How To Repair a Broken Plastic Bust or Figurine

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    A guy wrights that they are in need of some help repairing a Plastic Comic Book Figurine that got broken. Actually it was shattered pretty bad. The material used is a type of composite plastic that is used for casting and although it is hard it is also brittle. He wanted to go all out and see how well he could repair it just to have in his home.

    The first thing you have to understand when trying to fix figurines whether they are plastic or ceramic is that the resulting piece will never be the same. This is not to say that it can’t look really good after the repair its just to say you won’t be hiding the damage from anyone who knew what it looked like before it got damaged.

    Plastic is much easier to repair than ceramic pieces because plastic can be repaired with many methods and it can be repainted. Ceramic pieces are normally limited to epoxy repair of broken parts and light touch ups around the remaining cracks and chips.

    For repairing the damage you want to preserve as much of the original parts as you can. With a clear two part epoxy you can assemble the pieces one at a time to get back most of the shape. When you have missing areas you will need to back up the opening with a material like cardboard and then produce your own repair material to fill the gaps.

     

    Many people like to use auto body materials to make the repair and this is a very good choice if the plastic will accept the fillers and paints. Most plastic will however a soft plastic like ABS won’t.

    Back the openings with cardboard then apply a filler that has fiberglass reinforcement. Often this type of structural filler goes by the name Tiger Hair or Kitty hair and you can guess that the kitty hair fibers are much smaller. The higher resins and fiberglass will allow you to build up a thick layer of filler that you can then shape with 80 grit sand paper.

    When applying filler you should never add more than you need and scrape away any excess or drips before they cure. Filler will normally cure in about 10 to 15 minutes so you need to work in areas that you can control. If you were applying a large amount to a car fender you could work fast and control the application because you are using wide and long strokes… when working on a intricate object like a figurine only mix small amounts of filler, maybe only a few table spoons to maybe a half cup at a time.

    The filler can be applied in many layers and sanded and reapplied to fill any uneven parts.

    Once you are pretty happy with your results you can sand with 200 grit sand paper and then apply a primer filler which will give you the ability to fill in small defects.

    Sand the primer filler with 400 grit sand paper and then apply your top coat of paint.

     

    Final Note

    When making repairs to plastic collectibles you need to realize that the results won’t be good enough to resell at any normal price. If you have something that is sentimental or that you just like then making the repairs is not that difficult.

    Save all the parts you can to glue together to get the original shape.

    Fiberglass reinforced fillers allow you to build up thicknesses of 1/4 to 1/2 inch but require a cardboard backing that the filler is applied to.

    Don’t expect the repair to last forever but it should last many years.

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