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General Robot Restoration

27 posts in this topic

Posted

From time to time, not so often, things happen in a collectors life that one can call great luck.

Those highlights are what makes toy collecting quite exciting. I don´t thought that I will get an golden Attacking Martian.

Ok a silver one is not so hard to get and a few times I got one beneath. Now to my surprise I´m the owner of a golden AM.

He was far away from mint but with some enjoyable hours of restoration he will reach a cabinet look.

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Posted

At first I checked the robots look and functions.

He was allover dirty (in the kind of a "gunked" robot), has some rust smaller spots. Especially the left upper arm is missing some of its gold clour.

Robot is in working condition but both the arms did not swing. Only one gun is lighted. Perhaps a loose wire.

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Posted

First step is a cleaning. I used denatured alcohol (Brennspiritus) and warm water with Palmolive, also some Q-Tips/cotton buds for tight corners.

Apropos; do you remember Madge from Palmolive? Here she is!

The effect of cleaning is good to be seen at the battery box. The left side is cleaned.

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Posted

Now it is to be open the robot for removing of the silver parts to polish and for soldering work.

You can see the loose red wire in the upper left corner, also a light grey wire can be seen. Which means the robot was opened in the past for soldering.

In the last pic the head parts are polished and parts put together again. The three door parts on the left side are polished yet.

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Posted

Now I fixed the arms and painted some (not all !) of the rust spots.

It don not make sense to do a complete paint job, because it is an old robot in used condition. He will never become mint again.

If I learned something in the past decades of restoration, it is better not to do too much. It will never look like new and the toy is definetely less worth then.

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Posted

Now he has the cabinet look and it´s finished.

For cleaning I needed one and a half hour. Polishing also.

Paint job was half an hour. Soldering needs three! hours. Had some problems with missing contact at the switch.

All in all it was a work full of joy and now I´m looking forward positive for a silver Attacking Martian :D

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Posted

This robot looks beautiful. Fantastic restoration job.

I had a couple of questions as I read your post.

1. What was the ratio used for the cleaning solution that used the Palmolive, denatured alcohol and water? It sounded like they were mixed together and not used separately

2. What kind of gold paint did you use? Was it acrylic or some kind of enamel paint?

Thanks for sharing.

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Posted

...Palmolive, denatured alcohol and water? It sounded like they were mixed together and not used separately

Normally for cleaning I take Palmolive or another dishwashing liquid with some warm water ( cold water causes cold fingers :lol: )

and clean the toy the wet corner of a dish towel after I dipped it in the palmolive water. In this special case the robot was very dirty.

He was covered with a kind of tar - caused by smoke. When I opened the robot it smells like wood smoke by a fireplace with a

chimney that draws badly. It wasn´t the smell of cigarettes I think. For some hard to remove tar spots I used the denatured alcohol.

Attention: the red feet don´t like it (at this robot). Usually I need about 30 minutes or less for cleaning. In this case it needs threetimes longer.

I used an special golden oil paint. It´s for artists. Normally you coloured different things like picture frames with your (coloured) fingertips.

I made some good experiences with it. I mixed it with a few splashes of darker golden enamel paint. But you can use the type of colours you like.

Normally I prefer Enamel colours for restorating old toys. Acrylic colours of the same colour that is needed do often have different pigments.

Otherwise Enamel colours often have the same pigments like the vintage toys have. therefore the results with Enamel colours are often better.

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Posted

Thanks for the details. I had one other question. What do you do if you break a tab when opening these robots up?

I've heard one solution is to use a soda can and use scissors to cut a new tab and then solder it on to the robot.

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Posted

Congratulations - Great find and even a greater restoration job!

Thanks for sharing your procedures!

One of the pictures shows a couple of burned matches: If they weren't used smell-wise for comparison ("When I opened the robot it smells like wood smoke by a fireplace ...") ;) - are they another secret ingredient of your restoration work flow?

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Posted

Thanks solaar! Smell Comparision? :blink: :lol: That´s a good one.

I used the matches to heat the tabs, it minimizes the danger of breaking. In my opinion it works better than a lighter.

I've heard one solution is to use a soda can and use scissors to cut a new tab and then solder it on to the robot.

That´s right, Robotopia! Instead of soldering you can also glue the new tabs. I use a two components epoxy glue. (German: "UHU plus")

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Posted

I used the matches to heat the tabs, it minimizes the danger of breaking. In my opinion it works better than a lighter.

To be honest, I already guessed so. But I would have been afraid to burn or harm the paint. You're brave man! ;)

Is it really a delicate business, or is it rather safe technique, so that there's no reason to be afraid anyway?

From my own experiences with a customization job I found it even more likely to harm the paint while bending the tabs back to their original holding position ...

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Posted

I think Klaus means he heats the tabs after the bot is taken apart. That way the temper is taken out of the steel for re-bending the tabs . Cutting tabs out of a soda can will not work. They are aluminum and can not be soldered. However Campbell's soup cans work well after you burn off the plastic coating. Thanks Klaus for the info ! Good job buddy.

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Posted

Thanks Mark ;) . And you´re right. Campbells or something of that kind works fine.

Solaar: Warm paint in more flexible and will not break so fast. The fire of the matches is not hot enough to make bubbles in the paint.

Also I get less grime by matches when by lighters.

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Posted

Warm paint in more flexible and will not break so fast. The fire of the matches is not hot enough to make bubbles in the paint.

Also I get less grime by matches when by lighters.

Thanks Klaus & Eagle! I guess I'll make good use of that info someday ...

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