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Vectorbeam Space War Restoration – Part II

Now that the game is completely stripped, it’s time to start repairing the cosmetic issues. I’ll get to the buttons later. Since this game is considered rare and has almost complete side art, it’s worth a little effort to protect the artwork. I used blue painters tape to completely mask off both sides of the artwork. Then I used an x-acto to trim the excess off. I used the delicate surface blue tape, which is a little kinder to the surface you apply it to and you have 14 days before it needs to be removed. I’m hoping I can get the work done in that time frame. I pulled the cab out of the garage on my machinist dolly – what a great investment – and determined the amount of cab I’d need to cut off to repair the bad corner and the swelled bottom particle board. I positioned my saw board and cut away.

After removing the chunk off the side I also pulled off the bottom and the back part with the vent. They had minor issues but overall it would be easier to just replace them with new pieces. The table saw makes it simple to cut new parts so why not take advantage of the opportunity to make it a really clean restoration. I used a little contact cement under the front laminate as it had started to de-laminate a bit. Even after clamping I only had moderate success. I got enough down to keep it from pulling away from the cab, good enough. I cut the bottom and back pieces and reattached the newly repainted mesh screen.

I cut the replacement panels for each side and used black and white vinyl laminate to match the original finish. The inside of the space war is this textured black vinyl and outside is white. Brian at game stencils supplied the vinyl, great stuff. Wasn’t sure how to work with it, but I just applied it directly to the particle board and it worked perfectly. Once I had both panels covered in vinyl I could attach them to the cab. I used a slot cutter and #10 biscuits to join the panels.

I used the saw board again to trim the excess from the new panel, after it was dry. The front of Space War has an angled edge and the saw board was the easiest way to match the angle. I also cut and fit a small block into the upper corner that had damage. I used a utility knife and a chisel to remove the damaged area. It was too small of a piece to cut out with the circular saw. Using a utility knife and a straight edge was a pain, but it got the job done. I used the chisel to clean it up. I cut a slot and used a laminated piece with a biscuit for a solid replacement corner. I used the saw board again to trim the excess. The grooves in the surface are for the filler material when I get to that point in the restoration process.

The last thing I had to do before working on the other side of the cab was to cut a template of the area around the control panel. The other side was damaged and creating a template would allow me to fit in a block and cut to shape later. I used 1/4 birch ply to make the template.

I’ll wait until I’m finished with the wood repair before I start on the filler material. Next update will be the other side and assembly. Stay tuned!

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