standards for prep anyways and need a bit of attention.  Just want to make sure I take care of it properly to prevent regrowth or spread onto things I do care about.

 

13 hours ago, cmorse said:

I've had some Bones with just Reaper paint on them end up with a layer of fine white mold. No idea why and it was just a couple of them.

 

31 minutes ago, Inarah said:

I had some powdery white mold on a couple of Bones figures last year. They had been painted but not sealed.  But then, I had mold growing all over my basement before it was gutted and remodeled.  I washed with soap and hot water, used a toothbrush to scrub. It stripped some paint but I wasn't concerned about it. 

 

Mold spores float in the air. When they find a place to grow, they do.  They only need moisture and a thin biofilm of organic material, like dust, dirt or what might rub off your fingers from touching it. 

 

I wonder if the lack of sealant is a contributing factor.  These models have been sitting around for about 2 years or so.  That's the only thing different from them and the finished or unstarted minis.  And they're all from the same batch.

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3 hours ago, MoonglowMinis said:

I believe I put glue down first, sprinkled with baking soda. 

I'm also not too worried about stripping off any paint or any other minimal damage.  These have been sitting around for so long that they aren't to my standards for prep anyways and need a bit of attention.  Just want to make sure I take care of it properly to prevent regrowth or spread onto things I do care about.

 

Look up ways to kill mold (and also see if those ways react with super glue). I found that both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are listed, but both will also react with baking soda (and I've never used either to kill mold). The white vinegar will bubble and convert the baking soda into a different compound (it's the classic homemade volcano experiment done by kids), and it generates heat. Not sure how much heat, so not sure if it will damage/warp the Bones.

 

Hydrogen peroxide is also supposed to kill mold, but it also reacts with baking soda; people apparently use the combination to whiten their teeth at home (never done it personally). I would expect lots of bubbling would result.

 

And both of these also react with super glue, so that may soften up as well. Be safe if you use any of this (safety gear and such). Research it further first, don't take my word for any of it. That's my disclaimer; I am just citing some things you can look up to further educate yourself, and make your own choice.

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So I soaked the minis in a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water. I left them for a couple hours. When I came back to them it seemed like the mold had dissolved.

 

I wasn't quite satisfied though so I then took dish soap and a toothbrush to them for extra safety. In the process I scrubbed off most of the original "primer."

 

IMG_20210413_161404560.thumb.jpg.eee212608d728450505e9c33852aa450.jpg

 

At this point the problem seems revolved. After all that trouble and two years of collecting dust, figured I'd reward these guys by finally painting them up.  So hopefully I'll have some finished mold-free minis soon.

 

Thanks for all the advice everyone!

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On 4/7/2021 at 7:35 PM, MoonglowMinis said:

Couldn't find a better thread to post this in.  Has anyone else ever had mold grow on their minis?

Nope.

 

 

On 4/7/2021 at 7:35 PM, MoonglowMinis said:

Has anyone else seen this?

Never.

:wow:

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28 minutes ago, Adrift said:

First, goblins like mold.


Second, paint and seal your minis; nature is trying to tell you to paint more!!!!

 

I’ve never seen anything like this; excellent solution!

I very rarely leave minis half-finished.  Though some of them do get primed and abandoned.  Those had been sitting around the longest, roughly two years.  No other unpainted mini has molded on me.

I don't need mother nature guilting me into painting XD - though it did work.  Those 8 are currently being painted up after the ordeal they went through.  It's only fair.

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I just found 3 Reaper Bones from Bones 1 growing mold - over the entire model.

They were all three painted and sealed at least five years ago, maybe more like 6.

They were in storage cases with other Reaper models that had not been painted and others that had (in the same batch even).

They were from two different sets, painted roughly the same time.

In all cases, inside the case, they were the only ones that grew this white mold.  Nothing they were touching, not even the other Bones models, were moldy.

I have come to believe it has something to do with the hydrophobic nature of the original white Bones reacting to moisture trapped by any spray layers, such as sealant.  Other than that, I have no idea.

I am thinking about selling the several hundred white Bones miniatures now.  These are the only miniatures in my collection of thousands to ever GROW MOLD.

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19 hours ago, Dave Bone said:

I am thinking about selling the several hundred white Bones miniatures now. 

 

That might be a bit of a drastic step if you've only had three develop mold. Are those the only Bones you've painted, or just the ones to show signs of mold?

 

19 hours ago, Dave Bone said:

I have come to believe it has something to do with the hydrophobic nature of the original white Bones reacting to moisture trapped by any spray layers, such as sealant.  Other than that, I have no idea.

 

Polystyrene and most casting resins (once cured) are also hydrophobic, so I doubt that is the root cause of it. Regardless of the material the mini is made from, it can take days to get all of the water fully out of a "dry to the touch" mini and have the paint fully cured. If you're worried about any getting trapped between layers before sealing it, give it a few days in a warm place to evaporate, possibly even hit it with a hair dryer the day you plan to seal it. Ultra-hardcore would be to buy a desiccator and some desiccant and store your minis in that before sealing.

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