Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big Man Toys

Just a Heads up to everyone that there are some VERY VERY cool and interesting things going on over at Big Man Toys .  New drops, Mini Figs...and EXCLUSIVE  to Big Man Toys...TREEGAR!!!

Does this guy EVER sleep?!?!?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Framed Micronaut Aliens

I have been meaning to do this for the last few weeks.  Yesterday, I finally did.  I stopper by Wal Mart and picked up a frameless 20 X 30 Poster Frame.  Its a sheet of acrylic that uses snaps to lock it in place.  Smaller versions use a glass sheet.  I use them for everything. They are very cheap.

So I flipped the cover sheet over and made a template.  Then I cut out shapes that were roughly the same shape as the bubbles on the Micronaut Alien cards.  I put the Carded Aliens over the template, put the freshly cut acrylic sheet over and now they are ready to hang.  The cut outs also help to keep the cards from moving. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


You have heard me mention it.  Its no big secret.  The next Homeworld Blog Exclusive is Sultan.  Sultan is a 3 3/4" remake of Baron Karza similar Flight Commander.  Once again I have enlisted the help of Micronaut Guru and CGG artist MicroBry.  (Que eerie Halloween music)  Bry is once again doing the labels for Sultan which will be packaged similarily to Flight Commander.

Fortunately, I have been kind of fortunate naming figures.  Flight Commander, Roboid, my (hopefully) next figure 'Marauder'.  I havent stepped on any toes with those names and they just came to me.  For the BK, I was lost.  And you have to follow an unwritten rule of protocol.  I cant turn around and reduce him to a mere captain.

I work with a man.  I think we all do.  You know the guy.  From 40 feet he looks like Homer Simpson.   He hates it when I say that,  But its true.  He is also a great friend and a very imaginative and ingenious individual.  Funny, Funny man.  Rodney.  I bounce alot of ideas off of him.  Anyway, we sat down for our coffee break and he lets me ramble on about my toys.  One thing leads to the next and I tell him I am stumped on a name and explain it to him.  So he follows my train of thought and starts throwing out a few possibilities when he looks at me and simply says...''Sultan.'' 

It has an evil hiss around the edges.  It commands respect and attention.  Sultan it was.

Unfortunately Mr. Michael Jaecks only made the Flight Commander Head Sculpt.  He didnt do a Mini BK.  So Bry is working on that as we speak.  I called and my resins are in.  So I can resume pumping out parts this weekend which also just happens to be a long weekend here.  So hopefully I can have everything but the heads at least made.  I would like to have them ready before Christmas and then relax and make a few variants for myself. 

Sultan is going to be limited to a run of 25 just like Flight Commander. 

I am looking forward to the next set of figures after Sultan.  You are all in for a nice surprise at the very least.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Micronauts Lobstros Finally Replaced

Yes, it was me.  I purchased the MIB Lobstros that was on ebay recently.  Actually there were 2.  But 1 is missing the antennae and box inserts.

I had a complete Lobstros years ago.  Oddly enough the seller of it lived only 10 minutes from where I was living at the time.  It was the MEGO version.  Oddly enough when I sold it in 06, it only sold for $450.00  which really sucked since I paid $750 for it.

This will make 3 Lobstros vehicles I now own.  However 2 are incomplete.  But with 2 incomplete ones to play with, I wont have a need to display the one I just bought.  I'll let you think about that last statement.  Keep your eyes open.

There are 2 Micronaut vehicles(?) I have never had and never will own.  I gave up being a completist a long time ago as I was never happy.  So I only collect those things that do.  These 2 vehicles just dont make any sense to me.

The first one...Ampzilla...if that doesnt say it all, how about the fact its an overpriced last minute piece together toy.  It has the same hands.  They couldnt even have been bothered to make opposing claws.  And the second is the Sharkos.  Meant for the water, but sinks like a rock.  Also it doesnt stay upright.  Looks cool enough, but it just isnt for me.

And yes...I stole these pics from the auction because I still need a camera. Altho... buying this doesnt help me get one any quicker. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Real Steel

I recently saw the Movie "REAL STEEL" starring Hugh Jackman.

