Master Replica Vader FX grips are very sticky

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by thatguyno1, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. thatguyno1

    thatguyno1 New Member

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    I recently unpacked my Master Replica FX Lightsabers and am having a problem with the grips on the Darth Vader lightsaber. They are all sticky. It was stored in the original box in the house so it was in A/C and not exposed to heat. I was wondering if anybody else is having this problem with the Vader grips getting sticky with age. If so, is there a way to clean them so they are not sticky? Or, alternately does anybody have a acceptable replacement for the rubber like grips that are glued to the lightsaber hilt? I should mention this is the original MR FX Darth Vader saber.

    Thanks, Paul
     
  2. alessandra

    alessandra Member

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    There are a few options for replacement:

    Blast-Tech sells rubber T-track: Blast-Tech - Products - Rubber Strip

    And GINO of these forums has some screen-accurate plastic T-track.
     
  3. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Sr Member

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    I think someone else posted having this same problem. Both sources Alessandra listed are :thumbsup
     
  4. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bot niether sell grips that have the notches cut out for a smooth transition over the end cap ala MR.
     
  5. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've not experienced this problem but if it were me, I might try cleaning the grips with Goo Gone to see if it helps remove the stickiness.
     
  6. thatguyno1

    thatguyno1 New Member

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    Thanks for the information everyone. I think I will try cleaning them but if that doesn't work what is the best way to remove the existing t-tracks? They seem to be well glued. I don't want to damage the saber under the grips. I can visualize prying them off and having chunks of chrome plating come off as well. Has anybody tried removing the t-tracks from the MR FX sabers?

    Paul
     
  7. GrenadeKing

    GrenadeKing Sr Member

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    I did.

    I have the same problem with both of the early Vaders I have.

    Don't bother with goo gone, it doesn't work. I tried lots of different things. Soap and water, goo gone, paint thinner, and even lighter fluid. None of those worked on the damaged "test" saber. I tried oils as well, gun oil, WD-40, and some Armor All. Those had a better effect at getting rid of the stick but, not by much.

    What it is, is the rubber coating on the grips breaking down. For some reason it's only happening on this particular saber at the moment... (knock on wood). It'll probably happen to all of them eventually, sadly. :(
     
  8. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Between the rubber Blas-Tech´s and the expensive Gino´s t-track, let´s not forget the real, and cheap, t-track that Marv is selling:

    http://www.therpf.com/f13/t-track-sale-122706/

    Additional ... he´s a really nice guy to deal with, and he offers great option for the one that looks for t-track.
     
  9. thatguyno1

    thatguyno1 New Member

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    Well looks like I need to remove the t-tracks and replace them. Any hints on how to safely remove the sticky ones without damaging the saber hilt?
     
  10. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well I've removed them from the MR FX saber and they are a pain in the butt to remove butin can be done. I can say that the chrome underneath is there to stay so you should have no worries there.
     
  11. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Sr Member

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    If the chrome is pretty solid as FJ says then you may want to try heating the grips with a hairdryer to loosen the adhesive some.
     
  12. gizmo

    gizmo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have exactly this problem with my ESB luke saber.I`ve found nothing that works to clean the problem.I`ve given up caring about it and me and my 4 year old son just use it to play and fight each other with.One thing to note though is that because we handle it all the time the stickiness is kinda gone now.
     
  13. thatguyno1

    thatguyno1 New Member

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    How did you go about removing them? Did you preheat them as suggested by Maelstrom or just pry them off?
     
  14. modelcitizen

    modelcitizen Sr Member

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    just dive in and pry them suckers off right now this instant.
     
  15. SurferGeek

    SurferGeek Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    After seeing the title of this thread and reading the first post it reminded me of a problem that I had with my Canon EOS battery holder/grip. It turns out that they used a type of clearcoating to give the grips a matt finish and over time it has degraded and become sticky. I went to my closet and pulled out my Vader FX Saber and found that the grips were exhibiting the same problem.

    The problem with pulling the grips and replacing them with what's out there is not really the notch cut for the battery cover but that the curvature on the FX saber is wider and deeper so they replacements will stand off further... probably more like the originals but not like the FX saber.

