(Topic ID: 171624)

Another Flash Gordon : Reimagined

By Skins

3 years ago

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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Flyrod
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#1 3 years ago

So I documented a Flash Gordon restore here on pinside sometime back that I no longer have. I love Flash Gordon so recently I acquired another FG and decided to restore it. This time I decided to take a different approach. I absolutely love the theme, the art and the colors. That said, I hated the cabinet design. I reached out to Jeff at pinballpimp to see if he could design some custom stencils for me. After a chat by phone I detailed what I wanted. A couple email revisions later I had the cabinet design I wanted. I may be partial but I think Jeff hit it out of the park. For reference here is the traditional design from the factory:

IMG_0087 (resized).JPG

...And here is what I had Jeff come up with:

IMG_0084 (resized).JPG

I also have side rails out being mocked-up laser cut with a custom design. As soon as I get them back (any day now so I'm told) I'll post them here. I chromed everything the last time. This time I'm going floss black. I'll be back to update things once I start prepping the cab to paint.

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from Captive_Ball:

I like this revised style. Will this alternate style be available to others?

I spoke to Jeff about it. For now, it's a one off. If there's demand (reception here has been luke warm so who knows); it's something he may consider. Wouldn't hurt my feeling to have a one of a kind Flash Gordon.

#11 3 years ago

Thanks guys. I appreciate it. With the black rails, legs and coin door, it will balance all the red. I'm very excited. I have a cpr gold playfield in transit as I type this.

In the mean time, the cabinet is stripped and getting ready to do some repairs, prep and sanding.

Not too bad: IMG_0158 (resized).JPGIMG_0159 (resized).JPGIMG_0160 (resized).JPG

Until you look at the underside. Oops. That's was a surprise. IMG_0162 (resized).JPGIMG_0161 (resized).JPG

So I picked up another empty cab only to find it was damaged by termites. I tore it apart and salvage what I need. Fwiw, the termites have long since vacated. IMG_0163 (resized).JPG

I would love to be able to buy a new empty cab but I will make it look new again either way.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

I already have you on the list..
Maybe think about gold for the cabinet.
It really goes well with the movie theme!

Yes sir. It was perfect timing.

On to the cab. I started trying to repair the hole in the bottom. It's round a quarter sized hole on either side of the vent hole. I would rather not pull the cab apart to put in a new panel so I'll try this first. Like my last FG restore I plan on sanding the bottom which will render it smooth versus the texture but it will be clean. The small gaps at the patched areas will be filled with a color matched filler then the whole bottom sealed. Didn't turn out too bad and it is the bottom so I'll hold judgement for now.

I cut out the frayed edges and attached some blocking to support the patches. IMG_0178 (resized).JPGIMG_0161 (resized).JPG

Pieces in place. I lightly sanded over the patches (glue still drying) to see how well it was going to blend. IMG_0179 (resized).JPG

Glueing the bottom edge that is always split on these games. Sanding has also started. IMG_0180 (resized).JPG

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#24 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Move the brace, cut an 8" or 10" hole and install a sub.

You would have to move both cross braces and even then it wouldn't work. The metal transformer tray spans those two cross braces. I appreciate the suggestion though.

So I continue working on the patches after the glue set over night. Sanded flat and flush.
Next a little cheat to deal with the small gap on the second plug. Flood the joint with glue. Let it settle and then dump some of the sanding dust in the crack. Work it into place and let it dry. Sand smooth after. The bottom will be overglazed to get everything a uniform color and further mask the edges IMG_0184 (resized).JPGIMG_0185 (resized).JPG
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#25 3 years ago

Replacing the bottom trim that's always broken. I scavenged the lip from the other cabinet since it's already the right thickness and profile. IMG_0190 (resized).JPGIMG_0189 (resized).JPGIMG_0188 (resized).JPGIMG_0186 (resized).JPGIMG_0187 (resized).JPG

#26 3 years ago

Now that the glue is dry enough, time to reshape the vent hole.

Lay out what has to be removed
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And after. Matches pretty close to the other hole now. IMG_0194 (resized).JPG

#27 3 years ago

Comparison of before and after:

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#30 3 years ago

Yeah that's what I did. Then I put the new strip in to replace the broken portion and squeezed everything together. Good as new when done.

#32 3 years ago

I originally tried to wafer a thin piece to set on the damage but it was going to show and the thickness of the recess was too irregular from the damaged areas. I cut the squares as small as I could yet still remove the damaged surfaces. The squares are friction fit with glue as well as a piece of blocking you can see through the vent hole. I have the friction/glue fit so tight, I really don't need the blocking now but I can't get to it to remove it. The patches aren't going anywhere now.

Edit: just to follow up. I found a piece of damage I cut out. You can see where I tried to "tray" it out to set a patch on. It didn't work so you can see how I cut the damage out to get to good wood. image (resized).jpg

#33 3 years ago

Rear done. It's a touch wavy due to the back panel not splitting evenly. Still have some bonds filling to do but structurally it's repaired. Once it's sanded and filled it will look near factory IMG_0196 (resized).JPG

#35 3 years ago

More bottom repairs using scavenged trim from the donor cab.,IMG_0201 (resized).JPGIMG_0200 (resized).JPGIMG_0198 (resized).JPG

#42 3 years ago

Bottom sealed. Now I can see how much color difference there is between the patches and the rest of the bottom panel. Once it's dry I can start playing with on over glaze to get it one uniform color. IMG_0221 (resized).JPG

And a before shot for reference:
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#43 3 years ago

Making progress. Barely noticeable. I could spend another 4hrs and only improve it a percent or two. Not worth it imo. IMG_0227 (resized).JPGIMG_0228 (resized).JPG

#44 3 years ago

Now that the bottom is done and dry, I can flip it over and start on the other side. First up if to glue, brad and clamp the head pedestal. These are always cracked and separated. IMG_0231 (resized).JPG

Then on to the interior sanding.
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#45 3 years ago

Inside bottom done, ready to seal.

