From City of Turds to (playable) Gold? A shouda-burned-it El Dorado resurrection

(Topic ID: 191588)

From City of Turds to (playable) Gold? A shouda-burned-it El Dorado resurrection


By goingincirclez

1 year ago



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#51 1 year ago
Quoted from Mcshaney:

I bought a jacks open off I think the same website the pictures they take are not the best odd angles, not the whole machine was shown but I was happy with it was sold as non-working got home it and plug it in and plays great

Last August I won an Old Chicago from the same broker, but it was in Cincinnati. Listed as "working but needing work". Won it for $340 IIRC. Cabinet was as badly faded as that title is known for, but the pf was very nice and it played great, backglass was pristine. A shopout, some tweaks and a pf protector transformed it into one of the most popular pins in my collection. It always had a player when I took it to Louisville Expo this year.

So if that was a win, this current project averages a wash on auctions. I'm OK with that for now.

Quoted from dasvis:

Nothing like the feeling of getting them up & running.

Yep. It's nice to buy and enjoy a pin in trouble-free shape, but every time I look at my Firepower and Big Hurt I almost have to remind myself they were absolute garbage when I picked them up. Most folks don't believe it. Nothing like that first game - almost as good as setting a GC score. And probably the same amount of work/time when you're a mediocre player like me too.

Quoted from PinballFever:

I'm horrified when I see the photos but at the same time it's making me think "Hey. My project isn't that bad, I can do it."

I think one of the critical watershed moments of my life happened when someone remodeled an independent corner burger joint down the street from us, sometime around 1989-1991. I was about 13 at the time. Anyway, to celebrate their opening they hosted a car show in the 50's-60's drive-in vein. At the show was a gorgeous 1957 Ford Fairline Starliner (the one with the folding hardtop): two-tone blue and white with a Continental kit, mirror chrome, wide whitewalls, the works. I'd never seen one of those in person before and was all over it.

In the trunk was a book and the owner told me to have a look. It was a photo album. And it documented - LONG before the internet was even a concept that has now made this routine, mind you - the entire process of restoration. In the first photo that car looked like it had been dredged from a decade spent at the bottom of a canal. It was truly mind blowing. I didn't get to analytically pore over the book or really learn much from it because the rest of my family was being impatient, but those images of that car and the final product on the ground in front of me have always stuck in my mind.

Even if it takes herculean amounts of time, money, and talent (and the classic trope says you can only "pick two"), anything is possible. I don't usually even have meager amounts of either, but I do what I can. And that damn '57 Starliner is the reason I've yet to part with my derelict '88 Tbird.

#52 1 year ago

I worked on debugging the score reels - er, I mean "Decagon Units". Got 3 of them working pretty well, at least as far as resetting goes. The Hundreds reel has some kind of weird issue though, seems like it just wants to stay stuck on, I have to manually force the switches open and then it's OK. It's just not releasing in a "pulse" like it should. I'm setting that issue aside for now.

When I manually operate the ball count unit I can't determine that anything happens, but then maybe it won't without the pf connected. I imagined the ball in play lights might have worked though.

Both issues are relatively minor compared to the disaster still lurking in the garage.

I dunno about this. Part of me is tempted to declare this pf a complete topside loss. The other part of me still wants to repair the mechs and wiring just to see if it would play... and I intend to do so. But for sake of argument, say it comes to life. What to do with this?

[WARNING: The following images are of graphic pinball neglect and not for the faint of heart, or sensitive collectors]

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I mean, yeah. In addition to the obvious paint loss there's additional flaking, embedded rodent tells, discolored base wood, and just... ugh. The good news is the inserts are pretty solid, and the wood is structurally sound except one part near the lane feed.

I have not attempted to clean the pf since removing the parts. I'm actually very curious to see just how good/bad it will look after a round with Novus...2? 3? A Blowtorch?

I mean a pro could probably obliterate a few areas and still repaint and touch it up. I don't think I'm that caliber. I suppose I could sand it off and retheme it?

Or quit my bitching, clean and disinfect and just play it to death...

...assuming it even wants to work, and there's still a bit of work necessary to determine that yet.

Decisions, decisions.

Stupid auction, stupid me!

#53 1 year ago

I vote to clean, disinfect, & play. The wear tells a story about the pin's rescue. Maybe clear it to lock in the paint.

