Blog

After many many months of development (spare time comes at a premium when you have a full time job and a little family!), the project which started as a plugin/subsection of this site has finally matured into its own separate website. 

The G1 Archives are now hosted at http://www.g1archives.co.uk ... the aim is for this site to be a complete resource for identifying and categorising anything and everything relating to the G1 toys themselves.  From full accessory lists, crisp photographs of the bots in all modes, a picture of every weapon/part, profile pics, mottos, subgroups, functions... to sortable and filterable detailed lists of who came in what year, who belonged to what faction or group etc etc.

The content (i.e. images) are a work in progress, with more photographs added every week.

Head on over there to check it out!

Stacks of weapons, parts and accessories added to the store, we`ve been busy! Absolutely loads of ace G1 scorponok parts added, a full set of sunstreaker parts is on offer in the store, plus thrust wings/tailfins, powermaster optimus prime guns and many more!

A raft of new transformers added to the store, the pick of the crop being a complete G1 mindwipe with instruction booklet. Nice item. Other notables are a pretender grimlock shell with weapon and gun, and a really nice tight springer with gun.

I`m planning on adding plenty more transformers for sale to the store over the next 2 weeks, so check back for more goodies.

Work continues on the new archive site which you can now find at http://www.g1archives.co.uk  ... check it out, and if you would like to collaborate with us on that site content, get in touch!

So, after exactly 1 year since the last blog post on the site, and a rather longer than planned hiatus from working on and selling things on the store, g1matrix returns. Work has kept me very busy and left litte or no time for trading things on the net, with the exception of the evilbay!

And to mark the return, some major changes - the site now offers our limited collection of MISB modern transformers for trade, including some great items from the Combiner Wars and Titans Return series to name but a few.

Pick of the crop has to be leader class powermaster optimus prime from the titans return line, and the white battle core optimus maximus gastalt set. 

We still want to trade or swap G1 items, our passion for the G1 line remains strong, and some recent acquisitions over the last 12 months include Omega Supreme and the holy grail a 100% complete original issue Fortress Maximus!

Fortress Maximus

So, after a brief hiatus for a holiday away, back to business. While i was away, i took my kit for creating retr0bright paste, and a few transformers ... hoping to get some great sunshine. luckily i had 2 days of great sunlight out of the 7 and on one of those days i thought i would clean up my G1 Autobot powermaster Getaway.

With a lot of white areas, this transformers toy is a prime target for yellowing. Mine was fairly discoloured, not horrendously so, but enough to warrant a go with the paste.

I`m glad to say i had the most excellent results. Now i was a little slap happy with the paste, and did suffer a little sticker damage - i really should have applied the paste to the sensitive non bulk areas with something like a cotton wool bud instead of the toothbrush! but... the sticker damage is something i can live with for the result of having a nice bright G1 getaway! 

before :

Before - G1 Transformer Autobot Powermaster Getaway with yellowing

After :

G1 Transformer Autobot Powermaster Getaway after retr0bright repair

So, in my last blog entry i detailed how i had used straight hydrogen peroxide solution to submerge an action master prowl in sunlight to reverse some pretty heavy yellowing. Whilst the results were good, they werent perfect or spectacular. 

In an attempt to create a better effort for Prowls turbo cycle, which also had some very heavy yellowing, i went down the DIY retr0bright paste route. For this, you can mix up your own paste using hydrogen peroxide solution, xanthan gum, glycerol and i think its oxy laundy booster, but .... since there are products easily available where the hydrogen peroxide is arlready made into a creme, why bother with the fuss of the gum/glycerol to thicken it up when you can add some very cheap and readily available corn flour (in america - corn starch), aswell as a very small amount of oxy laundry booster to act as a further catylyst.

Be CAREFUL if you`re gonna attempt to do this yourself!

So....heres the equipment i used : 

 items required to make a retr0bright paste

Right - since the turbo cycle obviously has 2 sides, and ... in my case both were yellowed pretty equally, i decided to test out two methods. One - i bought a energy saving U.V. black light bulb and a very cheap lamp holder from amazon. This was so i could do some de-yellowing overnight, since i cant guarantee on having sunny days in good old rainy Britain! Two - direct sunlight. In both cases, mix some of the creme peroxide with some corn flour, and a _small_ amount of oxy laundry booster. Dont go mental with the laundry booster as your paste will just totally foam! (a little foam isnt bad). Mix that up so the creme thickens up so its in a form you can apply to a bot without it running off. Cover the areas you want to work on, avoiding stickers and such. Set it in place and cover it with cling film (so the peoxide doesnt evaporate out quickly). 

Heres a pic of the inside set up i used with my cheap lamp holder ! I think two lamps would be ideal as you could get the UV light to shine with better coverage of your transformer.

retr0bright UV black light lamp over a transformer

important safety notes : DONT get creme peroxide on your skin, hair, and definitely not anywhere near your face/eyes. that stuff burns! use gloves. and if you`re working with a UV lamp - dont look at it directly ... if you need to, wear some appropriate safety goggles or glasses. 

The UV side had 6-7 hours overnight, and the other side, just plain old sunlight had about 6 hours outside in great conditions, a very sunny day - i got lucky on that one. 

Anyway, here are the results of both sides. I think the sunlight side showed better results, although i think the UV lamp side would have worked equally well with a longer duration

action master prowl before and after retr0bright cleaning

I`m pretty happy with the results - its certainly a better result than total submerge in hydrogen peroxide and a) its a lot cheaper, b) its easier to work with and you dont lose stickers c) its easier to clean off afterwards.  

