Sun Fading: The sun is an incredible tool that most people don’t utilize to it’s full potential. When a pony is stained with age spots, carrying Pony Cancer (pin dot mold) or has discoloured from age, it can be left out in the sun, on it’s side, over a period of time. You then flip it over and left in the sun for the same amount of time. In South Africa this process is exceptionally quick as our sun is extremely strong, especially in summer. Living in Durban, I can sometimes complete a sun fade over the course of a day. Leave it for a few hours in the morning and then turn it over in the afternoon and leave it for the same amount of time. If you are sun fading in winter, this process will take much longer. I leave my ponies out over the course of a few days. Up to six days at a time, three days on each side.
By evenly distributing sunlight over the pony’s body, the sun rays restore the vinyl back to it’s former glory. Sun fading works best on pastel coloured and white ponies, with the exception of a few ponies that have been known to tan. I personally know that my Twinkle Eye Gingerbread cannot be sun faded. Her vinyl comes from a batch that browns in direct sunlight. Almost all of the Gingerbread’s that I’ve seen in my lifetime have a cream tinge to their vinyl, some even bordering on caramel colour. So be sure to read this list on the MLP Arena to see if your pony is on that list.
Another good idea is to cover your pony’s hair with tin foil before putting her in the sun. The intense light will cause the hair to fade and in some extreme cases, turn white. This is ok if you are planning on re-hairing her. But if you like her hair as is, best cover it. I would not recommend sun fading for ponies who have the notorious “fading pink” hair such as Posey, Rosedust or Lickety Split. Full list can be found here courtesy of Pony Land Press.
Sometimes, in some extreme cases, a pony’s head can fade faster or slower than the rest of it’s body. One can only assume that Hasbro made these ponies in separate batches and the two vinyls are aging at different rates. In these instances, you can remove the head from the body. Slice very carefully along the seam with a craft knife or soak the pony in boiling water until the glue softens and you can take the head off. The head or body can then be sun faded until it matches, or at least gets close to, it’s respective part’s colour.
Be sure to check out Part 2 of my Pony Cleaning 101 series!
Til next time!