Author Topic: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?  (Read 5351 times)

Offline Jeff

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A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« on: March 9, 2011, 12:40 AM »
I wasn't sure where to put this since it's affected Clones/Troopers from Waves 2, 3, 4, 5, and apparantly 6. Thought it'd be easier to start a new thread...

On the topic of yellow/green helmets - I've read a few anecdotal stories around the 'net that the greening/yellowing is being caused by something introduced during the molding process on the helmets - I don't know if it's a mold release agent or a plastic residue, but apparently, it's 100% reversible/removable!

I had a guy (toydoctordude - thanks, man!) send me an e-mail over at hanshideout.com with some simple instructions on how to de-color the recent Vintage Collection 'supposed to be white' trooper helmets -

[disclaimer - hot water is hot.  Don't burn yourself!]
1. heat up some water to near boiling
2. soak the helmet in the HOT water for 3 minutes
3. dip a dry cloth in the HOT water
4. remove helmet from water (carefully, it's hot!)
5. rub/polish/buff the helmet with the wet cloth

Simple, right?  I tried it with one of my worst greenish helmet Ep3 Clones and I'll be damned if it didn't work.  After a few minutes, it didn't look perfect but it looked a whole lot better.  A few more minutes of buffing with the cloth (it helps to rub hard, but obviously not hard enough to remove the paint) and the previous green color was almost unnoticible.

A caviat - it only seems to help with the helmets, not sure if it will do anything if you've got yellow-thigh Sandtroopers or whatever...  I'm also not sure how long it will last as I only just tried it myself tonight (for all I know the green will come back in a few weeks).  And, obviously, it doesn't help the carded collectors out there.

If I had known it was going to work so well, I would have taken some before pics - here's the after pic anyway.



Anyone out there have a yellow/green trooper helmet to try it out to see if you can duplicate my success?
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #1 on: March 9, 2011, 02:27 AM »
I have a 212th now that I wasn't going to keep, but may give this a try jeff, and I'll try doing before/after photography.  It's worth a shot.

If it's just hot water taking it off, it's almost definitely some kind of mold release agent...

Discoloration within the plastic itself generally takes strong chemicals to get it out of porous plastics, and some (especially more flexible types, such as SW figure limbs) can't be fixed that way...  It works more on the rigid plastic of the Clone torsoes in that case.  But like I said, that's more a reaction where the plastic's quality wasn't quite as high and it degraded over time.

Just rubbing it with hot water implies to me that it's almost certainly something ON the plastic surface, not within it, and so it should work on anything...  Sandtrooper thighs included assuming its the same goop.

I'll definitely try it when I can get around to it. 

BTW I would guess it's permanent assuming then that it is just a coating of something, rather than something within the plastic itself.  Looks great in that pic though Jeff.
« Last Edit: March 9, 2011, 02:32 AM by Jesse James »
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #2 on: March 9, 2011, 03:51 AM »
I tried it on a Stormtrooper tonight, albeit not in the best circumstances (I had to use the hottest tap water I had available to me as my hotpot's out of commission right now), and I can't really tell if I made a huge dent in any discoloration.  My Stormie's helmet wasn't horrible, but I wanted to try it on something I had opened already.

It's possible too that the residue that's cleaning off some of them actually stained other plastics, depending on what was used, and simple wiping will no longer help.  I've not gotten a particularly bad figure at all in my collection yet, and passed on the ones I've seen. 

Just thought I'd give an update on my experience...  I also can't take decent photos of it anyway, haha.  If someone has a particularly bad trooper and they could give it a whirl with before/after shots, that'd be appreciated too.
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Offline Greg

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #3 on: March 9, 2011, 09:41 AM »
After reading a few tips online, I tried using an eraser on a bunch of yellowing/greening figures. It cleared up the discoloration on figures as recent as the 212th clone and as old as the Clone Wars Trooper Jek from 2009. No paint was scraped off, nor was any plastic lost due to the friction. Whatever discolors the figures is definitely near the surface, as the eraser had yellow and green residue on it after being used.

The hot water trick sounds interesting, and I'll definitely give it a try. So far it seems like all of the "fixes" involve rubbing the figure, so that might be the necessary factor.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #4 on: March 9, 2011, 03:54 PM »
Can you snap any photos for us Greg?  An Eraser sounds interesting to try too...  I hadn't even considered just going that route.
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Offline Greg

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #5 on: March 9, 2011, 04:57 PM »
Can you snap any photos for us Greg?  An Eraser sounds interesting to try too...  I hadn't even considered just going that route.

I'll definitely get some pics tonight. I was surprised at how well it worked. I shouldn't have to fix the figures, but it's good to get them looking nice and white again.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #6 on: March 9, 2011, 09:43 PM »
I putzed with a Stormtrooper last night as I said, and I actually was examining it closer tonight and it's noticeably better...  I thought I hadn't gotten very far with it last night but I see a difference today.

I can't get a clear pic since the helmet wasn't bad to begin with, but it definitely worked.

The eraser thing sounds interesting, and if I had another yellowed figure I'd try that...  Pink or white erasers would be best so you can see what progress (if any) you're making. 

Anyone tried either on a Sandtrooper's yellowing thigh armor?  I haven't noticed Sandtrooper discoloration to be as bad as the ROTS Clone helmet.  That thing is easily the most discolored figure part out there.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011, 12:40 AM »
I'm shocked nobody seems to care, as this is a pretty huge breakthrough...  Let the yellowing complaints cease I guess.

I have now tried both techniques on Stormtrooper helmets and 212th Clone helmets.

The paper towel gets into the cracks better than the erasers do, however the eraser is a lot faster and barely took any pressure.  The paper towel took a bit more pressure...  I think the same basic principles are at play though, that it's friction taking something off the surface, and not something that's actually stained into the porous nature of the plastic, or the plastic itself discoloring.

