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PrincipaleBlogsArticolo #34831

Fixing a cold cast figure (or polystone)

Cold cast resin and polystone are materials that allows for a better level of details than PVC. They also cheaper to use when producing small runs of products. For these reasons, these material are often used for some very high-end figures that are produced in very limited quantities.

However, these materials have a major downside compared to PVC in that they are much harder and thus, they break very easily. Subjected to mechanical stress they promptly snap when PVC would simply bend and then regain its shape.
When PVC does snap, it usually does it quite cleanly and can be glued back together as it is. When CC or PS splits, on the other hand, some of the material around the break usually flies away into shards or powder and some of the paint often gets chipped as well.

Because of this, CC/PS figures (or statues as they're often called) are often in need of repairs that are a bit more complex that the average figure.
I've recently been entrusted with fixing ITEM #2609 for another MFC user and today I'll be describing the repair process.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564872.jpeg

These are the parts that were sent to me for repairs: Zell has 3 broken fingers, the tail of Diabolos has its tip and its "neck" broken and Irvine has his shotgun hand as well as his ponytail broken (that last one broke during shipping despite being very carefully packed, this illustrates how brittle this material is).

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564874.jpeg

First I'll be fixing Zell's fingers and Irvine's hand because they are the cleanest breaks in this job.
I start by applying a very thin layer of superglue on one side of the area I want to fix.
I like liquid superglue over the gel version because it's easier to evenly spread and it sets faster. Here I'm using a needle to precisely apply it.
If I were to put too much glue, it would spill from the sides when I connect the parts and make the repair all messy.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564876.jpeg

After laying the glue I re-attach the fingers. This glue sets very quickly so I must be careful to place the pieces correctly on the first shot or it could end up misaligned. To prevent this, I've practiced finding the correct position/angle of each finger for a few minutes before gluing.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564878.jpeg

Zell can play the piano again but we can see that some of the paint was chipped away when the figure originally broke. We'll come back to fix this later on.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564880.jpeg

Now a trickier case was Irvine's ponytail. As you can see on the picture, it contains some metal wires (copper and brass I'd say) that were supposed to prevent such damage from happening...
The break occurred in the area where the rods are parallel (where the "hat wire" passes the baton to the "hair wire").

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564881.jpeg

This makes the repair more complicated because the copper got warped when the piece broke and the halves don't fit anymore. After gluing, it leaves an unsightly gap that will require filling which will be covered in the next part, Diabolos' tail.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564883.jpeg

The tail also has a wire at the end of which I've already re-glued the fragments I had on hand but as you can see, some of them are missing so we'll need to fill the void.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564885.jpeg

Filling these sort of holes can usually be done with hobby putty but this time I wanted to try a new technique I'd seen from the guys at Tested: superglue mixed with baby powder.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564890.jpeg

It produces a nice cement that I can make thicker with more powder or runnier with more glue. I roughly fill the desired area with it (I do the same on the ponytail).

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564893.jpeg

After it has set, I sand the excess until it's the right shape. If I missed a spot, I make a bit more cement and repeat.
This mix dries much harder than regular hobby putty. I think this is great for cold cast since it somehow matches the hardness of the original material.
I don't think it would be as good for use on PVC though. I anticipate that the difference in hardness would cause the cement to come off the PVC in case of stress. Better stick to good ol' putty in that case.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564894.jpeg

Now that shapes are good, let's get on with the colors.
Here I'll be working with Tamiya acrylic paints. I've readied a lot of them because it's very rare to find the exact color you need right out of the jar and so I'll have to mix them to find the correct tones for each area.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564896.jpeg

In my opinion, THE most important thing to get a color mix right is lighting. Here I'm working under powerful 5500K "daylight" light bulbs, they allow me to see the colors unaltered contrary to regular 2700K "warm" bulbs that turn everything yellow.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564898.jpeg

I need very tiny quantities so I just mix paint on the fly with my brush, I apply it on the piece and compare with the original color next to it. If it doesn't match, I just edit the mix and try again.
I keep doing that, gradually working my way to the exact color.
A nice resource on the subject is this blog article from GSC.

Once I've got the color right, I also need to restore the shine or matte of the area. I could use top coat spray cans but I'm working on very tiny areas so that would be overkill. There is a far greater risk of ruining the finish of some undamaged areas so I'll go for a more surgical approach instead.
If I need to make an area glossier, I simply apply some Tamiya X-22 Clear (diluted). If I need to make it flatter, I wait until the paint is half-dry (dry to the touch but still soft) and gently tap on it repeatedly with my finger. Each tap of my finger "breaks" the shine a bit more and I do that until I'm satisfied with the effect.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564899.jpeg

Now let's get back to the "neck" of the tail for a bit. As we saw previously, there is a wire running down the length of the tail which means that the tail was cracked but the parts were still connected by the wire.
And just like in the case of the ponytail, the wire was warped and prevented me from aligning the parts correctly when gluing. I thought that the paint fixes would somehow camouflage the problem but nope, it still sticks out like a sore thumb.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564902.jpeg

So with the owner's consent I've proceeded to re-sculpt this area using the glue/powder technique once again. The difference this time is that I'm also sanding some original bits that were not broken in the first place. I'm altering the shape of the whole area around the damage in order to give it a more natural look.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/kyoshinhei1509564906.jpeg

