I have a plastic box full of figures. Some are new but others have been rescued from old models or even bought in odd boxes of second hand stuff.
The man above is an Airfix figure and as you can see, the paint was peeling off him. No matter, a quick daub with enamel and he's good enough to stand on the layout. I know he looks a bit crude but you are seeing him many times life size.
And yes I know the paint has peeled off his shoe. It did than when I removed him from the painting stick he was superglued to.
So, don't throw away those plastic or whitemetal people, they can always be saved.