I recently acquired a box of vintage Julips in need of a little veterinary care. I've read Manda's tutorial to get a general idea of the process, but I was wondering if anyone had any other tips.
The tutorial mentions needing to remove gummy bits, does this refer to sticky or just soft areas? Several of the models are soft to the touch - there are some sticky spots, some dry but squishable places, and then in others, especially the Jumping Horse and the flea-bitten grey, their latex feels like thin leather.
Does anything that is not rock hard need to be removed or encased in milliput? Or is the leathery latex fairly stable?
Is there anything that can be done to harden the soft, non-sticky latex?
I've put the pictures on a separate page since some people might find the models distressing in their current state. The following questions rely on those pictures.
I'm fairly sure the pinto pony, Cheeky, is the Pony Hunter, but does anyone know who the flea-bitten grey is? I was thinking she was kind of Hack shaped?
The auction said they were early 60s/70s models. None of them have mouth numbers, does anyone have any guesses based on their eyes?
Post by astudyinscarlet on Apr 12, 2016 20:31:31 GMT
The fleabitten grey looks like a pony mare (what became the current welsh pony) to me, though she looks a little bit bloated. I'd have guessed 70s from the eyes but I don't really remember if there was a major difference between 60s and 70s eye styles.
I think it's largely pure luck whether gooey latex will ever set or not. I mean don't put them in direct sun or in strong heat or severe cold or anything obviously but then you can put all your Julips in perfect and identical conditions and some will age badly and some will stay looking absolutely pristine, it's really hit and miss.
I've spent literally years waiting for gooey latex to harden on some vintages though and yes it sort of did eventually, only for some other part to go gooey instead then. Repairing poorly vintages can be an ongoing thing rather than a one off, sometimes you think you've finally got them fixed and then a while later some entirely different part of them starts oozing or melting (that's largely why I got rid of all of my repaired ones and even most of the decent condition vintages, I really wasn't enjoying them any more).
Where latex has gone kind of like chewing gum (either in consistency or stickiness) I'd get rid of it and reconstruct with milliput or similar, especially on the legs as they need strong legs to support their weight (although they're possibly less important for support on the jumping horse, but his legs do look quite bad anyway). Also if there are any broken leg wires you can reinforce the legs with new wire at the same time. Bodies/heads are more awkward though, sometimes you can get away with gluing up/filling in cracks and splits, sometimes not and they'll require much more extensive work. Areas that feel drier though may just be perishing (like when elastic bands perish and snap, that kind of feel) rather than melting and might not need such drastic work.
Although I can't say for sure without feeling them myself, the stuffing in the vintages sometimes seems to disintegrate so if some of their bodies/necks can be squished in that might potentially also indicate a lack of stuffing rather than purely an issue with the latex. Sometimes they need to be restuffed (if you can get some stuffing into them; sometimes it's just about impossible but sometimes you can get it in through the mane slot or tail hole if you're rehairing them) so you've got something a bit more solid to work with and add onto.
Thank you very much for the tips and insight. I've been jokingly thinking of this as learning about the care and feeding of Vintages, but it seems like it really is like getting a new pet.
For the sticky latex, is there a particular downside to leaving it, besides the stickiness? The child rider has a *very* soft head and a sticky scalp, I was thinking of just sticking some hair to her bald spots and putting a hat on her
Everyone seems to use Milliput, do you know if Apoxie Sculpt is a viable alternative, or does it have to be Milliput? I've got some Milliput on the way, but I also have a big tub of the Apoxie Sculpt handy.
Have you ever tried brush-on latex? Or would that just make matters worse?
Are these guys okay on the same shelf as my other Julips, or do they need to be segregated? Can they pass on the sag to others? I have them lightly wrapped in the drawing-type paper they came in just now, but would they be better loose?
Post by astudyinscarlet on Apr 13, 2016 14:15:54 GMT
Sticky latex in the chewing gum type state is very much like actual chewing gum, it can stick to things and be a nightmare to remove. Also latex in that state seems to ooze or flow; even if you do repairs and repainting and think it's all sorted sometimes you can still get the old latex underneath oozing up and cracking through or sometimes little beads of sticky latex coming through the new paint again after a few months (sort of like how you can get beads of resin oozing out of painted wood sometimes). Plus you can get models ending up very deformed as the latex runs downwards (or outwards sometimes in the case of melty feet) so you get models with bulgy feet or very wrinkled legs or in the case of ones that have obviously been laid on their side for years, horses that are extremely flat on one side (so I think they're better kept standing upright to avoid slab-sided models, especially as the legs are easier to fix/replace than the bodies). But with lightweight or non-load-bearing parts like rider's heads or horses' ears you may be able to get away with minor repairs, at least for a while, and just see how they go over time. I've got no idea about apoxie sculpt sorry, I've never used it, or brush on latex.
I think in regards to where you keep them it doesn't really matter if they're close to newer Julips, for all of them they ideally need to be kept out of direct sun/damp/extremes of heat or cold/major temperature fluctuations to minimise perishing. I don't think being in close proximity to gummy vintages is likely to impact on newer models though. But don't place the old ones very closely/tightly together to each other or to newer models, especially any that have squishy or sticky bits (I've got two models, an early HOTY and an original, which I'm sure came from the same home originally even though I bought them separately as both of them arrived with the same fusty smell and the remains of some other poor old melted original stuck to them. They must have been packed too tightly together in poor conditions and sadly another model in with them probably didn't survive it very well). If they have sticky feet putting something like thick paper under their feet is best too so they don't stick to the surface they're standing on.
Post by juliporiginals on Apr 14, 2016 9:13:45 GMT
I have had some that have gone a bit gooey re-harden if they are just left out on a shelf , they do take about a year though and not all models will go solid again, you almost have to treat each one individually because what may work for one doesn't always work for another. They do tend to stick to things though, so I would try not to let anything touch the gooey parts especially other Julips (and tissue paper!), if their legs are particularly soft they may 'concertina' under the body weight and go into ripples, so it may be an idea to try and support the model under its tummy if that part is solid.
The skewbald pony looks very much like a pony hunter and the flea bitten one looks like the pony mare when it had a straight head but it does look a bit more bulky in the body than normal.
Good luck in restoring them, I'm sure you'll get them looking a lot healthier than the currently are and make sure you keep us updated with lots of progress photos
Thank you everyone for the advice. I've got Cheeky the Pony Hunter and Jubilee the Yearling up on blocks just now. I'm hoping to start on the camel foal this weekend, too. Those three will give me some practise before I tackle the Pony Mare and Jumping Horse. The PM is really gooey and runny with her hide just hanging off of her and the Jumper is in shreds, so I'm thinking they'll probably have to end up heavily Milliputted. Everyone has lovely hair, so I'm fairly confident they'll be able to keep their original manes and tails, if I can keep the cats from running off with them.
The dolls are just going to get new hands and feet and a few light touch-ups to their paint. Two of them will need new hats as well.
The restoration process will end up as a photo story (or two) on my website.