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1 week later
#46 3 years ago

Lots of sanding, filling, sanding, filling.

While that goes on, a little sneak peak...

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#50 3 years ago

Oh, lol. I should have recognized what he was alluding to. Thanks.

#51 3 years ago

So I got my custom cut rails back finally. I think they look awesome. They will be powder coated gloss black. The pictures show it loosely sitting on a side panel of the donor parts cab.

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#56 3 years ago

Thanks for the nice comments. I got them done at a local shop. Not cheap at all though.

I hope to have the cabinet primed and base coated this weekend. I'm going strictly automotive finishes on this one with an auto clear top coat.

The new cpr playfield is out to hsa for touch-ups and new clear. Here's a picture before I sent it out to hsa. IMG_0197 (resized).JPG

#57 3 years ago

Filling glaze to fill all the small open grain. " Sanded to remove all the excess laying on the hard grain. You can see here the small specs of red left behind. That's the glaze filling the small open grain pores. [att=3445299,821460 caption="

#58 3 years ago

Sanded to remove all the excess laying on the hard grain. You can see here the small specs of red left behind. That's the glaze filling the small open grain pores. IMG_0332 (resized).JPG

Baby butt smooth now.

#59 3 years ago

Slight detour today from cabinet work. I have been lusting after a powder coat oven big enough to accommodate rails and legs so I could do all my powder in house. Well, the right deal came my way and I picked up a nice 3'x3'x6' two burner oven with digital controls, circulating fan and light. Very excited to get it wired up. Next up is my gema pro style powder coating system. IMG_0335 (resized).JPGIMG_0334 (resized).JPG

Got my zombi yeti stern stickers in the mail today so I thought I would throw one on the oven for good measure. IMG_0337 (resized).JPG

#61 3 years ago

Almost go time. Still some last minute sanding but everything is masked off and ready to go. Custom stencils will be here tomorrow. Thanks again pinballpimp (Jeff).IMG_0388 (resized).JPG

#63 3 years ago

That's awesome Jeff. Thanks for posting it.

#64 3 years ago

This thread keeps taking detours. So I came across a smoking deal today on a 80 gallon single stage 240v compressor and a 48" blast cabinet. It's huge compared to my little 32" cabinet I have now. The benefit is I can now blast siderails (by the skin of my teeth) as well as it's taller so I don't have to hunch over. It also has a self contained vacuum system versus my old one where I had to hook up a shop vac to it. I'm going to be a powder coating fool soon. IMG_0398 (resized).JPGIMG_0397 (resized).JPG

Old cabinet for comparison. IMG_0399 (resized).JPG

#65 3 years ago

Got the primer on. This new primer is nice, covers great but shows every damn defect which is good and bad. Back to filling and sanding. IMG_0406 (resized).JPGIMG_0407 (resized).JPG

#66 3 years ago

As with a lot of older games, the plywood veneer in some places has planked, or split. I skimmed the head sides with bondo completely, sanded smooth and filled again with glazing filler and sanded to a baby butt smooth finish with 220. Even with all that, when the epoxy hi-build primer hit the grain of the wood, the solvents in the primer opened up the grain again, though nowhere near as severe as when I started. Here is the grain opened up after priming:
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So one more round of glaze filling. You can see the red glaze filling in the wood grain depressions.

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After, it will be sanded and one final shot of primer applied.

#69 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Takin' your time and doin' it right. This will be a thing of beauty when you're finished.
Great work thus far. Eagerly awaiting some paint on this bad boy.
P.S. Those side rails are SWEET!!! (I grew up with this game in my basement, so seeing this game get the royal treatment gives me the good feels!)

Thank you. The hope is to get it all painted over the long holiday break. Never works out that way but I'm going to try. Right now I'm arguing with the electrician trying to get my new oven and compressor hooked up.

I can't say enough about how nice this two part hi-build epoxy auto primer is. It sands and powders up like a dream. It feels like a sheet of glass.

Sanded. One more shot of primer, sand and then on to color. IMG_0412 (resized).JPG

#71 3 years ago

Got two important packages today. My stencils from Jeff pinballpimp and the ever so important replacement strobe board. IMG_0413 (resized).JPG

#74 3 years ago

So I have been involved in commercial painting for 25 years and seen many an expensive coating. Nothing could prepare me for what automotive coatings go for. The receipt total is with a very hefty discount my commercial rep got me on the auto side. This doesn't include the total for the primer and clear I already purchased. Hopefully it's worth it. It's the first time I have sent full auto finishes in leu of commercial paint finishes. IMG_0415 (resized).JPGIMG_0414 (resized).JPG

#76 3 years ago
Quoted from djblouw:

Ouch. Yes the automotive stuff is expensive.
I'm very interested to see how the stencils hold up to this material, as I also plan on painting automotive grade paint on my cabinet.

I think it should be ok. Auto paints are thin film by nature so they're less prone to build up over the edge of the stencil and peel when the stencil is removed like heavier bodied architectural coatings. Time will tell.

