Miscellaneous Subject Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

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Thread: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

  1. #1
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    Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Hi guys, not sure if this has been posted, I was searching for ways to fix leather, but couldnít find much results. So I wanted to share what I tried, I hope that it can be useful to others.

    So I received a HT Catwoman from a friend, the leather boots and gloves looked pristine inside the box, but as soon as I took it out, it flaked to the touch. I havenít been collecting for very long, but I think Iíve heard a few collectors at some point has had some bad experiences with the leather on other figures.



    So here's the method I tried:


    (Sorry for using headphones as an example, I freaked out when the leather on the figure peeled and forgot to take pictures. The result was exactly like this)




    This is after everything was stripped off completely, I used an old rag to rub them off, as the leather material was thin and already crumbly, it came off without much force.[/FONT]




    For paint, I used Black acrylic paint (Carbon Black in my case) mixed with Liquitex fabric medium and diluted with water. The fabric medium helps the paint to become more flexible, able to stretch a bit, lowering the risk of cracking paint.



    In my case, Iíve painted around 15-20 coats, the first few coats were a bit difficult, as the fabric soaked up all the paint, and took very long to dry, but after the material was thoroughly saturated, the latter coats were easily applied, the drying time significantly reduced.


    These are the results:






    Depending on the finish, you can achieve different looks, in my case the fabric medium has added a slight glossy finish to the black paint, too much gloss and it may look like shiny latex material. So I added a light coat of clear matte, to dull down the shine a bit, but not too much, otherwise itíll look rough like paint on a canvas.







    For me, Iím quite satisfied with the results, posing and bending around the joints are fine, although, the gloves and boots are a little more rigid and stiff, but does not hinder articulation at all.

    Hope you find this helpful, thanks for looking
    Last edited by Fox915; 10-05-2017 at 22:59.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Great Tip! They turned out terrific, amazing.

  4. #3
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Great recovery on these items- they look really nice! I had never heard of the Liquitex fabric medium; it's good to know about this material.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    ugh I bet my cat woman is in the same condition

  7. #5
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Quote Originally Posted by mike45 View Post
    Great Tip! They turned out terrific, amazing.
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by onesixthwarrior View Post
    Great recovery on these items- they look really nice! I had never heard of the Liquitex fabric medium; it's good to know about this material.
    Me neither, I only found out recently, when I stumbled onto a site about painting t-shirts with acrylic paint. So I tried test-painting two pieces of scrap cloth, one with the medium, and one without. With the medium, the cloth was less stiff and more flexible. Still, they advised to avoid extreme stretching.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonsleeper View Post
    ugh I bet my cat woman is in the same condition
    The guy I got this from said he never opened the box, while it's true, I'm not sure about the conditions he stores them in. I hope yours is unharmed

  8. #6
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Looks great. Of course it's flaking because it's not real leather.

    The flaking pleather came off pretty clean. In that case, I would have
    just covered it in real leather. That way you wouldn't have to worry
    about stretching or flaking ever again.

    But that's just me.

  9. #7
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Interesting fix to a problem arising from Hot Toys' continued issues of low quality versus high cost...
    Happily collecting 1:6 modern military since 1998, and not a single HT figure ever bought...

  10. #8
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Problems with this material isn't unique to Hot Toys. It affects products from high-end as well as play-line companies. Techniques to restore this material are always useful to many hobbyists.

  11. #9
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Quote Originally Posted by PitViper View Post
    Interesting fix to a problem arising from Hot Toys' continued issues of low quality versus high cost...
    Yep. The only parts I really care for an hot toys figure are the bodies and heads, which are generally of excellent quality and above the standard of most. Synthetics can be done properly without being prone to flaking (UV exposure aside), but most companies have a cost down attitude with respect to choosing materials.
    Something Wicked This Way Comes Soon.

  12. #10
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Wow! That method would work on my French Legionnaire shoes. I had the same problem as you...when I touch it, it flaked off... Thank you for posting this.
    fullmetal's Customs:fullmetals
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  13. #11
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Quote Originally Posted by IKE-CON View Post
    Looks great. Of course it's flaking because it's not real leather.