#54 1 year ago
Quoted from dasvis:

I vote to clean, disinfect, & play. The wear tells a story about the pin's rescue. Maybe clear it to lock in the paint.

Yeah, just clean it really good, but I don't know if I'd use any type of water based product. Maybe alcohol and some 4X steel wool lightly.
Then just touch it up as good as you can, seal it with a spray can clear, and play it until you find a better playfield.

#55 1 year ago

With all the ED repro playfields that have gone or are going to go into games there has to be a used one out there that is worlds better than yours and it would be worth swapping them. The playfield wiring harness is the critical part of this. Move it to another playfield and the remaining journey will be pretty stable.

#56 1 year ago

I'm pulling for you on this EM rescue/restoration! Max props!

#57 1 year ago

Moved the head out of the house shop and joined it back to the cabinet in the garage. Backglass is removed for sealing but it's too humid to attempt for now.

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At least the cabinet is pretty nice overall. I did one round of descuzzing with Purple Power and this is how it looks. Oddly enough, while I think I need to work on the area below the coin door a bit more, I actually happen to like the slight yellowed patina on these old cabinets with western themes. It was the same with my Sonic Prospector. The sepia tones really help sell the dusty, arid western aesthetic. The cleaner white areas add a touch of hazy, smokey mist-ique. Anybody can get stencils and make a perfectly new white cabinet, but you can't easily make something this unique and seasoned.

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The inside isn't perfect but is sooo much better than what I started with!

On deck: racking the pf and cleaning the top, patching the bottom.

#58 1 year ago

That's a very respectable cabinet.

#59 1 year ago
Quoted from MikeO:

With all the ED repro playfields that have gone or are going to go into games there has to be a used one out there that is worlds better than yours and it would be worth swapping them. The playfield wiring harness is the critical part of this. Move it to another playfield and the remaining journey will be pretty stable.

Here in this posting is an Eldorado playfield for sale. Check it out.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wtbfs-pintastic-parts-machines-other-than-working-pins-etc#post-3844089

#60 1 year ago

Thanks for the tip on the playfield in the other thread. It seems better in some ways, but in others I'm not so sure. Aside from the mouse damage the paint on mine is really nice - if it weren't for that it would have been quite the score. In contrast, that other one looks to be planked all over and would need a full repaint as well. And its own inserts look dished and some are missing... seems like a net wash at best for the hassle of a harness swap:

ElDohAlt (resized).jpg

But options are options so I PM'd the seller, can't hurt to ask. To that end, anyone have opinions on that other pf seen above?

Yesterday I had about an hour to mess with things: not enough time to make any meaningful progress on the wiring harness, but enough to put the pf on some sawhorses and see how it might clean up. I decided to be aggressive: if this thing is going to shed or flake paint in any way, so be it, because the nastiest sections need a good scrub and minor sanding regardless of collateral damage.

So I sprayed Simple Green first and did a quick wipedown. Unfortunately I did not realize the ink on the pop bumper rings is so terribly soluble, and the overspray made them bleed a bit... fortunately, I was able to carefully blot it and for the most part the damage was minimal. I have a feeling the painter's tape I used afterward will probably do more damage by lifting it off entirely, but... sigh... in for a penny, in for a pound.

After the Simple Green wipedown, I used Novus 3 with blue shop towels and elbow grease.

Shockingly, most of the rodent trails and lesser tells came off! The worst parts that were already through the primer and into the wood, did not get much worse. The lesser incidental worn areas would have needed touch up anyway.

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The wood is surprisingly smooth even in that streak across the horse head into the insert, especially given the minimal prep and effort I've put into it thus far...

...part of me is almost seriously considering trying to touch up and blend the damaged areas.

Like I said, that other pf seems to need similar and possibly even more work, for different reasons. The biggest issue keeping this one is the discolored natural wood areas. Might just have to paint them tan.

All of the inserts are flat and not dished, but have sunk about 1/16". So that's a bummer but I surmise most any unrestored pf would have same or similar issues.

Anyway... I hope to work on repairing the harness over the weekend. As pointed out above, that's the key whether I settle for using this pf or manage to find a better one.

#61 1 year ago

Geez. Horse's head is rough. If you have another playfield, I would strongly suggest scanning and creating water-slide decals for repair. But then you have to spray a clear protection afterwards, when you're happy with the resto.

