(Topic ID: 206069)

Another Time Fantasy screaming for attention

By g94

2 years ago

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  • 258 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by g94
  • Topic is favorited by 26 Pinsiders


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There are 258 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
#1 2 years ago

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I found this game last year in The Netherlands. After a very, very long search. They don't come by very often, here in Europe.

The previous owner had bought it in Italy as a restore project. He kept it in storage for a few years, left it untouched, and finally decided to pass it on. Head and body were in two different locations, about 100 km apart. "But everything is there", he said. He lied...

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Amazing that operators used such a game to harvest parts. They really must have considered it worthless. All boards, except the power supply board, are missing, and that only remaining board misses all capacitors. There are no displays either. And some generic parts under the playfield are gone too.

First job was to get the game back on its legs. Well: not its actual legs, because these were missing too. Nobody knows how long head and body have been separated. I reckon the parts moved to storage pretty soon. But finally, after 30-ish years, they're reunited.

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Before tearing the game apart again, I want the power supply to be working properly. First problem: this appears to be an old Italian Type L power plug. We use Type E in Belgium. And shops are closed right now, that's my second problem...

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A few weeks ago, I attended a conference from Barry Oursler at DPO expo. He said that, back in 1983, it took them only a few weeks to make the game. I already know that it will take me a little longer to get it back in good shape. But I'm eager to get it going...

#2 2 years ago

Nice find that's a great game.

#4 2 years ago

looks to be in good shape, I guess I would rather find boards than fixing a roached playfield!

#5 2 years ago

This reminds me of some kinda sad story. In 1989 or 1990 I was there when the well-known german distributor 'Alpha-Electronic' got a large number of foreign machines, they came from Italy, France and Switzerland all in one package. I remember it well, there were two Time Fantasy 4-Players included, at least one of them had an empty top, both of them had this kind of power-plug and a twin-chute front-door.
I tried to get them both but Mr Frey, the owner of Alpha-Electronic, told me they are already reserved. Years later both of them still were in storage there but not to sell.
Maybe in 1999 or so Mr Frey sold ca 150 to 200 Pinball-Machines to a german collector named Kersting, as far as I know he left the hobby, sold everything and many games were parted-out. Mr Frey told me that those 2 Time Fantasy were included then. Hopefully they still are alive and maybe yours is one of them. That german collector lived not too far away from the Netherlands as far as I know.

#6 2 years ago

I love seeing games get a second life

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from Mardi-Gras-Man:

This reminds me of some kinda sad story. (...) maybe yours is one of them. That german collector lived not too far away from the Netherlands as far as I know.

I always wonder how many of these games are still around after 30 years. Perhaps some are still hidden (and maybe forgotten) somewhere in a barn, basement or depot. Who knows...

About my game's history I wrote all I know. I'd be surprised that the game got back to Italy from Germany but all is possible of course. Giving it more thought it might have had a short second life: there has been an attempt to "repair" the head from the typical water damage due to long storage.

Quoted from seshpilot:

I love seeing games get a second life

Totally! I will try to give it the best second life I can

#8 2 years ago

I agree absolutely
And for example me alone I know at least 3 people with very large collections who haven't the least interest in making an official list of their machines, one has lots of fear that his wife will learn about it, next one is terrified by the thought that other collectors will ask him for schematics and score-cards, and another one just doesn't care about 'our' community which I think is rather sad.

#9 2 years ago

Neat Find. I'm fortunate to have one. Mine came with a shorted out Transformer, but I ended up killing of a hacked up Hyperball to bring it back to life!

Yours looks like in really nice shape!

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from smileymatthew:

Yours looks like in really nice shape!

It truly is at first sight. But on closer look the wood has quite a few issues. The back of both cabinet and head are swollen and flaking. The back of the head has been nailed in place. A part of the neck has been chopped off. All cabinet corners are loose and splitting...

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To be honest my initial plan was to sacrifice another game for a better cabinet.

But then I found this little label in the back of the cabinet, hidden underneath the transformer panel. It changed my mind. I feel like I owe it to this game to at least give it a try to repair it. Out of respect perhaps. I will only replace it if I fail.

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#11 2 years ago

As said earlier the game came without any board except for the power supply board (with didn't have any capacitor).

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I plugged in a board set from another game to make sure that at least all wires are there. Luckily that is the case, except for some GI wires near a remote fuse.

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That is not really a concern, because I plan on updating the power supply anyway to end up with something along the lines of this configuration.

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In the meanwhile the power supply board has all new capacitors and new Molex connectors.
I've also managed to collect a decent set of boards. They need new connectors as well, and will get Vid's bulletproof treatment.

