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harry27

Resurrecting the Black Skull

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For me when the pirate theme was first released it was so exciting,  With so many new elements and of course those new minifigures which were like no other at the time.  I was fortunate enough to have quite alot of the original series and obviously the ones you wanted were the big ships, which is why this weekend I've decided to send out the divers and deep sea rescuers and raise up the Black  Skull from depths of...a dirty dusty shelf in my playroom. Quite frankly I should be ashamed. This is one job I've been putting off for far too long.

Time for a bath!

It's mainly 95% complete with never been taken apart before with most missing pieces scattered across various parts boxes. Luckily the sails are in pretty good shape nothing a good iron won't sort out.  Unlike when I rebuilt the Black sea barracuda a few years back. Her sails had gone all fraid and mouldy, due to their design an easy substitute was found. First job is to strip scrub and dry..

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With all the parts boxed up in the airing cupboard over night it dried nicely. With the instructions dug up it was time start the rebuild...

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So far so good..almost. As with alot of my old lego it would appear that when I was younger I must have left it in the sunniest place possible.

Discoloration sucks!

Who would of thought Lego made the tan shade of colour all those years ago. I've some substitutes, some bricks can be turned around to face the other way but others will have to wait for now.

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How strange you’ve posted about this. Just a couple of days ago I took the rather ruined version of this I own down from the bookshelf and dismantled and dusted it all down ready to rebuild when I find the instructions! Been meaning to do it for about 10 years now!

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Posted (edited)

Nice thread @harry27!

It seems The Schooner (or the Black Skull when it's roaming European waters), is truly such a legendary piece it's getting renovated all the time. 

I indulge to append the story of mine:

This lost gem was stored on a sunny shelf for 25 years 'til I've bought it from the mother of its previous owner who - for some silly reason - wanted it off his hands.

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A couple of pieces went missing and the yellowing was so harsh one of the blue bandanas almost turned to turqoise (check first picture). Except these, the pieces were just MINT. The sails were like perfect, the figures still stiff without any scratches and fractured arms. And only for 160$. Sadly no box and instructions and the most valuable missing pieces were the two blue palm tree tops for stern lanterns.

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So I've started to wash things out as well:

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After reassembly the ship is ready to take back its former glory again on the battleseas:

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Ready to take action against rivalries: 

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Battle is ON.

The blue lantern pieces and some of the hoses are still missing (used black palm tops as substitution) and I've havent fixed the discloloring of white parts yet. To be honest it gives such a kind of patina, vintage-nostalgic feeling I like it this way very much as well. The figurehead was also absent so it is missing in most of the pictures. It is replaced now however.

@harry27 I'm very interested of the finished version of yours! Is it already done or you're waiting for parts?

Edited by Medzomorak

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@harry27 and @Medzomorak - Any tips on cleaning? Did you just dump all of the pieces in soapy water and leave it soak or did you brush each piece?

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Just now, leafan said:

@harry27 and @Medzomorak - Any tips on cleaning? Did you just dump all of the pieces in soapy water and leave it soak or did you brush each piece?

Brush, soap, warm water in undefinable amounts, yes. Giving the brush for every piece by hand depends on the state of the set, but generally yeah, I do it while watching a movie. If the previous owner was an indoor smoker it's a must, because it can be sticky by the dust mixed with the constant cigarette smoke being around.

With the sails you have to be extremely careful, altough this old type of cloths are quite heavy-duty the edges tend to start fraying, as we all know.

I've read fellow members here talking about irnoning by putting the sails under cloth not to burn it. I've never dared to try it myself, because the water can iron it very well by itself and you can also put some books onto them. Have to say I still have some minor fold marks on the Runner's sails so maybe I'll give it a try, very very carefully. I'd suggest a just enough mildly warm temperature, no more.