#62 1 year ago

If I can do it,you can do it.Sing Along before003 (resized).jpgIMG_1504 (resized).JPG

#63 1 year ago
Quoted from novaguy:

If I can do it,you can do it.

"For my latest art installation, I present Hurricane Under Glass". Mad props to you sir! I shall take that as a cue to quit my bitching.

I did work on the harness over the weekend. Oh, but it was far worse than I realized. Here's a few sample pics of what I had to deal with. Awesome stuff like,

- The hacked 10-bank drop harness:

Hacked 10-bank drop harness

- Of course I'll never know, was the harness cut off before or after the switches were mangled:

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- A sampling of missing coil lugs, as found throughout the game:

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- Look closely for the broken switch wire ears. Yet more lurked throughout!

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Honestly, at first the mangled drop switches didn't bother me because I have a box full of spare era-appropriate GTB switches pulled off a Spider-Man pf. As well as that game's two complete drop mechs! But to add insult to injury, *OF COURSE* the broken El Doh switch leaves would all be the ones with the contact lugs on the 5th hole... ALL of my spare switches have them on #3 instead...

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But I dare bitch again

I did get most (?) of it figured out, but there are a lot of busted switches - as in, the contact leaves and/or wiring ears are broken off - that I need to deal with first. And a few other things to bring forthcoming questions, later.

#64 1 year ago

Digging through the spare switch pile, I do have a few I can non-destructively hack in for the sake of testing functionality. Once - er I mean IF - major systems seem promising, I'll get proper replacements.

In even better news, PBR has full length leaf blades for 40 cents, and another 40 cents for the contact rivets. So I can fix that 10-drop bank for 5 bucks instead of 40 (again if/when the time comes).

But among other things first, a question:

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With regards to the 3 clusters of contact pins on that stepper disc - Where do the loose wires go? In each set of three contacts, two of the pin barrels are soldered together but the third is not. And then of course some pins have wires, but it's not clear where those wires go.

I have a hunch, but the remnant solder blobs could indicate any number of possibilities, and if the schematic actually illustrates this I haven't deciphered it. Can someone post a pic of their functional unit for comparison please? Thank you...!

#65 1 year ago

When you buy switch leafs be sure to mic the ones on your game and buy the correct thickness leafs. There are at least three thickness switch blades.

#66 1 year ago

I noticed the three different types at PBR; according to their descriptions the middle one is probably what I need. Heck, I think that might even be an upgrade. The aluminum the original blades are made of would barely pass for pop-can grade even now. It's incredibly flimsy and easy to break.

Anyway, morning BUMP - anyone have insight on that stepper disc, before I spam the board with a dedicated ask?

EDIT Spammed and got an answer: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/where-do-the-wires-on-this-el-dorado-stepper-disc-go#post-3862540

#67 1 year ago

Not 100% done with the pf harness issues, but was itching to give it a test. So I took it out and joined it to the relay board and backbox. Turned it on, and...

No fire! Yay!

Actually it was dead initially, but after poking around a bit I earned progress. I figured out the reason the relay & motor panel auditions as a sewing machine is because it's "reset completed" relay is not completely working. When I manually release it, the motor stops and cycles normally (until the reset completed relay pulls in but does not release again). Other relays are responsive too! I can trigger score events and other things.

So with that I finally got the playfield GI to come on... the drop target reset coils work during the associated relay trips... if I operate the Advance Unit, the associated controlled lamps come on... this is all promising!

However, I apparently haven't figured out how to start a game. Yes, this sounds silly but I don't have my coin door back although I kept its mech harness, and that is mostly connected. I do have credits (I think) but can't seem to get the game into a state where the pf switches and flipper buttons, flipper coils, slings, rollovers, etc will do anything. But when I press the start relay, the pf lights up, drop banks and score reels reset, and motor triggers. So I'm not completely inclined to think my rewiring and splicing is at fault, yet. I mean I surely missed something in terms of a random switch or mech in this or that spot...

...but to have nothing for ball interaction working? With no apparent shorts, faults, or smoke in the interim? I must be missing something "obvious", but I'll have to poke around more.

