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Made in us
Grey Knight Psionic Stormraven Pilot





New Lexington, OH

I recently picked up 2 old perter figures back from 89. I noticed that they seem to have rusted some. I was wondering if anyone else have ever encountered this. If there is anything I can do about this without damaging the figures or if painting them will help at all?

 
   
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Focused Dark Angels Land Raider Pilot





Dallas, TX, USA

I would find the finest steel wool you can and very gently scrub them.

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Made in us
Cowboy Wannabe




Sacramento

You may find that the figures are or contain lead, in which case what you have is "lead rot".

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran



South Portsmouth, KY USA

If it's pewter there may be some browning, dunk it in vinegar and then gently scrub with some steel wool. Unless it is all bloomed out in which case it is probably a bad case of lead rot, which happens on lead miniatures, not so much pewter or "white metal" antimony/tin.

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Made in us
Colonel






Chicago

It would really help to know more about their condition.

I would skip the steel wool. It's not going to get in the crevases anyway, and unless it's really fine (OOO or OO) it might scratch the figs.

Are you sure the figures are pure pewter with no lead? DO NOT USE VINEGAR ON LEAD FIGURES. Vinegar is acidic and can lead to lead rot.

If it's just a bit of browning, it doesn't matter, and you can either clean it off or just leave it and paint over.

Have you tried soap and water yet? If so, and you are sure they are pewter, then Vinegar might work with a bit of a toothbrush afterwards. If not that, then it might be time to step up to simple green soak follwed by vigorous scrub with a toothbrush. If even that doesn't work, then acetone and q-tips might be necessary.

If the rust is white'ish and powdery, you've got lead rot. They need to be cleaned, but do not use vinegar. Brush away the lead rot, clean the fig with a non-acidic cleaner, then prime and paint. The paint will seal in the figure and stop the rot. More about Lead Rot here.

http://www.blmablog.com/p/what-is-lead-rot.html

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Made in us
Dakka Veteran



South Portsmouth, KY USA

I just noticed that the OP mentioned that these figures were from '89. They are probably lead as the industry didn't switch to pewter until '93 or '94. So it is probably lead rot.

Nothing wrong with using vinegar, it slightly etches the surface which allows your primer to stick better as well as neutralizes any mold release, just be sure to rinse it off under water after the salad dressing bath.. It does not contribute to lead rot. Lead rot happens when a substandard lead alloy is exposed to air and moisture over a period of time.

This usually doesn't happen to painted figures as the paint is a sealer against the elements.

Lead rot can be white, but more often it is black blooms on the surface of a figure.
Tin-pest, also called Pewter-pest is also white, but the material flakes off in layers instead of being manifest by blooms.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/03/16 17:20:39


Armies: Space Marines, IG, Tyranids, Eldar, Necrons, Orks, Dark Eldar.
I am the best 40k player in my town, I always win! Of course, I am the only player of 40k in my town.

Check out my friends over at Sea Dog Game Studios, they always have something cooking: http://www.sailpowergame.com. Or if age of sail isn't your thing check out the rapid fire sci-fi action of Techcommander http://www.techcommandergame.com
 
   
Made in us
Grey Knight Psionic Stormraven Pilot





New Lexington, OH

these are what I have to work with.
[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-11-55_743.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-12-03_15.jpg]

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[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-12-42_789.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-13-53_719.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-12-54_156.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-13-11_328.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-14-19_820.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-13-32_937.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-14-48_170.jpg]

[Thumb - 2013-03-18_01-14-37_241.jpg]


 
   
Made in us
Dark Angels Librarian with Book of Secrets






Just use some toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to polish the surface. Then paint away.

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Made in us
Grey Knight Psionic Stormraven Pilot





New Lexington, OH

I picked that one for an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. For what I've picked out for it. It will be one of my better conversions. I appreciate the help from all of you. When I get these cleaned up and done up I'll post pics up later.

 
   
Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard






Newcastle, OZ

Those were still "white metal" (GW wasn't using pure lead even back then). They were a tin/lead/antimony alloy. 60% lead though.
Looks like a bad case of oxidation and possibly this "rot" I've heard of but never seen (personally) - and I've got toy soldiers that WERE cast from pure lead (although they WERE primed and sealed with paint, so this would have reduced oxidation somewhat).

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Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.

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Made in us
Colonel






Chicago

I'd agree with Chromedog,

Pure lead wargaming minaitures are pretty rare. When folks say "lead figures" they mean a lead based alloy. There's definitely a chance it might be lead rot. Clean them quick without acid (toothpaste is not a bad idea) then get them primed and painted ASAP. When you're done, seal them well. Paint and sealer is the best way to keep CO2 from getting in and starting the rot process again.

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Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad!
https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com 
   
Made in us
Chalice-Wielding Sanguinary High Priest





Arlington TX, but want to be back in Seattle WA

you can use the cleaner CLR ...found in hardware stores...removing calcium/rust stains and buildup

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Made in us
Grey Knight Psionic Stormraven Pilot





New Lexington, OH

luckily the tooth paste method worked for the inquisitor. If the weathers good I'll prime him and get him worked on soon.

 
   
 
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