G1 Omega Supreme Repairs

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by cdub, Mar 22, 2020.

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  1. cdub

    cdub Member

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    I got a wild hair a while back and decided to fix Omega Supreme. One thing led to another, and I had 6 broken/incomplete G1 Omega Supreme toys on my hands. I've gone through and fixed most of them, and along the way I documented the disassembly steps as well as designed replacement parts and had them printed on ShapeWays. I wrote this up as a series of blog posts on my site. I do this to avoid the vagaries of internet picture hosting and forums coming and going. I am re-posting all of the information here to help out anyone else that wants to fix an Omega Supreme.

    [​IMG]

    G1 Omega Supreme is an iconic 80's toy. It really is a marvel of engineering. It is as if someone took a kinematics textbook and decided to make a toy that used as many concepts as possible from the book in one toy. However, cost pressures being what they are, the quality of the materials used in the construction of these toys is questionable at best. There are many more broken and/or incomplete Omega Supreme figures out there than there are complete working examples, which is a shame.

    The most common root causes of a broken Omega Supreme are:

    • Corrosion on the battery terminals
    • Bad contact in the on/off switch
    • Broken "hubs" in the walking mechanism
    • Missing "shields" which hold the legs together
    I've come up with solutions for all of these items, and my intent over a few posts is to share what I've learned. The first step to repairing your Omega Supreme is usually disassembling the tank and checking out the battery tabs. In this example, the corrosion was visible from the outside of the toy (looking into the open battery box).

    [​IMG]
    To compete this repair, you will need a small Phillips head screw driver, a multi-meter, and a soldering iron (with supplies). Let's start with disassembly.

    First, you will need to remove these two screws from both sides, and set aside the yellow covers.

    [​IMG]
    Then, remove the four screws in the bottom of the tank.

    [​IMG]
    With those screws out, it should be easy to separate the top cover assembly of the tank from the remainder. This top cover assembly contains the battery box.

    This view is from inside the top cover assembly, and the picture was taken after my repair. You can clearly see the rivets in these two battery contacts. In this case, the one on the right was corroded, and no contact was being made from the brass outer tabe to the copper inner tab.

    [​IMG]
    To resolve this, I simply soldered a piece of wire between the brass piece and the copper piece. This was enough to regain contact for the batteries.

    [​IMG]
    Once you are done soldering, recheck continuity with the multi-meter to ensure the repair is sound. You can also pop batteries into the holder and measure for voltage on the inside tabs to verify the repair. Re-assemble the tank, and the repair is complete.
     
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  2. cdub

    cdub Member

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    If your Omega Supreme is still completely not working (no noise/motion/lights/nothing) and the battery connections check out okay with a multi-meter, the next most likely culprit is the on/off switch itself.

    From the outside of the toy, the on/off switch looks like a "real" switch. However, when you open it up, you realize it is pretty cheesy. Disassembling the upper part of the toy to get to the switch is a little difficult. There are many small pieces to keep track of, and getting them all aligned again is a little tricky. Pay attention as you take it apart, and take your time. From what I can tell, the parts really all only go together one way.

    First, you must pop off the face cover. Some of these are tighter than others. I used a plastic "spoon" on this one, however a screw driver could be used. Just be careful and avoid scratching the plastic.

    [​IMG]
    Next, remove the screw holding the two halves of the head together.

    [​IMG]
    The small bulb in the middle is the light that lights up in the face. The white ring with the lobes is the track that makes the red canon go up and down as the head rotates. Remove this ring, as well as the lower half of the head. You can not separate the two halves of the lower compartment without removing the head.

    [​IMG]
    There are two screws that hold the lower compartment together (I failed to get pictures of them. Once once you remove them, the compartment will split.

    All of the wiring will stay with one half of the housing. All of the gears will stay in the other.

    [​IMG]
    This is a useful reference picture of how the gears should all sit relative to each other.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The red and green wires appear to just be soldered to brass rivets through a piece of stiff cardboard.

    To disassemble the switch, you'll have to bend all 4 tabs back to a straight position and slide the sheetmetal housing out of the cardboard slots.

    [​IMG]
    The red plastic switch slider holds a small folded piece of brass. If the toy has sat for a very long time, corrosion builds up on the rivets and the brass slider. A light sanding with fine sand paper will easily bring both back to a shine. This should be enough to fix the contact issue.

    [​IMG]
    You can reassemble the switch, and use a multi-meter to check continuity through the green and yellow wires.

