(Topic ID: 195628)

A Playfield restoration step by step walk through


By CaptainNeo

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 128 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by CaptainNeo
  • Topic is favorited by 137 Pinsiders

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There are 128 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
36
#1 2 years ago

Many people ask me how much work is involved with restoring a playfield. Unless you do it, you really don't understand the time it takes. So In this thread, i'm going to be documenting a playfield from start to finish and time stamping everything to show the amount of time it takes and the amount of work involved. I'll be updating this in real time as we go.

I do 3 levels of restoration. Level 1 is basic clearcoating with very minor black line insert edging touchups. Level 2, only touches up visible areas of the playfield from players perspective. So areas under plastics, ramps, posts , aprons are not touched up. Level 3 touches up everything.

This field will be level 3.

So the first group of pictures will be the field at the start.

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Mylar is removed. 1 hour
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Cleaned with magic eraser 1 hour 8 min
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#9 2 years ago

A ton of work goes into a playfield restoration What game is that?

#11 2 years ago

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Following!

#12 2 years ago

Ok, apparently I can't edit my place holders or add pictures. So I guess it's going to be dragged out through the thread.

Now we address the wood chipping areas. Normally in a level 2, i'd let most of these go,as they will be hidden when populated. But this is a level 3 so I must fix and repair the chipping.

Here is the wood areas before.

wood repair 001 (resized).jpg
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Wood filled Time 45 min

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Shooter lane sanded
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#13 2 years ago

Now it's time to start color matching. Currently working on the yellow, orange and black. Black is usually easy to do, but sometimes in fields this old, depending on how well it was stored, the black fades. So new touchup black stands out and you can see all the touchups. So it has to be milked up to match it's current state. Unfortunately, I won't know until it gets it's first layer of clear. Same with the colors. Some colors darken up after clear hits them. So they look like perfect matches, until I shoot it, then it's off. Very very time consuming process. So far I'm doing orange- yellow and black

Time invested so far in color matching 1 hr 53 min

color matching orange and yellow (resized).jpg

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#14 2 years ago

Can you add some descriptions for those of us who would like to try our own hand at this? For example, what product did you use to fill in the shallow wood loss on that front corner and around the screw holes?

#15 2 years ago

Great thread... I'll be watching it closely.
Thanks!

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

Some colors darken up after clear hits them.

You don't have to wait till you clear to find out if it matches... Paint a small dab of your mixed paint directly on the color you're matching. I use a bit of heat to speed up the drying. Put some naphtha on a rag and wipe over it to view the match.
Lighting is key. These help to tell you if you have good lighting: http://www.pantone.com/lighting-indicator-stickers-d50
If it's good enough, paint. If not, apply pressure with your naphtha rag to remove the test spot. Adjust and test again.

This sure beats having a "O Crap" moment once clear is down.

#17 2 years ago

What process do you go through to repair the underside of the play field. I have an area under my shooter lane (where the auto launch in mounted) where the plywood has cracked, and chipped off....was actually thinking about having Cliffy make me something to protect the area.

#18 2 years ago

5 minute job.

#19 2 years ago

Following - I've been looking to touch and clear some of my fields for awhile now and will be very interested in watching. Would love to know what products you use as well while you go through it.

Thank you for posting this.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

What process do you go through to repair the underside of the play field. I have an area under my shooter lane (where the auto launch in mounted) where the plywood has cracked, and chipped off....was actually thinking about having Cliffy make me something to protect the area.

for fixing screw holes, i'd take toothpicks or bamboo rods and wood glue them in the holes. Then take a wire cutter and cut them off. Should be strong.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

You don't have to wait till you clear to find out if it matches... Paint a small dab of your mixed paint directly on the color you're matching. I use a bit of heat to speed up the drying. Put some naphtha on a rag and wipe over it to view the match.
Lighting is key. These help to tell you if you have good lighting: http://www.pantone.com/lighting-indicator-stickers-d50
If it's good enough, paint. If not, apply pressure with your naphtha rag to remove the test spot. Adjust and test again.
This sure beats having a "O Crap" moment once clear is down.

i do use naptha technique sometimes to try and match. Some times that difficult as the rough texture sometimes tricks you on how the light reflects until it's smoothed out by clear.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

Now it's time to start color matching.

