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Heller Blow Mold Repair - Please Help


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Has anyone attempted to repair any disfigured, cracked or damaged Heller blow molds and has had success?  I just purchased a Heller blow mold that was stored improperly and badly disfigured.  I thought I would try to repair it, since the price I payed was reasonable.  I welcome any suggestions as to how to go about reshaping and repairing one of these blow molds.

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I patched a hole in one using multiple, thin layers of epoxy and then painting it. The hole was small, about the size of a quarter. Came out perfectly! I never had one with all the cracks in it though. I saw one blog on repairing a heller mold craft when googling it a couple years ago. It didn't look great to me though. I think that blog is still up.

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Can you post a pic? That might help. If it disfigured you could try a halogen light or something like that, they put off a lot of heat and it softens the plastic and you can get it back to its original shape easier.

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14 hours ago, Light in the Dark said:

I patched a hole in one using multiple, thin layers of epoxy and then painting it. The hole was small, about the size of a quarter. Came out perfectly! I never had one with all the cracks in it though. I saw one blog on repairing a heller mold craft when googling it a couple years ago. It didn't look great to me though. I think that blog is still up.

Thank you so much for your suggestion.  However, I can not seem to locate the blog you are referring to? 

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4 hours ago, shane page said:

Can you post a pic? That might help. If it disfigured you could try a halogen light or something like that, they put off a lot of heat and it softens the plastic and you can get it back to its original shape easier.

I was thinking the same thing; either dry heat or a little moist heat would be the only methods I could I try to get the blow mold back in shape.  I just purchased the disfigured Heller blow mold head recently.  So, I do not have it in my possession yet.  However, here is the link to see what the blow mold looks like.  I am not computer savvy, so I hope this link works! 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-CHOIR-GIRL-PAINTED-HARD-MOLDED-RUBBER-HEAD-only-Broken-Neck/324102341205?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

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Dang, of course I can't find that blog either. There is another example at https://ellefagan.com/winter-holiday-blog/2015/12/8/restoration-of-antique-nativity-figures

Remember the Mold-Craft and Heller figures weren't made with regular blow mold plastic. They were made with hard rubber (the earlier ones) or plastisol. I'm thinking you'll be more likely to use epoxy and filler to repair this, but I'm no expert. I have a couple of the Heller Choir Boys and I can tell you they are thick plastisol and brittle. I don't think I would take heat near them.

Consider searching through old discussion threads for Mel Fischer. He knows about everything you can imagine for Mold Craft and Heller. Maybe there is something in those old threads you can pick up.

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2 hours ago, Light in the Dark said:

Dang, of course I can't find that blog either. There is another example at https://ellefagan.com/winter-holiday-blog/2015/12/8/restoration-of-antique-nativity-figures

Remember the Mold-Craft and Heller figures weren't made with regular blow mold plastic. They were made with hard rubber (the earlier ones) or plastisol. I'm thinking you'll be more likely to use epoxy and filler to repair this, but I'm no expert. I have a couple of the Heller Choir Boys and I can tell you they are thick plastisol and brittle. I don't think I would take heat near them.

Consider searching through old discussion threads for Mel Fischer. He knows about everything you can imagine for Mold Craft and Heller. Maybe there is something in those old threads you can pick up.

Thank you for the restoration link.  It is really great!  Actually, in one of my files on blow molds, I marked a web site called "Christmas Fan Club" and it had "The Restoration Of A Wiken 1953 Mold Craft Choir Kid" once upon a time.  Sadly, it will no longer opens up and it appears it is no longer there.  Oh well, that was a great suggestion anyway.

So, the hard rubber in the early Heller and Mold Craft figures is called Plastisol.  So, I am assuming the Artistic Latex Form Company figures are made of the same stuff?   I did not know the hard rubber substance had an official name.  Good to know, though.  The blow molds made out plastisol are so delicate when it comes to temperature, humidity and specific storage requirements.  It looks like the disfigured blow mold I am trying to repair was stored with something sitting on top of it.  I wish it was just a crack or hole that I was dealing with, but the disfigurement issue is a whole other ball game!  

 

 

Edited by 1950's Blow Mold Lady
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Yes that was the link I was thinking of, too. At least I know I'm not crazy searching for that one.

 

I think the hard rubber was an earlier version and plastisol came in the late 1950s. Check on some of those old threads with Mel and others. He has lots of pics showing the different materials and history. I think Carrie Sansing also did some mold craft/heller restorations so search for her in the threads, too.

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37 minutes ago, Light in the Dark said:

Yes that was the link I was thinking of, too. At least I know I'm not crazy searching for that one.

 

I think the hard rubber was an earlier version and plastisol came in the late 1950s. Check on some of those old threads with Mel and others. He has lots of pics showing the different materials and history. I think Carrie Sansing also did some mold craft/heller restorations so search for her in the threads, too.

Thanks a million!  Much appreciated.

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2 hours ago, shane page said:

That's not a regular blow mold. Not sure if heat would help, it could dry it out and cause it to crack.

I think you are right. I am just wondering if a steam environment for a short period of time would make it pliable enough to restore the shape somewhat? I am going to try it and see if it works.  I am at a loss and do not know what else to try.  Thank you for your response and input.   Much appreciated.

CORRECTION:  I was told this blow mold IS NOT a Heller; it is a Mold Craft blow mold.  I spoke with one of experts regarding Heller and Mold Craft Inc. blow molds and he indicated it is a Mold Craft caroler head. 

 

On 8/23/2020 at 1:02 PM, 1950's Blow Mold Lady said:

Has anyone attempted to repair any disfigured, cracked or damaged Heller blow molds and has had success?  I just purchased a Heller blow mold that was stored improperly and badly disfigured.  I thought I would try to repair it, since the price I payed was reasonable.  I welcome any suggestions as to how to go about reshaping and repairing one of these blow molds.

On 8/24/2020 at 9:34 PM, 1950's Blow Mold Lady said:

Thanks a million!  Much appreciated.

 

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9 hours ago, shane page said:

I would think steam might be a good option. Heat seems to always help things move easier and the steam wouldn't let it dry out .

Unless a better option comes to the forefront; I think steam is my only option at is point.  I am really apprehensive to tack this restoration.  I don't want to ruin the blow mold completely, but it is no good the way it is.  I was really nervous before I repaired the neck on the Mold Craft caroler head in the photos.  It is not a perfect repair, however, the neck is now reinforced and functional.  So overall, I am happy with the results of my first blow mold repair.

 

Neck repair.jpg

Mold Craft Neck Repair.jpg

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1 hour ago, shane page said:

That looks really good.

Thank you so much. 

I have another one of the smaller Mold Craft carolers with a large piece of plastic missing from the neck, also.  This time I will take a before photo of the damage to be repaired.  I wish I would have taken a before photo of the repaired one I shared with you.  Then, I can show and compare the before and after repair.  

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