X-Wing restoration: Part 1- The Migraine Maker

I have been wanting a vintage X-Wing for a while. Not that I couldn’t just BUY one, I just was kind of waiting for a good deal to find me. And I thought it had.

Thought…. it…. had

I found a vintage X-Wing – Complete – just seemingly missing stickers. It looked like it was in nice condition, so I didn’t even ask about the electronics. I figured I would clean it off, put some new stickers on, and hang it from my ceiling with my TIE fighter.

Doesn’t look too bad, huh?

I mean, its got some old crud and scuffs, but that is fine. I can fix that:

And then:

DAMN IT #1. One of the wings is broken completely off. I dont blame the seller – I actually emailed him and he was a super nice guy. There are hints of old epoxy in there, so I assume it came apart in shipping. The seller was nothing but courteous, and sent me some vintage figures to make up for it. I believe him entirely when he said he didnt know it was broken. But it leads me to this:  How do I repair a broken wing?

First, I have to take the X-Wing apart – These are very simple to take apart if you do the screws in the right order. First take out the one in the nose. Next, the two in the very back (That is attached to the battery compartment) and finally, the one on top next to the R2 unit. Once those are out, the X-Wing comes apart easily.

Once inside, you see the mechanism for the wings. There are places for 4 screws, but only 2 screws are there.  This is in (as far as I know) all X-Wings.  I guess Kenner figured that over time, the cost of saving 2 screws on millions of X-Wings would add up to some extra cash!

After that, I removed the windshield and 4 guns:

DAMN IT #2: This gun had obviously broken off before, and been super glued back on. The glue was so old that the gun just fell off, but you can tell what happened there.

Ok – I can work with this. X-Wing is apart:

Time to test the electronics:

DAMN IT #3: Totally dead.  The motor isn’t working, and the LED isnt lighting up. Unfortunately with X-Wings, the motor unit is held in with a blue plastic piece that you cannot remove, without cutting. The battery terminals in the back are riveted in as well.

There is some major corrosion on the terminals, and I just dont think I can clean them while still attached to the x-wing. So carefully with a dremel drill, I drill out the rivet and pop them off. Next, I *sigh* take a dremel cutting bit and cut the blue plastic to free the motor. The electrical system – I think – needs a full overhaul. I carefully run the wires under the plastic X-wing seat so not to…

SON OF A BIIIIIII…….   The braces on the seat must have been cracked. The seat fell right out. It is this point I honestly contemplate selling the 4 guns and the windshield on ebay and cutting my losses.

(When I move a project to my 1970s TV table, you know IT’S ON!)

Final count: At first it was just stickers and a cleaning. Now it is:
1) Fix a broken Wing
2) Fix non working electronics
3) Repair busted seat
4) Repair broken gun / wing
5) Clean
6) New stickers

Oh well – at least the X-Wing is totally apart and the wings are free. This is going to be a lot more work than I originally anticipated!.

Up Next: Part 2: The cleaning!


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