X-Wing Restoration Part 2: The Cleanup!

So, as you read in Part 1:  I got an X-Wing that turned out to be a bit bigger of a project than I anticipated. Oh well – There are no hard projects, only new “learning experiences.” *Say that in your best motivational speaker voice.

The next step in the restoration is cleaning. Typically I would soak all the pieces (Which I can, since I removed the electronics) and hit them with a magic eraser and a toothbrush with dish soap.  However, I decided to ONLY clean the broken X-Wing wing at this time, because if I can’t fix that, I am going to just abandon this project and buy a working “body” off ebay.

A quick cleanup and it looks pretty good! I’m always amazed at how well these vehicles clean up! (The clean is on the right, a dirty one on the left) I didn’t remove the little bit of sticker residue yet.

To try and fix this wing, I am going to attempt something I have never done before: A solvent weld. NOTE: This involves chemicals that you don’t exactly want to breathe – so I can’t say I recommend it – But you know my motto: Safety Third!

To do a solvent weld, you need some spare plastic.  Now, since this X-Wing is already a disaster, I cut off some of the grey plastic areas inside the body. Remember in part 1 I said that Kenner had spots for 4 screws, but only used 2?  Well, those 2 unused bits became weld fodder.

You basically take a glass jar, drop some plastic shavings in there, and pour acetone over it, and let is sit overnight.  When you wake up, the plastic bits will have melted into a sort of goo slurry:

Now, before you do anything with this goop, you need to have your parts prepped. I used small clamps  to line up the wing cracks:

Now, take a scoop of the aforementioned slurry and slab it over the cracks. Warning, it will be really stringy (I put the slurry on both sides of the breaks):

This works via a capillary action, and somehow – Maybe science, maybe magic – It is supposed to rebond the plastic and in theory, be close to 95% as strong of a weld as the unbroken piece.

After letting it dry for a few hours I sanded off some of the excess plastic.  I left it a little thicker in some areas, since the place where the bond is will be hidden once reassembled.

Overall – I am happy with this as a fix so far. I wont know if it really worked though until I reassemble and test it.

That was all I had in me for a day – In Part 3 we will continue the clean up and start working on the electrical.

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