Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon
Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
... which seems to be mostly about dyeing computer equipment cases, but could work OK with LEGO's ABS.
^ Because a particular part may not be available in the colour you want. An example might be a canopy that's only available in clear trans, but you want it in trans yellow for a classic space or blacktron MOC.
EDIT Here is the link http://www.minifigcustomizationnetwork.com/howto/1675
@collect_that and @Yellowcastle - The sacrilege does not stop with changing the color. I am also going to cut it. It is also a part that only comes in one set right now for $70 USD and there are two of them in the set. I am going to cut and dye both of them, then put stickers on them. The only other thing I can think of to offend purists is to combine them with MegaBloks but I don't see how that would work to my advantage. Haha, but seriously, I knew there would be opponents to this thread. That's ok. I appreciate the comments because it keeps the discussion toward the top. :)
Oh Lord.... "lead us not into temptation".... ;-)
Out of curiosity, what piece are you modding and how are you going to use it?
But my initial comment was based on my opinion that the great thing about Lego is also its limitation, forcing you to think outside the box to get creative when a piece either doesn't exist or is unavailable.
To me this seems like a blur between building and traditional modelling, but I also agree that what other builders do is up to them though and would also like to see the results posted??
The piece is a half cylinder in the new 3368 Rocket Launch Center http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=3368-1 set.
I was originally going to use this piece, cement mixer cylinder,
but then I saw this one in the shuttle set and it works so much better.
I am recreating the driving of the Golden Spike for an upcoming model train show. Since it is a national model train show and not a LEGO train show, I figured I could get away with it. :)
I need to transition from a 4 round to a 6 round and both of these pieces do it and do so well. I came up with a lot of other brick built solutions, but the rest of the train is so perfect and that section really bothered me. If you look up the Jupiter or 119, you can see what I am trying to do.
However, if anyone can come up with a nice brick built solution so I won't have to resort to cutting and dyeing...the LEGO will be spared. lol
I have done a lot of searching for other LEGO attempts at these trains and found a couple examples that left a lot to be desired.
@collect_that - Funny, because I initially bristled at the thought of cutting and painting LEGO, but I cut one of the fantasy era poleaxes and now I am hooked!
I always try to be short and succinct, but fail.
It did shrink the plastic just a little bit--I was making helmets, and the helmets were noticably tighter fitting on the heads of the minifigs. The problem I had with vinyl dye was trying to find the right shade/color of dye. And, finding it in small amounts (the smallest amounts I found were like $20 bottles).
As for cost, I was reading that you can find vinyl dye for $9 a can.
As for the RIT. I can NOT get the dye to stick. I have tried to dye white, grey, red, yellow, blue bricks, used cold water, hot water boiling water, full concentration, dilute, you name it. None of them even got a hint of a shade change. Not a hint!! I have to say I have given on on using RIT. Still trying to find the dye.
Anyway, here is the picture. I only painted part of it to compare between the regular sheen and what the paint would look like. I then did a scratch test to see if it is just a coating or actual dye. I scratched it in two places, the one on the right much harder than the one on the left.
Here is the link (I hope it's right)
"Aside from the company websites, I'm not sure how you would buy them online. I found Mar-Hyde at three differen tO'Reilley Autoparts. Many autopart stores around here, especially the mom-and-pop local owned ones, carry Plasti-Kote. The larger retailers do NOT carry vinyl dye. The stuff they carry is a coating, not a dye. Make sure you read the labels carefully. The stuff that Wal-Mart carries is called Dupli-Color Vinyl and Fabric Coating."
"As mentioned above, there are two very similar kinds of Vinyl product on the market, one is called Vinyl 'Coating', the other Vinyl 'Dye'. What you want is the Vinyl 'Dye' and not the Vinyl 'Coating'!"
VHT SP941 Vinyl Dye Gloss Jet Black Can - 11 oz.
I will update if it works. :) It is supposed to arrive on the 17th :(
I hate to experiment with products by ordering them online. I don't mind ordering online if I know what I am getting. Finding the dye somewhere that I could actually touch it has been most difficult, well impossible, so far since I haven't actually found it.
As for tips, I would recommend spraying it in an environment toward the lower end of the suggested range. I did one time when it was really hot, and one time when it was cooler, and when it was hot, the dye dried in the air on its way to the surface and caused the surface to be a little rough. Hope that all makes sense.
Try and find the piece that is Vinyl-dyed :) Also, there is another piece(s) that I sprayed black. Try and find those. That is how good this stuff works. Perfect color match, too!
Obviously the point of doing this is to get parts in colours you want from parts that are the wrong colour. I did most of these about six months ago, so bear in mind new parts are now out. I am not so good at painting, so I thought I could dye then have to make my own decals to put some patterning back in.
First up: The Dark Knight .... he needs black wings:
This has worked rather well. Jet black, looks like Lego made it. Obviously there is no pattern on the original, so just a nice flat black.
What if there is a pattern on the piece. Step forward the traffic cop (or rather just his head). It's interesting to note that the dye pentrates the yellow, but the printed sunglasses remain. Again the piece is a lovely jet black, with the silver shades in tact. This suggested something a little apocalyptic to me:
So the print remains. So this is an excellent way to recolour minifigs, whilst keeping their original prints. This is good for me, as I like to distinguish rank, but also like my figures to keep the Lego look. So lets dye a samurai:
I first stopped this one before it went completely black, it came out a very deep red. Then gave him a little longer so he went black. I don't think I could manage the same look with regular black pieces and decals.