I am getting side tracked already. My electrician wants to come tomorrow at 8am instead of Saturday. So instead of working on the cab, I have to move shit so the electrician can work.

#80 3 years ago

I'm slowly working towards paint. Sanding the hi-build primer smooth highlights all the depressions and imperfections. More to fill. Getting closer.
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#81 3 years ago

And sanded. The spots of red are what's left behind filling the depressions and irregularities of the wood grain veneer making the surface complete flat and smooth. Everything is 99% smooth now. IMG_0418 (resized).JPG

For comparison, here is an area that will be covered by the rails. You can see the irregularities in the surface. It's an extreme closeup to show what I'm dealing with. In actuality, it "feels" smooth to the touch but would show horrible when any type of material with a sheen was applied over it. Some of it could be sanded down but then you end up sanding through the bulk of the surrounding primer on the surfaces that are already higher than the depressionsIMG_0419 (resized).JPG

#82 3 years ago

Electric going in for the oven and compressor. Cabinet on hold for today I think. IMG_0421 (resized).JPG

#84 3 years ago

Left side filled. IMG_0422 (resized).JPG

#85 3 years ago

Primer reshot. Like glass. Unbelievable.
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Once it cures I'll scuff sand with 600 grit and then FINALLY color.

#87 3 years ago

Finally color. Base coat applied. Silky smooth. Nice reflection even though base coat dries to a matte finish. Almost time for stencils. IMG_0447 (resized).JPGIMG_0444 (resized).JPGIMG_0445 (resized).JPGIMG_0446 (resized).JPGIMG_0448 (resized).JPG

#88 3 years ago

Stencils being applied. Side bar. The quality of the stencils from pinball pimp are out of this world. IMG_0453 (resized).JPGIMG_0449 (resized).JPGIMG_0451 (resized).JPGIMG_0450 (resized).JPGIMG_0452 (resized).JPG

Paint being applied.
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And masking removed.
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Still have black and white to lay in tomorrow.

Quick takeaway. The solvent in automotive products are hot. To answer the previous question, it works but it severely softened the stencil to the point it was almost an issue. Caused a couple fuzzy edged letters but I believe the black key lines will hide it.

#90 3 years ago
Quoted from djblouw:

What are you using for solvents? If it's a can from the store, what is the first listed ingredient? MEK?
It looks awesome so far!

No but I'm cleaning up with mek. This is the reducer for the yellow, black and white colors made in the lower end dimensions line. IMG_0460 (resized).JPGIMG_0461 (resized).JPG

The red was made in the ultra 7000 line.
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#91 3 years ago

I'll add another thought on using automotive paint. Aside from the cost, the rework time is phenomenal. As I mentioned, I have been around commercial paint for 25 years. I have never used auto paints before. I'm astounded at how quickly everything dries and how soon you can move on to the next activity. The paint is literally dry to the touch in 10 minutes and can be taped on in 20. With commercial/industrial paints (even catalyzed paints) you were basically stuck to painting once a day. The paints just take so long to cure out. You end up marring the surface. With auto paints, I sprayed the red and an hour later I was completely masking the whole side with the stencil. No lifting, peeling or abrasions. I was able to do 2 days of painting activities in one. I'm sold.

#92 3 years ago

Couple more pics because I'm so happy with the results. So smooth. IMG_0464 (resized).JPGIMG_0466 (resized).JPG

Are reflection of my hand in the cabinet. Keep in mind, this is without the clear coat top coat.
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#93 3 years ago

Back at it early in the morning. White is up next.

Masking off.
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Little side note. I masked over the registration marks so no overspray got to the cab. I used masking paper over the mark with tape around the perimeter so when I pull the stencil off, it doesn't pull my registration with it.
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Couple small goofs and a tiny bit of blow through on one spot but all in all it looks fantastic. The lightning bolts line up perfectly at the corners. This is mainly due to the great stencils and registration system. Kudos to Jeff pinballpimp. On to black inlay. IMG_0480 (resized).JPG IMG_0483 (resized).JPGIMG_0481 (resized).JPG

#96 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

So you are able to spray right there without any real overspray concerns? Is that because of the gun used?
Rattle cans would seem to leave a dusting everywhere...

Not sure what you're asking.

Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Already looks fantastic. Thanks for continued progress pics.

Thank you

#97 3 years ago

All colors applied. Looks phenomenal imho. Clear coat up next.

IMG_0486 (resized).JPGIMG_0488 (resized).JPGIMG_0487 (resized).JPG

Loose mockup with the rail. It will be gloss black. IMG_0485 (resized).JPG

#100 3 years ago

And the clear coat is done. Please ignore my mess of a work area. I can start cleaning up now. IMG_0489 (resized).JPGIMG_0491 (resized).JPGIMG_0490 (resized).JPGIMG_0492 (resized).JPGIMG_0493 (resized).JPG
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#109 3 years ago

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Quoted from flynnibus:

The question is How are you able to paint indoors in that tight of a space without getting overspray on everything

Oh. Well yes there is dust. I cover everything of importance. One of the main reasons I didn't paint my garage walls. With hvlp's versus rattle cans, the overspray on hvlp is very dry because the paint is so finely atomized. Whereas rattle can overspray is more wet and sticks to things easier. Hvlp overspray dust for the most part is easily swept up.

#111 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Wow. I'll join the chorus of pinsiders in congratulating you on your masterfully painted cabinet. Love it.
Can't wait to see those side-rails put on, too. I gotta admit, I really like that brushed metal look. ...but I look forward to having my mind changed when you put the black powder-coating on.

