Update on Dyeing Minimates

After receiving some great suggestions from readers on my last post, Experimenting with Dyeing Minimates, I decided to continue the experiments. This time around, I used boiling hot water, liquid dye instead of powder, and I left the Minimates in the solution for an hour. I tried yellow dye instead of black, just to change things up, and I once again used both painted and unpainted minimates.

As one of my readers pointed out, Minimate parts are made of different types of plastic, and some will dye easier than others. After removing my figures from the dye, I could see exactly what he meant:

On all the figures I tried, I could not get the chest, forearms, hips, and shins to absorb any dye at all. However the other parts came out great. Even though it didn’t work completely, I am much happier with this method now, and I will keep experimenting with it.

Anyone who has worked with yellow or red paint knows how they can both be a pain in the butt. If I ever need any of the dyed parts in the photo above in red or yellow, I know I will be dyeing them instead of painting them from now on!

6 Responses

  1. Wug says:

    I am telling you… FIRE!

  2. Lobsterman says:

    Wow, that’s a really interesting result. The Red Cross mates are the ones I tried dying, and while they never seemed to take dye completely (I didn’t leave them in for an hour, mind you), the white kind of turned dingy. Yours looks like it completely rejected the dye and stayed pristine.

    That’s a quite a unique looking test case! 🙂

  3. Jatta Pake says:

    Luke – Did you uncover a method for dyeing the other parts? Yellow paint is such a b***h. Dyeing looks great.

  4. Cappy says:

    Be forewarned: the dye will bleed back out — discoloring any light paints you paint over it. Or, worse yet, bleed onto another figure if you leave them in contact for a period of time.
    Dye has it’s uses, but not as a paint substitute.

  5. Cappy says:

    Also, be aware that newer runs of RIT dye no longer adhere to plastic. On the liquid bottles, if the serial number on the cap contains “ND” it is no good for plastics. There is no way to tell on the outside a powder package.
    This started about a year ago and in my neck of the woods, finding old dye batches is pretty much hopeless.
    I know this to be true of other PVC toys, but haven’t actually tested new RIT dye on Minimates, so your results may vary.