Yellowed DCUC Lightray and hydrogen peroxide/sunlight

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Thor-El
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Yellowed DCUC Lightray and hydrogen peroxide/sunlight

Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:11 pm

So, I’m not sure about anyone else, but despite not living in direct sunlight, over the years my Lightray’s torso, shoulders, and upper thighs have yellowed while the rest of his arms and legs are still white.

I’ve been considering the peroxide/sunlight trick to see if it helps, but I was wondering if anyone else had this issue and given this a try. I’m a little concerned about the other paints/colors on his figure.

I’m thinking of popping his head, arms (at the bicep) and legs (at the thigh cut) off to minimize potential fading, but I’d like to hear from more experienced folks who may have done this as well, especially if you did it with this figure in particular.

Anyone…?
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Customverse-Man
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Re: Yellowed DCUC Lightray and hydrogen peroxide/sunlight

Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:45 am

Welcome to the club of the collector's with yellowed figures :( .

A couple of thoughts about the matter;

Direct sunlight does yellow, yes, but it's not the only necessary circumstance. Any temperature over 27.5 Celsius can provoke yellowing easily. If you add to this mix more than 75 % of humidity, then you get all the tickets for yellowing. Extra points if you keep your figures in cardboard boxes, or closets, or in sealed bags, this although you might think insulates, works really the other way round, when it does get hot, even if it takes some time, it stays hot that way, provoking the yellowing.

I also warn you that once yellowing is triggered by temperature, figure still might be white, but the process has started. So you can buy a wonderfully white figure, and in 2-3 months he will become yellow because he got exposed to the aforementioned conditions, and nothing you can do.

Worst thing of all, yellowing also comes with plastic brittleness, notorious in DCUCs. So even your nonyellow figures (because they are red, or black, or whatever colour you cannot see) are being affected. Also, if a figure is slightly yellowed, becomes very prone to continue this process.

What can you do about it? basically, customize the figure and get another one. As blunt as that sounds.

I have tried the peroxide. Depending on how you do it, it eliminates absolutely yellowing (at the expense of usually destroying red paints and soft tampos). You can try and cover tampos, or apply it just as a cream. Problem is, it just comes back after a couple of months irritantly, no matter you've kept it in perfect conditions. I tried with a vintage Stormtrooper twice, and it's slightly better than before, my best result. A vintage blue Cobra Commander, it is no longer yellow, but strangely whitish.

What I do is put the parts in an old, clean glass pot (jam pot is perfect) half full with peroxide, the one bought in chemists for bleaching hair. The pure one might destroy everything and be very dangerous to skin, be very careful. Even with the one for hairdressing I am very careful, even if in theory does not pose many risks. I dip the parts and then, when done rinse them carefully with water and soap. Take note it also affects metal considerably. I leave it 2-3 days on sunshine, but here where I live the sun is very strong, so usually just till it looks right. But I've stopped doing it, as after a few months it reverts to a not very nice slightly yellowed colour, and I believe it affects the plastic considerably.

A fun fact; just sunshine alone, will improve things quite a bit. But they will revert even quicker, at least by my experience. So is a no-no in my book.

Then, there is the acetone method, that simply, dissolves the outer layer of plastic, as that is the only thing yellowed, the inside plastic is white still. But that comes with big risk, as it essentially dissolves plastic, so you smudge it, dissolves paint much quicker than plastic, etc. This trick might solve a situation where a very small part has yellowed and doesn't have any paint around.

I'd love to hear other experiences of collectors in this matter, as I have tons of yellowed figures, in all the posibles shades of yellowing, from light to extreme.

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