    The flaking pleather came off pretty clean. In that case, I would have
    just covered it in real leather. That way you wouldn't have to worry
    about stretching or flaking ever again.

    But that's just me.
    Great idea, will consider that as a backup plan, if the painting method doesn't hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by PitViper View Post
    Interesting fix to a problem arising from Hot Toys' continued issues of low quality versus high cost...
    Quote Originally Posted by onesixthwarrior View Post
    Problems with this material isn't unique to Hot Toys. It affects products from high-end as well as play-line companies. Techniques to restore this material are always useful to many hobbyists.
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamC View Post
    Yep. The only parts I really care for an hot toys figure are the bodies and heads, which are generally of excellent quality and above the standard of most. Synthetics can be done properly without being prone to flaking (UV exposure aside), but most companies have a cost down attitude with respect to choosing materials.
    I've only been collecting for not that long, I'm starting to see what you guys say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davinator65 View Post
    Wow! That method would work on my French Legionnaire shoes. I had the same problem as you...when I touch it, it flaked off... Thank you for posting this.
    It's a pleasure to know that this is helpful

  14. #12
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    This could work with DiD British ammo boots, which are also prone to flaking. Thanks for the tip... I shall have to try it as I suspect somewhere down the line my Dredd and Alvarez will start to have issues with their jackets and trousers... although I've Dredd for a few years now and he's still in very good condition.

  15. #13
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    This is certainly news we can use. Good work, man.

    Somebody at Hot Toys needs to be smacked for selling this crap.
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  16. #14
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Great job. You could also blast it with vinyl fabric spray (like used for auto interiors) before it cracks or after you've removed all of the cracked stuff. Application is easier.
    http://www.famousfigures.com
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  17. #15
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    All my did's early boots are suffering from this pleather disintegration..... So I need to find this Liquitex medium... Where can you buy it online?

  18. #16
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Nice job, very useful tip! Just wondering if the paint seeps through the fabric onto the arm while you doing the coats?

  19. #17
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Quote Originally Posted by plastique View Post
    This could work with DiD British ammo boots, which are also prone to flaking. Thanks for the tip... I shall have to try it as I suspect somewhere down the line my Dredd and Alvarez will start to have issues with their jackets and trousers... although I've Dredd for a few years now and he's still in very good condition.
    I think if the leather's not too thin and fragile, it should hold up

    Quote Originally Posted by dadrab View Post
    This is certainly news we can use. Good work, man.

    Somebody at Hot Toys needs to be smacked for selling this crap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Ipkevin View Post
    Great job. You could also blast it with vinyl fabric spray (like used for auto interiors) before it cracks or after you've removed all of the cracked stuff. Application is easier.
    Oh cool, will definitely check those out, thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by andresmf2003 View Post
    All my did's early boots are suffering from this pleather disintegration..... So I need to find this Liquitex medium... Where can you buy it online?
    Here's what it looks like:
    I think you should be able to find it in most arts and crafts store (that's where I got mine). Amazon might have them. Or, you could try their website, they should have a store locator. http://www.liquitex.com/fabricmedium/

    Quote Originally Posted by Crushader View Post
    Nice job, very useful tip! Just wondering if the paint seeps through the fabric onto the arm while you doing the coats?
    Yes the paint will seep through the fabric, in my case, I just remove the boots and gloves to paint them, and I wrapped the feet peg inside the boots with plastic wrap while painting.

  20. #18
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    This is one handy tip that should be pinned on the front page! I have a bunch of flaking uniforms and jacket that sorely need the treatment ASAP. Thanks a lot man!

  21. #19
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Need the mix ratio for acrylic paint, fabric medium & water. will thinner work well in place of water to thin the mixture down better?

  22. #20
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Quote Originally Posted by papaya View Post
    Need the mix ratio for acrylic paint, fabric medium & water. will thinner work well in place of water to thin the mixture down better?
    I use 50:50 for the paint/medium mix (or as instruction on the bottle states). Water will be up to your preference, I personally prefer the consistency of milk or cream (not too thick, and not too runny).

    As for thinner, I only use it with an airbrush. When hand painting, water is sufficient.

