(Topic ID: 264626)

1976 Williams Space Mission - First Restoration


By cbartal

15 days ago



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  • 28 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 days ago by cbartal
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 15 days ago

I bought this Space Mission on 2/20/20. I'm hoping to be able to repaint the playfield and clear coat. I'm glad I got it in time to keep me busy during the pandemic. So far I've torn everything apart, bagged up all pieces, removed all mylar and everything from the front and most of the back of the playfield.

You can see that removing the mylar pulled up some paint. I tried several methods, but the one that ultimately did the least damage was to hit the mylar with a heat gun for 5-10 seconds and then pull up. If I heated it longer than that, it caused the mylar to shrink and become brittle which also brought up a lot of paint (see the same player shoots again photo). My next step is cleaning the surface to prep it for repainting and some new decals. If you have any tips for cleaning (including the back of the playfield, I'd love to hear them. I'm going to try vacuuming, naphtha, and maybe magic eraser on the front.

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#2 15 days ago

Did you try freezing the mylar?

#3 15 days ago

I did, but that didn't work for me and Goo Gone only took up a little bit at a time but left a huge mess. The heat gun for 5-10 seconds was the best method and caused the least damage (see the photo). There's a little bit of stickiness left, but I'll figure that out when I clean the surface. Maybe try Goo Gone again?

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#4 14 days ago

I have used goo gone but test it first.
I used alcohol and flour.

#5 13 days ago

Looks like a very rewarding project. Mine only needed some touch up on the key lines, insert filling and a complete clear coat. How do you plan to do the painting? Are you airbrushing?

#6 13 days ago

My SM does not have mylar.
I am surprised to see one that did. Do you think it was factory installed?

#7 13 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

My SM does not have mylar.
I am surprised to see one that did. Do you think it was factory installed?

Mine only had Mylar at the pop bumpers. The Mylar on this one looks like an attempt to slow the wear.

#8 13 days ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Looks like a very rewarding project. Mine only needed some touch up on the key lines, insert filling and a complete clear coat. How do you plan to do the painting? Are you airbrushing?

That's what I'm hoping to do, but I haven't got an airbrush yet. I like the Iwata Neo from what I've seen, and it's in my budget - which is key right now. There are some really large blocks that need covered the same color, so my thought was to lightly sand, airbrush, and get some waterslide decals for the black lettering spots. I haven't quite figured out how to do the turquoise plaid on the yellow by the kick-out holes. There seems to be a lot of discolored wax on there, so right now I've been wet sanding it with De-Solv-It and 1200 grit sandpaper. It's a little slow, but it's showing promise.

Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Mine only had Mylar at the pop bumpers. The Mylar on this one looks like an attempt to slow the wear.

The mylar here was definitely after market (pop bumpers aside)because it was covering up bare wood in many spots.

#9 13 days ago

Hopefully you got to play it before you tore it down.
Its a fun game.

#10 13 days ago
Quoted from cbartal:

That's what I'm hoping to do, but I haven't got an airbrush yet. I like the Iwata Neo from what I've seen, and it's in my budget - which is key right now. There are some really large blocks that need covered the same color, so my thought was to lightly sand, airbrush, and get some waterslide decals for the black lettering spots. I haven't quite figured out how to do the turquoise plaid on the yellow by the kick-out holes. There seems to be a lot of discolored wax on there, so right now I've been wet sanding it with De-Solv-It and 1200 grit sandpaper. It's a little slow, but it's showing promise.

The mylar here was definitely after market (pop bumpers aside)because it was covering up bare wood in many spots.

You don’t need to spend money on the Iwata Neo. A cheap Harbor Freight unit works fine. I did three playfields with the Harbor Freight unit. Have you read the Vids Guide to playfield restorations? It is the ultimate source to learn. Spend some time in each section. It’s not the only way to do it, but it will put you on the right path. Here are a few examples of following his guide.

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#11 13 days ago

I’ll be following this topic!

#12 12 days ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

You don’t need to spend money on the Iwata Neo. A cheap Harbor Freight unit works fine.

Your playfields look fantastic! I did read Vid1900's guide, but with coronavirus lockdown I probably can't make it to a Harbor Freight any time soon, lol. I read about using naphtha to remove the wax. What process did you use to do that? I wiped the board down with naphtha once, but I don't think I did it right because there's still a ton of wax.

Quoted from PinballAir:

Hopefully you got to play it before you tore it down.
Its a fun game.

I wish I did, but it was in pretty rough shape, and I had to have it disassembled to bring home. I can't wait to try it, though. I'll just have to be content with my Little Chief until then.

#13 12 days ago

What wax are you seeing? Is there wax where the posts were?

#14 12 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

What wax are you seeing? Is there wax where the posts were?

There is wax around, but not under, where the posts were. See the last picture from post #1.

#15 12 days ago

Use magic eraser and 91% isopropyl alcohol to get that playfield clean then Novus 2 and more Naptha before you start painting. Keep in mind you can remove some more paint if your not careful, although that may not be an issue at this point. You will need to clear coat after this to lock it down. Do you have spray equipment? What are you using for clear coat?

#16 11 days ago

If you do not have spray equipment you can use spraymax 2k. Look up the thread on it.

#17 11 days ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Use magic eraser and 91% isopropyl alcohol to get that playfield clean.

Does the alcohol dissolve the wax? I've tried to get some for the last few weeks, but everyone is sold out because of the virus. I tried magic eraser and didn't have much success, but I didn't try it with the alcohol. The first picture is what I was able to do with De-Solv-It Pro and 1200 grit sandpaper. The second picture is about what it looked like when I started (the white area). You can see where I cleaned up some of the middle in the second picture, too.

