Let’s start out by clearing the air on the word “restoration”. There are many threads here discussing the various meanings of the term. I do not subscribe to one definition as it relates to pinball. I use it as a fluid term to describe massively significant improvement resulting from an equally massive effort. Here’s the official definition that comes up if you google the word:
the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.
"the restoration of Andrew's sight"
synonyms: repair, repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, overhaul, redevelopment, renovation
I do not subscribe to the opinion that to qualify as a restoration that a machine must present the illusion that it was never touched by time. To me, a pinball restoration is an act of bringing a machine back to a level of operational quality and visual beauty far above and beyond what the game was before the project started.
This particular “restoration” is going to be a process which is a lot deeper than a thorough shop job but it’s not going to be a HEP Comet either. I figure, there are LOTS of worn out Comets in the world and most folks can’t afford 10k for a restored Comet. I hope this project makes the pinball world a teency tiny bit better for having a mechanically solid, fast-playing, good-looking Comet out there where before there was a worn out, inoperative hunk of almost junk.
This game came to me as part of a group of derelict machines. It did not work and was heavily worn. Comet is a wonderful game, but it is not quite my cup of tea. I do not plan on keeping it. I will play it a bit after I am done, mostly to make sure that everything is working really well and dialed in. Then I will put it on the market, so it can go to someone who really digs Comet.
My goal is to make the playfield MUCH better than how I found it. I’m not trying to recreate a NOS playfield, just make a really good-looking example of Comet without using an overlay. I’ve only done a couple other machines and they were much simpler designs. Honestly, I am mostly interested in the challenge of seeing if I can pull off making the majority of the planking disappear. This means repainting ALL of the gray fields surrounding the hundreds of tiny little figures as well as all of the significant white fields. I’ll repaint some other stuff, too.
I know, crazy for a machine that I don’t plan to keep. But hey – how else am I going to learn except by doing?
So here we go! I am hoping that folks will chime in with ideas, tips and suggestions for how to do things better if they see room for improvement or glaring mistakes.
Oh yeah – the beginning of this thread is not in real time. I’m playing catch up as I’ve been documenting with the camera but haven’t had time to write and post until now. We’ll be in real time soon enough.
Here are a few pictures from teardown that give a general idea of the initial condition of the playfield.