  23. #21
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Thank you for the information. I try to avoid buying any new pleather items and the old is deteriorating. Will give this a try.

  24. #22
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox915 View Post
    Hi guys, not sure if this has been posted, I was searching for ways to fix leather, but couldn’t find much results. So I wanted to share what I tried, I hope that it can be useful to others.

    So I received a HT Catwoman from a friend, the leather boots and gloves looked pristine inside the box, but as soon as I took it out, it flaked to the touch. I haven’t been collecting for very long, but I think I’ve heard a few collectors at some point has had some bad experiences with the leather on other figures.



    So here's the method I tried:


    (Sorry for using headphones as an example, I freaked out when the leather on the figure peeled and forgot to take pictures. The result was exactly like this)




    This is after everything was stripped off completely, I used an old rag to rub them off, as the leather material was thin and already crumbly, it came off without much force.[/FONT]




    For paint, I used Black acrylic paint (Carbon Black in my case) mixed with Liquitex fabric medium and diluted with water. The fabric medium helps the paint to become more flexible, able to stretch a bit, lowering the risk of cracking paint.



    In my case, I’ve painted around 15-20 coats, the first few coats were a bit difficult, as the fabric soaked up all the paint, and took very long to dry, but after the material was thoroughly saturated, the latter coats were easily applied, the drying time significantly reduced.


    These are the results:






    Depending on the finish, you can achieve different looks, in my case the fabric medium has added a slight glossy finish to the black paint, too much gloss and it may look like shiny latex material. So I added a light coat of clear matte, to dull down the shine a bit, but not too much, otherwise it’ll look rough like paint on a canvas.







    For me, I’m quite satisfied with the results, posing and bending around the joints are fine, although, the gloves and boots are a little more rigid and stiff, but does not hinder articulation at all.

    Hope you find this helpful, thanks for looking

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox915 View Post
    Thank you


    Me neither, I only found out recently, when I stumbled onto a site about painting t-shirts with acrylic paint. So I tried test-painting two pieces of scrap cloth, one with the medium, and one without. With the medium, the cloth was less stiff and more flexible. Still, they advised to avoid extreme stretching.


    The guy I got this from said he never opened the box, while it's true, I'm not sure about the conditions he stores them in. I hope yours is unharmed
    Same problem happened to me already few years ago with that wonderful pleather jacket from the HT Salvation John Connor. :-(

    If, as stated, that Catwoman was kept inside the box, what are the chances that box was kept in a dungeon, soaked in air humidity...?
    It is not a storage problem, but a bad pleather problem, or even worse, just an oxygen-unavoidably-destroying-good-pleather problem.

    I do have a still sealed HT Selina Kyle, and I fear what awaits me the moment I move to a bigger house and finally get to display my Catwoman.

    Painting clothes is not my thing. I guess I'll have to buy some new eventually crumbling pleather parts.
    Pleather and rubber: the Final Frontier in the 1/6 hobby. Why don't they use real leather? They could get it for cheap from animals sacrificed for the meat industry. On the other hand, does that Phicen silicone really hold for a very long time?

    Quote Originally Posted by IKE-CON View Post
    Looks great. Of course it's flaking because it's not real leather.

    The flaking pleather came off pretty clean. In that case, I would have
    just covered it in real leather. That way you wouldn't have to worry
    about stretching or flaking ever again.

    But that's just me.
    How would you do that? Real leather has to be extremely thin for this application, right? Even if you gut it to be that thin, you would still have to completely remove the pleather, even the non-flaking part that Fox915 painted on. Quite a chore, isn't it?

    m.

  25. #23
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Oh cool! I'm not the only one that does this.

  26. #24
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Great info! I have avoided pleather in the past but maybe will be more open to it now that I can try and fix it.

  27. #25
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    Great job! i'm sure it's possible to add leather texture by imprinting the last layer with a pattern with a release agent

  28. #26
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    Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather (pleather)

    The fabric medium mixed with acrylics is indeed great, and it's my go-to method for both fabrics and faux leather for 1/6 figures. I've also fixed a scrape on the pleather on the Tbleague Painkiller Jane boots by simply coating the damaged area with clear, uncoloured fabric medium.
    "The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read,
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