From the moment I got "back" into Zoids, I knew what my holy grail of all that is Zoidum would be. The unmistakable black beast, the ultimate zoid, the mighty Gil Vader had to be mine. The time came on eBay when there was such a beast available. I checked my bank statement with a smile, and began the process of waiting for seven long days filled with both anxiety and excitement.
In the end I proved to be successful in the auction, and with a 5 second snipe Gil Vader was mine. Like most vintage or "OJR" releases he was not complete. The seller did not know what he had, nor did he really care to answer any important questions about the black gold that he held. Through my emails to the seller it was revealed that this Gil Vader was missing one of it's horns, and a tail spike. The upsetting news came when the seller said the model did not function.
Gil Vader was on the way, and I had various questions as to his well being. I think by this time my wife was actually to the point of insanity and if I so much as started a sentence with anything that sounded akin to "Gil....." I was quickly given the evil eye. Gil Vader had been on my mind for what had seemed like forever, and everyone knew about. I spent the next few weeks plotting what I would do to restore him to his original condition.
The day arrived when Gil Vader was brought to the door by the Post Office, and I sat in my living room looking at this:
I opened the box to seek my long awaited plastic trophy of greatness.
It looked as if it had never seen a dusting, the layer of dust was thick.
Next it was time to check the battery compartments. The upper compartment checked out fine. The lower compartment had suffered from what I expected. Batteries were left in Gil Vader for far too long, and as a result corrosion has occurred. The build up was thick, and nasty.
I began the cleaning process. I gathered some supplies consisting of vinegar and cotton swabs, and got to work to see what I could do to remove the mess.
I was successful at my attempt, and when I finished the battery post looked as good as new.
Along with my trusty partner (my daughter) I decided to fully disassemble Gil Vader for a large cleaning.
The parts almost filled a large table.
After everything was cleaned I started to put him back together, and he was looking magnificent.
Finished with the cleaning, I was done for the night. I retired to think about what my next steps were.
I had thought about the horn dilemma for awhile. I ordered another Gil Dragon which would provide both the masers (horns) and the tail spike. The problem was color. Being an artist I would have had no problem coming very close, but for this piece I wanted perfection. I called a professional paint shop here in town and after speaking with them, and explaining my situation they agreed to help.
I brought in the one OJR horn piece that Gil Vader had came with, and they did a color analysis. It took 24 hours, but the process would provide an EXACT match. They ran the horn piece under a "color eye" and did several swatches until the match was perfect. I headed home happy with a quart of "Gil Vader Purple".
The paint that I had made was specifically formulated to bond to plastic, and I was very anxious to test it.
The paint looked promising, so I began to apply it to the pieces.
All that I had to do now was wait for the paint to dry and hope that the match was as perfect as I had hoped it would be.
When the paint dried I was pleased to say the least. It was an exact match. I also did a trial run with the fresh battery compartment. Everything went better than expected. The motor ran smoothly, and the paint was dead on. I had completed my mission, and restored the infamous Gil Vader. The following are pictures of what now is the pinnacle of my collection.
Gil Vader is just amazing. You really have to see it in person to appreciate it. At first I thought Gil Dragon was comparable. This is simply not the case, especially when the lights are off.
Seriously people, how wicked is this?
I truly hope you enjoyed this small "shrine" to Gil Vader. If you have ever thought to yourself "Is Gil Vader really worth it?" I can honestly tell you....yes, he's worth every bit of it.
Gil Vader to this day is still on the top of my favorites list.