    I was able to clean off the sticky clearcoat from my camera battery cover by using alcohol and one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I figured I'd try the same method on the saber grips.

    It worked quite well... although it will leave very slight scratches on the plastic of the grips. The Magic Erasers are essentially very mildly abrasive. I guess if you wanted to you could mask the grips and give them a coat of Plasti Dip spray.

    Here's quick photo showing the difference. The sticky one on the left and the cleaned grip on the right. It's hard to see due to the black grips but the cleaned one is smooth with no sticky residue.

    DISCLAIMER: As I mentioned, the eraser sponges ARE abrasive. Use them at your own risk. I detected no damage to the chrome on mine. The cloudiness on the chrome you see in the picture is from the alcohol drying.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. thatguyno1

    thatguyno1 New Member

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    WOW - thank you for that information SurferGeek. Excellent suggestion and thanks for posting the photo. I will give it a try. I have a lot scheduled this week so it may not be for another week or so before I get back to reply. If anybody else tries these suggestions please post here to let us know how you did.

    Paul
     
  17. GF

    GF Sr Member

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    I would mask all the chrome area, lightly wetsand the grips using very fine sandpaper and respray a light coat of krylon semi gloss black or flat black, the finish will be perfect.

    GFollano
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  18. SurferGeek

    SurferGeek Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd be interested to find out how many others have the same problem. I pulled out the other FX sabers I have and didn't find any other sticky grips or sections. Odd...
     
  19. Miker

    Miker Well-Known Member

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    I have a few fx vader sabers. One is just a hilt that I got a while ago and use on my vader costume. I exhibited that stickiness. The two full ones I have did not. No real clue why that one did, but thought I'd mention it for your statistic gathering pleasure. ;)

    And thanks to SurferGeek my old hilt will be clean! Great tip on the magic eraser...those things are awesome!

    Mike
     
  20. Son of Skywalker

    Son of Skywalker Well-Known Member

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    I've had the same problem with two Vader's ANH and three Luke's ESB.
     
  21. cybernick

    cybernick New Member

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    I had the same on my 6-7 year MR ep3 anakin and MR ep5 Vader.
    Unfortunately it is the breaking down of the plastic. Seems that it can not be fixed. Where can I find replacements for those t-tracks?
    Up to now I do not have in my Hasbro Mace (2 years old)
     
  22. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    All of my MR sabers with the T-track grips have this problem from one degree or another. I just tried SurferGeek's solution on a 2005 Anakin ROTS and it worked like a charm. I then immediately tried it on a 2007 Luke ANH, and it's not working like a charm. You would think the older saber would be harder to clean, but it seems there are factors other than age at work. My advice is to make sure you've really got the bulk of the gunk off, using adhesive remover and a rag or even scraping it off with some kind of plastic tool, before you use the melamine sponge. Don't try to rub with the sponge too hard, or it will disintegrate in the blink of an eye. Just wipe outback and forth, lightly. If the stickiness isn't going away, that means there's too much gunk remaining, so go back to the adhesive remover and scraping. It's hard work! I have my doubts about applying a sealant afterwards. Wouldn't a new coat of gunk just form again under the sealant? If we knew more about what triggers the breakdown, we would have a better idea how to deal with it. It's amazing that MR didn't check into the durability of this material before using it, and that they continued to use it till the very end. I really hope Hasbro is using a different material.
     
  23. lodinx

    lodinx New Member

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    Hey Guys, I had the same problem and used Greased Lighting and a micro cloth. A household cleaner you can get at your local store. It took if off and i have not had the problem since. Good luck
     
  24. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I finally got around to cleaning mine. I had a Vader and Luke ESB FX that were sticky. The Luke was very sticky. I used alcohol pads from the first aid kit. The Luke saber cleaned up quickly. The Vader was not as sticky by comparison but it was tougher to clean. It took a lot more pads to remove the sticky feel but both are now clean.
     