#68 1 year ago

I discovered if I manually advance the Ball Count Unit from zero, this happens:

The pops lock on the entire time, but given the 3/4-ass evaluative nature of the work so far, that's fair. The main upshot takeaway is after fixing all the wiring in the pf, it turns out that, with the exception of a few sockets and switches that need replacement: all coils, all mechs (flippers / slings / drops / pops), all switches, all GI, and most of the controlled lamps ... it all works?!? (!!)

Obviously I still have a few issues in terms of "starting a game" to really put it through the test, but considering where this this started from, can you believe it?

So I guess I'll be poking around a bit more to try and make it actually playable. But I can probably say it's earned the right to be done better from here out. To that end I guess the pf has earned a more proper rubdown and powdering...

#69 1 year ago

When you start a game, the ball is kicked from the outhole to the shooter lane. When rolling into the shooter lane, it rolls over a switch that advances the ball count from zero to one.

7 months later
#70 10 months ago

Did you ever finish this project or did you eventually find a different playfield?

#71 10 months ago

Actually it stalled, but not for being completely abandoned. It was out in the garage and I buried myself in other projects and life while "waiting" for pf options to maybe turn up. I was also hoping to free some space in the house workshop to set up the rotisserie if it came to that. Meanwhile, a priority project for the rest of the family turned up with an even more disastrous / challenging playfield:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/im-taking-my-kids-down-with-me-by-resurrecting-bad-cats

But progress on that one has been great! I fact I now look at the now-stable ElDoh pf and think "geez, this would be easy..." So once Bad Cats is done, I'll bring El Doh in to refinish.

There still remains an issue of setting up the rotisserie for both, though. I hope to free some space by selling a game this weekend.

3 months later
#72 7 months ago

Well the Bad Cats turned out fantastic! If you've not checked it out, you might want so since it seems to show there might be hope for this thing after all. Anyway, my girls got to play the first restored BC games on Friday. Saturday we attended the Cincy Pinball Group Championship party... But the RotEzel rests for no one so yesterday (Sunday), as promised, the ElDoh playfield was finally mounted.

Today I stripped the topside. Hmmmmm. Will need to review that BC thread again myself, cuz this is gonna be interesting...

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Oh, and curse you Gottlieb and your stupid barbed wire forms. Way to make further ruination essentially mandatory...!

#73 7 months ago

I know you are empowered by your Bad Cats success, and no longer as daunted by this project, but for your(and others) encouragement, here's some more examples.

I thought I posted this earlier in the thread, but maybe I just sent you a PM? Eh...whatever...here's one of the heavily damaged PFs I brought back several years ago on a Ship Ahoy...no water-slide decals - all hand painted. I only use decals on inserts...

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UZoHmsQwJcpcdqw82

And here's the game I'm working on now...this is my most challenging touch-up attempt to date - 57 Bally Circus:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Bh7UOuXR3bh2UDeE2

Sean

#74 7 months ago

stoomer that's pretty inspiring stuff! Ship Ahoy looks similar to my ElDoh given the darkened blotchy wood spots. Circus seems much more like the Bad Cats I finished, given the missing artwork and such. But it's always nice to see examples that "anything is possible".

So I've begun the process of making things worse so they can start getting better, and sanded the playfield. This is mostly to get rid of some delaminated spots as well as feather the worst of the planking in the rodent tells. It already looks and feels much smoother and cleaner. But it's still beyond ugly. In addition to the grime, every insert is sunk about 1/32". But at least they are all stable.

The other problem is some of the nails broke off instead of pulling out. There was not enough of a barb left for me to grab even with a vice-grip. So I had to grind them off flush. I guess I can either omit the nails (in the outlane corners WTF were they even for?) or put new ones right next to the old, since they didn't seem to be precision-located in the first place.

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So right now my tentative plan is to:

- fill / level the missing wood around the left outlane insert
- trough-to-lane eject area was majorly delaminated and damaged, I will rebuild this as best able and look for a suitable Cliffy to adapt.
- I will blend a "wood like" color to repaint all the bare areas. Not sure if I want to go with the lighter original color, or the exposed darkened one. Probably something in between
- Frisket and airbrush all the solid colors, matching "as they are" to the best of ability. I am thinking the order will be yellow, then orange, then purple last.
- I will repair the horse and tri-color scoring labels by hand
- Monocolor scoring labels, the wagon wheel, etc will be preserved wherever possible, but decals would be easy enough for me to make
- Before decals, I will have to seal all paint with a layer of clear. Before THAT I may have to try filling the inserts "roughly level".
- Build layers of clear and sand / polish flat, etc...

