Keith Meyers, The Space Station!

 

Major Matt Mason w/helmet flare by Les Rayburn

T he Major Matt Mason line has proven to be a hardy one, holding up well in most cases despite nearly 30 years of age. But if you do happen to purchase a piece that needs a little work, check here for tips to get it back in space-shape!

The best advice that we can give any of you is to send for Tom Wentland's videotape repair guide. Tom has been rewiring and repainting figures for years, and he also can offer advice on repairing other vehicles. Email Tom today for details!

Email Tom Wentland


CLEANING:
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Figures can be cleaned by soaking for five minutes in Lestoil or a weak bleach solution (25% bleach to 75% water). Never soak the figures for more than five minutes. Then rub lightly with a clean cloth. Do not apply undue pressure, as you may remove the paint.

After cleaning, rinse the figure for at least two minutes in running tap water. Dry the figure. After the figure is dry, soak it throughly in a good silicone lubricant, such as Preston Silicone Lubricant or Armor-All.

Let dry, and then reapply. Buff off the lubricant while the second coat is still wet. This will serve to protect the figure from future wear.

Vehicles can be cleaned in a similar manner. If the vehicle is pure white, such as an Astro-Trac, you may soak it in a strong bleach solution to make it like new! Of course, any decals will be ruined and must be replaced by reproductions.

Space Station platforms may also be safely soaked for 1/2 hour in a strong bleach solution to improve their appearance.

Colored plastic vehicles are best cleaned with a damp cloth soaked in Lestoil.


MOON SUIT REPAIR:
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Moon Suits can be easily obtained by new collectors, however, the arms are usually rotten and gone. They can be replaced using two methods, both of which make it suitable for display.

Method #1:
Tom Wentland, Matt Mason Repair Guru sells a kit that will allow you to replace the arms with an automobile hose that closely resembles the original arms. Email Tom for details and price.

Method #2:
Les Rayburn came up with this novel repair, that replaces the original arm with "Robot Arms" from a Leggo Auqanaut Set. The robot arms are from the mini-subs sold with sets and individually at most Wal-Marts and Toys-R- Us.

The arms are spray painted black and then superglued into the original Moon Suit sockets. While they do not resemble the original arms, the scale is perfect and the arms actually look more functional than the originals!

Email Les for additional details if needed:
mmm@vazda.com


MELTING:
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Melting is a condition that occurs when the rubber material that the figures are made from comes into contact with the hard plastic that vehicles were made of.

When left in contact with each other for long periods of time, a chemical reaction can occur, causing brown "burn" marks that look a lot like cigarette burns.

Collectors should use caution when displaying their figures inside vehicles. Many fans use clear mylar or plastic on the feet or bottoms of figures so that they may not come into direct contact with the vehicles.

The Star Seeker seems to be the most common victim, followed closely by the Gamma Ray gun. There is no cure for the condition, and it cannot be removed by cleaning or scrubbing. The only solution seems to be spray painting the entire vehicle white, and then re-applying reproduction decals.

VEHICLE REPAIR:
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Space Crawlers can be repaired with ease in most cases. Simply remove the screws at the bottom and carefully seperate the two halves. Usually the gears inside will be covered with a gummy substance. These should be carefully cleaned and then replaced.

Battery contacts will usually also need to be addressed, as will the switch contacts. These should be cleaned with sandpaper, or a small file. It some cases, the motor itself may be bad but usually these are robust. If the motor is bad, it can be replaced with a motor from Radio Shack.

Unitreds are much harder to repair, the glue that joins them together can be difficult to remove. "Oops" or other solvents will usually do the job but the work should only be done while wearing protective gloves.

Battery contacts are usually the culprit with Unitred problems. Again, clean these with sandpaper or files. Open the Unitred only if there seems to be no other way to repair it.

 

Copyright 1997 Keith Meyer. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 23, 2006.