(Topic ID: 123909)

Atari Superman restoration


By Spyridon

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 99 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Spyridon
  • Topic is favorited by 20 Pinsiders

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There are 99 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 years ago

Hello All.

I picked up an Atari Superman pinball. This will be my first jump into pinball restoration. I've done a ton of video game restores but no pinball.
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This will be a slow and long process as I'll be learning along the way and asking lots of questions.
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The good news is the game is working. The pop bumpers are all broken and will need to be fixed. The plastics are in great shape and the playfield is decent but needs some work as there are a few wear spots.
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Some sections of the score display are out as well
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Lots of rust and tarnish
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I plan to completely repaint the cab (will probably need to make my own stencils).

#2 4 years ago

I went through almost the exact same thing when I got mine about 3 months ago. Parts can be tough to come by but there are a few on here with extra parts. Best of luck and look forward to following along!

#3 4 years ago

Interested in seeing the progress as well!

#4 4 years ago

Those side rails and lockdown bar are pretty rough. Are you going to have them re-plated? Or will you get them powder coated black?

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

Those side rails and lockdown bar are pretty rough. Are you going to have them re-plated? Or will you get them powder coated black?

I've had some success with evaporust on siderails. If they're pitted, some agreesive buffing may be needed.

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

Those side rails and lockdown bar are pretty rough. Are you going to have them re-plated? Or will you get them powder coated black?

I'm not sure how best to handle them. I'm open to suggestions.

#7 4 years ago

Do you like to go balls out to make the best restoration? Considering how nice those arcade ones are?

#8 4 years ago

There is a really nice one at MPE this year !

#9 4 years ago

Or would you prefer to go to the custom route for this and make it one of a kind?

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from PinBiohazard:

Or would you prefer to go to the custom route for this and make it one of a kind?

I'm going to try and keep it original.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I've had some success with evaporust on siderails. If they're pitted, some agreesive buffing may be needed.

There is definitely some pitting. Is this something that can be buffed out?

#12 4 years ago

About to start the teardown. Stencils have been ordered.

I used my Nix scanner to scan the colors for paint matching. This is a great device that takes the guess work out of color matching. Simply place the device over the color and use your cell phone to activate the app:
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The device scans the color and gives you all the codes you need to get it mixed:

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You can create a swatch library for each project
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and even compare two different colors (handy when mixing by eye):
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#13 4 years ago
Quoted from Spyridon:

There is definitely some pitting. Is this something that can be buffed out?

It depends.

If it's not too bad and just some very shallow pitting, a buffing wheel can sometimes get it out, given enough time.

There's also re-graining, which is basically sanding down the metal, but it is very time consuming. Basically, you start with a course grit, sand in one direction, then switch to a slightly less-coarse grit, and sand in a perpendicular direction (to your original direction), then go to the next grit, and switch back to the original direction--and keep doing that all the way down to 1500 grit, and maybe finish with some buffing at the end.

#14 4 years ago

Since it is in such rough shape, I may go with powder coating. Maybe something different like red.

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from Spyridon:

I used my Nix scanner to scan the colors for paint matching. This is a great device that takes the guess work out of color matching. Simply place the device over the color and use your cell phone to activate the app

I checked that device out--neat idea. However, it's about $350

#16 4 years ago

Consider your self lucky, that the plastic light shield above the drop targets
is not broken or chipped
as most of the Superman pins i have seen, that is the case.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Consider your self lucky, that the plastic light shield above the drop targets
is not broken or chipped
as most of the Superman pins i have seen, that is the case.

PETG washers might not be a bad idea.

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from TenaciousT:

There is a really nice one at MPE this year !

Not the one with the vinyl sticker applied over the mylar in front of the slingshots, I hope.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I checked that device out--neat idea. However, it's about $350

I got in on their kickstarter and got it much cheaper. Price has gone up significantly since then.

#20 4 years ago

The tear down has begun.
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You can actually see what color it is supposed to be
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Just getting started and already a ton of parts
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Here is where we finished up for the night
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I'm making a list of broken parts that I need to order. Hopefully most of this stuff isn't Atari specific and I can find replacements.

Anyone know where to get these two sided ball guides?
EDIT: Looks like these are pretty standard and not Atari specific so I can get replacements.
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#21 4 years ago

That white has seen better days
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#22 4 years ago
Quoted from Spyridon:

Anyone know where to get these two sided ball guides?
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Ok, it looks like the ball guides are pretty standard and new ones are available. Some are cracked but I may order all new ones to be consistent.

#23 4 years ago

More tear down today.
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The pop bumper caps cleaned up nicely
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And the first batch of parts into the tumbler with some Flitz
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Now a few questions.

What's the best way to remove these metal posts? They aren't screwed in. Do I just pry them out and then hammer them back in place?
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Next question. I removed the wood rails on the top and sides of the playfield. How do I reattach them?
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#24 4 years ago

Rock them back and forth until the hole elongates a little

Put an old credit card to protect the playfield, and gently lift with a mini pry bar.