Thanks for saying so.

And cabinet in my basement to continue the restoration. IMG_0523 (resized).JPGIMG_0524 (resized).JPG

#119 3 years ago

Santa came early. Got my used older version gema powder coating equipment and 10 pounds of high gloss mirror black power. Now if I can get my oven sorted out and my compressor finished being installed I can start getting some rails and legs powder coated. Christmas vacation can't come soon enough. IMG_0553 (resized).JPGIMG_0554 (resized).JPGIMG_0552 (resized).JPG

#122 3 years ago

So nothing done on the game this weekend but I did make progress. Got my oven sorted out and got my compressor, moisture/filter traps installed so I can get my powder coating equipment going. Still have to plumb my blast cabinet to a moisture trap and regulator. I'm short two fittings. Damn. IMG_0574 (resized).JPGIMG_0571 (resized).JPGIMG_0572 (resized).JPGIMG_0573 (resized).JPG

#123 3 years ago

Hopefully my last housekeeping post, then on to powder coating the cabinet hardware. The last (hopefully) piece to the puzzle was to install a new burner in my powder oven. IMG_0583 (resized).JPG. Both are firing as they are supposed to now. I also got word that my playfield is done being touched-up and recleared. Things are moving but not a lot to show for it at the moment.

#125 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

At the rate you are adding equipment you'll next do the playfield touch ups and clear in house!

That's the end game.

So I lied. Still doing some setup. Built a custom wall mount for my powder coating control box. This evening/tomorrow I'll run some test pieces of parts. IMG_0595 (resized).JPG

#126 3 years ago

So I got up and running. Very good (not perfect but I'm picky) results for my first try. Slight bit of orange peal. This gema pro system goes on like a dream and as a result, I applied it too heavy leading to some orange peal. After fighting a cheaper harbor freight gun where I had to overcompensate to get coverage, I didn't realize how nice the gema lays it down. Live and learn. It still looks fantastic imo. IMG_0605 (resized).JPGIMG_0606 (resized).JPGIMG_0604 (resized).JPGIMG_0598 (resized).JPGIMG_0599 (resized).JPG. The rails are just loose sitting on the cabinet. The red showing through emperor Ming is much more pronounced when its tight to the cabinet body.

#127 3 years ago

Neck grill done and I'm done for the night. Tomorrow I hope to get the other rail, legs and leg brackets done. Maybe the lock down bar too. IMG_0596 (resized).JPGIMG_0597 (resized).JPG

#131 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

That is looking nice! I do suggest putting some type of yellow material behind "Emperor Ming Awaits" on the side rails so it can really stand out.

Thanks. I'll see if I have some yellow card stock to try it out.

Quoted from dasvis:

Curious - can you give us a ball park figure on what you have invested in that powder coat setup?

Well the payoff point against the cost to have it done by a company is like 25-30 games worth of powder coating. I did it so I can customize and not have to wait a week to get the parts back. The oven was roughly $2,000 and the pc gun setup was roughly $1,500. Both were bought used. New, a similar oven is $3,000 and the equipment is $4,000. 10lbs of powder was $90. I also ran a shit ton of black pipe and filters for airline which isn't necessary to get setup.

Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Rails looking fantastic

Thank you.

#132 3 years ago

I should have been a plumber with the amount of black pipe I have laid out and put together.

So I had a black pipe playfield rotisserie I retired sometime back. IMG_0607 (resized).JPG

I needed a rack to powder coat my items and hang them in the oven. I repurposed it and made a tidy rack. I need to add some casters and do a couple tweaks but not bad for repurposing and 20 minutes of my time. I have a leg hanging that needs to be blasted still for mockup purposes IMG_0610 (resized).JPGIMG_0608 (resized).JPG

#140 3 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

ebay.com link
with a yellow flim/gel

Link doesn't take me anywhere.

Not a ton to update. I added steel casters to my powder rack so I can roll it into my oven. I'm off the next two weeks so hopefully I'll pick up some speed. The playfield is supposed to be back from hsa Thursday too.

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#142 3 years ago

Shiny. Turned out well imho. Very happy with the results. Still getting the hang of it. Hopefully I'll get to where there is zero orange peel. Right now there is a very slight peel. IMG_0638 (resized).JPGIMG_0639 (resized).JPG

#145 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinzap:

Looks awesome!! Let us know when you are ready to start taking orders.

Ha. No way. As picky as I am I'd never get any done.

The other rail completed. Now we're cooking with oil. Beautiful high gloss. Smooth like a mirror. IMG_0640 (resized).JPGIMG_0642 (resized).JPG

Loosely in place with the lockdown bar.
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#148 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinzap:

Looks to be an Escalera with forklift options.

That's correct. Forklift with the extended top plate. It's awesome for working on pins. I can raise and lower it to any height I want.

#150 3 years ago

More powder coating pics. Starting the coin door. Looks great. So nice to have a big oven. IMG_0684 (resized).JPGIMG_0685 (resized).JPGIMG_0683 (resized).JPGIMG_0657 (resized).JPG

#152 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

You should do a Medusa next!

If you insist. Seriously excited to get it. Morso than when I first got a MB or an original MM. love early Bally's.

#154 3 years ago

Time for the coin door guts. Going to powder coat what I can. Moving items that are riveted together just cleaned. Most of these are good. A few could stand to be plated but I'm not going that crazy.