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But to be honest: right now I'm a little bored with boards. I'll deal with these later and will switch to the playfield first. Much more fun

#12 2 years ago

Playfield teardown has started. Finally I'm making some progress.

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Overall the playfield art is really good. There is no significant ball damage. The playfield is completely covered with mylar, presumably since day 1 from the factory.

Nonetheless there are a few challenges ahead: on several places there appear to be small cracks filled with dirt. At this point I don't know yet whether these cracks are limited to the mylar only (I hope so), or if the playfield itself is cracked as well. I made a few photos from an angle which show the cracks in the reflection.

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These cracks might make removing the mylar even more of a challenge than it usually is. And I have zero experience with Williams playfields from that era. According to Vids guide the heating method works best.

More ideas/tips?

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Mardi-Gras-Man:

one has lots of fear that his wife will learn about it

.....what? he hides his collection in some other house then? Geez, talk about being a doormat. LOL

Quoted from Mardi-Gras-Man:

next one is terrified by the thought that other collectors will ask him for schematics and score-cards

Why would other collectors ask him for that? you can find them on the net, make your own (scorecards) or ask here on Pinside. I know alot of peoplehere in Sweden who are collectors and ive never heard of them begging for schematics like that LOL

Nice to see these odd ball games get some deserved love in Europe aswell, usually people get them working but thats it, pretty much, not alot of people do water damage fixes or even repaint stuff.

#14 2 years ago

That Mylar removal task is either going to be a total crap show or its all going to come right up! Good luck and have fun-

This should be a great thread to watch and see the progression. I hope you will not loose too much art- but I think it will probably come out really nice either way! This is not a game I knew much about and it looks cool- excellent choice!

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

That Mylar removal task is either going to be a total crap show or its all going to come right up! Good luck and have fun

Thank you - I put all my money on the second option . At least I hope not to damage any paint in these yellow/mustard mushrooms. I know I can airbrush them, but I would then loose the dithering.

Anyway: I'll know soon enough... bottom side teardown has started. There are only 6 coils: 2 slings, 3 jets and the outhole kicker (and 2 flippers of course, one missing though). "Management had asked for the cheapest game production possible", according to Barry Oursler.

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Interesting to see that Williams already had 3 separate wire harnesses on these games. Also I hardly need to label any cut wire: the manual clearly indicates the lamp and switch locations, and associated wire colour coding (I'm making lots of photos though, just to make sure).

Two harnesses done, only lamps remaining.

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#16 2 years ago

And third wire harness down!

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Seems like the game was initially intended for the French market, and traveled to Italy later on.

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#17 2 years ago

Wow, what a great find and thank you for 1) restoring such a rare machine. And 2) documenting the restore!

#18 2 years ago

+1 and following.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

And 2) documenting the restore!

Thanks and the pleasure is all mine . I was really eager to finally start restoring this one...

Last bits and pieces to be removed from the playfield. Ground braid and GI are gone.

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Not my favourite job to remove these guides...

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#20 2 years ago

The unavoidable removing-the-mylar-job is upon me.

The playfield appeared more dirty than I thought. As a backup for the worst case scenario I scanned the whole playfield.

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This should be sufficient detail to recreate damaged artwork. I hope I won't need it...

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#21 2 years ago

I took a deep breath. And another one.
Then I cut a small strip from the mylar in the black area on top and hit it with the heat gun. It seemed to come off nicely.

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Did a few more test strips and all got loose nicely without destroying any paint.

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#23 2 years ago

I kept proceeding with approach: cutting small strips in the black areas in between the coloured artwork and removing them gently. It is a slow job, but without damage so far...

Then I couldn't resist any longer and tried removing the mylar from a cracked area. As said it is not clear whether the cracks are limited to the mylar or if the wood is cracked as well.

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Mylar removed using the heatgun. Some small pieces of Mylar and dirt still stuck to the playfield.

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Then soaked it for a few seconds with Seal & Bond Remover.

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All Mylar and glue gone (apart from some little glue residue remaining).
The most important news though is that the playfield is good: the cracks are limited to the Mylar only!!! I'm very happy today

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#24 2 years ago

(well actually I will be even happier when all Mylar will be gone). But so far so good. Touching wood. Literally

#25 2 years ago

I like threads like this because I'll get pumped up and end up tearing one of my own machines apart to restore it.

#26 2 years ago

I would definitely recommend the small-strips-approach: it's easier to heat and pull than a full size piece of mylar.

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Strangely enough heating didn't work well for the thicker jet bumper mylar. But then freeze spray method worked like a charm.

