Monday, January 6, 2014

Melty Monday: Vinegar Syndrome Revisited

(Last year's adventure with vinegar syndrome for those unfamiliar with shrinkies/oozies: )

Melty in terms of plastic horses. Not so much in terms of the weather here. With temps in the -14 range with -43 windchill, the snow here in Chicago isn't going anywhere fast. Would that it was the snow melting and not the horses though!

I spent some time over the holidays again working on inventorying my collection, and I was alarmed to see the continued disintegration of the shrinkies and oozies I pulled out of storage in the last few years. My BHR SR sorrel/orange PAS has shrunk dramatically in both height and width in the last year, and his paint has radically lightened. He looks like he has a film of chalk dust all over him now. And worse still, one of his back hooves had started to melt to the plastic shelf he's been sitting on.

I didn't get a chance to check on the shrinkies/oozies that had been relegated to the garage (I'm sure they're practically soup by now), but I was both interested and horrified to see what had become of my dapple grey Five Gaiter. He has been lying on a styrofoam meat tray on a shelf in  climate-controlled room for several years now, and he has shrunk even more...

How he looked a few years ago:

He's smaller and even more curved now. He no longer stands.

His head doesn't seem to be shrinking at the same rate as his body, and it's not quite proportional anymore. His hind leg reacted with the styrofoam tray and has melted through it partially:

I flipped him over and was startled to see that the vinegar syndrome process had eaten a hole through the styrofoam:

And he's reached the point where he's beginning to develop "warts." I'm not sure what causes them---bits of good plastic mixed in with bad? Or plastic decaying at a different rate?

My mom wanted to throw him away, but for the sake of scientific observation (and because he's a sentimental favorite (::sniffle::)), he's been sentenced to life in the garage for the time being. I'll check on him in July when I'm home again for BreyerFest to see what exposure to a Georgia summer has done to him.

(And in the meantime, if anyone has a non-shrinky dapple grey Five Gaiter for sale, I sure would love to own one. Mine didn't survive nearly long enough.)


  1. I'm finding myself very sad at the thought of my favorite models just melting away. I can imagine how disappointed you must be.

  2. Yes, it is sad seeing old favorites disintegrating. Luckily, I don't have a huge number of models from those years, and happily so far, my PAMs and silly sentimental Stock Horse familys from those years are OK. (Knock on wood.)

  3. I saw a listing on eBay for a dapple gray 5 gaiter. It was only $20 and it did not seem to show the signs. Look there because I saw a bunch. Sorry about yours I would hate it if anything happened to my models.