    The tabs and slots of the switch housing are not all the same length, so the switch itself will only reassemble one way.

    Putting all of this back together can be a little awkward. The large red "chest" piece or "neck cover" that is spring loaded can be a bit tough. Just be patient. The best way I have found to do this is to lay the half with the gears in it flat on the work bench, and bring the half with the wiring in it down from above. You will have t pinch that large red piece to keep it in position and line up the other side for reassembly. It may take a few tries, but isn't too bad.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. cdub

    cdub Member

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    Far and away, the most frequently broken parts on an Omega Supreme toy are the drums that drive the walking mechanism. The plastic is a little too thin and brittle, and if the release levers aren't used correctly it is easy to put way too much force into them in shear when transforming the toy.

    This is a shot of the repaired walking drive assembly back in the toy. In the foreground, you can see the pile of broken bits that was left of the old drums.

    [​IMG]
    I measured these parts and have made a parts tree that is on my ShapeWays store. I sell a tree to replace a single drum or a tree to replace both drums. Transformers G1 Omega Supreme Tank, walking drums, by cdub on Shapeways

    One set of parts to repair G1 Omega Supreme Tank. by cdub on Shapeways

    [​IMG]
    The parts tree provides replacement plastics for the Drum, the Pin, and the drive housing. Most broken Omega Supreme toys I've seen still have the screw, spring, and original pin still captured in the drum. If they are there, great! You can reuse them.

    If they are missing, I found suitable replacement parts from McMaster Carr. I really like McMaster Carr. The link for the spring is: McMaster-Carr and the link for the screws is: McMaster-Carr.

    [​IMG]
    So, even if your drums are completely wrecked, you can order the printed parts from ShapeWays and the hardware from McMaster and replace them.

    Typically, if the original pin is still present, I reuse it instead of the 3D printed pin. The original pin has a smoother surface, and I suspect performs a little better.

    Rebuilding the drum is straightforward. Put the pin through the hole in the drum that it fits through (from the inside). Put the spring behind it. Push the drive housing on, and run in the screw. In this picture below, I'm reusing everything except the drive housing. The pin is already in place and the spring is sitting on top.

    [​IMG]
    The drums are just a slip fit onto the square shaft, and are essentially free to fall off until the rest of the toy is reassembled. When putting the driveshaft back together, remember to align the pins 180 degrees away from each other. Otherwise your Omega wont walk, he will just sort of sway.

    [​IMG]
    Halfway done, the other drive housing is badly cracked.
    When fiddling with this, there is a metal counterweight piece that tends to just fall out of the toy. It may not be obvious where it came from or how it goes back in. Below is a reference picture.

    [​IMG]
    When putting the shaft back in, make sure the cam that pushes on the metal tabs for the light lines up correctly. Also make sure the gear is making good contact with the driving gear. It is just a press fit on the square shaft, and its position may need adjusted slightly.

    From here, just reassemble the toy and you should have a fully functioning Omega Supreme again!
     
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  4. cdub

    cdub Member

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    Far and away, the most frequently broken parts on an Omega Supreme toy are the drums that drive the walking mechanism. The plastic is a little too thin and brittle, and if the release levers aren't used correctly it is easy to put way too much force into them in shear when transforming the toy.

    This is a shot of the repaired walking drive assembly back in the toy. In the foreground, you can see the pile of broken bits that was left of the old drums.

    [​IMG]
    I measured these parts and have made a parts tree that is on my ShapeWays store. I sell a tree to replace a single drum or a tree to replace both drums. Transformers G1 Omega Supreme Tank, walking drums, by cdub on Shapeways

    One set of parts to repair G1 Omega Supreme Tank. by cdub on Shapeways

    [​IMG]
    The parts tree provides replacement plastics for the Drum, the Pin, and the drive housing. Most broken Omega Supreme toys I've seen still have the screw, spring, and original pin still captured in the drum. If they are there, great! You can reuse them.

    If they are missing, I found suitable replacement parts from McMaster Carr. I really like McMaster Carr. The link for the spring is: McMaster-Carr and the link for the screws is: McMaster-Carr.

    [​IMG]
    So, even if your drums are completely wrecked, you can order the printed parts from ShapeWays and the hardware from McMaster and replace them.

    Typically, if the original pin is still present, I reuse it instead of the 3D printed pin. The original pin has a smoother surface, and I suspect performs a little better.