Quoted from PinballAir:

If you do not have spray equipment you can use spraymax 2k. Look up the thread on it.

I have a compressor but don't have spray equipment yet - I thought about getting some, but the price on the Spraymax 2k is definitely right!

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#18 11 days ago

I would use naptha on an old PF like that.
-mof

#19 11 days ago

The alcohol helps the magic eraser to work. It won’t do much without it. Stay away from water based cleaners.

You need a pretty big compressor to run the high volume paint gun. A normal size compressor won’t do it. I use SprayMax and have been very happy with the results. You will need multiple cans to do the job. You will also need can of two part auto clear to fill the cupped inserts. Earlier you mentioned cost is a consideration. A project of this size can get expensive pretty fast especially if you are starting from ground zero.

If you use SprayMax or 2 part auto clear you will need to buy goggles, gloves, a 3M mask and a tyvek suit. PPE is very important. This stuff is nasty.

#20 10 days ago

Check out the 2k results in the thread.
No gear to clean, fresh stock for each playfield, nothing to store.
Spray it and throw the can away.

#21 10 days ago

My volcano pf with 2k

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#22 10 days ago
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#23 9 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

My volcano pf with 2k[quoted image]

That looks awesome! I think Spraymax is going to be the way I go. I'm still trying to figure out how to get all of the wax off. One person told me that it comes off in seconds with naphtha, but that hasn't been my experience so maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Quoted from mof:

I would use naptha on an old PF like that.
-mof

How are you using the naphtha? Do you use it with a rag, a magic eraser or something else? I've used rags and wiped it down, but maybe I'm not waiting long enough. I haven't really got a great system going yet, and all of my progress has been slow. I tried Silverstreak02's method with alcohol and the magic eraser and that was promising.

#24 9 days ago

I'm not an expert on these matters, (others are) but my understanding is that naptha won't strip the clear (if there is any left) and alcohol most definitely will.

So use that idea as you go.

If I am going to be touching up and clearing the PF, perhaps I don't care about diminishing the clear coat. If I am just cleaning things up to play, perhaps I am thinking more about saving art and clear, and stick with naptha.

My first few years in pinball, I used alcohol to clean everything, and I made some mistakes doing so for sure. I can see streaked clear on some cabinets at certain angles, and some playfield areas. Big oops. Live and learn.

-mof

#25 9 days ago
Quoted from mof:

I'm not an expert on these matters, (others are) but my understanding is that naptha won't strip the clear (if there is any left) and alcohol most definitely will.
So use that idea as you go.
If I am going to be touching up and clearing the PF, perhaps I don't care about diminishing the clear coat. If I am just cleaning things up to play, perhaps I am thinking more about saving art and clear, and stick with naptha.
My first few years in pinball, I used alcohol to clean everything, and I made some mistakes doing so for sure. I can see streaked clear on some cabinets at certain angles, and some playfield areas. Big oops. Live and learn.
-mof

He said he planned to clear the playfield and is leaning towards Spraymax

#26 9 days ago
Quoted from mof:

I'm not an expert on these matters, (others are) but my understanding is that naptha won't strip the clear (if there is any left) and alcohol most definitely will.

There isn't any clear coat on this at all, just a lot of wax that I'm still trying to remove. I do want to clear coat it after I've repainted, though.

#27 8 days ago

Use the magic eraser moistened by alcohol or naptha.
Work on small areas and clean it off often with whichever liquid you are using.
I generally use alcohol but it will remove clear on older games. I then clean up the mess with alcohol followed by naptha when alcohol dries.
The advantage to naptha is that as you are cleaning you are also removing wax and other contaminants that will cause fish eye when you spray. Also, the wet naptha will show you what the PF will look like after clearing.
The magic eraser will do most of the work for you as it is abrasive. The liquid you use will lubricate the ME and allow better cleaning of ball swirls.

Did you remove all of the adhesive?
Do you think the previous owner "sealed " the damaged areas with something?
Polyurethane?
Varethane?
It is possible that the wax you are trying to remove may be trapped under something else.

#28 8 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

Use the magic eraser moistened by alcohol or naptha.
Work on small areas and clean it off often with whichever liquid you are using.
I generally use alcohol but it will remove clear on older games. I then clean up the mess with alcohol followed by naptha when alcohol dries.
The advantage to naptha is that as you are cleaning you are also removing wax and other contaminants that will cause fish eye when you spray. Also, the wet naptha will show you what the PF will look like after clearing.
The magic eraser will do most of the work for you as it is abrasive. The liquid you use will lubricate the ME and allow better cleaning of ball swirls.
Did you remove all of the adhesive?
Do you think the previous owner "sealed " the damaged areas with something?
Polyurethane?
Varethane?
It is possible that the wax you are trying to remove may be trapped under something else.

I don't think there's anything on the board other than wax. I already spent a lot of time removing little sections of mylar. Every time I wipe any alcohol or naphtha on the board, I can see the waxy layer by the way the light reflects (not like clear coat), there's just a lot and it's getting moved around instead of just coming up. There may be some lacquer under the wax, but if so, I can't really tell. Thanks for the detailed description of your process.

I took some pictures to show the progress (or lack thereof). I've been using alcohol and the magic eraser to make a first pass and following up with a rag and naphtha. It looks hazier, but I'm still seeing ball swirls (in the 1st couple pictures). The surface still feels waxy smooth over almost all areas that I've done so far, especially in the yellow "Special When Lit" area. Am I doing it correctly? How deep should I go? I haven't seen a lot of paint on the magic eraser. My fear is that the touch up paint won't stick if I don't take it all the way down to the paint. Is that even possible, or will I always have a small amount of wax on the surface?

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