...it's going to take a while, but I think it's possible.

#75 7 months ago

Thanks GIC...the color matches on SA were a little off...I hadn't done too many PF restores yet and was still getting used to the darkening of the old water-based paints I used to use. This is less of a problem now that I'm using better paint. But I always figure they still look better, and now is a working game...all for a game many others would've parted out - it seems you get a similar satisfaction bringing these sad-sacks back.

I personally don't really like the look of repainted wood grain, and I just figure the off colors tell a story, but to each their own!! Matching wood grain is a challenging goal and I applaud anyone trying to pull it off...I choose to decline that challenge.

On the "nails" in the corners...right?!?! I always wondered why too. Tradition? Anyways...aren't those pins in the bottom corners, not nails? Nails are usually only under the light-shields...behind slings and switches to keep the shield from interfering with the switch? I've drilled small holes next to the broken off piece so I could work it out...but that is easier when you can hide the repair under a post or something...those corner pins are isolated...but if you're repainting the wood grain anyways, you could smooth out any divot repair you need to make from digging out the rusty remnants still under the surface.

It's definitely doable!! You're lucky more of the PF screws didn't snap off when removing them...a couple of mouse piss damaged PFs I've had have had this problem...a Lawman I tried to save had so many snap I had to give up on it...always makes me a sad when I have to give up on a game.

Sean

#76 7 months ago

Well it's still rough, but it's amazing how much better it looks with the nasty discolored wood hidden and a more uniform "wood color" restored to the visible areas...

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THIS IS NOT DONE. I am experimenting with custom color mixes and formulas just to see what I like. The final color will probably be similar to this, though. It's actually very close to the original "unexposed" color, if you look at the "phantom flippers" in my earlier photos.

I brush-painted to work it into the wood and use the strokes to simulate the grain. I'll be sanding this down some more and applying another layer. My hope is to mix "close enough" on the second batch that the inevitable shade difference in strokes will enhance the simulated grain. This game is obviously going to remain a player and not an HEP / Bryan Kelly level resto, so it doesn't need to be *perfect*... but it can be waaaaaaaay nicer than it was, and hopefully is already en route.

Need to figure out what to do on the shooter lane though, to blend the repaint into the original wood.

I also intend to leave the "as found" darker wood areas around the drop targets. When I restore games I like to leave subtle and tasteful tells of their previous lives. Anyone can restore a game to factory new... I like my games to clue their stories.

#77 7 months ago

Looks great GIC! Very nice for a first attempt...

#78 7 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

It would be too much of a project for me at this point, so I'd probably part it out and chuck a lot of it away.

It's actually in better shape than the Subway I parted out recently.

I've brought a Slick Chick back that was in worse shape, but I had two games to combine. Even with two cames, I needed to completely remake the relay board. This one is close. If it wasn't a really good title, it would be a doner game for sure.

If you are interested in lacing that harness, now that you have it squared away, here is some information on that.
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=EM_Repair#Wax_Lacing_for_EM_wire_bundles

#79 7 months ago
Quoted from Stoomer:

On the "nails" in the corners...right?!?! I always wondered why too. Tradition?

I don't think the manufacturers would spend money to install a part for "tradition", but I do refer to these as "vestigial pins".
I believe their only function is to keep the ball from clonking into the corner of the card tray and wood rail; to somewhat gently deflect the ball.
Just a guess really.

Nice work on the woodgraining, circlez.

#80 7 months ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

It's actually in better shape than the Subway I parted out recently.

Really? Wow. Too bad. "Subway" is a really sweet game. Hey, do you still have the card tray from it?

#81 7 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Really? Wow. Too bad. "Subway" is a really sweet game. Hey, do you still have the card tray from it?

ebay.com link » Gottlieb Subway And Others Pinball Apron

Not in great shape. It didn't sell yet.

#82 7 months ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

ebay.com link » Gottlieb Subway And Others Pinball Apron
Not in great shape. It didn't sell yet.

Link takes me to a "Spirit of '76" knocker. Don't see the card tray.