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The Mylar in the cracked areas breaks into small pieces. It's a slow and delicate process but the result is beyond expectation. Before-after:

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Pfew. I'm half way. All mylar above the rainbow is gone. Not the glue though.

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Enough fun for today

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#28 2 years ago
Quoted from g94:

But then freeze spray method worked like a charm.

I was going to inquire about the freeze technique and why you werent using it.
Glad to see all is going smooth!

#29 2 years ago

I did a little test with freeze spray first but that didn't work well. I had read in Vids guide that heating method works best. Well: I can confirm that now
Except for the thicker Mylar round the jets.

#30 2 years ago

I have to vouch for the dry ice technique. Same process as freeze spray but less stinky and better value. I used it on system 11 games and even the pop bumper rings on early bally. In the end, as long as the art is safe and your comfortable with what you use, roll with it.

#31 2 years ago

I dont envy your fingers- what a hot sticky mess that must have been. Excellent job- I am very happy to be working on mechs this evening and not pulling mylar!

Looking really excellent underneath it all!

#32 2 years ago

The Mylar truly added a dull yellow filter to the artwork. What a difference. The actual colours are much more vibrant.

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#33 2 years ago

Pfew! All Mylar is gone. The cracked area near the large snail took ages. Overall the damage to the artwork is limited. Truly beyond my wildest hope and expectations.

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There's a few chips that came off when removing the Mylar in the cracked areas. But the major damage was already visible with the Mylar on (the rainbow, the Time lane, ... ). I don't expect too much trouble in fixing this with airbrush.

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Here are two spots that worry me more because of the mustard dithering nearby.

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#34 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

I dont envy your fingers- what a hot sticky mess that must have been.

Haha. Actually I used rather low heat, no worries. Fingers are still there...

Will clean and lightly sand the playfield next.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from g94:

two spots that worry me more because of the mustard dithering nearby.

Hmmm, eager to see how you will address that. But I have confidence in you!

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from g94:

Here are two spots that worry me more because of the mustard dithering nearby.


#37 2 years ago

Yes, I've been considering this. But then the damaged areas are rather small and I'd prefer not to repaint the whole mushroom just for these. Hence the cost of having custom coloured rub-on transfers made (and shipping them to Europe) cannot be justified for this limited use.

#38 2 years ago

I've removed all glue residue. A combination of Innotec Seal & Bond Remover, HG Decal Remover and flour seemed to work best.

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Next I lightly sanded the playfield. No worries: a very quick pass over the existing varnish, just to roughen the surface.

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I've seen quite a few damaged Time Fantasy playfields, sometimes even with large blank wooden areas. So I am very happy with how my playfield sits at this point. This truly exceeds my best envisioned scenario.

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I will already address these little spots in the dithered areas prior to clearcoating the playfield for the first time. Just to avoid little shadows that can occur under touch-ups due to the layer of clearcoat.

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#39 2 years ago

No luck today

As said there are a few bits of paint that came off where the Mylar was cracked. My plan was to touch-up the little spots in the blue dithered gradient along the large snail, prior to clearcoating the playfield.

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Mixing the right colour went surprisingly well: see the painted test in the lower left corner.

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But even with the colour being spot on (and knowing that there is no pale blue yet in the touched up spots) the result is not as I had hoped. The recessed relief casts little shadows. I tried to fill the relief with a few layers of paint, but that doesn't really work. The repairs remain visible.

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Oh well. It was worth the try. I'll have the playfield cleared first and will do a new attempt once it's level.

#40 2 years ago

Glad to see that my Time Fantasy has arrived to you!!! Yes, I'm the italian guy who sold few years ago this beautiful pinball to a belgian pinhead.
For what I see the pinball remained the same "hand by hand".
Just for your info, it was july 2015 when I saw an ads that shown this machine very close to me, approx 15 minutes by car A few hours after, I was negotiating with a Croatian old man that bought it in the '90s from an arcade room located in Jesolo (Venice).
At first sight it was terrible because the pin was located on a terrace on the fourth floor of its big house, completely exposed to the bad weather (here's way the cabinet is not good and the backglass is flaking). The boards were already missing because he told me that he had given them to a man for fixing.
So, once the price has been agreed, I brought it down alone from the terrace to my car terrible under the sun and the 30 degrees Celsius.
My project was simply similar to your... give a second chance to this Holy Grail. But honestly it would have requested so much time and money to be brought to life... no boards, no display. And it also remembered too much my ex-girlfriend! So i decided to sold it to the belgian collector which then gave it to you (I'm courious about the price ).
This is the last time that I saw the happy snails!!! Ready for the trip... but now I'm happy to see them in very good hands! Nice job man... you gave back life not only to the pinball machine, but also to a piece of me!!!

