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 Storing Your Loose Collection Tips

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Rawlin
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PostSubject: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeFri Mar 16, 2012 8:06 pm

Ok first excuse my bad english Smile

This thread is directed to newer collectors. I haven't been able to contribute much to the forum so I figured I might as well do this, some pushs by pms also did speed it up a bit.
Oh and if you use this and some how punch your leia cape or in anyway break your stuff I am not responsible Razz
This is a guideline, think it through what you yourself think is better or worse.

1. How do you store your collection?
2. Plastic bags
3. Yellowing, Fungus
4. Why are sealed plastic bags bad?
5. Simple fix
6. Protecting accessories
7. How to pack
8. Storing in Plastic Boxes
9. Summary
10. The Expanded Storing Universe

    10a. Creating a very very simple storing box for your favorite figure
      A. Gathering Material
      B. Creating the box Result

    10b. Creating a suitable box from scratch
      A. Tools and materials needed
      B. Creating the box

    10c. Easy cutout multipack from stuff found at home.
      A. Materials Gathered
      B. Result



1. So how do "you" store your collection?
The first problem that comes up as a collector is paint wear, and the easy way to avoid paint wear is of course plastic bags. Cheap resealable plastic bags.
I am pretty sure that many collectors store their collection in a box individually stuffed in a resealable plastic bag.

This protects against paint wear, moisture and fungus, sounds like a good idea. But is it really a good way to store? Yes and No. Read on.

2. Plastic Bags
As already mentioned plastic bags is what comes to mind for most collectors as the best way to store a loose collection. The bags are good for some years then they need to be replaced with new ones. They are cheap and you can easily mark them with a marker to know whats in the bag, variation, figure, coo etc. Excellent at keeping figures and accessories together.

3. Yellowing and Fungus

As you are collecting you might have noticed that some of your figures that where nice and shiny half a year ago have started changing color, or you have purchased some that just ain't looking right. This is a chemical reaction going on in the plastic and I wont go into details about it but UV light(Ex. Sun), Heat, Moisture, Cigarette smoke and much more can trigger this chemical reaction and you will want to avoid these factors to preserve your collection. So store in a cold and dark place? Dark and cold places usually have moisture, which affect your collection. So once again you might think "plastic bag". Some yellowed figures have even passed through as valuable variations, the most famous one is probably green limb Chewbacca where the arms and legs have yellowed but the middle body have not.

Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Yellow10Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Greenl10
(A Storm Trooper that have yellowed / Green Limb Chewbacca)

The next part is fungus.
Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Fungus10Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Fungus11
Fungus comes in many forms and colors. This pest can spread among your plastic items, yes it can spread and it will eventually if left alone.

Last time I bought a collection the owner thought it was some sort of spotted legs variant, this is not a variant, its a danger to your collection.
The second picture(Chewbacca) can easily pass away as dirt or dust but can infect your other stuff.
I'm not sure what kind of fungus they are, the white one might be a type of mildew.

Ones again "Plastic Bags!" duh. Protects neighboring figures by sealing the infected one in a quarantine baggie.
If you got any figures with fungus you should seal them off from your collection, plastic bags really are good here to prevent it from spreading. I've read numerous times that bleach will kill the fungus, but I've also read it can come back. I have never tried that myself.

But there is a much bigger threat to your collection then moisture and fungus and it's called "hydrochloric acid". How is this a threat to your collection?
Read more in next part.

4. Why are sealed plastic bags bad?
Your plastic figures will emit/create/leak out hydrochloric acid. hydrochloric acid affects plastic greatly by breaking it down, cause yellowing and other defects. You might feel that your figures are sometimes sticky, this is because of the acid breaking down your figure.

And here is the bad part about plastic bags. When you store your figures in sealed plastic bags, hydrochloric acid will build up and become trapped within the bag with the figure. This is a very fast way to ruin a collection.

5. Simple fix
This is what I do, and it's a rather low tech fix. It does not change the way you store your items very much.

Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Punch110
You will need the following items.
1. Plastic bag.
2. Folded paper or other material to stabilize the bag.
3. Hole puncher.

Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Punch210
1. Put plastic bag on top of folded paper.
2. Put it in the puncher so only one of the four "hole punchers" hit the bag.
3. Punch the bag and you should have a round nice looking hole.