#83 7 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Link takes me to a "Spirit of '76" knocker. Don't see the card tray.

If you look closely there is a hyperlink for the word "listing" to the actual auction Todd is pointing you to. eBay is screwing with their link references now when you go to a completed auction.

#84 7 months ago

Here is the link to the pictures in my google album.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/NN6NzZGKa6VpjzNH8

#85 7 months ago

Yeah, that card tray is a bit rough. I could use one for a "Hurdy Gurdy", but mine is actually much better.

#86 7 months ago

Hah, rest assured the apron and shooter gauge from this project are both beyond rough as well. Almost garbage in fact... but not something to worry too much about at this point I guess

#87 7 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

Hah, rest assured the apron and shooter gauge from this project are both beyond rough as well. Almost garbage in fact... but not something to worry too much about at this point I guess

Strip, paint and apply new decals available from Pinball Rescue.
Mine is actually quite good, but someone gouged a rough hole in it so that a credit lamp could shine through it indicating a single credit. I'll just have to fill it in, or somehow diguise it.

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#88 7 months ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

I'll just have to fill it in, or somehow diguise it.

Duct Tape on the back. A fake operators sticker on the front.

#89 7 months ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

Duct Tape on the back. A fake operators sticker on the front.

They had a '70s type coin entry sticker over the hole to indicate two plays for a quarter. The game has been modified for this pricing, but I'm going to remove all the extra wiring and unit to return it to one play for ten cents.
I feel like we're hijacking this thread, so that's all from me about my game.
Let's see some further progress on that "El Dorado", OP!

#90 7 months ago

Ah, the chatter doesn't bother me... I might actually learn something! Besides, a good percentage of Pinside threads take meandering paths at times, it's what makes this site so interesting.

But phooey, looks like I have a crowd watching now... oh the pressure!

Actually progress was slow this week due to life. But yesterday I worked on the shooter eject area and the delaminated outlane insert surround. The first rough applications of wood epoxy should be cured when I get home tonight so hopefully I can sand and trim and do the "final" fill. This stuff always looks horrible when first applied... I have learned not to keep forcibly working and smoothing it while fresh, to but allow it to cure as it trims and sands beautifully.

The one pic is horribly blurry, guess I had the sleep-shakes and didn't realize it.

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Anyway, this weekend I *hope* to experiment with the frisket and maybe airbrushing some yellow. I will probably wait to do the "finish" pass on the woodgrain areas until all the colors are done. That way if there are any mishaps, or adhesion issues with my new paint on the bare areas, I won't risk "ruining" a finished product.

2 months later
#91 5 months ago

Well it's taken way too long owing to summer conflicts and some setbacks. I'd masked to repaint the lower yellow outlane area. Then my airbrush broke. Then I wasn't happy with the yellow paint mix and coverage. Then I realized that the worst of the discolored wood was going to need primer. Etc etc etc. I finally said "ugh, can't get any worse but since this is as much an experimental canvas as anything, just get the rattle can primer and WOW that yellow I had was like a perfect match too"

Obviously it's still rough at the edges, but finally a step of progress and those finishing touches will come as the rest of it is worked on.

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Very pleased with how the frisket works out too! So will refine my technique and expectations for the next section, and so on. Slow but steady.

#92 4 months ago

Masked and did the yellow on the rest of the playfield today: between the slings and all around the horse. Came out pretty well!

20180825_184305 (resized).jpg

I will brush-fill the brighter yellow into the detailed areas around the wagon wheel and horse's mane, etc... but I really just wanted a "rejuvenating" coat for now. No matter who is doing the work (a pro or even an amateur better than me), or what method is used, there is ALWAYS some detail work left at the end... keylining, minor oopsies, enhancements, etc... nevermind the horse in this particular case! So those yellow fill areas for now are no big deal.

I did make one major oops, and forgot to cut the curve into the mask at the upper inlane / skillshot area, which is purple. But this was easily rescued since I did not wait *too* long for the paint to cure, it still had some give. So I simply used an exacto chisel to gently scrape and pry the primer / paint away.

20180825_184057 (resized).jpg

20180825_184022 (resized).jpg

The remaining paint should dry and cure nicely. Then it'll be time to mask and work on the orange...

20180825_184301 (resized).jpg

#93 4 months ago

You sir, are awesome!

