MMM Restoration - Captain Lazer Light Fix

Once again Toby Denham combines his love of "tinkering" with toys, with broken Major Matt Mason toys.  This time it's a fix for Captain Lazer's light!  One caveat here...this is not for the faint at heart and probably should only be attempted by experienced modelers and/or fix-it people.

Captain Lazer Heart Transplant

I recently figured out how to change the bulb in Captain Lazer that lights up his eyes and chest plate. If anyone can use the info, read on.

Tools needed:
  1. Razor blade (such as the one used in a box cutter or matt cutter)
  2. X-acto knife
  3. Hemostat or long tweezers ( long slender needle-nosed pliers will probably do)
  4. Maybe a small flat screwdriver
  5. Something to cut light gage wire
  6. Electrical tape
First order of business is to remove the round chest plate (lens) from Lazer's chest. This will be the toughest task of the entire project. However, it can be done very neatly if you exercise patience. The most important consideration here is to remove it without breaking the plate or damaging the surface finish of the Captain's chest.

Using the razor blade, not the X-acto knife, work the razor edge between the lens / plate and the chest opening (hopefully you will find a location where there is a little space between the plate and chest opening that will allow the razor to slip in without too much difficulty). Now carefully rock the razor blade back and forth like a little rocking horse, working it all around the lens. You will notice that the blade will slowly work deeper and deeper as you proceed. Be very patient and be very CAREFUL! Don't cut the end of your finger tip off. There isn't that much glue holding the lens to the chest. However, the backside of the lens is recessed into the chest opening, and it is a tight fit.

After a while, you will notice that the lens will start to lift out. When this occurs, it is time to graduate to the X-acto knife. Work the X-acto knife around the lens the same as you did with the razor. This will work the lens out further. After the lens has been worked out of the chest opening a significant amount, insert a small flatheaded screwdriver into the space. Pry the lens the rest of the way out by working the screwdriver all around the outer edge of the lens. Put the lens into a plastic bag so you want lose it.

Now, with the lens removed, you will be able to see into the chest cavity of Captain Lazer. What you will see is the bulb assembly that lights the Captain's eyes (via fiber optics) and the chest lens. This bulb assembly is mounted to a metal framework that also serves as a reflector.

The bulb assembly is made up of the bulb, a housing and neoprene retainer (that will be discarded). This assembly is merely pressed into place. It can easily be pulled out by using a hemostat, long tweezers or long slender needle-nosed pliers. Grasp the bulb housing. Using a gentle rocking motion while you pull, the bulb assembly will work free. Pull the bulb assembly up and out through the chest opening. Don't worry, there is plenty of wire to do this Believe it or not, there is about 6" of wire that will come through the chest opening, so there is no danger of ending up short wires. Cut the wires close to the bulb.

You will notice that the old bulb (which is very small) is held within the little silver colored bulb housing by a white neoprene retainer. The wires of the bulb extend through two small holes in the retainer. This retainer will pry out easily. The old bulb should now be free of the housing.

We are now ready to add a new bulb. I very much doubt that you will be able to find a bulb that is an exact fit like the original. Believe me, I looked. However, what I did find works better than the original in terms of light intensity. The bulb I used came from Radio Shack. It looks alot like the original, but is somewhat larger. It is 1.5 volts, and it has the two leads (wires) that extend down just like the original.

To install this new bulb, the neoprene retainer will be discarded. What you will need is a small piece of 1/4" rubber hose. I used a piece of 1/4" clear rubber tubing.

The length needs to be about 3/16ths of an inch (I did say a small piece). Now press that piece of tubing down into the silver bulb housing until it bottoms out. The new bulb will mount in the housing upside down as compared to the old bulb. Feed the wires down through the large opening of the housing and through the piece of rubber hose within. The wires will exit through the small opening of the housing. Press the bulb into the rubber hose piece. The rubber hose piece will hold the bulb in place. The top of the old bulb originally emerged up through the large opening of the housing and protruded through the small opening. This was considered the top of the bulb assembly. For the new bulb, the large opening will be the top. In effect, the bulb housing will be re-installed upside down.

After the bulb is in place within the housing with the wires extending down through the small opening, splice these wires to the two wires from the chest cavity. Do this anyway that you wish, either by soldering them together or simply tying them together. Either way, be sure to tape the connections with electrical tape.

We are now approaching the last stages of this operation. Shove all of that wire back into the chest cavity. Using whatever tool that you used to remove the assembly, lower the assembly into the cavity. With the top of the bulb pointed up towards Lazer's head, align the flange on the bulb housing with the rectangular hole on the reflector frame. It's a little ackward getting things to line up. I found that a new pencil with an unused eraser came in handy to push the bulb assembly into place. Just hold the assembly in place with your gripping tool and press with the pencil eraser. You can feel the piece become seated into position. Do be sure that it is indeed seated. Also, notice that the top of the bulb is positioned just beneath the fiber optic device that lights up the eyes. So cool!

Last stage. Simple press the lens back into the chest opening. Pay attention to the alignment tang that is on the lens. It lines up with a slot in the chest opening. No need to reglue. The fit is tight enough to hold the lens in place. Also, this will make it easier to replace the bulb again if needed.

That's it! Captain Laser's eyes and chest plate will light up brighter than ever because more bulb is exposed inside. Now, just consider this. I did this open heart surgery to the Captain without the use of anesthesia. What a BA he truly is!!!


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