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Check here for some answers to some of our more frequently asked questions about Starcom.

QUESTION: Why did some vehicles come with random figures when its clear they should not have had any figures in some cases?
ANSWER: The policy in the US was (I believe) to sell the figures separately after the First Wave. In Europe, it was decided to continue to include a figure. Therefore, from Skyroller/Bandit wave onwards, when shipments arrived in the UK from the Far East, they were taken to our subcontractors in Abingdon, Oxforshire, where the taped boxes were carefully opened and a loose figure (taken from a standard single-figure pack, and usually still in its plastic bubble) was dropped in and the box resealed. martin.joynes@bbc.co.uk

QUESTION: What is the history behind the different packaging used for Starcom?
ANSWER: There were at least three different kinds of packaging in use by Coleco. The original US packaging was in deep red; the Canadian English/French packaging was much more orange in color, and the European packaging had German, Spanish, Italian, French translations - again, in deep red. I imagine when Mattel went on to produce their own packaging purely for the European market the decision was taken to remove the more obviously US-based insignia. martin.joynes@bbc.co.uk

QUESTION: Does anyone know how to make the visors for the Starcom figures?
ANSWER: I have done some resin visors, but not transparent. They are painted black over the tan resin. Some hobby shops sell 'Alumilite' casting kits . I used the two part rubber that you mix with your hands to make simple molds in 5 min. I think that Alumilite has a website to see who sells it in your area. The product is called: "Alumilites 5 Minute Molding Putty" . You basically squish a visor between the rubber to form a mold cavity, then a drop of alumilite resin is 'squashed' between them to make the visor (trim off the flash with your fingernail). They work, but wrong color. samward@telusplanet.net

QUESTION: Does anyone know where to get tubing that is similar to the weapon/pack tubing that comes with the figures?
ANSWER: Wire insulation could be used for tubes. I know that some wire insulation can be pulled off without damage if the length is short. Green or red tubes might look good too. samward@telusplanet.net

QUESTION: How do I fix my Starcom motor/engine?
ANSWER: Click here to find out how.

QUESTION: How do I open a Starcom figures torso?
ANSWER: There are two ways to do it. The first would be for some figures that are too stubbornly glued together and the prying may start to damage the figure. For those that don't pop open easily, fill the torso cavity with water and put it in the freezer over night; the expanding pressure helps to 'pop' the torso open without damage. To fill the torso, submerge the figure and use a pin to 'probe' in and out of the back openings which causes the water to get in. And of course, take the screw out before you freeze it. Prying with the ice still inside the torso also seems to provide better leverage once a space opens up. I also tried a blunt wire to push a torso apart by pushing from the backpack holes, but the wire can push right through the front of the figure if you push too hard (so only use a wire as a last resort). samward@telusplanet.net
Another method would be to take the screw out and then pry it apart with a small straight screwdriver. HGAIER@BADGER.TDS.NET

QUESTION: How to stop rust on Starcom metal parts.
ANSWER: Coleco used an un-galvanized 'tin' plate for the receiving side of the magna-lock feature. Unless you are careful, or live in the desert, these may eventually rust (but you can stop it).
For minor rust showing up on the edges of your tin magna-lock plates, a little silicon lubricant (spray bottle) will stop the process without risking damage to the paint and surrounding plastic. Just shoot some on and let it 'soak' in for a couple of seconds, then wipe off the excess with a soft cloth. This works on screws and other metal parts. It is also good to prevent further rusting on items you don't have time to do more advanced repairs on.
If there is significant rust (collectors in humid climates) it is worth dismantling the toy to eliminate the problem with a fine wire brush followed by some automotive grade 'clear-coat' paint to permanently solve the problem on the backs of those tin Magna-Lock plates. Gently fold those tabs up straight (fine blade screwdriver) and carefully push the plate off. Clear-coat paint is perfect, because you don't want to bother masking the visible paint job on top of the plate with tape, as it can pull off the paint. In fact, a light shot of clear-coat doesn't hurt the top of the plates either; especially if you have a few scratches or a bit of rust that you can't remove without destroying the original paint. When fully cured (7days), automotive clear-coat paint is tough, and those little magnetic boots won't scratch the paint so easily anymore.
By the way, if you have your Starcom toy dismantled ( all metal parts and screws removed), that is a good time to wash it in soapy water if it is as dirty as some of the ones I have bought. samward@telusplanet.net

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