Real Steal is a combination of Sylvester Stallones 'Over the Top' and 'Rocky 1'.   Instead of using actual people they use Robots.  A not bad feel good David and Goliath movie.  however the Robot designs arent too bad. I purchased the Wave 1 without Twin Cities in the Licensed 7.5" version and should have them in about 10 days.  The obvious winner in the Robot Sweepstakes, is Nasty Boy.  The coolest of the robots shown.
  ***LOOK AWAY MOVIE SPOILER*** Unfortunately he doesnt have a very long acting career.

A definite looker, I will post more when he arrives.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why Micronaut Centaurs Are Unstable

Just WHY are Micronaut Centaurs so unstable?  Is it the Legs, the knees the O rings?  What is it?

I believe I just solved a 35 year old problem.

When I made custom Centaurs I thought the problem was the knees.  Plastic wearing on plastic.  Any substance rubbing against itself will breakdown and become loose.  So I thought that by installing knee rivets I had taken care of the problem.  I tightened them up and then I made a stand.

Now between the rivets and the stand I greatly improved the balance of the figure and made it more rigid as well.  To make it even tighter, I use O rings that are almost half the size of the ones found in 3 3/4" Micronauts.  But it wasnt perfect.  If it was perfect, then I should be able to pose the Centaur in a rearing mode without a stand.  I cant.

Since 06 I have been without a Vintage MEGO Centaurus.  So recently I purchased 2.  One was stated as complete the other was in pieces.  Unfortunately time reacts to plastic pretty much as it does to die cast.  The plastic gets extremely brittle.  When I opened the package both back legs fell apart at the knees.  The extra parts were junk.  Mostly broken pieces that had been glued, so I couldnt use them.  When I finally was finished, I had rivets in 3 knees.  The fourth leg was nice and tight (front) so I didnt want to touch it.  But it doesnt look right with 3 rivets.

But in my messing around with the Centaur, I found the problem.  The true problem with the Centaurus and why it has so much difficulty in holding a standard pose is because it wasnt fully engineered properly for the parts or rather one part in particular. The O ring.

The distance of the underside of the hook in the front legs to the top of the circle that holds the O ring when assembled is roughly 9/16" or .5625".

On the back legs, that same distance is almost half that.  Its slightly smaller  than 9 mm or roughly .340"

They use the same size O ring for both parts of the figure.  The distance is great enough to stretch the O ring and make the front legs tight.  But for the back legs it hardly stretches the O ring at all, allowing the back legs to move on their own instead of holding a pose.  There is no tension on the O ring to keep the back legs tight.

My custom figures were holding a pose better than the factory figures only because I use smaller O rings.  And even then they werent small enough to take up the slack required to make the rear legs function as they were intended.

I was in the process of taking pictures to illustrate this when my camera gave up the ghost for good.  This really sucks.  Because that means it will be about 90 days before I can get a new one.  So no new pictures for a while.  Its been just a terrible 48 hours in my house.  If it aint broke...wait a minute and it will be.  Shit.

I am on afternoons Monday and will see what assortment of O rings we have at work.  If I can find the proper size needed I'll post a diagram of the measurements.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ebay Selling Fees INCLUDE Shipping

I just thought I would throw this out there.

 In Canada we pay the price of gas, then all local/provincial taxes.  The two are added together and then you pay 5% GST.  So the final price includes you paying tax on a tax.  Nice huh.

Well ebay does the same thing.  Instead of taxing a tax, they charge you a percentage of the shipping cost.  Something you have no control over unless you overcharge. 

When you send someone an invoice through ebay, you include the shipping you charge them.  Ebay takes the final price of your auction PLUS the amount for shipping and then they take their percentage.  So basically you are subsidizing the shipping because Ebay charges you 9% of the shipping cost.  If you try to pass that fee onto the customer, Ebay takes 9% of that too.  So if shipping is $10, its actually costing the seller  $10.90 because Ebay wants $0.90 of the shipping cost.  If you charge your customer $10.90 to cover the 9%, then ebay will get 9% of the $10.90 or $0.98 cents.

Below is a cut and paste right from Ebay.

Total cost to buyer (less any sales tax) Final value fee
(Based on the total amount of the sale, including the cost of the item, shipping, and any other fees a seller may charge, excluding any sales tax)
Item not sold
No fee
$0.01 - $50.00
9.0% of the item’s total cost to the buyer with a maximum charge of $100.00
$50.01 - $1,000
$1,000.01 or more
(based on the total amount of the sale, including the cost of the item, shipping, and any other fees a seller may charge, excluding any sales tax)

This is for Auction style formats.  For Fixed Item Auctions  they charge 11%-13% based on which category you sell in. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bumblebee ROCKS!