Here's the result. Even I can now hardly tell where the crack was ^^


And that's it.
This tutorial covered some of the most common challenges involved when fixing cold cast or polystone figures (and some of it can also be applied to PVC).
If you've ever had to do this sort of fixes and have used other techniques, I'd love to hear about them.
841 hits • 22 commenti

Commenti22 commenti

1pt
OceanRoost (1 mese/i fa) #28249487Is there a certain type of epoxy you'd recommend? I'd hate to buy one that can't hold it up.
I mainly work with cyanoacrylates so I'm not that knowledgeable about epoxies.
I suggest you look around the articles section of the DIY club to find recommendations.
CLUB #1348

This one for example lists one brand of epoxy that looks good:
blog/33358
1 mese/i fa
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kyoshinhei (1 mese/i fa) #28249323Ah yes, I remember your post about the sundisk with the wires.
If you're planning to reattach it with glue, be careful in your choice since it looks quite heavy.
If the break is really clean and the two broken halves perfectly fit each other you can try using superglue. However, if there is gap between the surfaces, go for epoxy glue instead.
Is there a certain type of epoxy you'd recommend? I'd hate to buy one that can't hold it up.
1 mese/i fa
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OceanRoost (1 mese/i fa) #28248786Honestly, you're a life saver!
Recently my First 4 Figure Ookami broke due to some bad construction choices and reading this has made me feel more confident about fixing it!

Ah yes, I remember your post about the sundisk with the wires.
If you're planning to reattach it with glue, be careful in your choice since it looks quite heavy.
If the break is really clean and the two broken halves perfectly fit each other you can try using superglue. However, if there is gap between the surfaces, go for epoxy glue instead.
1 mese/i fa
1pt
Honestly, you're a life saver!

Recently my First 4 Figure Ookami broke due to some bad construction choices and reading this has made me feel more confident about fixing it!
1 mese/i fa
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Hikari-chan (1 mese/i fa) #28108457The sandpaper was meant for reins book, there's a bit glue left on her and the book I think

Ah, OK! In that case no, definitely no sandpaper for neoprene glue.
That glue is too "elastic" for it and you risk eating into the plastic/paint before you can get rid of the glue.
Using your fingernails should be enough for this one.
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kyoshinhei (1 mese/i fa) #28107543Is sandpaper a good way to remove residue of the glue used before or are there better ways?
I'll try this drill that you linked from Amazon if I can't do it any other way, I think I can also use them for Garage kits if I ever start on them?

Sandpaper is good for removing stuff on the surface of things but not so much for "digging" like you need to do here (and you could end up scratching the paint).
Before ordering a drill, you can try it with a needle, or small scissors (like for fingernails), or a very tiny flat screwdriver.


The sandpaper was meant for reins book, there's a bit glue left on her and the book I think

A small scissor sounds good, I'll try it with that first
I think I'll also try to do a hole and see if the wing stick without glue since it would be better if I still could take them off in case I sell her sometimes since I don't have the box for her (got her without)

Thank you so much for the tips, that was really helpful since I don't really know much about repairing figures at all so I learned quite a lot about it now... Just hope I won't need it too often XD
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Hikari-chan (1 mese/i fa) #28105966kyoshinhei (1 mese/i fa) #28097007
Is sandpaper a good way to remove residue of the glue used before or are there better ways?
I'll try this drill that you linked from Amazon if I can't do it any other way, I think I can also use them for Garage kits if I ever start on them?


Sandpaper is good for removing stuff on the surface of things but not so much for "digging" like you need to do here (and you could end up scratching the paint).
Before ordering a drill, you can try it with a needle, or small scissors (like for fingernails), or a very tiny flat screwdriver.
1 mese/i fa
1pt
kyoshinhei (1 mese/i fa) #28097007

Is sandpaper a good way to remove residue of the glue used before or are there better ways?

I'll try this drill that you linked from Amazon if I can't do it any other way, I think I can also use them for Garage kits if I ever start on them?
1 mese/i fa
1pt
Hikari-chan (1 mese/i fa) #28096118
Also be very careful to not put any glue on your fingers. Superglue is very strong and sets real fast so you could end up with nasty fingerprints on your figure or even bits of skin in a worst case scenario ^^;
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Hikari-chan (1 mese/i fa) #28096118
Like this glue here: www.amazon.de/d...
Would you Recommend this in general for fixing small figure parts that only need a drop of glue since the part is so small?

Yup, this one precisely.
Be sure to remove any residue of the old glue before you start working. Apply the glue on only one side using a needle or the tip of something to put just the right amount, like I did there:
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/image/thumbnails/kyoshinhei1509564874.jpeg
Assemble right away and the glue should set within a few seconds.

Practice it on some plastic scraps first if you want to get the hang of it before going for the real deal.

Hikari-chan (1 mese/i fa) #28096118It seems like it's some kind of glue, I tried to scratch a bit at it already (only with my nail to see what it is) and it felt like glue but it's very hard like a ton of it was used
If it is very hard, it could be some other brand of superglue (but obviously badly applied). Try to clear the hole as well as you can until the wings pegs fit again. You can use a needle or a hobby drill if you have one (like these: www.amazon.de/B... www.amazon.de/A...)
Also contrary to the one used by the previous owner, the Loctite superglue is transparent instead of yellowish which is a lot better.
1 mese/i fa
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