How to Clean Your Action Figures

The common culprits that can destroy your collection of action figures are dust, moisture, heat and sunlight, cold, fluctuating temperatures, gravity, and oil and dirt. Even when the items are boxed and unopened, you still need to keep them in good condition.

Dusting
Dust isn’t as damaging as water and heat but it could make the display look less attractive. Dust could also get into tight spaces that are difficult to clean such as the action figure’s hands and the folds of the costume. If left for a long time, the dust will also form a cake. Keep them in closed shelves or cabinets to prevent dust from getting into them. Most collectors use canned air to blow out dust, clean cloth like a microfiber cloth to wipe off dirt or a duster called Swiffer duster that absorbs dust.

Washing
For dirt that cannot be removed by dusting or if the figure you bought is second-hand, fill a basin with lukewarm or cool water. Don’t mix detergent in the water just yet. Never use hot water because that could ruin the plastic and paint. If the figure can be disassembled, take it apart first. If the figure has decals and stickers, however, it’s best to spot-clean instead of soaking and brushing the figure. Soak the figure for at least 5 minutes in the water. Use liquid detergent, preferably something mild and unscented, and a soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt. Rinse with cool water then pat-dry. Lay out the figurine on the towel to dry. Don’t use a blower.

Spot-Cleaning
For action figures with stickers, decals and materials other than plastic, there is no need to submerge them in water. Figures made of metal should not be washed as well. Use a cotton swab instead. Moisten the tip with then wipe the dirty surface. You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush for other stains.

Fabrics
Some action figures come with sewn clothes. Do not try to wash these miniature clothes if there is no need to do so. But if the garment looks dirty, check the box for the care instructions. Don’t soak the clothes in the water too long. Use cool water and mild detergent then swish lightly. Air-dry under the shade and avoid ironing the clothes.

Polishing
Wiping the action figure with clean cloth will do the trick. There is no need to use polishing materials unless stated in the instructions on the box. Use a microfiber cloth to prevent scratches. Rub the surface in a gentle circular motion. Avoid rubbing on the stickers and decals because they could come off. Figures made from PVC like Nendoroids get sticky over time when left in the plastic boxes for too long. You should take them out once in a while.

Storage
The best way to prevent action figures from getting dirty is to avoid too much handling and exposure to the elements. Pick a glass case to display your collection and make sure you keep them away from children (most action figures are for people aged 15 years old and above). Don’t place them near heat sources or where moisture can easily form.

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How Action Figures Are Made

The beauty of action figures is that they are not like your regular plastic toys made for minors aged 15 and below. Action figures for hobbyists and collectors are usually hand-made and hand-painted by artisans using only the best materials. They are also not mass-produced and some are even made of rare materials like metals and glass.

The Prototype
The first step in creating an action figure is to pick which character should have an action figure. You will often see characters from popular anime, comics and video games. A design is then made through sketches, taking note of the character’s signature poses, items and facial expressions. After that, a prototype is made using clay and aluminum wires. The wires form the frame of the figure while the clay gives it shape. The clay is then carved or shaped then baked. All the details are added, with the face usually made last.

Materials Used
Most action figures are made using plastic resin like the acrylonitrile butadeine styrene or ABS. Other types of plastic such as polyethylene and polypropylene are also used. For hand-sewn costumes, the most commonly used fabrics are nylon and rayon. To put in all the details, artists use acrylic paint. There are also action figures that contain electronic components for voice, sound and lights. Exclusive editions are sometimes made using bronze, glass and other metals.

Molding
Using the prototype, molds are created from the various parts of the figure. Action figures usually have removable parts or articulation. This requires the manufacturers to create the figure piece by piece and not as one single plastic (that is for figurines, not action figures). The joints or points of articulation contain washers and small gears that will allow them to move.

Assembling
When all the parts have been produced, the pieces are assembled to form the figure. Some parts are fused together using either glue or a technique called high frequency vibration. The clothing made from fabric are produced separately from the parts. Then all the details are placed and painted on such as the face, costume and accessories. These are very detailed and must be done with precision so that the figures look as close as possible to the characters.

Box and Packaging
Most action figures are placed in a cardboard box with a plastic window. Others come in a plastic blister with a cardboard backing. There are products that are placed in PVC packaging with a bubble for the action figure and its accessories. The PVC is sometimes shaped like a tube. The packaging is also important in determining if you’ve purchased licensed and original action figures. The details should be correct and accurate. Some manufacturers also place stickers as an additional guarantee.

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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Cravings with These 5 Beloved Singaporean Desserts

Singaporean cuisine is rich in itself. From the many fusion meals to desserts available throughout the city state, the food is considered a melting pot of rich influences from different cultures. More than anything, all walks of life truly enjoy the rich food choices they are endowed with. Even tourists do not miss out on the gastronomic adventure Singaporean food has to offer.

If you’re planning to visit Singapore, include tasting the many local desserts on your bucket list. Though they are less famous than the signature dishes sold in hawker centers (think of Hainanese chicken rice), trying them out can also become one highlight of your Singapore experience!

Pandan Cake
If the British have crumpets, Singapore has pandan cake. It is a light chiffon cake accentuated with the flavor of Pandan leaves. The inclusion of pandan is also what gives it a nice green hue. Notably, the cake is also popular across neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Pandan cake is usually served with a cup of warm Milo, which is a drink similar to hot chocolate.