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#41 2 years ago

Wow, thanks for jumping in and sharing this story!

So the game's known history so far would then be: Williams factory >> somewhere in France >> .?. >> Arcade Room Jesolo - Italy >> Croatian old man >> You >> Previous owner - Netherlands >> Me - Belgium. That is quite a journey for an old game...

#42 2 years ago

The least I could do!!! But promise me that if I will pass near to you, we will challenge!!! Beer to who wins
Congrats again! I'll surely follow your updates!!!

#43 2 years ago

Hehe, I'll try not to disappoint you

The playfield is gone for a first layer of clearcoat.
No idea when I'll have it back: the guy is out, at least for the week, they told me he's got the flu

The speaker panel for sure has had better days. The front cover is bended and heavily scratched, the blue painting on the grille is almost completely gone, ... it looks really bad.

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But then I think it was a quick and dirty job from day 1: the center part has two overlapping grilles. And they didn't really take the job of removing the HB (Hyperball) logo at heart: you can clearly see where it's been cut away. The back has a 3rd grille, the cutout is, ... oh well...

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I checked with the guys who lasercut my clear plastics, and they have a few sheets of this glossy plastic material in their stash. That is great news because it means that we can truthfully reproduce the front cover! Removing those threaded nails didn't always succeed without damage but eventually the plastic was loose and I could scan it.

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Next I stitched together these scans in Photoshop and redrew the front cover in Illustrator.

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Such a sheet of metallic plastic material is big enough to make 3 front covers. If anybody would want one (it suits for Williams Defender as well), just send me a PM. Not sure yet what the price will be, but they roughly estimated it will be about 80€ for 3 covers.

#44 2 years ago

On a closer look the speaker appears broken...

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#45 2 years ago

The postman made me happy today

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#46 2 years ago

Wow, good luck! I'm rooting for ya!

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from g94:

No luck today
As said there are a few bits of paint that came off where the Mylar was cracked. My plan was to touch-up the little spots in the blue dithered gradient along the large snail, prior to clearcoating the playfield.

Never. Always clear first before you touch any paint. You need a level surface to start touchups. I'm rooting for you too!

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

Never. Always clear first before you touch any paint. You need a level surface to start touchups.

Yes that's my usual process. But even the slightest layer of clear can cast tiny shadows, and I wanted to try to avoid these in the blue dithered area. I think I've seen Neo do touch-ups prior to clearcoating in his recent playfield resto topic. So why not give it a try I thought...

Quoted from KDPinball:

Wow, good luck! I'm rooting for ya!

Quoted from snyper2099:

I'm rooting for you too!

Thanks guys!

#49 2 years ago

With the playfield out of the way I proceeded with the speaker panel. As said it was pretty beaten up, but also poorly built in the first place. For instance they used way too thick (and too long) nails to nail down the grille and front cover. I consider using siderail nails instead. I lightly sanded the panel and filled all these nail holes with epoxy filler. I'll sand the panel again tomorrow prior to primer and repaint.

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More cabinet work.

Obviously there exists no stencil kit for Time Fantasy. So I have started creating a stencil kit myself.
Not sure if there's a standard procedure described somewhere here on Pinside, here's my procedure: first I printed registration marks on A4 sheets of tracing paper. Next I aligned these on the cabinet and traced the artwork with a pencil.

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Next I scanned these A4 tracing paper sheets (they fit the document feeder, so that is quick and easy) and opened the scans in Photoshop. Thanks to the cropmarks it was really easy to stitch the parts together and to recreate the complete artwork. Next I will redraw the artwork as vectors in Illustrator.

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And now I'm in doubt.

In my recent Eight Ball Deluxe resto I took the liberty to slightly deviate in certain areas from the original design: I slightly modified the cabinet art to my liking, changed cabinet colours, target design, ... not much but still.

For this game I want to stick as close to original as possible. That being said I feel like it doesn't make sense, for purist sake, to meticulously reproduce any result of oldskool tools, or quick-and-dirty manufacturing.

I notice inconsistencies in the artwork (slightly different line thickness, some lines slightly out of angle...). Obviously the designers didn't have the modern design software that I have. I reckon they didn't even had a computer in the first place... So I'm debating whether I should imitate these inconsistencies, or should I rather correct them.

Presumably nobody will ever notice. Nonetheless, a tough one...

#50 2 years ago

Holy Crap, Batman! I need a set of Time Fantasy stencils.

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