G1 Optimus Prime Restore Project

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FoxMalcolm
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G1 Optimus Prime Restore Project

Post by FoxMalcolm »

G'Day fellow Transformer enthusiasts!

Just thought I would share with you my re-baptism into The TF universe.
On Sunday [that just past] I came across a G1 Optimus Prime with trailer being sold at a flea market for $15.

I didn't really look too hard at its condition or try and barter the guy for it, I just saw it and instantly knew that it has been over two decades since I last had one.

So I bought it. And I have been preoccupied with it every single waking hour since.
The last OP I had was when I was 4 [back in '84] I had decided that Optimus Prime was the wrong colour and so I repainted him purple and green [hey I was 4!].

Anyway after getting home I set about investigating his condition . . . not good.
This prime has had a rough life of neglect, his paint job was severely chipped and cut with deep scratches that cut into the metal.
His decals were so badly damaged that they disintegrate with the slightest touch.

90% of his chrome was gone and the front windshield had taken a nasty impact.
Ontop of that his arms and legs were so loose that I was afraid of transforming him. Also I noticed that he was starting to suffer from structural fatigue in the plastic parts.

That's the bad news, the good news is that his main body was intact with no warping, his head was virtually unmarred and none of his tyres had any damage [including dry rot].

Optimus Front
Optimus Back
Overall judgement . . . . I couldn't have been happier!! :D
FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Now onto his trailer . . .

First glance tells me that this trailer is in excellent shape.
Its bright, shiny, no obvious dings even the tyres are bright and black.
Other than the obvious sun faded decal on the side she looks perfect . . . .
Side view
no wait, camera just panned around to the back, looks like back door / ramp is missing. Also looks like the bracket for the door has been ripped off.
Socket

Oh well

Opening her up she is mostly all there
Except for the fact that all her stuff is gone [like roller, missiles, etc]
Also the repair turret is damaged and missing parts
No radar, no Canopy and the claw is missing half of its lower finger.
Still all in all not bad, I can repair this easily enough [just need to get my hands on some new parts]
Last edited by FoxMalcolm on Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
FoxMalcolm
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The repair

Post by FoxMalcolm »

Now that I had examined them both I was more determined than ever to repair them. So I set about finding out how to do that.
Along the way it became necessary to find out what variant/s I had.
Perusing dozens of "expert" websites I finally found one which listed all the different variants and their identifying marks [awesome!].
Turns out that the trailer and the cab are from two different releases.
Trailer markings
Trailer markings 2

Optimus back of head
Hands
and Stacks


FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

So knowing that I feel better, I want to not only repair this old timer, I want to restore him back to his former glory!

So using rubbing alcohol and cotton buds I started to pull him apart and clean all the parts. Looks like someone tried to repair him before, he was covered in bluetack, superglue and stickytape everywhere.

I also found an entombed spider within the leg cavity!
eventually I got it all pulled apart and cleaned [well except for the front wheels], stickers didn't even last the first pass of the cotton bud.

Here it is displayed and arrayed for the next stage.

I decided that the next thing to do with his restoration was to re-apply his lost chrome.
This was easy, I have had many a model kit have bad chrome or not enough chrome parts that I always have a can of chrome plate paint in the house.

So after I applied the first coat of chrome I set about repainting Prime.
So far I have only done the red coat and because the plastic is badly faded I decided to paint everything.
I gave it two coats of red acrylic and two coats of a clear fire engine red.
I know Prime is not fire engine red but I always felt he should be [except when I was 4, lol!]

After all those pieces had dried I put him back together for a test fit.
And I must say he is looking great
Rear cab
Front Cab
Walking Shot
All that's left to do now is sand back and paint he blue areas.
Give another coat of chrome to silver so as to really make it pop.
Then purchase and apply his repro decals.
FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Oh yeah I should also mentioned that during the last assembly I did a test fit and tightening of his limbs using superglue on the inside tracks so that after a few layers everything fitted tightly
Countdown
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Post by Countdown »

This looks like a real project. Can't wait for the next update!!
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Roadbuster
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Post by Roadbuster »

Now that's definitely a labor of love, right there! :wink: I would have given up a long time ago and went searching for another. But you've got him looking spiffy! Great job! 8)
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LD2062
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Post by LD2062 »

I always think about doing something like that. But at the end of the day I only ever do the laziest touch ups, aside from cleaning that is. Basically my touch ups consist of magic markers to cover up scratches.


