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Subject: A Question For Those Good at Chemistry (Plastics) rss

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Danger Mouse
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I have posted a question on the Cargo Noir forum, but it is a general question about plastic figures:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/17838873#17838873

When I first got the game my plastic ships had a white matt film over them which I assumed was release agent. I washed it off and left the ships out for a few weeks to make sure they were perfectly dry.

The last time I played the game was about a year ago, when the ships were perfectly fine. However, I played the game today and the white matt film had returned, especially on the red ones. (The next noticable was the purple ones.)

The bag they were in is perfectly clean.

There is no foul smell I would associate with mold. It just smells of plastic. Please read the Cargo Noir thread for more info.

Does anyone know what this is? If I had not already washed it off I would say the release agent had returned.
 
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Stephen Williams
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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I'm no chemistry expert, but my guess would be that when you "washed" the figures, all you really did was make the film invisible. You say you dried the, but there's dry and then there's dry. The film likely became visible again later, when the residual moisture evaporated.

I have a plastic cup like this I use for rinsing while brushing my teeth. It develops this white film around the lip of the cup that never goes away. No matter how many times I wash it, it always comes back. I even put it through the dishwasher to no avail.

Did you wash with soap and water, or just water? You could try using soap assuming you didn't at first. You could also try gently scraping with something small and metal (like the blunt end of the little file on a pair of nail clippers, for example.) See if that makes the residue come off. In my experience with painting soft plastic minis, they can bear a little gentle scraping without permanently scoring the figurine.
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Danger Mouse
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Thanks for your suggestion. I do not think it is that, as I had left it a few weeks to allow it to dry. Also I had scraped off the film when I washed them.

Another guy on the other thread had suggested plasticizer leakage which does appear to be the answer.

But thanks once again for your input.
 
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Brad Parker
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Ventura
California
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I'd second the plasticizer. It's there to keep the pieces from getting too brittle and breakable, but isn't chemically bonded to the plastic so it can leech out over time. If all the pieces made for that game did that, someone designed a bad formula. If only your copy did that, it was just a bad batch or stored incorrectly. Either way, I should hope the publisher would replace the pieces for you?
On a side note...plasticizers are what you taste in bottled water, what you put back into leather when using Armor All, and useful in thousands of other applications!
 
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