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Dying a figure


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Okay, I got me a taken apart figure, shaved down parts and prepped others to begin a rather in-depth kitbash. I have RIT dye standing ready, and some pots that will only be used for this and nothing else. What are the EXACT steps I would take do dye these parts (they're white), considering that the only blue dye I could find is about four to five times darker than I wanted, but the red dye is the perfect shade?


I tried looking in IGTKB, and every time someone asked a question about dying plastics, it was completely ignored.

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Heat dye to just under boiling, if it does boil turn down the heat and let it cool a bit. Get yourself a mesh strainer, put parts in strainer and dip in dye to keep them from touching the bottom. Pull out after 30 seconds or so and check to see if they are taking the dye. Once they start to take it pull them out every five seconds or so until they have the color depth you want. Once they've reached that point dunk them in a bowl of cool water to cool them, rinse them, and stop the dyeing process.


Thats it in a nutshell. Things to watch for though, make sure the parts don't hit any of the sides of the pot, hot metal will melt the plastic quick, if the dye is to hot it will distort the plastic as well. If its taking a long time to get the color dark enough dip it in the water every 30 seconds to a minute to cool them a little to help prevent distortion. Regardless your gonna end up with a certain amount of shrinkage/distortion, but if your careful it should be very minor and barely noticeable.


And RIT dye works wonderfully, or at least has for every custom I've dyed.

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Sounds like the process will be somewhat incremental -- so for the darker blue you could probably not leave it in as long to get the desired color.


I am pondering dying my spare Cy Swindle to turn into Beachcomber but am pretty nervous about it. I had tried dying some KOs just to test and it worked poorly... but I probably did not have the water hot enough.

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The trick really is getting the water to jsut the right temperature and then patience. Now if the part won't take dye at all you can attempt to add a small amount of Acetone to the mix before you heat it. It will help the plastic take the dye, however if you do this you have to do things at a lower temperature, and make sure the area is very well ventilated as the fumes can be toxic and with the acetone in it the liquid has a lower flash point. Personally I never use acetone because I don't think the risks are worth it, some people I know use it everytime. So its your call, I wouldn't use it on a first try though.

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Hrms. I remember seeing a pic of a Classics Mirage that was put in with too much acetone... looked like it had just been dipped in the slag pits. :P


But thanks, Tentagil! As an FYI, I plan on converting Classics Mirage into a vaguely almost 'toon accurate Devcon, and a friend wants me to make him one, too...

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Your dye isn't going to come out nearly as dark as the undiluted dye looks anyway, so I wouldn't worry about the blue. The red may come out pink. In my experience there's no real way to get it darker, the plastic's gonna absorb as much as it can and that's that.


Also, know that the dye isn't going to take uniformly. If you do it right it'll be good coverage and still look nice, but you need to know that it'll never be uniform. You'll have lighter and darker areas all blended together... kinda like anything real that's been slightly weathered.


My advice? Don't have your water too hot. bring it to a boil and then turn it down a bit until it's just bubbling around the edges.


Don't leave your parts in longer expecting them to take more dye. They won't and you'll warp your parts. That is why my C. Wing Saber doesn't transform correctly anymore. A few seconds... let's say 10... ought to be enough, then you need to dip the part in ice water immediately and hope you don't warp anything.


I guess just practice with a junker bot and see how it works out for you.


Good luck!!



*edit* P.S. I would avoid acetone in the water at ALL COSTS. It's not REALLY going to help much and it can ruin the whole show.

Edited by Azure_Dragoon
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I've never bothered measuring temperature, but I usually bring it up to a boil, then lower the stove top to medium heat and let it sit for about five minutes. It should still be steaming but not bubbling, if you see bubbles then its to damn hot. And like Azure Dragon said your never going to get a completely uniform cover.


Also note that you can't dye a lighter color on a darker color, and when you dye your basically color mixing. A red part in yellow dye will give you orange, red in blue will net you purple, and so on. Keep that in mind, don't by dye for the exact color you want, by the color that mixing with the plastic color will get you the desired color. So if you want to turn blue Mirage parts green you need yellow dye.


Usually when I'm making a custom I'll do a mix of dyed and painted parts to ensure I get the colors I want.

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I am pondering dying my spare Cy Swindle to turn into Beachcomber but am pretty nervous about it. I had tried dying some KOs just to test and it worked poorly... but I probably did not have the water hot enough.


In all likelihood that will never work. You might get a really nice deep green, but you can't really dye yellow to blue. Think of it like mixing paints, sorta. You'd probably get better results with a Hardtop and trying to shoot for a deep navy blue.



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