This will ventilate your bags and prevent acids from storing up within.
Considerations are that very small items like Leia Combat Poncho Gun might slip out of the hole.

This does not protect against moisture and fungus! so you have to be a bit careful at that part.

6. Protecting Accessories
Long items like the ERG Spear or fragile items like telescoping sabers, can be taped onto a small piece of cardboard while in storage. This should prevent other figures from bending or breaking it. It can also prevent items like B-Wing pilot gun to slip out of the hole made by the hole puncher.

Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Darthb10

7. How to pack
When packing down your collection in a box or something like it, start with the heavier figures first like Emperor, Gammorean Guard, Rancor Keeper etc. And store the fragile figures that got stickers or vinyl capes that are easily broken at top. This is to prevent unnecessary pressure on the figures. Even though you think you pack them well, things can get damaged ex. EV-9D9s legs, because of a long time under pressure from other figures.

8. Storing in plastic boxes
If you are storing your collection in this type of reliable plastic boxes, keep in mind that they don't "breath" and are rather air tight, these will need to be ventilated as well.
Drilling a couple of holes where air can get in and out will solve this problem. Just be sure you don't cover them.
I drill mine in both top and side, but if you have a potentional water hazzard nearby you should avoid drilling in the top part, because if an accident happen that would lead water inside the box. Drilling at the side of the box would in this case be much safer. Thanks James for the tip.
Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Boxsto10

9. Summary
Storing the collection indoors(in house) in normal/mild temperature with punched bags away from sunlight and moisture is probably the best way, in regards to low costs and space. There are better alternatives like storing in indivudal boxes but they are more expensive and take up a lot more space. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, hopefully it helped out someone and good luck the next time you check up on your collection Very Happy




10. The Expanded Storing Universe
I thought I could make a few no brainer tutorials on how to easily improve your storage. Most of these are childsplay and everyone can do these in a few minutes.

    10a. Creating a very very simple storing box for your favorite figure(Level of difficulty: Child 4-5 years old)
    One of the materials I like to use are foam, please note that foam can with age degrade to a mud like form which can discolor the item inside.
    This however takes a very very long time.

    A. Gathering Material. (Tools needed: Scissor.)
    First step is finding a suitable box.
    I dug around among my computer parts and found several great boxes.
    Hidden inside this old 12Gb RAM pack was a few boxes that suited me fine for my purposes.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Corsai10

    Second step, gathering foam. These type of foam can be bought cheap in stores but you can usually find some for free hidden in your home.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Grafic10
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Scanne10

    B. Creating the box and Result.
    Check the size of the inner part of the box and cut out the foam so it fits tightly within the box.

    The result is this very very simple box to store your favorite figure in.
    Figures like Amanaman and similar should really not be stored in plastic bags among your other figures, something like this would protect it much better.
    Depending on gap in the carboard you might want to make a hole in the box for better ventilation. Note that foam can degrade with the years and damage the figure.
    This however takes a very long time.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Simple10



    10b. Creating a suitable box from scratch(Level of difficulty: Very easy)
    Warning, NOT recommended for children because of the heat glue gun which could cause serious burns.

    Having trouble finding a good box? You could use this simple form to create your own.

    A. You will need the following:
    Printer, Scissors, Cardboard piece roughly 20x25cm, Heat Glue gun. Use other glue or tape to make it safe for your children.
    Right click on the link and save this form and print it out on a normal A4, it might say that it's slightly to large, the option re-size to fit printing area will work.
    Link to form

    Please note this is not a prefect box and the result will depend a lot on how you cut and fold. Some experimentation needed.

    B. Creating the box
    Cut out the form on the a4 and use it to mark the cardboard.

    Cut the red outline and the black lines with the scissor, then fold after the gray lines in direction of the arrows.
    Use the glue gun to glue the smaller pieces "A" to the inside of "B". Cut out a scavenged piece of foam(Gathered in 10a) and place it within the box.

    You should now have something like this. The box inside will be 11-12cm and it will look ugly like hell, but work. No need to punch hole in it, this will let in plenty of air.
    It doesn't need to be this thick cardboard either. I just use what I got lying around.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Creati12


    10c. Creating a cutout case for storing multiple figures(Level of difficulty: Child 10-15 years old)
    Apparently my foam cutting skills are around a 10 year old so doing something much nicer then mine should be piece of cake. Ultimate would of course be machine cut foam.