 This blog wasnt meant to showcase my personal collection, however in light of my current casting burnout, I think its appropriate.
BUMBLEBEE...Everyones favorite Tansformer.  I finally picked up the Masterpiece Movie Edition Bumblebee.  Besides Micronauts I also collect specific Transformers.  In particular the Masterpiece series.  Oddly enough, the Movie Edition Bumblebee is smaller than the Ultimate Bumblebee.  Both are freaking cool, however the Ultimate Bumblebee has issues standing due to its size.  It is the only Transformer (besides Sound wave) that I have opened.  I have other more common Bumblebee's that I open and scatter about the room.

The thing I like most about the Movie Edition Bumblebee is that they put in a display window.  The packaging is a display box.  So you can see whats inside without breaking the seals.

Bumblebee...He Rocks!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3 3/4" Micronaut Die Cast Repair ***EDITED***

  This post has been edited.  If you already read it, additional information has been added that may cause you to rethink using this method.

Ok...I am cutting this short for now.  But I will document the steps in a later post.  I can and have successfully repaired a vintage diecast chest piece.  But it isnt easy.  In fact...because the metal is so brittle, this is not a repair service I am going to offer.
You drill the tap drill size of the screw you are using right where the cast 'one use' rivet is or would be.  You have to file/grind this flush after you have separated the 2 chest halves.   I went with 3-48 machine screws.  These are specialty screws that had to be ordered.  And the taps are a couple sizes below a standard tap drill set.  You cant just walk in and get them in the hardware section.  I went with the 48 tpi because the hole is so shallow you want as much thread as possible for maximum holding power.  I have a set of rubber soft jaws I use.  Oddly I just fixed my 2 axis vice.  So I can position the piece almost perfectly to where I need it.   Drill the hole being careful not to drill through.  I ground 1 tap flat so I could tap to the dead bottom of the hole maximizing the hole length.  The head of the screw is just small enough it fits in the hole and not so big that it interferes with accessories that one might use the 5 mm hole for.  Believe me...this sounds so much more easier than it really is.

The metal used to make this figures is extremely soft and brittle.  You MUST use soft jaws.  I will post about them in a bit.  These are rubber jaws that slip onto your vice.  But even then, you need just the right tension to hold the piece and not enough to collapse the die cast.  The drilling is the easy part.  Its the tapping that has the potential to wreak havoc on the die cast.

But I must stress that this is a last resort.  These figures are EXTREMELY brittle.  This makes them VERY hard to hold onto.  There is a very real possibility that the cast can crack at any time while drilling or tapping.

In fact just taking them apart can cause them to break.  After years of being stuck together, the die cast body alignment pins can get 'cemented' in to the mating holes and when you try to pry the 2 chest halves apart, they could rip off and stay stuck in the holes or I have seen several where the pelvis gets stuck to the 2 chest halves and working that loose causes the chest pieces to fall apart. Once you have a flaw in the die cast its like a crack in a windshield.  If you take your knuckle and tap on the windshield you can expand and lengthen the crack.  Well once the die cast has an exposed flaw, this compromises the strength of the surrounding material.  And any pressure, like say from a tap or the tightening of a screw could be all it takes to collapse the die cast.

It can be done...Its very tricky...and unless you plan to throw the figure away, use this as a last resort to fixing vintage die cast figures. 

I am going to look into the possibility of maybe using  DEVCON to help strengthen the area around the hole. 

Devcon (I believe that is a trade name) is liquid steel.  When I worked in an automotive shop, we used it to patch motor decks and then they got surface ground.  I want to see if maybe I can use it like a glue and let it dry around the screw.  I would have to drill the hole a little larger, but it would alleviate the pressure applied by the tapping and clamping and would be a much safer approach.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Riley...Camera Hog

My every other month Riley post.

For those who dont know, Homeworlds Cover Page is my dog Riley.  He loves having his picture taken and you will see pictures here and there where he squeezes into the frame.   Something about the flash and he comes running.    He's my first little dog...but dont tell him he's little.  He still thinks he's a Rotty.  :~)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Transformers Race Track

I just love the drug store where I get my prescriptions filled.  Its all the way across the city in my old neighborhood, but the drive is always worth it.  they have a very small toy section and there is always something neat there.  I bought an authentic wood Yo Yo 2 weeks ago from there.  I cant believe I didnt have one.

