Star Wars TIE Fighter Restoration Project

I did this restoration a few months back, and am just now getting around to posting it  (Had a lot of “housecleaning” to do on the site!)

This is my favorite type of restoration, where the vehicle is structurally great, and “probably” works. I got this particular TIE in a trade. It was nice, but REALLY really dirty. Not just dirt, but oily layered dirt.

All I needed for this restoration was:
-bucket to soak pieces
-philips head screwdriver with a long shaft
-Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

I also ended up needing a zip tie, to replace one I cut.

For the most part – these are REALLY easy to take apart – Just a few screws and it breaks apart easy enough.  The motor and electronics all sit in the bottom part of the cockpit, so unless you want to remove and resolder (Which you may if the electronics arent functioning) I suggest just not getting that part wet. I pulled out the motor because it was frozen, and a liberal application of very fine motor oil got it working again!

Here is is taken apart. This took maybe 5-10 minutes:

Once it was apart, I soaked the pieces in soapy water  (except the piece with electronics – I just worked it with a wet brush and magic eraser)  and the dirt and grime started coming off.  I used Goof-off to get the old sticker residue off the wings, also – That took some elbow grease but wasnt too bad.

Before / after of what a magic eraser was able to remove:

Once all the pieces were cleaned and allowed to dry, just a few screws and it was all back together.  For the missing stickers – this particular TIE is just to hang from my ceiling next to my vintage Death Star Playset – Opinions about repros aside, this is literally a display piece, so I printed out some repro wing stickers and glued them in place with an archival safe, non permanent glue. (I used all the stickers that were vintage where I could, only replacing ones that were absent)  This way, if I ever DO want to sell the piece, the repro stickers can be easily and safely removed prior.

Cleaned up!

Granted, this is not the most thorough or detailed restoration, but it didn’t NEED to be. I did not use any difficult or advanced techniques here. Overall, from beginning to end I did this in under 2 hours, and it just goes to show what a little time and elbow grease can do to make a toy present better!



Posted in Restorations | 2 Comments

Star Wars Stickers / Paperwork Now Watermarked

Due the the recent price increase of vintage Star Wars figures and Ships, etc..  the Star Wars collecting community has really started to come together to try and limit the availability of reproduction items, including stickers and paperwork.

In my efforts to continue to be a positive asset to that collecting community, I have decided to watermark all Star Wars sticker sheets and paperwork. I hope they still serve as good reference for those wishing to use them as such!


Posted in News and Updates

Protect Transformers Rubber Tires

Many vintage Transformers have rubber tires. Over time, these can dry, crack and split.  The solution?  Get a Q-Tip and some Armor All from an Auto supply store, and give the tires a good coating. This will have to eventually be redone, but it could help keep your autobots off the tire rack.

Posted in Transformers

ESB Snowspeeder Paperwork

Posted in Paperwork - Empire Strikes Back

ESB Tauntaun Paperwork

Image | Posted on by

ESB Imperial Attack Base Paperwork

Posted in Paperwork - Empire Strikes Back

ESB Bounty Hunter Capture Log

To Download this sheet, click on the image(s) below. A new browser window will open, and you can view / save the image at full resolution.

Posted in Paperwork - Empire Strikes Back