If you’ve built models for a while, chances are you’ve got your own “Holy Grail” kit. The one you missed. The one that’s out of production, super-rare, and nobody will sell.
For me, it was actually the Captain America kit I built a few months ago. The Ultimate Soldier, by Mad Dog Resin. And before that, it was the resin Phantom kit, with his wolf ‘Devil’. For Monique, it’s Lon Chaney, Man of 1000 Faces. Made by Janus, and long out of production. Monique has wanted this kit for a couple of years, from the moment she first discovered it. I can see why – the detailing is great, and the subject matter highly unique. Plus it’s a fabulous tribute to Lon Chaney.
Been looking for the kit ever since she told me how much she wanted it. Recently, we had a chance to buy one. I met the gentleman on a facebook modeling page. He was asking $400 and it was missing the crate. I didn’t object to the price or the missing part, but when all was said and done, we could only scrape together $300 plus shipping costs. He took some time to consider the offer, but eventually declined.
It worked out for the best. A few days later there was an eBay auction, offering pieces from an estate sale. They had a pre-built Man of 1000 Faces. It had all the parts, and went for a decent price. I’m currently cleaning the paint off. Did a lot of reading online, decided to try Easy Off Oven Cleaner. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will clean the paint without harming the resin, and it’s different for different resin materials. I liked Easy Off because I knew what it was, where to get it, and it sounded mostly safe for resin models.
I randomly chose the legs for testing. It took a lot of back and forth. Soak a day, clean… soak few days, clean. After the third cycle it was looking pretty good, and the Easy Off wasn’t doing any damage. So I put everything into one large trash bag, put that in a box, and emptied the can of Easy Off in it.
All that soaked for a few days, and when I pulled it out, the first layer of paint was mostly gone. Put everything back in, soak a few more days…
This is still ongoing, but so far there’s been no harm to the model kit. By now, some of the pieces are good to go, and some very close. At this point I’m using a scrub-brush and a toothbrush. It’s a lot of hard work, but the result, so far, is very good. Soon, I think, I’ll resort to tweezers and toothpicks. After that, it’s all up to Monique!