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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Fixing cracking and flaking leather

Great Tip! They turned out terrific, amazing.:wideyes
Thank you :)

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.

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 :)
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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...
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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.
Great idea, will consider that as a backup plan, if the painting method doesn't hold up :)

Interesting fix to a problem arising from Hot Toys' continued issues of low quality versus high cost...
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.
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.

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 :D
 

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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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 :)

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

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

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 :)

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/

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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.
 
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