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I put it all in the sink (minus the sails) with warm water and washing up liquid. I used a nail brush and scrubbed as much as I could, rinsed and checked and then left to dry overnight. One handy tip is to have some form of wet wipes on hand as you'll probably miss a few areas. My sails aren't too bad but I personally wouldn't risk touching them given their age and if necessary try and find replacements. Either way a tedious job but worth the effort. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, harry27 said:

I put it all in the sink (minus the sails) with warm water and washing up liquid. I used a nail brush and scrubbed as much as I could, rinsed and checked and then left to dry overnight. One handy tip is to have some form of wet wipes on hand as you'll probably miss a few areas. My sails aren't too bad but I personally wouldn't risk touching them given their age and if necessary try and find replacements. Either way a tedious job but worth the effort. 

To my experiences warm soapy water was no trouble to the sails, but can depend on their state of course. If only the sun got them and had nothing of some sort of force impact, like tearing or exhaustive crumpling you'll be surprised how much the water will help. Obviously you shouldn't wash it like your socks, just put it under and smooth the soap over gently. Half a minute should be well enough. Then take the brush and go over it just as gently as well.

This is what I've followed if you want visuals:

Ahh, the Schooner is just da best set ever released, so good to see it getting so much attention by others as well. :pir-wub:

The more renovated the better for all humanity, but probably for the whole galaxy.

Edited by Medzomorak

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I have followed the same path recently with a second-hand 6271 Imperial Flagship. It was really dirty but it's so satisfying to see it cleaned!

I hope to get back my Schooner one day, I want to make it beautiful again like you did :wub:

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2020-03-23_08-38-01

Almost there!. At present I'm only missing the all black minifig head (ironically I'm also in need of another for a previous build). One thing for sure is I will definitely have to replace alot of the white piece's as I feel their too far gone for my taste. So once swmbo has kindly ironed the sails all that's left is to find the crew, I'll probably have to check the local tavern...

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Set sail!

All finished! Admittedly I had to raid a few other models for the last remaining pieces. 

Ship ahoy!

Ship ahoy! Annoyingly I redone the barracuda last year and already it's covered in dust and missing a few bits but she still looks good

 

 

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For her age, she’s beautiful :wub:

I haven’t seen them often at the same time, the poop deck looks so much more detailed on the Schooner! (maybe not the most realistic)

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16 minutes ago, CaptainMoore said:

For her age, she’s beautiful :wub:

I haven’t seen them often at the same time, the poop deck looks so much more detailed on the Schooner! (maybe not the most realistic)

Absolutely I used to love the schooner more when it came out but now I feel the barracuda looks more like a real galleon. I think one day I should try and bash them together to make the ultimate barracuda with 8 guns and a fully opening rear cabin a steering rudder.

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Great job Harry, you've done a great service to this universe. Always nice to see this kind of horrible entropy restored.

Also yeah, the Barracuda is the more authentic one (especially the newer edition), and the Schooner is more like a 90's burlesque romanticized version of it, still it will always be a legend amongst fans all the same. That color combo and those sails are just ahhh.... :wub:

You can also fill the cabin with some piratey details. The best time to have some pillage dinner is when you are simultaneously dealing with some rebellious scums and the Imperial Navy.

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Posted (edited)

Been in the process of resurrecting her myself, found all the parts except one of the Blue Laterns, which i had to order on Bricklink.

Found that some pirates had cracked arms and torso pieces, but i was lucky the Black Skull wasn't my only pirate set, so i had some duplicates to replace them with.

Next step is to wash all pieces and giving the White and Grey pieces a peroxide treatment. Also ordered a salad spinner to get rid of most water before letting them dry naturally.

Lucky my sales are in great condition, as i had them stored between the manual underneat a truckload of other manuals, so they're super flat.

 

(On another note, i also found all my Wild West (Cowboy Tag on Bricklink) sets from 1996. Seems i own all of them except the small 6790 polybag. They're in GREAT condition still, just need a wash as well)

 

I got Eldorado Fortress as well, which i may restore as well, but i noticed i need some more replacement parts for that, nothing that's not available today though.

Edited by TheDeeGee

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