Be very careful if Atari games have a little barb at the end of the wires - I can't remember if they do or not.

#25 4 years ago

For the wood side rails, I predrilled holes and screwed them back on once I refinished them. Be careful though, if you have any warp to your playfield, straighten it first before you drill and screw them back on.

#26 4 years ago

Would you be able to share the colour codes for the cabinet colours please? I have a Superman that I wouldn't mind re-stencilling at some stage.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from Pintoxicated:

Would you be able to share the colour codes for the cabinet colours please? I have a Superman that I wouldn't mind re-stencilling at some stage.

Sure, when I remove the coin door I should be able to get a good scan of the original blue. I'll post the codes when I have them.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Rock them back and forth until the hole elongates a little
Put an old credit card to protect the playfield, and gently lift with a mini pry bar.
Be very careful if Atari games have a little barb at the end of the wires - I can't remember if they do or not.

That worked and they actually came out quite easily. Hopefully they go back in with no problems.

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#29 4 years ago

Progress today. Got the playfield fully stripped.

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Now we can get a good look at what's ahead of me...
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#30 4 years ago

The pop bumpers are in pretty bad shape. Hopefully these aren't Atari specific as I will need a bunch of parts.
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#31 4 years ago

I was hoping to avoid it, but I think I will need to remove every lamp socket. They are just too tarnished to leave as is (that will be a lot of solder points to deal with)

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#32 4 years ago

Can you post the rest of the colors for superman?

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballrepair80:

Can you post the rest of the colors for superman?

Yes, as soon as I get the coin door off, I'll have a good spot to capture the blue. I'll post the codes when I have them.

#34 4 years ago

Hi Spyridon, apologies if you've seen this already, but you might check out the Silhouette Cameo Club thread on here (disclaimer, I started it and have been actively trying to share this process).

Your pop bumper rings and the keylines around your inserts look like they would be ideal candidates for a process I've used recently to paint these. If you'd like me to send you a sheet of masks for painting these, just PM me. I'd need you to measure the circles with a caliper and I'd need you to scan the arrow-shaped inserts and any other shapes. Process looks great finished. Perfect lines every time.

Dan

#35 4 years ago

Thanks Dan, I hadn't seen that thread but the Silhouette was one of the ways I was thinking about doing the playfield restore. I was reading the Playboy restore on it. I'll check out your thread in detail.

#36 4 years ago

I wanted to scan the entire playfield before I took the magic erasure to it in case I dug into the paint. At least this way I'll have a copy of what was there. I'll also use the scans to create some waterslide decals and possible some stencils.

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#37 4 years ago

Just a quick rendering:
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#38 4 years ago

I've seen restoration projects on here before but never of one of my machines. All of a sudden, my Superman is feeling neglected and the work hasn't even really started yet. Thank you for sharing the process along the way!

#39 4 years ago

Cool, as far as the circles you can just send me the quantity of each and the outside diameter and the thickness of the stroke. The arrows are trickier, so will probably need your scan of that middle area. As long as that scan also includes a circle of a known diameter I should have what I need for maintaining scale. I normally put a metal ruler on my playfield when I scan, which helps me keep my bearings.

My "Fixin' A Player" Black Knight thread details the process a bit better than I can describe it in words.

Dan

#40 4 years ago

This is going to be a cool. Thread. Thanks and keep on keepin on!

#41 4 years ago
Quoted from Spyridon:

I wanted to scan the entire playfield before I took the magic erasure to it in case I dug into the paint. At least this way I'll have a copy of what was there. I'll also use the scans to create some waterslide decals and possible some stencils.
IMG_0988.JPG (Click image to enlarge)
2015-04-21-0002.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

With scanning, I've gotten better results when the room is dark. The colors end up being more consistent and less washed out. Also give yourself about 2" of overlap on each edge for each scan. It takes more time to scan, but software has an easier time merging the individual scans with enough reference point clues in each image.

In your merged image, take a look at the pop bumper areas--it looks like things didn't merge quite right.

#42 4 years ago

Got the cab torn down today. Here are the codes for the red and blue on the cabinet.
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#43 4 years ago

Cab is now ready for sanding.
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Lots of cleanup needed on the inside
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Here you can see the amount of discoloration this cab has gone through
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#44 4 years ago

Wow! I cant wait to see how this comes along.

#45 4 years ago

Nice work so far!! Keeping my eye on this one

#46 4 years ago

Time to break out the newest editions to my workshop:

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#47 4 years ago

Ive seen these and heard of the brand. Is that just a huge vac that attaches to your sander??

#48 4 years ago

For those that are interested, the font used on the playfield is 'Harry'
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#49 4 years ago

What kind of HP scanner is that? I gotta get one of those!!

#50 4 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

What kind of HP scanner is that? I gotta get one of those!!

HP 4670. It's been discontinued, and there are no other new ones like it the last time I checked. I got mine from ebay a while back.

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There are 99 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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