I'm loving this colour change, so time to put in my favourite pieces. I've always wanted some Praetorian guards for my Roman army, with black shields. Lets do the helmets too:
The shields are perfect. Again beautifully black with the orignial print in tact. These are way better than I had originally hoped. Before I started, I was expecting the whole lot to go black and the need to apply decals. It turns out I can have exactly the same design without the need for decals. Notice the helmets, they go a really nice tarnished pewter colour. Lets try that on some other helmets. These ones are dwarf helmets from brickforge. Varying the time that each is dyed for produces some lovely results:
The plain silver one is on the left, going through a gold, deep bronze to almost black. These were originally all silver. Ignore the apparent size difference. They were not straight when I photographed them, so rotated the photo a bit. I did the same with some persian helmets:
And got some lovely bronze helmets from silver. So I tried some plain grey helmets for my castle soldiers:
These went through a fairly light copper type colour. I probably should have stopped there, but a little longer and they went to very dark copper / brown. I'll probably dye them all the way to black.
A collection of random parts:
Down the front we have the fitness girl's radio ... now black instead of pink. It differs from the rap star's one as the print is still silver rather than gold. The boxing gloves took some dye, but even after hours, didn't really go any darker. I wanted black, but deep red is about all I am going to get. There are some more traffic cop heads, topped with a brickforge ponytail. There is a black bowler hat (actually the clown's hat from S5, with the print rubbed off) - remember this was done before S8 was announced. The scourge was yellow from brickforge. Now a much nicer colour. Ignore the falcata swords, I'll come back to those. The thing in the centre at the front is a space gun (again brickforge). It used to be green, now jet black. The persian helmets we've already seen. The mohawks were bright orange (and hence cheap), but a bit of dye gets them to a useful colour. After watching Rocky III last night, they are for a Clubber Lang. The staff is a lovely dark brown (not black), starting from sand green. The maces were bright red, but now more useful in black. Then at the back, we have a regular Lego sword and handcuffs. These were left in the dye for days. They are essentially the same shade as when they went in. Slightly more dull grey, but hardly changed at all. They dye sticks to them, but washes off. Obviously a different plastic.
So did everything work? No. As above, the swords and handcuffs did not recolour at all. The falcata swords showed a different problem. I obviously heated too much (in fact, it started to boil) and look what happened:
They significantly shrank and changed shape. I did the same with some bricks. Some I dyed relatively cool (70C) and they were OK, but took quite a while to dye. Others I heated to 90C and let them stew. They went perfectly black, but the clutch power is awful. They must have slightly changed shape in the heat, since they no longer stick. This is especially noticable in odd shaped bricks (arches, etc) as some of these have even twisted out of shape. For minifig parts, there is much greater tolerance, since most pieces stick to a single stud, clip in a hand, etc. For bricks, I wouldn't bother dying.
I've only used black so far, and thik I've got some great results. For darkening existing minifig outfits but retaining the print, it is perfect. I especially love the different metal effects you can get on silver helmets. Clearly you cannot go lighter with this form of dying, but if you have a lot of white pieces, then coloured dye might help recolour them. You probably won't end up with official Lego colours, btu the dye does give a new lease of life to some parts only available in a few colours, especially if those colours do not fit in with your colour schemes. I would never have found a use for the fitness instructor's pink radio, but as a black one it fits in perfectly for me.
I look forward to your response. :)
But I'll def be dying those fitness instructor radios - needed pink torsos so ended up with a bunch of useless radios! Thanks.
I was really being quick and dirty - I heated on a gas stove in a glass beaker (just to avoid staining kitchen pots), but I'd imagine anything is fine. I am sure you could be more reproducable if you use a thermostatic heat bath, and measure out quantities accurately. The first time I measured the temperature using a standard mercury thermometer, after that I didn't bother.
For the metal colours, getting the shade reproducable is difficult. I imagine the process is slower at lower temperatures, so you could slow things down and keep checking. But to get uniform colouring of helmets for each faction, I just dyed them all at the same time. I normally batch my armies in groups of 8, so I ended up doing 8 helmets at once, along with any other parts. The dye seemed to last / keep its strength for hours.
One word of warning - hands seem to take ages. Much longer than yellow torsos or heads. I guess they have some extra hardener plasticiser in to make them less breakable.
@Savage_Steel I don't think you would be able to dye the red boxer headguards blue. The ones I tried went a similar colour to the gloves, very deep red, and then stayed there never reaching black. If you did this with blue dye, they would not come out bright blue.
The other thing, once dyed, make sure you wash them really well in soapy water to make sure all the extra dye is off. I thought some of mine were clean, but noticed some staining on other parts that they came into contact with later.
I love the fact that the original print remains in place. All the parts look like genuine Lego, exactly the same as the official figures. I've tried photographing minifigs and then creating decals, but they never quite look the same for me.
But as you are mixing it with water anyway, the cheaper stuff in nail polish remover will be fine. You will just need to try it out to get your own recipe for the materials you have. Start with lower concentrations of acetone and build up.
It is also worth doing the pure acetone experiment, just to see what happens. Grab some old scratched up bricks and pop them in a jar, pour on a little acetone, part way up the bricks and look a couple of hours later. Childish experiment but amazing... I've tried using the resulting liquid to mold new parts, but it shrinks too much and leaves parts that are too flexible.
You can get the packs of RIT dye powder on eBay, I think I paid about £3.50 a pack.
I haven't been able to make it to the store that sells RIT, yet, so I haven't tried again with the powder and acetone.
And Looking at @CCC's painting on the Romans, love it! Minding swapping a normal one to a painted one? ;)