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After ultra sonic cleaning. Pile of parts cleaned and ready for blasting and coating.
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#155 3 years ago

Coin door parts powder coated. Now to reassemble. IMG_0748 (resized).JPGIMG_0747 (resized).JPG

#157 3 years ago

Doubtful it will. Things that are tight I'm careful with. As for screw holes, I have silicone plugs ordered but for now I'm pluggging screw holes with heat resistant tape. I roll it into a pointed cone and fill the hole that way.

#159 3 years ago
Quoted from Captive_Ball:

This is going to be one mean looking FG....sure it will still play more mean than it even looks

Thanks for saying so.

Coin door going back together. I still need to clean/install the harness. Also, I have new pricing inserts (I put the old in to get a feel) on order. Looks sweet. IMG_0752 (resized).JPGIMG_0754 (resized).JPGIMG_0753 (resized).JPGIMG_0755 (resized).JPG

And loosely held in place to see how it's going to look installed. We have a winner. IMG_0756 (resized).JPG

#162 3 years ago
Quoted from dasvis:

I don't know... I think the factory chrome coin inset assembly would have looked better on the black door. IMHO

I was going to go red for those, the start and eject buttons for contrast but I honestly was too lazy to clean the equipment out for those few pieces.

Quoted from Captive_Ball:

In general I would agree...think you may change your mind once you see the whole package together...with the black rails and legs.

That's my goal. My fear was raw silver would have clashed mightily considering every single metal item is black.

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from Arcane:

You are "competing" with High-End Pins. Very nice work.

Thank you for the compliment; it means a lot coming from your peers. HEP is in another league though. He does things I can't do or have the time/patience to attemp. Truely beautiful work. This is a hobby for me and it's fun to see how far I can push myself to do quality work.

Lots and lots of screws, bolts, washers and nuts. PITA! IMG_0786 (resized).JPG

#165 3 years ago

The powder train keeps going.

Lockdown receiver before:
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And after:
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Pile of parts. The head hinges turned out fantastic. IMG_0790 (resized).JPG

#166 3 years ago

Coin door in place. IMG_0793 (resized).JPGIMG_0791 (resized).JPG

#169 3 years ago

Need help from early Bally experts. My game came with 3 matching legs and one newer wpc leg. I thought I ordered the correct one from pbr but they don't match. Are my 3 right for the game (I believe so). If not is the one I bought (chrome in the picture) correct. If it isn't where can I get a 4th matching one? Thanks IMG_0795 (resized).JPGIMG_0796 (resized).JPG

#172 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The flat, grey legs are the correct ones.

That's what I thought.

Quoted from spandol:

And where do you get them? I need a correct set as well.

Based on pbr's chart I thought I ordered the correct one but the one I got has that raised rib on the outside angle. Not sure where to source them.

#174 3 years ago

Yeah. I'm stumped. Hopefully someone out there can point me to source of one to replace my missing one.

#176 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

Since you are going to clean them and powder coat them anyway, I'm sure that out of the tons of used ones out there there is one you can buy from someone for cheap.

True. Maybe someone locally reading this has one and could help a guy out. I'm also in need of the outer metal shooter housing with the Bally logo script. Mine is bent and one of the threaded studs on the backside is cracked.

Ground braid installed.

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#178 3 years ago

Playfield just came back from hsa IMG_0802 (resized).JPG

#180 3 years ago

IMG_0804 (resized).JPGIMG_0805 (resized).JPGIMG_0803 (resized).JPGIMG_0807 (resized).JPGIMG_0810 (resized).JPGIMG_0809 (resized).JPG

Lockbar receiver in place.
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#185 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

What happened to all your orange inserts? They look like they all have bubbles or something..

Buffing compound. They're translucent so you can see it. The opaque ones are the same. They just need cleaned out. Post 56 show the insert before it went out to hsa.

#187 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Good to hear! I thought you had some clearing reaction and those translucent ones would be unforgiving..

No doubt. Quick wipe cleans it up. IMG_0822 (resized).JPG

#188 3 years ago

I know it's overboard, but the cabinet looks so nice with the hardware powdercoated black to match the part its securing. IMG_0836 (resized).JPGIMG_0838 (resized).JPGIMG_0839 (resized).JPG

The metal cabinet glides are usually pretty mangled up on these games. Thankfully all but one were in good shape. I beat this one back to pretty good shape.
Before: IMG_0819 (resized).JPG

After shaping:
IMG_0821 (resized).JPG

And powder coated:
IMG_0835 (resized).JPG

#191 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBellMan:

Correct unless he installs one of the newer reproduction boards. They come with built-in heat sinks.

Ding ding ding.

#192 3 years ago

Speaking of powder coating interfering with heat, I'm seriously comptemplating powdering this.

IMG_0272 (resized).JPG

My main concern isn't grounding. I plan to mask where the pcb brackets mount and where ground straps interface. My concern is stapling it in back in and cracking the finished powder.

#196 3 years ago

Test piece (corner) of the grounding tin going in now. .IMG_0841 (resized).JPG

#197 3 years ago

All systems go. Bent and flexed. No issues.

IMG_0842 (resized).JPG

On to the main course...
IMG_0843 (resized).JPG. The tin wanted to curl up after it was blasted. Hopefully it doesn't crack after it cures and I cut it loose.

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#198 3 years ago

And tacked into place. Worked perfectly. IMG_0845 (resized).JPG

#201 3 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Me thinks you have a powder coating problem...


