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I dabble.  That’s not a news flash for those who know me.  I think, in today’s world, I might have been diagnosed as having ADD, but my generation just calls the syndrome “easily distracted”.   More often than not, I do actually finish each project I start.  But, there are a few things sitting around here that were begun a couple of years ago and have not been touched since.  Sorry, Mr. Blue Afghan for my Living Room!  LOL

As a dabbler, I enjoy painting a wide variety of dolls.  My interest shifts constantly.  Early last year, I ventured into the action figure realm and found that I really love the different head sculpts available to action figure collectors.  The bodies of these figures, while not as aesthetically pleasing as fashion doll bodies, are incredibly articulated and so fun to pose and photograph.  The women of this realm are usually quite buxom and sport muscles to rival those of most men.  I would not want to have a run-in with one of these pistol packin’, stiletto heeled ladies.  Well..I’m not so sure about the “lady” part, but you get the picture.

I have found, to my grave disappointment, that action figure manufacturers have something in common with fashion doll manufacturers…they care little about the adult collector on the other end of the process.  The specific issue of which I speak is the prevalent use of non-color-fast, dark fabrics for figure/doll clothing.  Helloooooooooooo!!!  If manufacturers are not aware that these fabrics horribly stain the vinyl/resin of their dolls/figures, they are one of two things.  They are either oblivious or apathetic.  Neither option is acceptable, imo.  Come on, people, this staining problem has been going on for years and years, and numerous letters and emails have been fired off to most companies.  One has to believe that most manufacturers just don’t care.  There ARE color-fast fabrics out there.  USE them!

Until manufacturers actually act in a responsible manner upon this issue, it will fall to the consumer to remedy the situation on the home front.  Stains on fashion doll vinyl can usually be removed with an acne cream treatment and sunlight.  The OSS Spa sports an east facing window whose sill is littered with the nude bodies of unfortunate stain victims, all in various states of stain-removal.  I use whatever store brand is least expensive.  The active ingredient is 10% benzoyl peroxide.  It’s a long process that usually takes 2 weeks.  Some stains, especially red ones, can take even longer.  I have  had dolls stained with red whose stubborn stains never disappeared but only faded, even after 2 months of treatment.  Can you say “frustrating”?

Action figures are an entirely different animal.  I just discovered while discussing the issue with a client of mine that certain action figure bodies are made of resin with a paint overlay.  Acetone and other solvents will, of course, remove the paint.  So, if you use them, be prepared to repaint.  I have not yet attempted to use the acne cream treatment on an action figure.  Why?  Another news flash:  I am not an overly patient person.  So, when I pick up a doll/figure to paint, I usually do not want to deal with the long process of stain removal because, in my mind, I am ready to go!  Now, if I know a doll is stained ahead of time and plan around the stain removal process, that’s acceptable.  But if I have made up my  mind that I want to paint a figure, remove the figure from its box, and then discover it is stained….well, that just throws a wrench into the works and gets me hunting for my dodo suit (see bird references in blog entry from a few days ago).  In an effort to stay out of the stinky dodo suit, I recently tried a method of stain removal suggested by the same OSS client mentioned above.  He suggested using a clean pencil eraser and/or a Mr. Clean (or similar brand) household eraser to gently erase away the stains.  He did warn me, and I reiterate the warning here for my readers, that the erasing process will remove the paint finish in most cases and leave the smooth, underlying resin.  But, since I’m a repainter, this prospect didn’t unduly alarm me.  So, over the course of about an hour, I worked on some stains left by a skimpy black brassiere on a buxom action babe.  I alternated my use of the pencil eraser with the Mr. Clean eraser, using a soft paintbrush to brush away the eraser residue.  I must say, that the results are very satisfactory.  I will, of course, enhance the area with my paints when I repaint this lady’s face, but even without paints, the resin does not appear overly different from the surrounding areas.  Another crisis averted!  And I have a new BFF…Mr. Clean.  🙂 🙂 🙂

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