Display and upkeep
🦄 A little bit of positivity for everyone :D
This will vary completely depending on where you live, therefore the following information will be rather generic.
In order to get the best shelving for your display, you will need to do your own research and work out what will be suit your other furniture, the space you have and the money you're wishing to spend. It is always worth investing in shelving that looks good since it will improve the appearance of your display greatly, than buying the cheapest piece of shit that fits whatever space you are using. Make sure to read reviews of whatever you are buying if possible, there have been far too many incidents where something has broken/fallen apart with expensive figures on it because the owner wasn't willing to spend more money. However if you do feel the need to pay the least you can on garbage, then please remember to take photographs before you tidy up and share them.
The standard and most recommended pieces of furniture are from IKEA and they are the DETOLF and BILLY.
The DETOLF is a glass cabinet which has four shelves and fits two to three 1/6 scale figures on each shelf, with a lot of vertical room meaning taller figures can fit easily. The DETOLF is easy to build and setup with only one person, although the instructions recommend two. Make sure you follow the instructions and place the metal supports facing inside the DETOLF, there has been at least one case of someone doing this incorrectly which caused the shelves with their figures on it to fall. The DETOLF is not the most secure of displays, it wobbles when there is movement near it and it can be difficult to light without hideous wires making your display look worse. Here is a German blog that shows how to completely hide the wires in a DETOLF. Here is a detailed guide by Anon with a slightly different approach. If you really are worried about dust, then you can dust-proof your DETOLF through different methods. If you need to adjust the height of your shelves, or add additional shelves, you can use 3/16" wire rope clips. See here for a guide.
If it is necessary to transport your DETOLF at a later date, this guide will help you with the packaging.
The BILLY series are open bookshelves which come in various sizes and can be adjusted to suit your needs. The largest of these can comfortable fit three 1/6 scale figures on each shelf, with a total of six shelves per BILLY. These are also available in various colors but most Anon go for either black-brown or white, purchase whatever color will fit in with the rest of your decor. Adding lighting to your BILLY is very simple, drill a hole in the backing where the shelf above meets the back and pass the wires through there, while sticking your light to the top of the shelf. You can purchase MORLIDEN glass doors for the BILLY, which can improve the look of the bookcase and stop dust from getting to your figures, this increases the weight of the bookcase so make sure to secure it via the included parts.
Another option available are floating shelves, these are usually very cheap at local stores and can be found at a variety of sizes and colors to fit your needs. However some may be less secure than others, so it is absolutely recommended that you research the weight limits on the shelves and if you are worried then it may be helpful to look into support brackets. These will attract significantly more dust than a closed display, but for smaller collections that is not a problem.
If you're a tippiest toppiest richfag, you could search for and purchase highly professional enclosed glass display cases instead. These are often custom made, so you have to look locally. Be aware that anything airtight will entrap the PVC outgassing and make your figures have that unboxing smell unless you air out the case every now and then. On the plus side, though, you'll probably never have to dust your collection ever again.
The DETOLF and BILLY are not available to those without an IKEA near them, unless you wish to pay serious shipping prices. Therefore it will be necessary to find alternatives, a search of 'COUNTRY NAME BILLY/DETOLF alternatives' may be helpful in finding something to fit your needs.
Once you have sufficient shelving space to display your collection, it may be worthwhile looking into acquiring some risers, for a better/more compact display. There’s a decent blog article on MFC about them, which you can find here.
LED lights usually improve a display, these can come in the form of an LED strip or a spotlight, what you want will depend on your display. Furthermore, the color you buy will also depend on how you want your display to look. However, usually people prefer neutral white or cool white due to warm white looking like piss.
Invest in blackout curtains or something similar to limit the sunlight coming through your windows, this will discolor your figures over time. Even small amounts of sunlight can have significant, permanent effects.
Dust your figures often before the dust starts to accumulate and get incrusted. Here are several ways to remove it:
- Microfiber cloth: Just wipe and you're done.