Quoted from flynnibus:

I only wish he didn't live in the farthest corner of our common state

Come on out to god's country. I can't wait until I don't have to commute to your neck of the woods.

#206 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinzap:

Powder Coaters Anonymous...
Skins: Hello, my name is Skins.
Group: Hi Skins!
Skins: it's been 3 days, no, 3 hours since my last powder coat.

The first step to recovery is admitting a problem. I'm not there yet.

Quoted from flynnsbit:

Is that your dog??! "Yeah, I was just testing the powder coating.... Looks good doesn't he? I think he will match my Flash Gordon now. Most of the house will have to be redone to match it.

The dog kept shaking the powder off...

#209 3 years ago

Repro backbox cards done and everything stapled and pcb brackets installed. Head back in place. Still need to install the boards. The two silver screws are temporary. IMG_0855 (resized).JPGIMG_0856 (resized).JPGIMG_0857 (resized).JPG

#210 3 years ago

So I got distracted by this fun game which is my next restore. IMG_0887 (resized).JPG

But I'm back at it. Light panel stripped and prepped. I'll be painting it tomorrow.
IMG_1062 (resized).JPGIMG_1064 (resized).JPG

Also more powder. Legs turned out fabulous.

IMG_1063 (resized).JPG

#211 3 years ago

Incremental updates. Legs on. They're hand tight for now. I needed them on to install the leg plates. They'll be coming off to install stern cabinet protectors.
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#212 3 years ago

Question for those following along. I've never been fully immersed in early Bally/SS. The last FG was my only one and for that I had the displays rejuvenated. The led tech seems to have come a long way. Do I, restore/replace with plasma; or do I go led? I'm leaning xpin if so. Input?

#214 3 years ago

Most are decent. No measeling. The 6 digit is dim. They all could stand to be refreshed. That's what I was worried about. I don't want to see segments or the led blocks themselves.

#216 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

If the digits are not dark when the game is off, you may have bad solder joints on the row of solder joints for the glass display itself or on the long row of header pins. Remove the solder on the header pins first and then resolder them. Many flickering displays or even dead displays are caused by broken solder joints most of the times. just depends on which pins have the broken solder joints. It is worth checking over all the displays as any of them could be affected at any time.

Yeah. If I stay plasma I'll send them out to be rejuvenated.

#217 3 years ago

Light board filled and primed; ready for color then clear. There are a couple small imperfections but it's 90%. It is just a light panel after all.
IMG_1073 (resized).JPGIMG_1074 (resized).JPG

#219 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

This is going to be the nicest FG on the planet. It's already starting to look pretty darn mean with all that black armor. Amazing restore, Skins.

Thank you. That's very kind of you to say. May not be the nicest but it is they best my skills and patience allows.

#221 3 years ago

Base coat on. Clear up next. IMG_1077 (resized).JPG

#223 3 years ago

Tilt assembly panel up next.

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#225 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Is your strobe board working?

Well, short answer is I'm not sure. When I got it, no. I got a lamp tube from a pinsider and that didn't fix it. I got a reproduction unit but got it after I tore the game apart so I'm hoping that fixes it.

#226 3 years ago

Primer sanded:

IMG_1095 (resized).JPG

And the black applied:

IMG_1096 (resized).JPG

All that's left is to clear it and then I think I'm officially done with paint on this one; unless powder coats, then no im not done.

#227 3 years ago

Clear coat applied to tilt board. IMG_1102 (resized).JPG

More cabinet parts:

IMG_1105 (resized).JPG

#229 3 years ago
Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Wow....even the hanging hooks are starting to get fancy

That's funny. Special occasions.

I didn't document it but I went through the trouble of masking of a sliver of the opening the ball sets in and where it comes in contact with the top as well as where the grounds are screwed to it. I wanted to be sure the powder wasn't insulating The steel ball.
IMG_1107 (resized).JPGIMG_1109 (resized).JPGIMG_1103 (resized).JPGIMG_1104 (resized).JPG

#230 3 years ago

Been busy today. Kids snow day = parents snow day.

Shiny tiltboard installed.
IMG_1118 (resized).JPG

I had to reapply adhesive to the rubber grommets to the score display brackets.
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And the lightboard back in place. Looks great. FYI, I didn't fill all the open grain on the backside because all the million staples wood have popped all the filler free when driving new staples. I still need to order and install new light boxes for the front side.
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#231 3 years ago

Can't forget the speakers. They'll get a dose of auto primer, base and clear.

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#234 3 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I wouldn't haven't painted over the specs of the speaker as it can be important for future work or getting replacement.

Well I do have a picture of the spec and model number as well as a 3rd spare one so I think I will be ok.

Quoted from jints56:

Coming along nicely. Keep this one

I think so. Finally.

And now they're clear coated. Nice and shiny like I like it.
IMG_1138 (resized).JPG

#239 3 years ago

You guys are funny.

I like the yellow behind the rail but for now I'm going to press on. May circle back at the end and revisit.

First power on to see how everything was running. Only partial success. Still no strobe even with a brand new repro flasher board. IMG_1147 (resized).JPG

1 week later
#245 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

Beautiful work as usual. The only thing that I would question (if I may) is leaving the bottom of the inside cab bare - though with some clear. It stands out as not as immaculate as the rest of the game. If you're going to powder coat or paint a whole bunch of part that are originally bare metal, why not paint the cabinet bottom?

Sorry missed this. I dunno. Personal preference I guess. It just doesn't look aesthetically pleasing imo. I personally like the contrast.