If you`ve done similar work at restoring yellowed transformers, get in touch and share your results :)

I reckon i might try and get hold of a knackered jetfire from ebay and disassemble it so that the components can be treated individually. Should be a fun task :)

Another distraction comes up during the work on the archive - this time the arrival of a few new transformers for our own G1 collection (now numbering over 260 !) ... which included a rather seriously yellowed action master prowl.

Now the ebay item contained some rather misleading photos on this one, but since the item came from the USA, and the rest of the items in the package were fine, i couldnt be bothered contacting the seller to get a fix. 

Its given me the opportunity to try my hand at restoring the plastic of some transformers i have, and reversing the yellowing which occurs on lots of the plastic parts of bots which have been left in the sun, in particular those that started white.

I`d watched several videos on making up a mixture thats called retr0bright, in which the main ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. In this case, it was possible to completely submerge AM Prowl entirely in hydrogen peroxide solution, and i used 6% ... I added a little laundry Oxi booster/whitener (in my case Vanish) ... this turned out to be a bit of a wrong move as i added a little too much (since this acts as the catalyst to speed things up, i was a bit eager!). What happened was a bit of foaming / frothing which may not have helped the light from the sun actually get to prowl. 

In any case, approximately 6 hours outside, on a pretty unspectacular day sun wise still yielded some fairly decent results. Although i lost a sticker from the front, i still think the resulting transformer is much improved so i`m happy with that.

Next time, i`m going to use some hydrogen peroxide creme which i`ve gotten hold of, to make the paste which is known as retr0bright (or an equivalent thereof), and i will blog about the results. I`ll also be buying a U.V. lamp, because i cant rely on UK sunshine ! :) This will allow me to paste the mixture onto only the areas which i want to treat (rather than submerging in hydrogen peroxide liquid and losing stickers or having to remove them beforehand which is tricky).

Anyway, here are some before/after pics of the Action Master prowl results. If you`ve had success with any of these kinds of operations before, and have any advice/comments, get in touch!

action master prowl retr0bright repair

second action master prowl retr0bright repair pic

A project has started at the g1matrix - the archives are in the works. Over the years i`ve accumulated a lot of transformers, and whilst a collection is being built, knowledge is gained. Since the subject of generation 1 transformers is so rich in information and detail, and has the potential for amazing pictures, descriptions and lists - i`ve decided to implement an archive of data about the G1 transformers toys themselves, focussing exclusively on the G1 line from the years 1984 to 1990

This project is big - theres a lot of information to organise about the accessories etc of over 300 toys, and a lot of photographs to take, but hopefully this archive will be a handy reference point for collectors of these amazing toys.

In time the archive will be searchable by hopefully almost anything - name, year, sub group, allegiance, accessories. For now, the first simple list is online - a breakdown of the robots released by year or by the subgroup they belong to.

transformers

So, as the number of products on the site increased, and I am almost ready to get the domain mapped properly (exciting!), i figured it was time to address the issue of combined shipping costs.

I really like the way that eBay allows responsible sellers to configure combined shipping, and i wanted to mimic that - except that nopCommerce doesnt facilitate that out of the box. So - two courses of action available : either purchase or source a shipping plugin, or write my own. Of course i`ll write my own.

I used two very good articles as a reference guide for writing my own nopCommerce plugin for shipping. Both are from the nopCommerce docs and were extremely useful 

http://docs.nopcommerce.com/display/nc/How+to+write+a+nopCommerce+plugin

http://docs.nopcommerce.com/display/nc/How+to+code+my+own+shipping+rate+computation+method

The result is a plugin i can use to replace the fixedrateshipping computation method with a nice system for mimicing ebays combined shipping discounts. How do they work? Lets show an example

Item A : shipping cost on its own = 3.60 , as an additional item = 0.30

Item B : on its own 4.00, as additional = 0.30

Item C : on its own 1.50, additional = 0.10

Total would be 4.00 for B (as its the highest base cost shipping item), plus 0.30 for A, and 0.10 for C ... total = 4.40

How was this achieved in a plugin? Well in order to do this, I had to set the fixed rate shipping for my new computation method to zero, and use a previously unused column in the Product table (i chose ProductCost, since none of my items have a relevant cost to produce) to house the base shipping cost. 

If you are implementing a nopCommerce store and have done something similar or are struggling, get in touch

 

As of last night we have a facebook page! 

https://www.facebook.com/g1matrix

Quite what we`ll use this facebook page to do, i have no idea :) I was originally going to create a proper facebook account for the store, but i then realised it didnt quite suit, and in any case, facebook has the facility to create what they call a page, rather than an account, for your business, venture, group, cause or whatever it may be. Quite happy to find when i tried to create an account with a name of g1matrix store, it was denied, at which point FB suggested - do you want to create a page instead? cool!

I am hoping that the page will be an opportunity to generate some free by chance advertising and click throughs to the site. It cant do any harm right? It will be a place to post some updates about content on the site, new items etc. May even house some pictures of our own collection on there.

The FB page is a little quirky, choosing and fitting the images for the profile and backdrop was ... awkward. But never the less, its up and hopefully we`ll see things like `John Johnson likes g1matrix` sooner or later :) I guess a twitter account wouldnt go amiss either.