#94 4 months ago

Funny how the human mind works. I mean, this thing sat in the garage for months without meaningful action. Then I restarted a few months ago before stalling again. Clearly no rush is necessary. But I got the yellow on and I was so excited by the results, my "instant gratification circuit" reactivated and I couldn't help rushing into the orange yesterday!

20180828_001822 (resized).jpg

Same disclaimer of first pass roughing it applies, but again I am well pleased. I mean, it won't win any awards, but having come from what it was... I'm kind of amazed.

Now in fair disclosure, I should clarify my end goal: I have sanded and roughed up as much as I could before painting, to remove and smooth as much of the old paint as possible. But I'm not going hog wild to make everything perfect because chasing perfection would ultimately be a fool's errand on a pf this bad to start with. But I am burnishing the masking tape aggressively because I *want* the paint to peel if it's going to... and what doesn't should stay solid. To that end, some of the yellow came up and I missed a spot or two on the orange, but again, I'll get those in final touch ups so no big deal.

As as for filling the gaps / planking / texture left behind, the clear coat will do that - it has to be cleared because of the insert issues, etc. So even if the color is good, you'll see the telltale texture where the wood was worst, but by the time I'm done it will be a smooth cleared surface to PLAY. Visibly I want this game's history to show, to prove what was done. Too many other perfect nice collector's options for El Dorados out there... but no reason I can't rescue garbage and make it into a fun player that looks nice enough to please.

Anyway, pretty happy with how well the orange matches too! Perhaps I'll print decals and completely fill the point labels by the end, but for now I wanted to see how close it would come.

20180828_001837 (resized).jpg

Progress will probably slow again... but this is pretty motivating.

1 week later
#95 4 months ago

Just when I was getting motivated and making progress, the game room flooded while we were gone for the long Labor Day weekend. Been cleaning up and now the shop is landing space for displaced stuff. And just like that, WHAM a screeching halt yet again! Someday I'll get this thing done.

#96 4 months ago

Sorry to hear about the flood, what a kick in the pants! I hope there wasn’t too much damage.

Thank you for writing this post, it has given me so much hope for my Gold Strike. I thought my machine was pretty rough, then I read this post and thought...you know what, this really isn’t that bad! At least all the wires seem to be in the right place.

Keep up the good work!

4 months later
#97 9 days ago

Rumors of my demise have been exaggerated and hope for the same was misplaced

So my last update was after the Labor Day Disaster. Since then I repaired the walls and refinished the arcade room floor; rebuilt another floor from the joists up thanks to a different disaster in an upstairs bathroom; survived my kids' fall school events, various family emergencies and drama, hosting parties, the holidays scattered all hither and yon; side-gig writing deadlines... all of which left almost NO time for pinball in ANY form for 4 months. Bah!

BUT things eased over the past couple weeks... I even got to play a few rounds on my own collection. And even better I finally got to do THIS today:

20190110_181732 (resized).jpg

...all hope is not lost yet!

#98 9 days ago

With the sea of tape removed, this City of Turds is finally getting some royal (purple) treatment! I wasn't 100% certain about shifting the purple so deeply, but I went with my gut and seeing it now I love its primary balance, the same tonal value against the yellow and orange. Believe it or not, that purple almost matches the ink on the backglass too!

I'm leaving the rider's pants alone to stand out as their own artistic element, maybe even faded from the trail - and a not-so-subtle tell of where this game came from, condition-wise.

20190111_010610 (resized).jpg

Red arrows remain to paint, then I'll have my daughters reprise their excellent work on our Bad Cats and fix the white pads and repaint the horse. Then color touchup (spots I missed or goofed), then black keylining, and finally another "wood grain" pass. I'll make decals for the text I painted over.

Usual disclaimer still applies: I know this won't pass "cq" let alone "hep" grade but that's not the goal. So cut me some slack, it's come a long way.

All along, I've been VERY aggressive (aka abusive) with tape and such on all the painted areas: Best to discover any paint loss or adhesion issues now. I'm very pleased to find almost none! A few specks here and there as I might have expected, but nothing horrific or surprising. That's VERY encouraging.

#99 8 days ago

Glad to see this thread pop up again!

#100 7 days ago

OK, it's picspam time... current status warts and all.

