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Old 03-01-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
Designasaurus
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Default Mego Starfighter Restoration

Hi Guys,

In addition to Eagles I also restore and/or build a lot of other vintage sci-fi toys. Here are a few pics of my summer project, a 1979 Mego Starfighter from Buck Rogers. When I got the toy the rubber engines and nose cones were gone, the rear landing legs/fins were broken off, and the front landing leg was total missing. I made a new landing leg, repaired the fins, and mastered new engines and nose cones.



The engines are now cast in resin and attached with a couple small screws. The inside is hollowed-out to make room for some small battery operated lights. These are the kind used on bike tires so they are motion activated. This means I don't need any external switches to turn them on, I just tap the hull and they start to flicker and blink. Since they're designed for bikes they stay lit as long as you keep the toy 'flying' around the room.





The front landing leg is made mostly from styrene rod and tubes with a little piece of wire running through the center for strength. It articulates at the 'ankle' and again where it meets the ship allowing it to fold up into the fusealge.



The interior of the original Mego Starfighter was plain white without any details or graphics. I've added new label art based on the front panel of my Roland Juno 6 synthisizer. (It has the same look and feel as other electronics seen in the show.)



As you can see I've detailed the ship to resemble the Corgi diecast toys, which have always been a favourite of mine. It's not totally accurate too the filming models but it's way more accurate than the Mego graphics!

Finaly, I alway like to create repro box art for the toys I work-on. Here's the current version of the Starfighter Box. I still have to update the graphic in the top left corner before printing and building the box.


Enjoy!
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
Knight1966
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Great job, I remember having the Corgi version back in the 80's. Can you post a link for the motion activated lights, sounds like something I could put to use.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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Excellent resto job, Captain!
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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A very nice project, I did not even know that these toys existed.
Please tell us more about the lights you used for the engines. They could be very interesting for other projects too. Thanks.

Ron
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
Designasaurus
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The little LED tire lights I use come from my local bike shop. In Canada they are also available at places like Canadian Tire, WalMart, or anywhere else that sells bike and/or automotive accessories. They're dirt-cheap, the last set I bought cost me something like $3.99 for 4 including batteries.

Here are a couple random images I found online this morning. (I'm sure if you search for LED Tire Lights, LED Valve LIghts, or Bicycle Wheel Lights you'll be able to find a local vendor.)




It looks like Amazon . co . uk also sells a couple versions of these little lights. One type is called Nitelze Spokelit.

Hope this helps!

Cheers!
Paul
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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Great looking restoration excellent work
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Thanks DS, know where you're coming from now and where I can obtain some.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Thanks, Designasaurus. I see man new ideas growing...
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:23 AM   #9
TonyB
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A very nice clean up and restoration job on the Star fighter, I always liked this ship design.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the posative feedback!

By the way, if anyone ever sees one of these ships, or has one that they want to get rid of please let me know. I'm happy to get them in any condition as long as the main fuselage is (mostly) there. I've made rubber molds of the engines and fins and I have a cheat for making new nose cones so I don't really need those parts.

If anyone who has one of these toys is interested in upgrading the engines on their ship I have revised engines with thwe lighting effect installed which I am willing to sell or swap. They're easy to install with very little modification.

Cheers!
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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Love these restorations, along with your new boxes. A neat 'what if the toy companies had been this dedicated?' approach to bringing new life to old things!
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:02 PM   #12
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nice (could've been a viper) starfighter. Always a favourite scifi ship of mine. Pity the Corgi one always had that annoying cant-stab-anything or anyone-safety bar at the front!
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:13 PM   #13
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I also liked 'Hawks' ship from this series, Sadly I don't think it made it to the toy shelves
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyB View Post
A very nice clean up and restoration job on the Star fighter, I always liked this ship design.
Designasaurus, excellent work. The Earth Defense Directorate Starfighter is a brilliant design. I liked the way Starfighter squadrons of them defended the Earth in 2491 A.D. alone without any massive E.D.D. starships.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:09 AM   #15
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I had a couple of these when I was a kid (first one broke the nose strut early, hence getting the second one). I also had the Draconian Marauder (the cooler of the two toys for all the neat features they crammed into it). A few years back I did manage to score a Starfighter in the box and I was in heaven, but I had to sell it in 2007 to help with my finances and I was a little heartbroken, until I saw what it went for on eBay (the money helped out A LOT).

Very nice work as it looks better then what it did back then. Nice idea making the engines light up and near as I can tell, your engines look a lot like the originals (except for the lights). Mego did a pretty good job with the basic toy, even if they could have gone further with it. I liken yours to how Mego might have done it if they weren't in financial dire straits in those late years before finally going under.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:35 AM   #16
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Knight1966:
it's funny you should mention Hawk's ship, I've wanted to make one of those for while. I even built a couple cardboard mock-ups not too long ago. I stopped before working on a prototype because I wanted to work out how to build retracting tallons and wings and not just a static shell. Maybe I'll get back on this sometime later this year.
...so many ideas, so little time.

JM, I was able to make my engines look correct by using the sliver of one of the original rubber parts. I guess it had split legnthwise and been pulled apart. I cast it and then made two or three copies which I fused together, cleaned-up, and then recast as a finished engine. It was a pain-in-the-ass but it was the only way I could get engines for a toy I had coveted since I was 10!
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:27 AM   #17
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The engines look great for the amount of work you had to do to make them. The original engines were prone to splitting since they seemed to be casted a little smaller diameter then the plastic sockets they would fit over. As such, they had to have at least one split in them to fit properly. Weird how somebody managed to completely split one in half given the flexible nature of the plastic.

BTW, where did you get the Earth Defense Directorate logos and the rainbow markings for the engine housings?
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #18
Designasaurus
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I never had one of these toys new so I always figured the rubber engines and nose cones had just shrunk over the years. I didn't realize that they didn't fit to begin with. Nice quality control from Mr. Mego!

The toy I rebuilt looked like some kid(s) had tried to customize/rebuild/repair it at various times over the years. I just figure the engines had been pulled apart at the split or cut up using scissors.

The graphics are illustrations I did specifically for this project. Since they're vector drawings I can easily scale them for future use on other Starfighter toys and models. (The 'bread-n-butter' of my career these days is illustration so as a result, I seem to spend a lot of time creating new and/or updated graphics for toys and models.)

Cheers!
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Old 30-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #19
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Wow nice! I would really like to get a kit if possible or send it for a refurb!
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Old 31-01-2016, 02:55 AM   #20
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Hi,

Do you do vintage toy restorations for others?

I have a Mego Buck Rogers Star Fighter that needs a little help.

Thanks!
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