Last week I was in there and they had a Transformers Bumblebee Race Track similar to the Hot Wheels track but with a die cast Bumblebee I havent seen.  Its not a huge track and the set was only $20...How could I say no? 

After humming and hawing about it for a couple of days, I drove to the north side and bought it tonight...

Now the only question is...Should I open it or not?

Monday, February 27, 2012

How DOES Ebay work?

Ok...I am really confused now.  How is anyone supposed to find anything on Ebay when their search engines dont work?

Recently I spent all day trying to find that 2011 Hasbro Comic Con Comic.  I tried all sorts of various titles.  Finally I emailed a friend of mine and he sent me an auction number.  And go figure...the auction seller doesnt ship outside the USA.  Sorry man...if you dont ship outside the USA then I will put you on my blocked bidders list.  I find it hypocritical that people outside of Canada will buy from me, but wont ship internationally.

So anyway, I copied and pasted the title of that exact auction into the Ebay browser and not a single auction came up.  Not even the one I copied the title from.

Now how weird is that?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mini Magnemo Red Falcon

Currently on Homeworlds Cover page is a picture showing 3 Mini Red Falcons in various positions.  These figures are magnemo's and stand about 4" tall.  They are slightly bigger than your basic Micronaut.  They are very endearing and quickly grow on you.  They are arguably better toys than the 6" magno figures.  They definitely have a higher collectability value.

I had this one but it was incomplete so I traded it to a friend of mine who had more of the parts it was missing.  I have since replaced it with a conventional colored version.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stripping Paint Without Damage

I was presented with some information today that is just too invaluable to not post it.  There have been alot of things recommended for stripping paint.  It is a tender issue because most solvents destroy the plastic.

  But apparently this degreaser is just all around too good to be true.


I have not tried this method, so I cant say for sure it works, but according to the information I does.


Castrol Super Clean

The reason I will try it is because CSC is water soluble.  You simply pour the CSC into a container large enough to submerge your piece that you wish to strip, wait 5-6 hours and simply lightly run a toothbrush over the surface.  You might have to repeat the process for harder to reach areas.  Wash the piece off with some non abrasive soap, rinse and you are done.

** Please Note **
CSC is a caustic product and all precautions should be taken when using this product including rubber gloves and eye protection.  Always refer to product safety information for safety precautions and first aid.

I havent had need to do this.  With the GEEG body I used for Flight Commander, I simply ran the die cast under a wire wheel.  Took off the paint nice and shined the body up in the process. But I wouldnt recommend this with plastic figures.  Also you have to be careful sith some die cast parts.  They get really brittle with age.

But like I said, I havent had to try this yet.  But I really like the fact its water soluble.  It says good for enamel, acrylic, CHROME and some lacquers.

Hmmm.  I just caught the chrome part.  This could be real useful.  :~)

And we actually have a testimonial now that it does indeed work.  See comments.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

MEGO Batman

And then there was one.

 It isnt the best example I have seen, but these guys are next to impossible to find anymore.  MEGO Batman.  There is a set of four.  The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Batman and Spiderman.  The Hulk seems to be more common.  Superman slightly less so.  Batman is very difficult to find and the MEGO Spiderman is dang near impossible.  Timing is everything. 
I saw Superman and I believe it was Batman MOC a few months back.  But the seller wanted more than I was willing to pay.  So I zapped up this loose one.  The cape is slightly damaged but the figure is nice and tight.  I have the Hulk and Superman, so now all I need is the Spiderman.

And then there was left to find.  And this one could take a while.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Palisades Red Falcon Prototype

I havent displayed this figure on the blog yet, so we'll start with it.  The Palisades Red Falcon Prototype.  This is not the complete Red Falcon Prototype.  I dont know if there are other parts for this or not.  After Palisades toys released their run, they sold everything online.  All their prototypes, banners, left over parts, everything.  I noticed a loose bag with red writing on it describing the parts.  So I am not sure if other prototype parts not with this set were made and sold separately to other collectors or not.  I bought this one privately from a former collector.

The Chest is reversed in the packaging to show it off..  Palisades was very collector oriented.  They went to the collectors for their opinions and also for their figures.  They used the finest examples and rewarded those who 'GAVE' them their figures with thank you figures.  Mostly Gold Baron Karza's, altho it is my understanding that at least a couple of collectors may have been given Gold Force Commanders.