I was really shocked at the way the 212th came clean though.

By the way, had a Sandtrooper hanging around on my desk here and I decided to try to clean the thigh armor, and it came clean as well...  The Sandtroopers don't generally look as bad to me on the pegs, but their thigh armor does have discoloration it seems.  The eraser cleaned them though.  I cleaned a left leg and left a right leg unclean, and the difference becomes more clear doing things that way.

I use a papermate pink pearl eraser, I can get them through work, and it worked great.  It crumbles a bit and you've gotta clean the figure from eraser shavings then, but it seems perfect to me.  Both techniques seem to work great on any of the newer discolored figures.
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Offline Captain Piet

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2011, 09:33 AM »
I like the eraser/Dawn technique myself.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 11:46 PM »
I used no chemicals, just an eraser, and mine came clean...  Perfectly clean as a matter of fact.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 12:05 PM »
I haven't opened any of mine yet, but will definitely keep these ideas in mind.  Thanks for the tips!
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Offline 501ST

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 12:14 PM »
I'll need to have a trooper with the problem first. ;)
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011, 04:42 PM »
I had an extra Vintage ROTS Clone Trooper laying around (it was the first release with the missing paint aps) so I figured now would be a good time to experiment with the methods outlined in this thread.  I also picked up an extra 212th Clone at WM this morning, so I could use the eraser method on one and the hot water method on the other.  My apologies that I don't have a camera for documentation purposes, but I'm hoping I can verbally describe the quality of the improvement/outcome in a satisfactory manner.

ERASER VS 212th CLONE TROOPER:  I went this route first, as the 212th helmet was much greener than the white ROTS clone, and I figured if the eraser didn't work, I wouldn't cause a significant amount of damage to the helmet.  I used (simply enough) the eraser on the end of a Number 2 Paper Mate pencil, since it was small enough to get into the cracks of the helmet itself, and I could grasp it easier than I could the old block-style eraser.  I was a little disappointed with the results, though, as there was only a small amount of discoloration on the eraser once I gave the helmet its first pass and the helmet was still pretty discolored.  This may have had something to do with the eraser itself, though, so your mileage may vary.  That said, I was disheartened enough with this method to jump straight into the semi-boiling water method and abandon the eraser method completely.

RESULT:  Yellow Helmet beats Eraser, unfortunately.

BOILING WATER VS 212th CLONE TROOPER:  So, since I'd already started on (what I assumed would be) my quest to destroy the 212th Clone Trooper helmet, I went ahead and tried the warm water trick.  I put about 1/3 cup of water in a microwaveable Campbell's soup cup, microwaved it for 1 minute at full power, and then dropped the helmet into the water once it was out of the microwave.  I then used a glove on my left hand to hold the helmet while I extracted the helmet from the water using tweezers, dipped a dry cloth into the cup, and then rubbed the 212th helmet briskly.  This worked far better for me than the first method, as the vast majority of the discoloration came off (or at the very least lessened considerably), and the helmet was notably whiter. 

Being a pessimist, though, I wanted to try it on the plain white Clone helmet (since I felt the orange markings may have been playing tricks on my rods and cones and simply making me THINK it was still a yellowish tint when it wasn't).  I followed the same procedures that I did with the 212th helmet and the boiling water, and this time it was REALLY noticeable.  Then I proceeded to drop the vintage Stormtrooper helmet, my "correctly painted" ROTS Clone helmet, and my first 212th Vintage Clone helmets into the water, with similar results.  Again, though, being a pessimist, I can still detect some slight discoloration, but all of the helmets I tried are now considerably whiter than they were before they hit the boiling water.

RESULT:  Hot water beats yellow helmet.

I'm glad that the ones I have already are now "fixed", but this should definitely NOT be something I have to do with every Clone from here on out.  Hasbro needs to address this and correct things now, so we don't have to take the time and fix their errors on our own time.

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2011, 05:03 PM »
I would like to believe that Hasbro has already addressed the issue.

I have four AOTC Clones and five Wave 5 TVC Stormtroopers and none of them have discolored helmets (as of this writing, knock on wood)....

The 212th Clones I received in my Wave 6 cases have mild discoloring but not to the extent of being "blueish/green" like some folks have found.

Here's hoping that by the time they get to the 501st Clonetrooper repaint of the vintage ROTS Clonetrooper mold that they have fully fixed the issue.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Fix for the Ugly Yellow/Green Trooper Helmets?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 02:13 AM »
I should note that none of my figures had SEVERE discoloring on any helmet...  The stormtrooper was barely noticeable at all in the first place, but it wound up coming really clean.  To the point I was surprised.

My 212th figure I just got and I'm guessing it came from a Wave 6 case, and it was discolored but not horifically.  Enough to certainly be noticed though.

I'm surprised the eraser didn't work for you Dr. P.  I didn't get any residual discoloring on the eraser by the way, it just came off. 

Nothing should effect paint except chemicals by the way...  Paint on modern figures actually adheres to the plastic.  It generally takes some pretty potent stuff to remove it.  The only thing I've found to remove most modern toy paint (that works well anyway) is "Goof Off" (not to be confused with "Goo Gone".  Goof Off is a graffitti remover, and it will melt plastic so use extreme caution with it, ventilated area, etc., if you're even considering using it to do some paint removal on anything really.  Nail Polish remover can do some damage to paint too, but I've found it takes so much work to use it that it usually damages teh plastic along with the paint.

Anyway, sorry to go off there on a side topic, but the eraser thing worked on my Sandtrooper thighs too, which I thought was really IN the plastic...  Not just on the surface. 

I wish I could add photos but my camera sucks for anything close, and far away doesn't show the difference properly IMO.
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