  25. dday

    dday Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Mine is seeing a similar problem, not super sticky right now, but anything like lint and things will stick to it. I did the alcohol cleaning and it worked ok, but I think that will hasten the breakdown as well. Maybe in a few years, replacement.
     
  26. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    I'm curious if Gino or Marv t-tracks will have the same issue in the future. The MR Force FX sabers have a more rubbery material than Gino & Marv t-tracks though.
     
  27. Tom1971

    Tom1971 Sr Member

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    This worked perfect. My Vader grips were ubber sticky. Three or four Alcohol pads from my first aid kit which just happened to be three feet away when I red this and they were clean as can be.

    Then just a little buffing/rubbing with a soft cloth to shine the chrome up afterword, clean up the alcohol clouding, etc.

    Looks great.
     
  28. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hope this helps but both my t-track as well as what Marv sells have zero chance of suffering from stickiness.
    I think it's a problem with just the rubber coating on the MR grips breaking down.


    .
     
    d_jedi1 likes this.
  29. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My 2 MR Vader FX saber grips are a little sticky, but my Yoda AOTC FX grips are hella-sticky.

    I tried rubbing alcohol to no avail. I noticed it as I was packing my FX sabers for move, I'm anxious to try the magic eraser on them when they get unpacked.

    If I'm understanding correctly, MR used an enjection-molded plastic grip and then coated it with a rubberized spray? And it's the rubber coating breaking down, not the actual plastic grip itself?
     
  30. Tom1971

    Tom1971 Sr Member

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    Someone else mentioned rubbing alcohol did not work either.

    I wonder what's different in the First Aid kit Alcohol wipes because they worked great? The ones I have say "One prep pad saturated with 70% Isopropyl."

    My Vader grips look and feel great now.
     
  31. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    That is good to know. Being solid plastic I was thinking these will last for a long time. The vintage cupboard ones held for a long I guess

    My 2 MR Force FX Vader sabers are ok, just a very tiny stickiness on them, nothing compared to what I've seen/heard from others. Though wish they had used the same plastic t-tracks they used on the MR Stormie blaster, those are ABS and in a way better than these rubberized ones. The MR blaster t-tracks are as new, so I guess you might be right.
     
  32. Nathan Mansell

    Nathan Mansell New Member

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    I have some MR sabers, my Vader one has recently become tacky on the black rubber at the bottom of the handle, but my Luke EpIV one is REALLY bad. I had them tucked away in the corner for a while, recently came to pick them up to show them to someone and was mystified by the stickiness! Thanks for the posts on this forum, I'll have a clean of it and see how it turns out.

    The less said about my Luke ROTJ one which has just stopped working altogether though the better... :-(
     
  33. KeArn

    KeArn Active Member

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    I had noticed this problem on my MR AOTC Anakin, and tried several methods of "cleaning" them, but to no avail...in some cases, the cleaning made it worse.
    I put the hilt under a magnifying glass and immediately saw what looked to be a filmy build up on the grips...I basically took a razor blade and very carefully scraped down the length of the grip...what came off the grip was disgusting! it was a sticky, gooey, yellowish residue...it looked like something my grandfather would clean out of his pipe or something.
    After I was done scraping, I immediately felt, and saw the difference...the grips were like new again. I will be going back at them again to clean them with some of the suggested methods in this thread, but I find myself wondering what that residue was. I guess it's possible that it was the "coating" originally applied to the grips breaking down with use...It was converted to a luxeon 7 or 8 years ago, and since then has been handled A LOT...so I suppose it could also be residue from contact with skin...oils and sweat over time...who knows.
     
  34. ataru72ita

    ataru72ita Well-Known Member

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    I have the exact same problem on my Darth Vader MR saber! I'll try the cleaning process as soon as I'll get the mr clean sponge! Stay tuned..
     
  35. Tom1971

    Tom1971 Sr Member

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    Quoting myself is weird but try the first aid pads. They worked great.
     
  36. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If you do use the pads, do not get discouraged if you do not get results right away.

    I'll quote myself too...

    I probably used about 10 pads till all the stickiness was gone on the Vader grips.
     
