Prometheum5's collected works
I’ve been collecting a lot of Star Wars toys lately, and one of the things I was most excited to get was the latest version of Hasbro’s big X-wing. Amazingly enough, the modern X-wing mold’s origin can still be traced back to 1998′s Power of the Jedi 2 Electronic Power F/X X-wing mold. I remember seeing TV commercials for the Power F/X toy back in the day, but never had one. The mold has gone through a number of revisions, but the bones are still the same in today’s X-wing toy. I was thrilled to get a big new X-wing toy, but I was incredible disappointed by the S-foil deployment gimmick when I finally put the toy together. Out of the box, the wings are saggy, loose, and do not deploy evenly. I figured the mechanism could not be that complicated, so I cracked open my new X-wing and got to work. The jist of the mechanism is a lever that depresses a spring-loaded plunger that deploys the wings. The level slides to the side to lock in place, but when slide to the side the lever does not depress the plunger evenly or far enough, so the wings are uneven and floppy. I fired up the computer and designed a new piece and printed it on my 3D printer, going through a half dozen iterations in a weekend until I had a new piece that held the plunger all the way down evenly when locked in place. The ABS plastic part printed on my UP Mini was good enough for me, but not something I was interested in making a number of for others. Instead, I ordered a couple of test prints from Shapeways and found the best one, which is available now in my new Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries Shapeways Store! I may use Shapeways to offer some of my own toys in the future, but for now it is the home of my first third-party toy add-on part. Keep reading after the jump for details on the development, installation, and end result of my X-wing bar.
These first two photos show the original part. You can see that the wings are uneven and not fully deployed using the stock lever.
Here’s the guts of the Power F/X X-wing S-foil mechanism. The fulcrum of the lever is a sphere so it can depress and slide to the side to lock in place.
The problem is the lever does not evenly depress the wing plunger when locked in place. Note the gap indicated by the arrow. That slack is what makes the wings uneven and floppy out of the box.
The beauty of having a 3D printer is that I can bang out a whole lot of iterations of an idea in a very short time. By the end of this process, my X-wing’s S-foils could lock in attack formation with the best of them.
Here’s the stock part on the left, the final ABS printed part in the middle, and the final Shapeways-printed part in Polished White Strong Flexible on the right, available now in my Shapeways store.
Installation is a breeze. There’s two philips head screws to swap out levers, and another seven to open/close the fuselage. In just a couple of minutes you can take your X-wing from sad and saggy to strong and accurate!
These two photos show the replacement part fully installed. Shapeways plastic takes paint no problem, so with a little gray paint the lever could be made to match the back panel of the ship.
The wings still fully close using the new part.
More importantly, the wings now fully deploy and are solid when deployed. The wider end on my part depresses the wing plunger evenly and firmly.
Biggs is ready to take on the whole Empire now that his X-wing can properly switch to attack mode!
Please note that I do not own ‘Star Wars’, ‘Hasbro’, or ‘X-wing’. This is an aftermarket part meant to enhance your official Hasbro toy.