    Materials Gathered
    I went to the supermarket to checkout a tip I got on the foam part but it was a waste of money. I bought 2 types of foam, the gray/blackish left color traces and dirt on the figures. Now I don't know if this could have been from factory and running them under the dish stand as they where intended for a couple of weeks would make them nice and clean but I a rather use faster alternatives. The yellow was fine so I figured I could use that. The box was from a radeon graphics card and already contained good foam, I added an extra piece from another box.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Multip10

    Result
    So being short of glue I used a mild glue stick, this sticks pretty good and don't drip down. I cut out the weapon compartment for Leias gun first, then the figures. Now I pretty much saw at once that gluing these together before cutting the deeper figure shapes is much better but it was already to late. I cut both layers individually resulting in a much worse result then it could have been. As with the others this is very easy done with stuff found at home. I also put a sheet on the inside of the top part of the box to seal the figures and not let them get in contact with the cardboard.
    If you have to glue together pieces of foam be sure to use mild glue, and make sure it's not in contact with your figures.
    Storing Your Loose Collection Tips Multip11




Last edited by Rawlin on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:01 pm; edited 25 times in total
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Dr Dengar
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 17, 2012 3:45 am

A loose collection represents serious cash, and every collector likes to protect it in the best possible ways.

So this is a very good initiative to summarize what is known, put it into a well readable thread, and add your own info there as well!!! Kudos for Claes!


For the discussion: I always thought that plastifiers (diffusing out of the plastic) were causing the sticky feeling. Are you sure about the hydrochloric acid? I would mean that Kenner used chlorinated plastic for their toys, something like Polyvinyl chloride, PVC. Maybe that is correct, I am not a plastic expert? unsure Anybody?

An alternative to plastic bags with holes in them, might be archival bags made of acid free paper.


@Dr Dengar wrote:
Make sure your figures can "breath" so the plastifiers won't accumulate in them (so they can get tacky).

Zip locked baggies are therefore not the best solution.

Acid free paper or boxes thereoff, are a much better alternative.

From this thread: https://www.imperialgunneryforum.com/t1704-how-do-you-guys-store-youre-figs?highlight=store


@Dr Dengar wrote:


And loose figures should not be wrapped in any type of plastic but may be best protected in some kind of soft acid-free tissue paper, or in drawers (like Uli did).

Next question is: where to get those plastic-friendly cardboard boxes and soft tissue paper.



@Capetown wrote:
Acid free boxes

Acid free tissue paper



@Dr Dengar wrote:


I found another supplier for acid free paper, more close by, at least for the dutch. I have to check the prices, they were not listed.





Last edited by Dr Dengar on Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rawlin
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 17, 2012 3:54 am



It's very common that when you open a moc, it will be sticky because of the acids that have been storing up during the years. MOTU seems to get a bit stickier though. I've read about acid free paper but I don't really consider that a good way of storing. It's just my opinion but it will be hard to keep stuff organized in paper, unless you use a tool box and sort the figures that way, but items like weapons could easily disappear.

I've also read about news paper, but I wouldn't take the chances with the ink, from my experience from delivering newspapers(yes sigh I did that once upon a time) the ink easily color other items in touch with it, like my jacket and probably figures/vinyl capes etc.
I was going to put that part in but I missed it out Smile

Bit early in morning Smile I have not read into the bit about acid free paper bags. As long as the paper is smooth enough to not cause wear on the figures paint during storage then it should be a good alternative. There are of course many ways. The one I wrote about is a easy and organized method and very many use these kind of plastic bags. Just punching a hole in the bag will take care of the acids and it don't mean any drastic change to the storage.

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Rawlin
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 22, 2012 7:22 am

Updated with plastic boxes.
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 22, 2012 7:41 am

I drilled into the side of my boxes, keeping the lids still 'waterproof'.
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 22, 2012 7:58 am

That is a good tip. I've done both but I don't have any potential water hazards nearby. Or moisture. But having these filled up with water would for sure be a disaster. I will add that when I get to the computer.
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PostSubject: Re: Storing Your Loose Collection Tips   Storing Your Loose Collection Tips I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 23, 2012 3:34 pm

Updated with a very very simple tutorial Razz
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