    Rebuilding the drum is straightforward. Put the pin through the hole in the drum that it fits through (from the inside). Put the spring behind it. Push the drive housing on, and run in the screw. In this picture below, I'm reusing everything except the drive housing. The pin is already in place and the spring is sitting on top.

    [​IMG]
    The drums are just a slip fit onto the square shaft, and are essentially free to fall off until the rest of the toy is reassembled. When putting the driveshaft back together, remember to align the pins 180 degrees away from each other. Otherwise your Omega wont walk, he will just sort of sway.

    [​IMG]
    Halfway done, the other drive housing is badly cracked.
    When fiddling with this, there is a metal counterweight piece that tends to just fall out of the toy. It may not be obvious where it came from or how it goes back in. Below is a reference picture.

    [​IMG]
    When putting the shaft back in, make sure the cam that pushes on the metal tabs for the light lines up correctly. Also make sure the gear is making good contact with the driving gear. It is just a press fit on the square shaft, and its position may need adjusted slightly.

    From here, just reassemble the toy and you should have a fully functioning Omega Supreme again!
     
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  5. cdub

    cdub Member

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    Each Omega Supreme toy came with a small parts tree of 6 bright yellow "shields" which hold together the halves of the two pieces of leg armor on the toy. These clips were easy to loose, and indeed fetch a princely sum on eBay today. The geometry of the clips is a little more complicated than a person would want to make by hand. These are a prime candidate for 3D printing.

    Do, I measured these, did a few test prints/fit checks with my home printer, and then ordered a set from ShapeWays.

    I offer them two different ways on my store. The first is a tree with all 6 shields:

    Omega Supreme Leg Clips or "shields" - Finish off by cdub on Shapeways

    [​IMG]
    The second is a tree with the 4 small clips that go on the back sides of the legs. These were certainly the most frequently lost:

    Omega Supreme Leg Clips G1 reproduction by cdub on Shapeways

    [​IMG]
    These offer a quick and easy way to complete your figure. The only thing I don't like about the ShapeWays parts is that when you have them made in a color, it is just a paint. So, when you cut the sprues that hold the parts together, there are white spots left.
     
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  6. cdub

    cdub Member

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    There are a few other odds and ends to point out on this toy that I haven't addressed.

    It isn't unusual to see a toy with a broken barrel on the turret:

    [​IMG]
    This part is pretty complicated and the barrel is pretty thin. A ShapeWays part could be made, but I don't know if it is really worth the trouble. A new barrel could be fashioned from styrene and painted without too much trouble.

    One of the main culprits in there being so many broken walking drums on these toys is that the release levers the push through the tracks are difficult to discover:

    [​IMG]
    The molded in text of "push" is difficult to see on the toy. Also, it isn't immediately obvious what needs to be pushed on.

    [​IMG]
    When the toy is fully assembled you can not open the lever all the way like this, but if you could it would make it more obvious what was going on. This lever is directly disengaging the drive pin. If you don't push the lever and just jam the track back in, a tremendous amount of stress is placed on the walking drums.

    Occasionally, you'll come across one of these with the lever missing. Again, I just haven't bothered making a replacement. If someone reached out to me asking for it, it could be done.

    Well, that is all the electrons I think are worth spilling on this topic. This was an impressive toy in its day, and is certainly an interesting example of a large number of design techniques.
     
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  7. Scowly Prowl

    Scowly Prowl Still calculating variables...

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    I think I have most of a G1 OS in a box somewhere... and this just inspired me to take a look at what it would need to be repaired. Thanks!
     
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  8. cdub

    cdub Member

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    Glad to help. It is a little intimidating when you first open it up, as there are sooo many pieces. But like I said, they pretty much only go in one way.
     
  9. KraegorStark

    KraegorStark Well-Known Member

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    Instead of sanding off the corrosion, I mix baking soda and water into a solution and apply it with a cotton swap and the corrosion just wipes away. Allow to dry and then repair the contact.

    I went through and repaired mine before I knew about Shapeways and I went through 3 tank units for a working motor and two unbroken cams.
     
  10. fschuler

    fschuler Post Count Inflated With Hot Air TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks for writing all of this up for people and for taking the time to design those replacement parts. I have one or two partial Omegas in a shoe box somewhere...not nearly enough for a complete unit, but maybe enough to get a working tank together. I had a complete OS years ago that got sold in the purge of 2007/2008...kinda wish I still had him!
     
  11. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    Hey, something as great as this should be apart of the Radicons' Tutorial section where everyone can find it who needs this in the future, should it not?

    Tutorials and How Tos

    @Yaujta
     
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