If you ever need it for another figure be sure to check out the thread on fixing yellowing. That I've tried and have been very impressed with.
FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Thanks guys it has been a fun three days so far.
I will probably do one more update on the painting progress of Prime and maybe one more on the trailer repairs but I won't be able to do anymore until I can secure some parts.
On that note LD2062, I just PM'd you a parts request.

As for me I like to fix things and make them whole again.
I often trawl through markets looking for half finished and broken model kits.
I usually don't have much of a budget for new ones [keep spending my money on parts and equipment, lol] so I like to buy cheap old ones and repair them.

So if any of you have any really damaged bots you are happy to let go of I am more than willing to have a look.
Minerva
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Post by Minerva »

First off I'd like to welcome you to TFL, FoxMalcolm!
Second, thats an impressive job! Like Roadbuster said, I suspect that many wouldn't have bothered with him and would have just gotten a new figure instead of fixing him up.
You've done a good job so far and I'm looking forward to see the end result!
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FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Thanks for the welcome everyone, just thought I would show an updated shot of Optimus in alternate mode now that I have finished painting him, fixing his chrome and detailing him.

* * NOTE * *
I just ordered his replacement stickers from repro, unfortunately they will probably take a week or two to get here
Countdown
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Post by Countdown »

Most impressive! 8)
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Roar
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Post by Roar »

Aww, now that's just Prime! I love it when people try to salvage things like that instead of just throwing them away, or not giving them a second glance.

It takes a lot of skill, and patience to do a bare bones restoration like you have, and I don't think many people would have really thought to try something on par with what you have. (Nod of knowing respect to the many kitbashers, and restorers located here)

You don't need me to tell you, but you've done a terrific job so far, and he looks great! 8)
Countdown
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Post by Countdown »

Any projects coming up next? Fixer-uppers?
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FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Hi Well I am still waiting for some parts to fix the trailer and Optimus's decals won't arrive until Wednesday at the earliest so unfortunately no no more on that front.
However I did go to the markets today [today being Sunday] and came across this little gem for $4
Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4
At first I thought it was part of the decepticon range, maybe skywarp . . . but the front threw me 'cause it looked like an autobot.

So I started to think what G1 autobots were jets and I thought Aerialbots, 2 mins googling later I came up with Air Raid, bulls-eye!

So as you can see an obviously well used Air Raid, heavy sticker wear broken landing gear and he appears to have had his arms removed.
I will clean him up replace his arms and order new stickers in a new post later.
Countdown
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Post by Countdown »

When ever I go to my version of the market there isn't a transformer in sight (or sight beyond sight).

I'm excited to see the progress when it's time for that figure.
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Roadbuster
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Post by Roadbuster »

Nice find! I've got a spare Fireflight (unbroken and bot only) I'd let go for real cheap if you're interested. :wink:
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FoxMalcolm
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Post by FoxMalcolm »

Roadbuster wrote:Nice find! I've got a spare Fireflight (unbroken and bot only) I'd let go for real cheap if you're interested. :wink:
Sounds interesting, I never owned Superion as a child.
Feel like I am in a pokemon cartoon, "Gotta catch them all!!"

Countdown wrote:When ever I go to my version of the market there isn't a transformer in sight (or sight beyond sight).
Believe me when I say it was no accidental find . . . I trawled every single vendor selling toys, including those selling toys in large storage boxes and kids wading pools.
I only found it as I was getting ready to leave and I almost didn't recognise it as a TF.

However I think I might try another market next time, I was dissapointed that I could only find one small TF there.
FoxMalcolm
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Update

Post by FoxMalcolm »

Ok Optimus Prime has been Cleaned, Tightened, Painted, re-Chromed and now his Repro stickers have been applied, WooHoo!
Image
Man those Repro stickers are thick!
Plus they are already starting to lift . . . . but they look real nice, sigh, oh well I will just have to glue them down.
Oh well, next stage is to fix his trailer and thanks to LD2062 I now have 90% of the parts that I need to do this [YES!]
Just a few more parts to track down and it will be complete.
I know I could get replacement parts tomorrow straight from ebay but I don't feel like paying $20-$30 for a trailer door, lol.
Minerva
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Post by Minerva »

Looking good! Keep up the nice work!
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