Monday, August 31, 2015

Resurrecting Scorponok


This is a restoration project two years in the making.  Seriously.  Why so long?  Laziness, to be quite honest.  So much laziness.  But before we get into all of that, let's get into the back story, shall we?
Here's me in 1988 on what I must assume is my 11th birthday when I was in the 6th grade.  I'm horrible on details like that.  I can tell you what grade I was in by what state I lived in at the time, but I can't tell you how old I was.  The important thing is that I got Scorponok that year, and he marked a new milestone in my life: for the first time ever, I got something that my dad didn't immediately muck up by engraving my name or using a permanent marker to emblazon my initials.  The catch was that I could not take Scorponok out of the house.  Easy enough.  Needless to say, because Scorponok is free of territorial markings, he holds a very special place in my memory and collection.  Sadly, when I dug him out of my parents' attic over a decade ago, I discovered a few things were missing.  Fasttrack was missing an arm and a gun, I was missing a radar dish, and out of the three I had, two were severely chewed up from a dog we had when I was a kid, and I was missing a ramp.  Suddenly, my childhood memories were a bit tarnished by Scorponok's sad state. 

Looking on eBay for parts sent a shock to my system.  $65 for Fasttrack's gun?!  Surely that was some sort of joke.  The rest of the parts that were missing were a bit more reasonable, but I was just stuck on the price of that stupid little orange gun.  With my unwillingness to fork out that kind of cash for an accessory, Scorponok sat incomplete in my display for a few years.  About two years ago, I finally convinced myself that maybe the price wasn't so bad and bit the bullet.  Last year, fortune smiled upon me when I located an ad on Craigslist for a box of Transformers for $200 that included Scorponok's body.  With that purchase, I got the ramp and sold everything in the box for a nice profit.  Plus I got a complete Hardhead and Horri-Bull for my collection.  Life was looking pretty good.  That only left the radar dishes.  A big part of me wanted to just get the one dish that I was missing and keep Scorponok authentic to what I always had, chewed dishes and all.  Then I got a bunch of eBay bucks and just bought a new set of dishes.  It was around this time that I realized that one of the arms seemed a bit loose, like it wasn't ratcheting properly.  Luckily, people love parting out figures on eBay, and a fix was quickly purchased.
With the arms repaired, I quickly ordered new decals for Scorponok from Reprolabels and then sat on them.  For a year.  Every month or so, I'd grab the decal sheet, look at them, and then out them back in the drawer.  Last week, I finally got off my duff and put them on.  It only took me an hour to use some Zippo fluid to remove the old decals, clean the figure, and put the new ones one.  He looks much better now.
By no means is Scorponok in perfect shape.  A figure that I've owned for 27 years, that spent a decade in my parents' attic in the hot and humid South, will suffer a bit of damage.  He is a bit discolored in places, and it's not due to the Zippo fluid.  The chrome is in decent shape, but not spectacular.  However, his joints are really tight, especially in the tail.  That freaking thing feels like it might break off every time I transform him.  I, personally, feel that Scorponok looks majestic.
Scorponok looks great in scorpion mode.  You can see some of the discoloration on the purple parts of the body. 
Lord Zarak, an accessory that I was really worried would have been lost in the attic, shows some signs of aging.  I don't believe that he's supposed to be that yellow.  Still, he's original to the figure.  The repro set that I got included decals for Zarak's chest, and I slapped those babies on to give Zarak a little pop.
Finally, base mode.  I was never really that fond of the base mode, even as a kid.  It just seemed a bit lackluster when compared to Fortress Maximus, Metroplex, or Trypticon.  Yeah, the launching ramp is cool, but I just never found the rest of the base very interesting.  The one piece that I still need to replace on Scorponok is the shield.  When moving from Virginia to Alabama way back in 1992, I used rubber bands to hold some of my Transformers' accessories together so they wouldn't get lost.  What I never realized was that a decade in a hot attic would melt the rubber bands and essentially fuse them to the plastic.  The shield has a lot of little flecks of old rubber band that will not come off.  However, I'm still not 100% convinced that I will replace the shield just out of the sheer nostalgia factor.

Well, that's a restoration complete.  I have a few others that I'm working on, and hopefully, I won't wait a full year to put on the new decals. 

7 comments:

  1. Great resto story. This is definitely a figure in my top ten to pick up.

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    1. Thanks! He's a great figure, for sure.

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  2. I love Scorponok. I never had him as a kid so when I was finally about to buy him I was on cloud 9. I guess the one thing that I don't understand is why did they make Lord Zarak a creamy white?

    I love all of those old photos you post from your childhood. I wish I had pictures like that...or do I? Great post, it was a fun read.

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    1. Yeah, that color on Zarak is a little weird. As far as the childhood pics, I have no shame. I like sharing them as proof, I guess, that I really did own them.

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  3. You did a really great job on this restoration. I'm impressed with your repair of the ratcheting shoulder joint. New stickers really go a long way in making a figure look shiny and new.

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    1. Thanks! The arm repair was pretty simple -- all I had to do was disassemble the arm and enough of the body to get the old part out and just swap it out. I think it took me five minutes.

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  4. Very cool, Man!!! Looks photo sharp!!!

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