Removing ink from figure?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by ILoveDinobot, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    Not necessarily a TF, but I figured this discussion could be used for Transformers toys too. I just bought an old 80's action figure from someone and there are initials written under the feet in black ink. I was wondering what method should I use to remove the ink?

    When I googled I found rubbing alcohol as a method for removing ink stains, but would that damage an old figure? Remove paint? Does nail polish remover work as well as rubbing alcohol? Better?

    Also wanted to mention the way this figure displays, one foot is kind of mid-step so you can see the bottom of the foot. So I don't want to rub paint off or fade molding color to any noticeable point.
     
  2. motorhead9999

    motorhead9999 Well-Known Member

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    I've used isopropyl alcohol a lot and have yet to have issues damaging a figure. We use it all the time to clean and wipe parts on the space shuttle program. I might be a little careful around the decals though, as it might remove some if the adhesive.
     
  3. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    Great, thanks! That's the type of rubbing alcohol we have too. I wasn't sure if it was gentle enough to use on an older figure.
     
  4. manyoufactsure

    manyoufactsure Maximal TFW2005 Supporter

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    If it is ink on paint, it will remove the paint when you remove the ink. Nail polish remover will take the paint off, too. Does goo-be-gone remove ink? it will remove decals but I don't think it will mess with the paint. I'm not sure though. Would a bleach pen or hydrogen peroxide help? I'm just throwing ideas out there.

    You may have to live with it, repaint it or cover it with a decal.
     
  5. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    I don't cry when I brake something, I just get pissed and say a few choice-words.
    Removing ink without removing paint can be tricky. Also, what kind of ink? The type of ink can be good to know as well.
     
  6. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    It's ink from a pen. Just a regular "bic" kind of pen. Nothing fancy, and it's black.

    I tried the isopropyl rubbing alcohol it didn't work. It did lighten it a little but it was more like it blurred and the area became a little darker, but the lettering slightly lightened. :/

    Yeah I think I might have to live with it. I found a way to display the figure to make it not noticeable from the shelf. But I still hope to be able to remove the ink if I can find a safe way to do it.

    Bleach pen? (Just looked it up) I don't think that would work. I have one of those, I think it works ok on fabrics but not really anything else.
     
  7. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    Well at least it's under his feet which you won't see when you've got him standing. Better than being on the roof of his alt-mode or some noticeable place like that.
    Too bad the initials aren't of somebody famous, could've been worth big-bucks! :) 
     
  8. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    That would be great! :lol 


    I just tried a dab of nail polish remover on the end of a cotton swab, it brought ink visibility down at least 50%. So it's not AS bad now. Still not perfect but better.
     
  9. Hobbyist Prime

    Hobbyist Prime Member

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    I have heard mixed results on removing permanent marker from TF's using the Hydrogen Peroxide in the sun bath! If it doesn't get the ink out at least it will get rid of any yellowing! :) 
     
  10. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    Sun bath? :confused: 
     
  11. grayman

    grayman The Alpha and The Omega TFW2005 Supporter

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    May I present the "Sun Bath" method for removing yellowing from plastic.

    You will need:
    -hydrogen peroxide- the 3% concentration found at most drug stores is the kind you want. Don't use the stronger stuff used for bleaching hair, as it will destroy the plastic
    -Oxi Clean cleaning powder, or something that works the same.
    -a sunny spot outside
    -a clear container big enough to hold the plastic pieces to be de-yellowed
    -water

    So, step 1 is to clean you plastic parts and take all electronic guts/whatever was in them out. If there are metal bits attached to the plastic, those need to be removed. You don't want anything but plastic going in. So, screws, metal case badges, etc. should not go in. Also beware that the plastics will get wet, and the solution will probably break down adhesives, so remove labels etc. Use soap and water to clean the parts and make sure all the soap is off before you put them in to the solution.

    Step 2, place all plastic parts into the container. It doesn't matter if they're unequally yellowed or different colors just throw 'em all in. Then pour enough hydrogen peroxide over the parts to cover. If it doesn't quite cover them, you can add a little water. So long as it's still pretty much all hydrogen peroxide.

    Step 3, place the container in the sunny spot, and add the Oxi Clean powder. Add about a tablespoon per gallon of liquid, use less if your batch is smaller. No mixing is required, the reaction is quite rapid. It will foam and fizz and eventually turn clear. At this point, just leave it for about 6-8 hours in the sun. The UV in the sun reacts with the Oxi and hydrogen peroxide, which liberate bromine atoms from the plastic. (the bromine is what makes the plastic yellow) It will make alot of bubbles the entire time it's exposed to sunlight.

    ILD, since you are trying to remove ink and the alcohol has already partially worked, I recommend that you try to soak the foot in alcohol for a longer period of time or try to soak a Qtip in alcohol and rub the ink out by hand. It takes a long time this way, but if it doesn't work nothing is damaged. Just remember that the rubbing alcohol will remove factory paint and labels. I hope that this helps and good luck.
     
  12. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    Wow, that's helpful! Thank you :) . The q-tip has been working for me little by little and I'm not ruining the figure yet, so maybe like you said it take s a long time, I'll keep at it.
     

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