But first I figured I earned the right to post a pic of what held this up so long. The basement flood while we were gone over Labor Day was not so "bad" as those things can go. We didn't really suffer structural damage or permanent loss. But it made enough of a mess and required enough DIY work to come in within a reasonable budget, to really screw things up for a while. Removing old carpet and pad... cutting out studs while bracing the wall and working around them, to replace rotten sill plates... the entire room had to be emptied and tetrised and we have a lot of crap. I had to rebuild the lower third of part of the the walls and replace the floor. But we were all kind of shocked at how well it turned out...!

GICcade1 (resized).jpg

GICcade2 (resized).jpg

Of the games you see there, Bad Cats and Firepower were almost / more rough (in various degrees) as El D'oh, but now play and look new. Space Shuttle was my first pin, also a project that popped my Pinside cherry back in 2014. Big Hurt and PinBot were other projects I rescued that have been earning on location in Louisville for a year now. I do what I can

Anyway, back to El D'oh!

Yesterday I masked the left side red areas and resprayed:

LOutTexture (resized).jpg

I then went about roughing in all the missing / broken black lines around the playfield. By hand. With a 0000 round brush and black Createx.

The reason I need to do this is because despite carefully masking over the original black lines each time, it was inevitable that I would suffer:

- seepage beneath troublesome / complex / overlapping masked areas
- miss a spot here or there
- damaged / incorrect original art
- etc

On top of that, the thickness of the new paint from each pass created a newly raised/texture-ized "edge" to have to cover when masking for the next adjoining area (where orange meets yellow meets purple, etc...), making burnishing masking tape onto those thin lines even more difficult. And that's even before considering all the intricate triangular points and round edges.... Yes, masking was a nightmare. Mistakes and blemishes were absolutely almost inevitable.

But the nice thing about using Createx is it cleans and scrapes off easily with almost no ill effect! So a line that goes just a bit squiggly, or too thick, or effed-oops, can be carefully honed straight with a toothpick or blade later. This work is indeed tedious, but it's doable. Just relax and go at it.

So in most of these pictures, 70% of the black lines you see - including all the "pointed" and most of the round ones - have been painted by my hand. For proof you can compare to earlier posts but... eh. I AM NOT CLAIMING TO BE A GOD because I know they are NOT perfect! But they are NOT done, either. I'm just showing what's possible...

RepaintTop (resized).jpg

RepaintUpperLeft (resized).jpg

RepaintMid (resized).jpg

RepaintFull (resized).jpg

The other "issue" that remains, but I am deliberately keeping, is the texture of the paint. Now the new paint is smooth - shockingly so I might say. But I applied it directly over areas that were planked, flaked, chipped, worn, etc. Now I only applied paint after aggressively sanding and prepping the pf to make it shed whatever was already weak.

But I want this playfield to tell a story!

I could have sanded all the original off and/or pursued any number of avenues to get a perfect flat surface. BUT the inserts are sunk too, so there is a lot of leveling and clear-filling to come no matter what. At typical viewing angles you can't see these imperfections, but they're there.

While I plan for the final clear to make this all as level-flat perfectly playable as possible, I also want people to ask "Hey, what's with all those lines and artifacts in the paint" and for me to say "Funny you should ask! Would you believe this thing is not a new or repro playfield, or the result of a $4-figure pro restore, but was left in a barn and abused by mice and should have been set on fire instead?"

LOutTexture2 (resized).jpg

RepaintOutL (resized).jpg

Finally, I still have more work to do on the ball eject/shooter lane area, but it's almost there. I discovered that a fat paintbrush handle has almost the perfect taper profile; wrap it with sandpaper and go at it.

Shooter2 (resized).jpg

Shooter1 (resized).jpg

(If you want a refresher on what this was to start with, see here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/a-275-el-doh-rah-no/page/2#post-4444687)

So for the next few rounds of work, I have my now 14yo daughter lined up to fix the rider's horse... and the 11yo will do the other light pads, and add her own custom OCD-fix art touch that I loved when she suggested... I'll save that reveal for later.

I also need to lightly sand the color borders to knock the edges down. I'll do that after my primary keylining, since I'm basically just filling in and noting issues and oopsies as I go. I'll save final keylining and touch-up for after the sanding. Decals will come then, too.

Hopefully it won't take another 4 months...

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