Quoted from pinball77:

Excellent work. Great looking game. All the hard work you have done will be worth it in the end.
I use to play Flash Gordon a ton in the 80's as a kid and it was tough.

Thank you.

So, everything on the bottom side is labeled and removed. The harness is free.

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#247 3 years ago

Yeah it was the worst I have encountered. It was a real gummy oily residue. I ran it through the ultra sonic 3x's, scrubbed it in the sink and then rubbed it dry removing what I saw and there are still small leftovers of dirt. Terribly caked on.

#250 3 years ago
Quoted from Fytr:

What...? You guys don't lubricate your wiring harnesses??
I did the dishwasher thing with my IJ harness, worked great. But I might hesitate to put that filthy mess into my dishwasher...

This is my 10th restore. By far the worst.

Playfields married up. New Reese rails installed. All the ramps were lined up to verify fitment. Getting repro rails and playfields made by two different parties on a game 30 years old is always a splitting hair moment. All topside metals will be shipped off shortly for some black chrome love.
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#252 3 years ago
Quoted from mamemaster:

Amazing work. I love the attention to detail!

Thank you.

Trying to decide on color for the rubbers. I think black might go the best with the color theme and contract on the red finned posts but I've never been a fan of black rubber. It reminds me of commercially operated pins. Maybe red? I think red on the red posts may be too much. Opinions?IMG_0468 (resized).JPG

#261 3 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions and input. I think I may break from the norm again on this and go away from the era specific finned posts that only come in (from what I have found) red and blue. I'm thinking of going with a modern star post. They are not an exact match in height but very close. I'm not sure on the diameter of the base though I think it may be the same. I have to dig around and see if I have a finned post laying around to compare. If I go star posts, I can go black post with red rubbers. That is the looks I'm going for. The contrast to the predominantly red playfield and the fact they will blend in with the plastics which are predominantly black backgrounds is what I'm looking for. IMG_1391 (resized).JPG

#267 3 years ago
Quoted from mof:

imo black star posts don't reflect much light and are too dark (even if they look cool with the game turned off...)

I hear what you're saying and I appreciate the feedback but man shiny black is so nice looking. I did a quick rattle can mockup and it looks really good. I only wish I had a red rubber to put on it for the full effect. As for light, FG is a pretty well light playfield and I am going led so I think light reflecting off the posts may be mitigated by those factors.

IMG_1400 (resized).JPGIMG_1401 (resized).JPGIMG_1403 (resized).JPG

#270 3 years ago

Yeah, I meant like literally at that moment. I'm trying to decide on a color before placing the order.

Quoted from eh97ac:

What font did you use for the side rails?

Not sure. I told the company that cut them to try and match the flyer font as best as they could.

#276 3 years ago

Interesting ideas on zoned color schemes. Do you have a pic mof? My only concern would be it ending up being too busy. Funny you mention the pop bodies. I want to paint them black but I'm worried about scratches or chipping. I know the pop rings don't touch the body anywhere other than the upper rim that the caps screw to. I guess I'm just wondering if there's a reason I'm not seeing as to why you don't see anyone painting them. I'm letting my test post I painted cure fully; then I plan on seeing how well it's adhered.

#278 3 years ago

Sneak peak of what I'm trying to pull together...IMG_1411 (resized).PNG

#281 3 years ago

Apron started.

IMG_1412 (resized).JPG

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Base coat:
IMG_1414 (resized).JPG

#282 3 years ago

First stencil applied:
IMG_1416 (resized).JPG

And stencil removed and weeded:

IMG_1417 (resized).JPG

#283 3 years ago

Completed. Not as perfect as I had hoped but still nice. Being so small there was zero registration so the layers had to be eyeballed. The graphics guy missed a cut out for the black insert at the second Bally "L" and I nerfed the edges on the Gordon side when pulling it up. I pulled too soon. The yellow takes double the time the reds and blacks take to setup. All in all it still looks sweet. I just wanted perfect and I'm being super picky on this one. I'm going to see if I can add in the black at the L after the fact then it will get clear coated. The blotchiness around the stencils is from the masking and will go away when clear coated.

IMG_1420 (resized).JPG

#287 3 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I'm wondering why you didn't powdercoat the apron instead of painting it.

Can't get intricate designs with powder and didn't want to apply vinyl with out clear top coat which can't be done with powder/decals.

Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Looking great Skins

Thank you.

So I cleared it. I'm going to see what kind of touch ups I can do then reclear over those. Bummer it wasn't perfect the first go around. It looks sweet other than the few blemishes bugging me.
IMG_1421 (resized).JPG

#290 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Any chance of some close-ups on those apron designs?

The finished product on the Apron? If so, I'm going to redo it. No sense in settling now. I'd never be happy with it.

In order to keep moving, I started on the dreaded socket installation. I'm using solder lugs like it has been demonstrated here on pinside in past restorations. It will facilitate lamp removal better and more importantly make soldering the common braid easier. The last early Bally I did was a m'fer to get the braid soldered to the lamp base tab. IMG_1429 (resized).JPG

#297 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

It prevents the smaller 6-32 nuts from turning and/or popping out since their teeth aren't that long. It's common on later games. The larger 8-32 T-nuts don't have/need them.


Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

For new sockets I use steel wool on the mounting tab then pre-tin them prior to putting them on the playfield. Makes thing go quite a bit faster.

That's my fall back if I don't like how things are laying out on the solder lugs.

Quoted from MustangPaul:

How about a modern chrome one?