Since you're applying pressure directly with your hand, be careful not to break off small parts.
- Brushes: Choose a very soft brush and dust carefully. Best ones are makeup brushes or the Tamiya 74078 which is specially made for dusting models and figures. Its flat design allows precise cleaning inside every nook and cranny.
Avoid using them on glossy surfaces as it may scratch them.
- Compressed/canned air: Probably the safest option but also the dirtiest as it might send dust flying everywhere and make a mess.
Do not spray for too long or you might freeze your figures, do quick bursts instead.
You can also wash them with running water if they’re too dirty, just don’t do so too often. Hot water can soften plastic and lead to deformation if you’re not careful. Never use cleaning chemicals other than soap, it might damage the paint or the figure itself.
Small stains can be removed by rubbing it with an eraser, be careful to only use it in the stain or you may end taking some of the paint of the figure instead.
A commonly asked question is “What do you do with your figure boxes?” or something to that effect.
The general consensus to this question is to keep the boxes. For a few reasons, 1.) It maintains figure value. This will come in handy if you ever sell your figures 2.) More importantly, it is the best option you have when storing your figures in the event that you move. 3.) Some people view the box as a part of the product itself due to its quality, so throwing the box away is equivalent to throwing an accessory away.
Another question is "Can I leave my figure in the box?" or "What happens if I store my unopened figure in the box for a long period of time?" or similar.
One risk of leaving your figure unopened is that you may not notice damage (E.G., from manufacture or shipping) until opening it, which means you may miss on an opportunity to get a refund or replacement if you wait too long. That aside, the main problem of keeping the figure boxed is that the figure is unable to "breathe," which can cause a buildup of plasticizer on the surface of the figure. If this happens, it should not cause permanent damage, see Figure repair and maintenance below for solutions.
Regardless, keep your boxes in a cool, dark place, and make sure to occasionally check them for rodent/insect/water damage.
Figure repair and maintenance
Good Smile Company has released several guides to maintaining and repairing figures:
DIY figure repair series
DIY Nendoroid repairs series
There also many guides online for a number of issues such as with the following, therefore googling your issue is highly recommended.
Manga and Doujinshi Preservation
Without freezing, paper will yellow over time due to oxidation breaking down the cellulose fibers. With correct care and climate control, we can greatly reduce the rate of oxidation. The following step are useful in keeping your doujin (and manga) crisp:
1. Sleeve your doujin in acid-free/archival plastic bags. This stops oxidation and reducing scratches from doujin rubbing against each other.
- Golden age comic book sleeves will fit B5 sized doujin.
- Treasury sleeves will fit A4 sized doujin.
- Polypropylene sleeves are cheaper but will wear out faster. This is observed as 'ripples' in the plastic. Typically last 3-10 years.
- Mylar sleeves are more expensive but will last significantly longer. Rated for 100+ years.
2. Lay your doujin flat in small stacks.* Vertical stacking will cause pages to fan out in time, or buckle given their thin nature. Small, flat stacks ensure your doujin keep their factory finish and don't become overly flattened.
3. Store your doujin in Japanese style document folders.* []
4. Store your doujin in a dark location. In a pinch you can use a garbage bag (as long as they're already bagged and in folders), but the best choice is a black storage container kept in a cupboard. This is to keep UV and humidity out. This also creates a climate buffer, meaning ΔT fluctuation over time will be greatly reduced.
5. Add silica gel packets to your container, especially for long term storage or in areas with high humidity (tropical, etc).
.* if you store your manga on a shelf make sure to use book ends and intermediate pieces of something flat to stop warping, particularly of the top edge.
The ideal climate for paper is 20°C @ 35-45 relative humidity. A lower humidity will cause paper shrinkage. A higher humidity will cause a wavy appearance in pages. High temperatures increases the acid-cellulose rate of reaction.