Grass Jelly
Another common favorite dessert among local Singapore residents is the grass jelly (called as chin chow). It is derived from boiled mint stalks added with starch until they turn into their jelly texture. The jelly is cut into cubes — which are then served as toppings over ice thus creating a refreshing sweet treat. The perfect choice if you want to beat the summer heat!

Ice Kachang
Singapore’s ice kachang is similar to that of Korean Bingsu, which is a sweet icy treat commonly shared amongst friends. Shaved ice is drenched with flavorful syrup and then topped with jelly, red beans, and sweet corn among the many choices of your choice. It also comes with unique toppings, one of the most famous being durian fruit.

Sweet/Tissue Prata
Prata originates from the Indian roti prata, which is a type of flatbread. It has been turned into a Singaporean dessert which is made of paper thin prata (thus the name ‘tissue’) along with different sweet syrups. This dessert prata is made crispy yet not too oily at the same time. It is commonly drizzled with chocolate sauce, but local flavors also incorporate Kaya — a traditional coconut jam.

Pineapple Tart
A traditional Asian dessert, pineapple tart is also popular in Singapore especially during the holidays. This butter pastry is well-loved by locals and tourists alike. Some bakeries fill these treats with mildly spiced pineapple jam, while others simply glaze them to give it that beautiful golden color. Check out a local bakery during your Singapore visit and you are likely to find some pineapple tarts!

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Where Can You Keep Your Money Safe and Sound?

The road to financial stability is not an easy road to take. You are bound to deal with setbacks in the long run, and there may even be times when your finances run staggeringly low. In order to avoid getting yourself in such risky situations, it is important that you figure out the best option you have in storing away your money and savings.

Why should you not consider placing your money under the mattress?
While this is one way to hide your money, it is a very unwise decision to make. In the event of a thief break-in, your mattress is among the places which will be inspected. The same thing goes with digging up a hole in your backyard to stow away your cash savings in a glass jar. Your money isn’t gold that should be put under the ground.
If anything, you are signing yourself up for the destruction of your money’s physical condition — and you can think of it as wasting your money instead.

Have a safety deposit box
Stashing your cash in a safety deposit box is a smarter move than hiding it under the mattress or burying it under the cold hard ground. Having a safety box is ideal if you want to be secure, but it still doesn’t do much. It doesn’t earn you interest from your money and it only makes it stink. In the event someone successfully hacks their way through your passcode combination, your money is at risk to be stolen as well.

Sign up for a savings account
Trusting the bank with your money is still encouraged especially if you want to generate interests in the long run. A savings account is a good place to start. Though it doesn’t pay high interests compared to other accounts, you can still be ensured your money is in good hands. A savings account can also enable you to go around cashless, meaning you can withdraw money only when you need it. You can also use your savings account card to pay in some major establishments.

Convert to a high-interest savings account
After years of working, the income you’re generating may enable you to convert to a high-interest savings account. This is ideal if you want to generate greater interests over the course of time since this type of account yields a higher interest rate compared to your standard savings account. The money you can get off interests can be used for investments, starting a small business, availing a life plan, among others. Regardless, it also requires a larger amount for your initial deposit — and you might want to prepare for that.

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How to Make Paper Flowers for a Wedding Bouquet

While nothing truly beats a wedding bouquet made of live flowers, there are some problems that can come with trying to make the flowers last as long as possible throughout the wedding without drying out and withering.
Paper flowers may not be the best substitute for the real thing, but when done right, they can come close – and they can even be used instead of real flowers for floral decor. Fortunately, you can also easily make them. All you need to make them are colored paper, pipe cleaner, scissors and glue, as well as a base, and you’re all set to go.
Here’s how to make amazing paper flowers in a few simple steps:

1. Lay three to four sheets of colored paper (it can also be in different types of paper) down on a flat surface and stack them on top of each other. Once that’s done, fold the paper by taking the bottom edge and folding it over by one inch.

Then, flip the sheets of paper over and fold them back on the opposite side. The folded paper should look like a closed paper fan or an accordion once this step is finished.

2. Next, fold the folded paper in half as well as an inch or two of pipe cleaner around the folded paper. Be sure to twist the cleaner, as this will act as the stem of the flower. Placing the pipe cleaners in opposite directions will give different color combinations.

3. Cut the folded paper into three equal pieces and adjust them if needed to make the pipe cleaner at the center of the flower. Trim the outer edges of the paper into rounded edges.

If you like, the paper trimmings can be saved to make confetti that the flower girl can use during the ceremony.

4. Open the folded paper while holding the stem. Pull the topmost layer of the paper all the way around. This will show you the end result, but be careful not to rip the paper, especially if you’re using crepe or Japanese paper.

5. Once you have your finished product, you can repeat the process to make as many as you like. You can even bend the pipe cleaners to make the flowers bend, which will allow you to make different bouquet arrangements in different containers.

You can also make the same flowers but in different sizes, as well as in different colors combinations depending on the theme of your wedding. When placing them in containers you can add a little more spruce to the arrangements by adding ribbons.

Plastic foliage can also work well when paired with paper flowers. Be sure to use a good glue that will stick the pipe cleaner to the plastic.

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