I'd love to hear the process of how you colour match. Also, how do you sand the shooter lane. More details please!

#23 2 years ago

Color matching works by. I look at a color. and find a close starting color. Then add colors until it matches. Everything is eyeballed. If it has yellowing due to years of cigerette smoke. Then i add some raw sienna in it. Faded from the sun, add a touch of white. there is really no way to teach this. It's kind of a natural talent.

For shooter lane, I have a 100 year old angle rasp that I use. Sometimes I wrap it in sandpaper and sand down the lane. It's a long round like file that goes to a point. So it's basically a shooter lane file. One of the many tools that were passed down from my great great great grandfather. Who thought i'd be using them to for pinball.

#24 2 years ago

more colors sampled and tested. Time : 1 hr 39 min

Blue
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Red
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Pink
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#25 2 years ago

Always cool to have one of the pros document their work. Thanks Neo.

#26 2 years ago

Black line work started. Also did some first layers in white and did some more yellow. Lighter colors like whites and yellows usually take 3 or 4 layers to even out.

Time used: 2 hr 40 Min

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#27 2 years ago

I would love to get to this level one day. I'm still in the infant stages presently. Great thread and will be following.

#28 2 years ago

Question for Neo: You are doing color matching and touchups before you apply a 1st layer of clearcoat. I saw in another thread where Chris @ HEP does one 1st layer of clearcoat to seal the existing playfield art and then does the touchups, followed by final clearcoats. Have you got any advice on the pros & cons of the two techniques??

I've done it the way you are doing it myself in the past, but always had some other areas lift as I'm cleaning up my work. Seems like a 1st seal of clearcoat would help this, but make blending tougher.....

#29 2 years ago

How are you applying paint? Airbrush?

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Question for Neo: You are doing color matching and touchups before you apply a 1st layer of clearcoat. I saw in another thread where Chris @ HEP does one 1st layer of clearcoat to seal the existing playfield art and then does the touchups, followed by final clearcoats. Have you got any advice on the pros & cons of the two techniques??
I've done it the way you are doing it myself in the past, but always had some other areas lift as I'm cleaning up my work. Seems like a 1st seal of clearcoat would help this, but make blending tougher.....

all depends. I find that touchups blend better without a layer of clear, as the touchup tends to hover slightly and create a slight shadow that sometimes makes a new touchup stand out more. So I try and do as many touchups as I can before the first layer of clear. Also, this really lets me see how my color looks as well.

Paint right now is all free hand. 90% of what I do is brush and free hand.

#31 2 years ago

Love to see this kind of talent at work. Following.

#32 2 years ago

Touching up various sections of the playfield. Doing a lot of black line insert edges.

Time: 1 hr 15 min

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#33 2 years ago

Neo has done all my playfields and I've been nothing but happy with his work. Here's a MB playfield swap I just finished tonight. Neo did the playfield for me a couple years ago.

DSCN0563 (resized).JPG

#34 2 years ago

nothing better than being able to do a hot swap. Makes the process so much easier.

#35 2 years ago

OK, first layer of clear is on. This lets me see how some touchups turned out as well as seal in what I have done so far. I can see the pink is way off.

Time: 39 min

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Now that the clear is on, now we can mask and do the white hidden areas. (level 2 fields do not get this done)

Mask applied and cut out, airbrushed and removed.

Time: 2 hr 30 min

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White airbrushed. White was matched closely with other whites on the field so it doesn't stand out.
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Mask removed, and bleed under all sanded away.

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#36 2 years ago

What product are you using for the clear mask??

#37 2 years ago

it's a low tack stencil applicator that I use for my vinyl cutter for transferring stencils.

