careful when using any of the remedies suggested here. While they have been
used successfully on many original finish Breyer models there is always the
remote possibility that they will not work on yours, and I cannot take
responsibility for anything that occurs when you try these remedies. If you
have any doubt, test a small area of the affected model first, and always
keep an eye on your model during the entire process. If you have any
questions or suggestions, please
let me know!
If your Original Finish model isn't
standing squarely you can use heat to fix those warped legs. The easiest
method is to soak the offending leg in very hot tap water for roughly
forty-five seconds for an adult model. This will
soften the leg enough for you to gently begin moving it back into
position--you may wish to use gloves to protect your hands from the heat.
You will probably need to re-submerge the leg in order to completely correct
the problem. Once your model is in the right position you will need to run
cold water over the affected part in order to set the leg in its new shape.
Other people have used a hair dryer to provide the heat and the "cool"
setting to cool the leg afterward. Be careful when using any heat source.
Breyer has a good section on their website that
deals with these problems as well as how to fix scratches. You can get it
from the horse's mouth
Dirty and Scuffed:
Models bought at a
yard sale or who have fallen on hard times (or on other models) may end up
dirty and scuffed. Both conditions can be fixed easily if you have an
original finish model. Fill a tub or sink with warm, soapy water (hand dish
soap seems to work well) and let your model soak, submersed, for
several minutes. Breyers like to float, so you can also get the model wet
and soak one side at a time, placing a wet wash cloth on the "up" side to
help soak the dirt and grime loose. After ten minutes or so you can use a
wash cloth to gently scrub at the dirt and black scuff marks; most should
come off easily. For more stubborn spots you can soak longer and/or use a
gentle scrubbing sponge or soft toothbrush to remove the scuff marks. Be patient,
and be sure to not use too much pressure or you risk damaging the finish.
Proceed especially carefully when scrubbing glossy finish models! Models that
still have their blue ribbon stickers attached or that have signatures or
hand numbering should not be submerged but
instead carefully cleaned with warm soapy water and a washcloth, avoiding
Paint on an
Original Finish model: Others have reported success in removing
enamel and latex paint added to original finish models by
using the cleaning product
Lestoil. After first washing your model (see
"Dirty and Scuffed", above) fill your sink with very hot tap water. Add 1/2
cup of Lestoil and let your model soak for roughly twenty minutes per side.
After this you should be able to just wipe the non-original finish paint off! A
toothbrush or fingernail can be used to scrape off those lingering bits.
This should be followed by another soap and water wash. Let dry and repeat
if necessary. Acrylic paint can be removed with
just a soap and hot water soaking, followed by some gentle wash cloth
Smoke or other smells: Smoke (usually but not
always cigarette smoke) can be easily removed from your original finish
models. The first thing to do is wash your model with soap and water--see
Dirty and Scuffed, above. If the smell is fairly mild
this plus a day or two in clean, fresh air may be sufficient to fix the
problem. If not, try placing your model in an enclosed container like a bag
or box and put an absorbent material such as activated charcoal, baking soda or cat
litter near but not touching the model.
Close the box up and let the absorbing begin! For
extreme cases you may need to replace the absorbent material after a day or
two. Check on your model daily and soon that stinky smell will be history.
Yellowing: Breyer models with white areas are
prone to yellowing with age and with prolonged exposure to smoke. The most
common method of whitening involves just setting your model in a sunny
location and letting the sun do its work. Be sure than your model doesn't
get too hot while sunbathing, however, as high heat can lead to
the plastic, something that can't be repaired. Whitening
may take days or weeks, depending on the model and the amount of bright sun
received each day. Another method involves bleach, and has been found to be
effective if somewhat risky. Models are soaked in a water/bleach solution (I
remember seeing one part bleach to ten parts water used in the past) or in a
chlorinated swimming pool. This method can damage gold-painted areas, and
too much bleach can fade the color of your model, so please proceed with