At home, I am working on "restoring" my Grand Lizard. One of my favorites.
When I got it, the machine played pretty well and had mostly just some cosmetic wear on the playfield, along with some broken targets and things like that. A few gameplay issues and minor electrical fixes, but nothing major mechanically.
What it needed most was a super deep clean and tune-up. As I was tearing everything down, I realized that the damage was really only all cosmetic. And in some cases, the damage to the cabinet and playfield looked kinda cool. I would feel a little bad putting a hard top on the playfield, or doing a full re-paint of the cabinet. Overkill for a machine that was in good shape.
What I decided on was to take steps to make sure the gameplay was fine-tuned and rocking and rolling 100% fast and smooth, and preserve the aesthetics of the worn machine while cleaning it up and making sure it is solid and ready for another 36 years.
So began the Battle-Damaged, Rat Rod, Sleeper pinball of my dreams.
Ron Kruzman was kind enough to accept my playfield and give it his beautiful clear coat without doing any restoration (aside from fixing some inserts). I honestly was super excited to see the results. All the worn spots look even better with a smooth, glassy surface. The pictures don't really do it justice.
Current playfield status: in progress...
As far as the cabinet goes, the exterior paint was mostly in decent shape. There was some damage around the legs and on the corners of the cab and backbox, so I decided to repair those, make sure everything was tight and smooth, and leave the sanded-away areas alone after the fact. Then clear coat it. I am experimenting with the clear coat, brushing on a floor-grade polyurethane that is technically clear but has just the slightest hint of amber to it after a few coats. Kind of perfect for a machine that I want to look old and yellowed, but will surprise people when they see it is smooth to the touch and evenly finished.
Added a few bits of black paint back into it here and there for effect, but so far I like the way it is coming along...
Look at these brutal drips on the inside of the back! Looks super evil. Maybe I will add more...Hmmm...
I look forward to seeing where this thing goes, and very excited to finally get some gameplay on it once it is all back together. It is going to be fast and wicked.