  37. ataru72ita

    ataru72ita Well-Known Member

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    I'll try also this! Does anybody know some online place where to buy MrClean without spending a fortune in shipping, maybe in europe or UK?
     
  38. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Why do you need the Mr Clean pads if you are going to try the first aid alcohol pads?

    Also, the alcohol pads are just convenient, but you should be able to get the same affect with a bottle of rubbing alchohol and apply/re-apply to some sterile gauze or lint free rag.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  39. ataru72ita

    ataru72ita Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted a comparison in effect after applying, since the darth vader grips show very little area and now on the Yoda Fx hilt sickyness is starting:cry and the surface there is much bigger and evident. Just for this reason:confused
     
  40. TK7713Gra30

    TK7713Gra30 Active Member

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    My 2 vader savers came out the loft today all sticky and I found this thread.
    What has worked so far was to carefully sponge the grips, dry fully, talc them. Blow the talc and brush off, actually rubs it in. Then sponge lightly again with a damp sponge.
    i imagine I will need to do this from time to time but they are not sticky now, they will continue to breakdown over time.

    As a figure and AFV modeller, this is all too common and usually due to the chemicals in the rubber. Often rubber tyres and tracks disintegrate over time when stored, we call it sweating. The parts eventually break down and fall apart, pretty poor show by MR when you look at the prices and people collected these, they obviously did not try the sustainability of the rubber over a period of time before use
     
    ataru72ita likes this.
  41. Kroenen77

    Kroenen77 Sr Member

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    I had the same with mine.Its really a bad issue and nothing works.Only replace.
     
  42. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was rearranging my display shelves today and took my Star Trek: The Next Generation First Contact phaser out of the case. The rubber grip on the handle is starting to get tacky. Not something I tend to handle a lot so I will leave it alone for now.
     
  43. Pulseriflefan

    Pulseriflefan Well-Known Member

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    I just unpacked my ESB saber after some years of pausing my hobby and of course it was sticky too.
    Well I asked my wife how to clean because she has a bunch more experience in those things lol
    So I finally cleaned the grips successfully with orange cleaner and 3 sheets of kitchen paper.
     
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  44. RexKramer

    RexKramer Well-Known Member

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    Was using easy off on an anodized portion of my parks Arc Wave saber.

    I decided to give a soft wipe to get any grime off my FX ESB Vader.

    Low and behold, the sticky grips were no longer sticky.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
    Gphalen likes this.
  45. Webberley

    Webberley New Member

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    My ANH Luke FX has this issue.
     
  46. d_jedi1

    d_jedi1 Sr Member

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    My Episode 3 Anakin and Episode V Vader each had this issue. as far as I can tell, they sprayed a rubberized material over plastic grips. Once I cleaned the rubberized crap off, they were fine.
     
  47. RexKramer

    RexKramer Well-Known Member

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    Spray some no scent/no fume easy off into a rag and wipe away at the grips.

    Let it sit for a bit and repeat.

    Wipe off again and let it sit over night. In the morning you will have grips with no stick!

    The easy off will dissolve the coating.
     
  48. LTsmash1200

    LTsmash1200 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Haha, too funny. I pulled my old ESB one out because I was going to try to pull the blade off and display the hilt until Roman comes out with his Graflex and it was all sticky. I thought it must have sat in something that made it that way, so I cleaned it off, then came here to see if anybody had instructions for getting the blades off, and low and behold, this thread popped up.
     
  49. Gphalen

    Gphalen Well-Known Member

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    Goo B Gone will clean just about anything. used to use this to get that sticky film from Duct and Tuck tape off of floors. I have the Hasbro force fx 2010 I`m sure over time the same will happen to mine age etc, I`ll probably just convert it at that time.
     
  50. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    Seems MR LE and SE lightsabers are affected as well.

    I cleaned my MR 2 Force FX Vader sabers with a Baufix solution, then with a window cleaner, and then added Armor All over the t-tracks. Excellent result so far, this also refreshed the chrome and the other parts. Curios is these grips will degrade further or the tacky layer that is gone now was the lone culprit
     

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