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Thread: Acetone shrink

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 4, 2011
    San Jose, CA

    Acetone shrink

    So I know there is lot of conversations and threads out there about acetone shrinking but I wanted to throw this back out there and see...
    1. Who has successfully shrunk a head from 1/6 scale to Mego scale?
    2. Did you use straight acetone?
    3. How long did you let is soak?
    4. Did it require more than one soak?
    5. Any tricks that you can share?
    6. What problems did you run into?

    Much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 3, 2007
    Hello. I'll contribute but my experiences may not be considered typical.

    1... I have never had success with a 1/6 scale head shrink. Most large scale heads do not have enough neck so that disqualifies them from the start. Also most I found were a harder type of plastic and didn't shrink much at all. Softer Vinyl heads are best for shrinking. Also aim for 9" or 10" action figures

    2... I used nail polish remover. Its around 70% or 80%. I think pre 100% acetone is to harsh.

    3... Soaking for me was not an issue of time as each head was different in chemical make up. I would dunk a head and check back on it periodically. When the head swelled and looked looked soft I would extract it and begin the drying.

    4... I was lucky I guess. Most of the heads shrunk enough. But like I said they were not too big to begin with. (From 9" or 10" figures.)

    5... Tips... DO a shrink when you have the time to commit to it. Many times it was an all day thing for me. I would check on the head every so often as it soaked and then carefully extract it from the acetone. I would place the swelled up soft head on a towel and let it dry for 15 minutes or so, then return and rotate it so it would not dry deformed. When enough of the acetone had evaporated from the vinyl and the head was more firm. I would then hang it from a rig I would fashion from old wire hangers. Fashion loops in the wire hanger that held the neck plugs and held the head upright. They dried this way with less chance or deforming.

    6... Problems. I left some of the heads in too long and they swelled so large they would not fit out of the jar I was using. I had some become so swollen and fragile that they ripped themselves apart under their own weight. The smell is always an issue... !!!Vent!!! and do it far from family and friends. Most of these can be negated by keeping an eye on the process.
    Check out my picture library of Mego-ish compatible vehicles with ID data.

  3. #3
    I would agree with everything above.

    As for smell, I used a jar with a lid and didn't have a problem. I used Acetone from the hardware store.

    The head will be very soft so be gentile when removing it from the jar.

    I shrunk several of the Trek Playmates heads. Some heads required a second soak but give it a few days to dry. You should be able to tell when it's stopped shrinking. 1/6 heads may need more than one soak. I think the plastic is a factor. Some heads shrink great in one shot. Others seemed to fight the process.

    Once I had a head tear at the corner of an eye where the plastic was too thin but once it shrunk it was very tiny and easy plug. Most if not all of the paint will come off.
    Better late than never.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 22, 2011
    I have to ask guys, shrinking is a pain the the buttocks for all of us.
    Do we have a list of people "source" that have copies of heads that have already been shrunk to just buy?

    This would save SO much time and headache. Perfect example. I am looking for 9" star trek playmate heads that have been shrunk. I know they're out here. I've seen practically all of them from Classic trek to the movies and all of them in between. I'm also looking for. "These, I haven't seen."
    9" Gilligan's island figure heads
    Lost in Space.

    Here's my thought. If you have any 9 inch figure heads that have been shrunk and you are willing to sell cast copies, add a quick reply and have admin put them on a list so we don't have to do double shrinks. It's faster, easier and smarter. I will check my stash and see what I have to add to the list. I know I have some.
    "May fortune favor the foolish"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 17, 2015
    This is an extra step, and no I've never done this, yet!
    Instead of shrinking your original, check out videos on Youtube for companies like Smooth-On and Brick in the Yard.

    Or read here: Smooth-On How do I enlarge or shrink a casting?
    And/Or read here: Brick in the Yard Shrink It

    Long story short, make a copy of your desired head by making your mold of it.

    For Smooth-On you would then 'shrink the mold' rather than your object.
    The BitY method uses the Shrink-It material for casting into your original size mold, and depending on your mix-ratio the cast object you pull from the mold would be set aside to allow the moisture to evaporate, until it stops shrinking.

    With BitY's method you can make alternate sizes with the same mold, but of course, it's all trial-and-error until you find your re-sizing sweet spot(s).
    Last edited by KOMonger; Jul 9, '18 at 6:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 17, 2011
    I've used the Smooth-On mold shrinking method and I likeed it. I also tried a casting material that shrinks similar to Hydrospan. Personally for me if I don't want to ruin the original I will use the shrinking the mold method. I've tried the process with other silicone rubber and solvent so I don't have to biy a lot of material.

    I've been shrinking some of the Star Trek 9" Playmates heads that way and like the results.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 4, 2017
    So could you shrink a silicone mold with acetone and or enlarge the same way?

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