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Monday, 18 September 2017

Maintaining Action Figures Clothing

Most of these tips are for cloth figure clothing.  These tips are by our opinion and we are not responsible for damages when trying these tips.


Invest in a travel steamer or an iron with a steam function.  Get the type that looks like an upright canister with a side handle and a venting attachment at the top. Using this little miracle tool you can make uniforms look really sharp. It also will steam clean surface dust and help to upgrade the look of a cloth uniform. Regular ironing will scorch the fabric and leave shiny marks.  Work carefully and pull the cloth taut as you go. Hold the surface to be done between both hands and run it over the vents to "steam press" the garment. Holding it a little tightly helps. It takes a little practice and you'll probably get a couple of steamed fingers the first time out. Just work carefully and take your time.


Capes, berets and some other looser clothing needs some help keeping its shape. Try spraying it with diluted (1:1) starch, carefully forming the beret while on the figures head and letting it air dry. The item isn't rock-hard or anything it just stays where you put it now.

A way to form cloth berets, without a great deal of effort, to look like the way most soldiers wear them today. You'll need a bottle of Paul Mitchell Fast Drying Sculpting Spray or something similar.
  1. Put the Beret on your figure and form it how you like.
  2. Spray carefully and saturate the beret. Try to limit the spray just to the beret material.
  3. Use a tooth pick or bamboo skewer to hold the beret in the shape you desire (you could stuff the item or make a form for it) to keep your fingers from sticking to the item as it dries.
Once dried, it's not sticky and not noticeable. 


The following alternatives work well on all cotton cloth:
  1. A good dye to use is a VAT dye which will turn the fabric black (or whatever color you want) & will never come out. This dye is a bit caustic to use but works quick and lasts forever.
  2. For a dye that is less caustic,use a Procyonb dye (sometimes known as cold-dyes). These dyes require much more soaking but are still permanent.

If you're going dye natural leather, use the Fiebing's Oil based dyes. The Tandy dyes are alcohol based and tend to leech the natural oils out of the leather causing it to crack on you after a short time. The Fiebing's, being oil based, doesn't do this, and is actually a little more resilient and produces a finish that's easier to apply evenly.


Many problems seen in action figure clothing is the fabric unravelling (usually behind a seam). To prevent this, you "overcast the seam" which means setting the sewing machine on zig zag and sewing the hidden edge of the fabric on the inside. 

Use one little stitch to hold the collars down so they don't curl up.

You can use 1.2 mm brass nails for realistically sized buttons. Stick them through the material, cut of the excess (most of the nail) and add a drop or two of fabric tac. 


Having trouble glueing those little fabric insignia's to the fabric uniforms of your 12" figures?  Aleene's Original Tacky Glue comes in a gold-colored squeeze bottle with a white top. It dries clear, and more significantly, flexible. So the insignia's won't peel off the figure when you move them around.

When glueing fabric to plastic, if you use modeling cement (either tube or liquid type), it will dissolve or soften the plastic you're working with.  If you use this, make sure you apply it to the piece of plastic, and not the cloth! 

Superglues (cyanoacrylates) are probably the best thing there is for attaching buckles or straps onto a model permanently. It will set instantly if applied to anything natural like cotton or skin. If you're attaching straps or buckles, be sure to only apply a tiny dot exactly where the cloth attaches or it wil make the entire strap stiff. 


Here's how to get those garments white and bright again. You need to buy two things:
  • Softscrub With Bleach (the lemon version won't work)
  • Efferdent denture cleaning tablets
  1. Use a tupperware container large enough to lay the uniform flat.
  2. Wet the piece of clothing and put it in the container.
  3. Shake the Softscrub then apply it all over the item using a soft paintbrush.
  4. Wait about five minutes then add warm water to the container so that it covers the uniform by about and inch.
  5. Squirt some more Softscrub down on it and let it soak about 20-30 minutes - no longer.
  6. Now take out the garment and rinse well under warm water.
  7. Rinse out your container WELL and put about an inch and 1/2 of warm (not hot) water in it.
  8. Pop in two or three Efferdent tablets and place your garment flat in the container.
  9. Leave it in there overnight - about eight hours.
    Don't worry if the garment gets looking blue; it will go away in a couple of hours in the bath. It's removing any of the chlorine from the bleach and the baking soda and the Efferdent will really brighten the whites. You want all the chlorine gone because it would eventually yellow the garment. That's why using straight bleach isn't a good idea unless you Efferdent afterwards.
  10. Take out and rinse. If it still isn't white or bright enough-try the Efferdent bath again.
  11. Then rinse it well. You can use a "salad spinner" to spin all the excess water out.
  12. Dry flat.

To remove magic marker, try rubbing alcohol. Pour through the fabric from the back. This works well on some markers and pens.

Next week: Hmmm not sure.  Check back next Monday.

Chinook & Hobby West
"Where the Fun Begins!"
ph: 403-243-1997
Twitter: @HobbyAndToy


  1. Thanks for this precious information i really appropriate it.

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    1. wow amazing post.The key points you mentioned here related to maintenance of car is really awesome.Checking all fluid levels,changing oil and of

      course the regular service of the car which is necessary to maintain our vehicle.Thank you for the information.

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  2. It's so good you share all your fears and problems. I'm sure that help you and many others who feel just like you. Thank you for sharing great post...
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