How to avoid damaging my Gaming Miniatures?
If you have collectible gaming miniatures, you are certainly concerned about the fact that they can become damaged. And, if you bought them second hand, you may find them in a condition that leaves something to be desired.
The Top 5 Enemies of Your Gaming Miniatures
First of all, you need to protect your figurines from their natural external enemies, i.e. dust, dirt, sunlight, heat and humidity.
To do this, there are simple things you can do.
Here is the list of the 5 best tips to protect Gaming Minis
1. The Dust
Display your figurines in a glass case, acrylic case such as the Lanscoery Clear Case, or in their original boxes, to protect them from dust.
If this is not an option, or if you simply don’t want to go that route, make sure you dust your figurines regularly. We will see later the right gestures to have, and the most appropriate tools to use.
2. The Dirt
Similar to dust, protect your figurines from dirt too, by displaying them in a glass case or in their original cases/boxes. Also, I highly recommend you always handle your figurines with gloves, so as not to get any dirt on them that your hands may carry without you necessarily seeing it.
3. The Light of the Sun
Be sure to display your figurines out of direct sunlight. The sun can fade the colors of your figurines, and trust me, you don’t want that to happen!
4. The heat
As with sunlight, you must protect your figurines from the heat emitted by the sun, but also by certain types of lamps that can heat up.
Most figurines, especially those made of PVC, could get deformed, bent, or curl, under the effect of heat. You can even see figurines become sticky or foamy.
To avoid this, keep your figures out of direct sunlight and only use LED bulbs to light them, which will provide enough light without heating up your figures.
If your figures are left in contact with moisture for a long time, they may lose their paint. So ensure you dry them well after washing them.
You should also avoid leaving them locked in a box without any ventilation.
In addition to all these precautions, keep your figurines far from people smoking in the room. Or else, your figurines will absorb the smoke and the smell of tobacco. Which will eventually deteriorate them and make them lose their value.
Now that you’re aware of all the precautions to take, let’s look at how to clean your collectible figurines, depending on what parts of them you want to clean.
Clean up the dust regularly on your Gaming Miniatures
Even if your figurines are displayed in a closed cabinet, or in their box, they can still gather dust and look dull.
In order to enhance them and to prevent them from getting damaged, we recommend that you dust your figurines every two weeks, or at least once a month. If you wait longer, the dust can stick to your figurines: cleaning will then be more complicated and your figurines could be damaged faster.
Step by Step Guide to clean your figurines from dust:
1. Use a detail brush such as The Crown Choice Brush (make-up, model or computer cleaning brush) to remove dust from large parts of your figure. Start by sweeping the top of your figure, and work your way down. You will then be able to remove most of the dust that has settled on your figure.
2. Then, with an air can, very gently spray a light stream of air into the folds of your figure to loosen the dust. I use the BE1 Air Can Spray. The air can is the best tool for dusting small areas that no other tool can access, but be careful about the power of the air can’s release. A too strong of a spray could damage your figurine if it is a particular fragile and/or delicate one.
3. Finally, finish with a dusting duster, which will allow you to go over the big parts as well as the nooks and crannies, but also to absorb the dust.
By doing this every two weeks, your figurines will always look like new, wear out less quickly, and keep their value.
Clean the Dirt on your Gaming Miniatures
Handling your figurines with your bare hands, whether when taking them out of their box the first time you received them, or displaying them, changing their place, etc., will deposit the natural oil of your skin, and possibly dirt and dust on them. This can make your figurines dirty and sticky, and give them a worn appearance.
To prevent this from happening in the first place, make sure to wash your hands well before handling your figurines, ideally wear gloves, and above all, avoid handling them every day.
If you need to clean your figures from persistent dirt, you can do it with water.
But be careful, this method is not suitable for fluid resin figures, nor for figures with stickers and other decals, as these will deteriorate in contact with water. Only solid resin figures can be safely immersed in water.
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The 7 Steps to clean your gaming miniatures:
1. Use cleaning gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints that can oxidize the resin of your figurine.
2. Fill a bowl with warm water. Be careful not to use hot water, as your figurine may warp, nor cold water, as your figurine may become stiff and break. The warm water will allow the dirt to dissipate and eliminate the germs.
3. If your figurine comes loose, you can disassemble it. Soak the parts of your figurine or your entire figurine in the bowl of water for 5 minutes.
4. Take a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply dishwashing liquid without perfume to avoid leaving a greasy residue on your figurine. You can also use white stone (also called clay stone or silver stone). In addition to being natural, it degreases and removes limescale.
5. Brush your figurine gently: do not brush hard, so as not to erase the paint on your figurine.
6. Rinse all the soap off your figurine with clean, warm water. Do not let the soap dry on your figurine, as it will leave a residue.
7. Dry your figurine, by gently dabbing it with a soft, absorbent cloth to soak up excess water. Then, let it air dry. Be careful not to expose it to the sun. A hairdryer can make it dry faster but it also may deform it.
If your figurine is made of flowing resin, you can still clean it of dirt. To do this, use a damp cotton swab and a little soap to clean your figure. Then, use a damp cotton swab to rinse it off.
Cleaning Scratches, Scuffs and Other Marks
It is possible that when you buy a second hand figurine, it has marks, scratches, scuffs…
In such case, you can clean your figurine by using a magic sponge. It is an abrasive cleaner that comes in the form of a block of melamine foam, without chemicals, and is very effective. This magic sponge can penetrate the smallest grooves.
You now have all the keys in hand to clean and protect your collectible figurines, to preserve their value and show them off in your home!
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