#38 2 years ago

more touchups done. Some did a second coat on some.

Time: 3 hr 6 min

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#39 2 years ago

2nd layer of clear applied to seal in everything done so far.

Time: 45 min

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#40 2 years ago

This is very exciting to watch neo! This pf is from my first pinball purchase in 1984 at the age of 15. It has lots of history to it for me. The bg got broke by our cat so I sold it in 1986 to big al of the pinball warehouse. Al kept the game in storage for 30 years using it for parts. He called me last year to pick it up as he was cleaning some items from his storage. He was very nice and didn't want anything for it. Im in the process of doing a total restore on it. I hope to bring to mgc. It looks fantastic so far. Thanks for your efforts. Jr

#41 2 years ago

it's coming along nicely. There are tons of visible cracks in the lacquer that show up and only visible after fresh clear is applied. Once I scuff to do touchups, those minor lacquer imperfections disappear. Making it very hard to remember where they all are. As you are kind of touching up blind at that point.

When i'm doing playfields, i'm usually working on 4 different ones at a time. This way, i can prep some for clearing, some for touchups, so while i'm waiting for some things to dry, or clear to harden, I have something else to work on. Nothing is more irritating than laying my arm on a part I painted that wasn't dry. Puts little stamps all over the playfield. Not so bad when I sealed in previous touchups, but sucks bad when it goes through areas I masked and airbrushed but didn't seal in yet.

the wavyness if the clear evens out as more and more layers are added. Through the spray and block sand process. Right now clear is basically used to seal in touchup layers. Leveling process hasn't really started yet.

#42 2 years ago

What kind of clear do you use, and how do you apply it/what applicator do you use?

#43 2 years ago

PPG, and i use an automotive spray gun, with a tip ment for clear. Same used for clearing cars.

#44 2 years ago

Awesome. I need to finish my very own Dracula playfield restoration. The worst on mine was the cats and bats at the top.. Some flaking too. I did most of the touchups, then a light coat of clear and haven't gotten back on it. I also started drawing up the cabinet stencils in CAD, need to finish that... Plan is to get one of the stencil guys to cut a set for me and another pinside guy who is interested.

#45 2 years ago

some wood areas airbrushed and blended in to hide the fill job and hide some wood graining.

Time: 1 hr 15 min

wood airbrushed 001 (resized).jpg

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#46 2 years ago

Painted the inlane switch areas. Deep graining in them.

Time: 30 min

Clearcoated layer 3

Time: 25min

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#47 2 years ago

Great write-up.

In the middle of a WH2O rebuild. Considered attempting a playfield restoration but way beyond my abilities and equipment.

Always interested in learning something new.

Documenting your progress makes me a potential customer ...

#48 2 years ago

This is shaping up very nicely. Thanks for documenting your process.

Is my understanding correct that, apart from the cream areas and wood tones, all touching up so far was done using a paintbrush?
Also: are you sanding the clearcoat layer prior to proceeding?

#49 2 years ago

Thanks for taking the time to document this Neo

I've always admired your work.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from g94:

This is shaping up very nicely. Thanks for documenting your process.
Is my understanding correct that, apart from the cream areas and wood tones, all touching up so far was done using a paintbrush?
Also: are you sanding the clearcoat layer prior to proceeding?

yes, the only air brushing so far is the white regions and the wood touchup areas. As the airbrush feathers into the natural wood nicely. I try to keep as much natural wood as I can, as painted wood looks painted, no matter how good you are at it. Personally, I hate the way painted wood looks, so I only do it when I have to. So blending makes it much less noticeable.

Every layer of clear needs to be sanded to get the next layer of clear to stick. So it needs to be roughed up before touchups are started. Plus the block sanding helps flatten and even out the playfield. reducing cupped inserts, some to the point of disappearing completely. Depending on the severity of the cupping. Regardless, it's greatly reduced to the point where it will not effect the movement of the ball anymore.

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