Something along those line. Waiting to hear back

#299 3 years ago
Quoted from TaylorVA:

skins Amazing work! How did the rails fit?

Thanks man. The rails are awesome. There was one spot on the right "s" rail where I had to notch it slightly to let the upper playfield drop in correctly. Nothing major. The oak is hard stuff. I snapped two screws. Thanks for making these rails. They won't split like the soft pine the originals are made with. The last two Flash Gordon I did, the rails were destroyed from the torque the upper and lower put on the rails when sliding the playfield for service.

#300 3 years ago

Tedious work. Much to my chagrin, all the solder lugs need to be scuffed up to take solder too so now I have to remove every one I already put in place. Looks nice and clean though; checking for continuity at the base of each one of course. I like the ability to remove the lamps free of the common braid. I also got new paint mask with proper registration marks; I hope. Re painting of the Apron tomorrow. IMG_1438 (resized).JPGIMG_1439 (resized).JPG

#302 3 years ago

Let's try this again....

Here is a close up of the unacceptable stenciling. You'll see where I tried to frisket to clean up the edges. The hook of the "g" was terrible as was the registration. I also had too much material applied for such a small intricate area using an hvlp so this time around I'm spraying with an airbrush.
IMG_1440 (resized).JPG

The Bally turned out great. Shame it had to go.
IMG_1442 (resized).JPG

The pinball logo was poorly registered as well.
IMG_1441 (resized).JPG

Blasted, primed and base coat applied. Once it flashes off, the first (red) stencil will get applied. Couple fuzzies in my finish but there's zero chance I'm shooting again. It's just the downside of spraying in a dirty drafty garage. IMG_1444 (resized).JPG

#305 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Looks pretty damn nice to me. I bet Captive_Ball will be happy to trade you his apron so you can try again to make it to your liking. haha

Funny you say that. The stencil guy ran me an extra set of stencils. I think he assumed I'd screw one up again.

Red down.

IMG_1446 (resized).JPG

The true test is next when I have to register the yellow. Here's to hoping...

#307 3 years ago

Well still not perfect but way better than the first attempt. Registration is flawless. A couple letters got buggered when the solvents in the base wrinkled the edges. Also a couple scratches from my damn exact knife lifting the mask. If I was being paid to do it, I would do it again. For my personal collection, it's 95% acceptable. IMG_1452 (resized).JPGIMG_1451 (resized).JPGIMG_1449 (resized).JPGIMG_1453 (resized).JPG

#308 3 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Gonna drag you back a few posts to the discussion about the sockets for the lights. What is it about this version that is different from typical- someone mentioned removing bulb without bending it-
I looked at the pic a bit and am not seeing a huge difference even from sockets in my EM games. What am I missing- obvious? Probably--- but not seeing whats the big deal on these.
Thanks for the education- I am restoring a bally Playboy and may or may not strip it down this far. So curious what the advantage is and what the diff is- my past experience is far more extensive in EM work.... SS is new to me.

The common braid is soldered to a solder lug that's screwed under the lamp base. The lamp holder is completely free of the common braid with the removal of the screw holding it in place. It facilitates removing the lamp holder to service it if a bulb goes bad. The factory way solders the common braid directly to the lamp holder tab. You can't remove the lamp holder without removing the solder that way.

#311 3 years ago

Tedious work continues. The nice thing about using lugs is you can change directions with the common braid easily. Old playfield routing doubling back over itself and new with lugs. I still have to connect the remaining lamps of to the bottom to the string.
IMG_1458 (resized).JPGIMG_1457 (resized).JPG

I never fully understood why the original playfield had this large hole with a screw down lamp. That created the need for a jumper to the controlled side of the lamp braid. Thankfully cpr made this a smaller hole allowing for a staple down lamp and allowing the removal of the jumper wire. IMG_1456 (resized).JPGIMG_1454 (resized).JPG

The major head scratcher on the repro is why the didn't allow for the t-nut recesses the go under the saucer mech. I made the mistake last time of not correcting this in time. Not this go around. Without recessing the t-nuts, the mech can't sit and therefore screw flush to the playfield. Before after and with an old t-nut sitting loosely in the new recess. IMG_1461 (resized).JPGIMG_1462 (resized).JPGIMG_1460 (resized).JPG

#314 3 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

The large holes at the top right and bottom left were used to register the play field location during silk screening.

Very interesting. Thanks for posting that. I would love to see how it was done and how the holes were used in the process.

Still moving along. Waiting on some more leds and then the lamps will all be installed. I have been testing fitment between mechs/switches and the common braid. Here's to hoping I don't have any conflicts. Still loving the my choice on lugs versus soldering to the lamp bases. I was able to create some clean, nice lines with the braid. It also helps have two lugs where the common wire attaches to the braid.
IMG_1466 (resized).JPG

I would love to add an MP3 switch trigger to add some extra call outs and Queen music but I fear that's above my skill set.

#318 3 years ago
Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

This thread is awesome!

Thank you.

Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Very nice work on those sockets.....wait a second....only one of the two brackets connecting the upper and lower playfields is powder coated black.

LOL. Thanks for the chuckle this morning. Simple explaination. I used one bracket to stabilize the new set while I put the rails on and left the other on the old set holding them together. Before I put the one on the new one, I was doing a batch of powder so I did it then. I put the non-powdered one on to be sure the upper was lined up correctly for the ramps before they get shipped off to be plated. Once I'm ready to start powdering mechs (this weekend hopefully) I will powder the other bracket too. Most all the metal will be powdered on the bottom side.