(Topic ID: 124805)

Congo full restoration/customization - Above and beyond!


By Gov

4 years ago



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  • 172 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Gov
  • Topic is favorited by 36 Pinsiders

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There are 172 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
10
#1 4 years ago

When I picked up this Congo, I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to do with it. I hadn't actually had a lot of time on the game, but I really like Trudeau's games and my friend Tommy (Tsskinne) was a huge fan of it so when a decent deal on one popped up on CL I went for it.

The game was roughly 95% working, with a few switches here and there that were dead or broken, but other than that it actually played great. It was however FILTHY. This game was bought by an individual from an operator roughly 10 years ago and the owner said he had put roughly 100 games on it in 10 years. He said it was that dirty when he bought it from the operator......which I guess isn't surprising. If the game had ever been cleaned since new I would be surprised but you never know. All of the ramps were in good shape with the exception of the top of the Volcano ramp being broken a bit. This should be fixable though with some fiberglass and a paintjob. Some broken plastics in the usual places. The lower playfield window was broken on a few of the tabs, but it still holds in just fine and is actually pretty clear. The reason it was so clear is that it had a piece of mylar over it, which came off without leaving any glue residue....bonus! The gorilla mech had a busted weld like a lot of them do. That has been welded back and fixed so the gorilla works as it should. Here are a few shots of the game as I picked it up and got it going.

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I spent roughly 3 weeks playing the game in its dirty state and really grew to enjoy it. It isn't a very deep game, but the shots are really satisfying and it has some great audio. Seems like a keeper for the time being anyways. The cabinet is in solid shape but has the usual fade, but isn't faded all of the way to white.

At this point it was my intent to just get it cleaned up and put it on location at a local boardgame store I have some of my games at. However, the more I began to think about it and also began to see how many repro parts were available for the game I thought it would be fun to do a full restoration on the game. It really is a pretty game and I had some ideas for some customizations that would look great as well. So, full restore it is. Here is a current to-do list on the game. I will be updating this thread as I make progress.

-Playfield- very little wear, mainly on the shooter lane. This will be fixed and the playfield will be clear coated.
-Ramps- In good shape, but I went ahead and bought the repro ones while they were still available.
-Plastics- A few broken ones here and there. New plastic set purchased, along with Swinks protector and sling protectors
-Cabinet- faded but solid. I actually acquired a structurally nice No Good Gofers cabinet from my brother that I will be restoring and converting to a Congo cabinet. My current Congo cabinet will be converted to another game I have in the waiting. The NGG is the nicer of the two cabs so I wanted to use it on this project as I am going for as high end of a restore as I can muster. Decals have been purchased and are currently lying flat under a piece of glass awaiting install.
-Armor- All armor and other metal pieces such as support rails, coin door, shooter, etc will be getting gloss black powdercoat.
-All coils underneath the playfield have been converted to Molex connections for easy swapping out and also easy reassembly once the playfield is clear coated and cured.
-Lighting will be converted over to LED's using the Comet Sunlight LED's to give it a bright but natural look.-
-Red LED DMD installed with red filter-

As you can see I have my work cut out for me, but I am a teacher so I hope to use a lot of my summer break to work on this. I am going to make this as nice as I can possibly make it and we will see how it turns out. I know this will make some of you cringe, but when it is done it will be going on location for all to enjoy Also I plan on bringing it to TPF 2016. Should be fun Here are a couple of pictures attached of the progress so far, but I will provide a link to my dropbox folder I will be putting all of the pictures in. Enjoy.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zecpvkw1mjwx0kh/AAAP3k0UrVz0a5fREH5Z3oPfa?dl=0

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#2 4 years ago

That's gonna be a real beauty when your done. I LOVE these kinds of threads.

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

That's gonna be a real beauty when your done

I sure hope so Thanks.

#4 4 years ago

It will, this is the first Congo I've seen done. I'll be following.

#5 4 years ago

It's going to make my Congo jealous.

#6 4 years ago

looking forward to the finished product! looks good.

#7 4 years ago

following!

#8 4 years ago

Just added to my favorites and I love my Congo.

#9 4 years ago

Can't wait to see the progress.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Also I plan on bringing it to TPF 2016.

Well...guess it's time to sell mine then...

Where the heck are you going to get cabinet art?

If you played mine in the tourney area, it had sunlight LEDs in the GI.

#11 4 years ago

i always been curious about this game, never played one, there's none around here.
Curious to see how it's gonna turn out with the customization.

#12 4 years ago

I know cabinet art is available from Germany

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Well...guess it's time to sell mine then...
Where the heck are you going to get cabinet art?
If you played mine in the tourney area, it had sunlight LEDs in the GI.

I didn't play in the tourney this year so I was unable to look at it. Heard it was nice though

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

I didn't play in the tourney this year so I was unable to look at it. Heard it was nice though

Apparently the flippers are set wrong...that's the only thing I heard about it really. Wish we could've had the topper connected...looks freakin' awesome lit up.

#15 4 years ago

Finished stripping the head this evening. Did I mention I love my Festool sander?

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1 week later
#16 4 years ago

Finally had some time to get a bit more done this weekend. I got the playfield stripped and sort of cleaned. It was a dirty thing, that is for sure. I have a bit of repair to do on the kickout holes, but other than that the playfield is in fine shape. I will polish it really good to try and get rid of the ball trails and then scuff it up and get it ready for clear. I am also going to sand the bottom of the playfield and put polyurethane on it.

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#17 4 years ago

How do you remember where everything goes?

I take pictures if I remove 3 screws.

#18 4 years ago

Man that's a dirty girl for sure. How many mylar pieces are on it? Hope they come off clean for you. Oh and what are those holes on the top and sides of the bb for?

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from gliebig:

How do you remember where everything goes?
I take pictures if I remove 3 screws.

Don't worry your memory will get better the longer your in the hobby. But for this kind of resto 100's of pictures are required....unless your REAL good.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Don't worry your memory will get better the longer your in the hobby. But for this kind of resto 100's of pictures are required....unless your REAL good.

Ya it's not really that bad at all after you have done a few games. I do take a lot of pictures and everything has a label attached to it.

Quoted from MustangPaul:

Oh and what are those holes on the top and sides of the bb for?

Those are for the carriage bolts that attach to the metal corner brackets on the inside.

#22 4 years ago

I really love the molex idea. I am in the middle of doing my Johnny. I'm not calling it a restore but I am replacing A LOT on it. Let's say a light restore. Anyways, following this thread! Good luck!

2 weeks later
#23 4 years ago

any updates?

#24 4 years ago

Not much lately. I am a teacher and the end of the school year is always hectic Plus I have had to work on my car lately. The cab is completely stripped and I just have a bit more sanding on the inside to do. The playfield is stripped, top and bottom just waiting for sanding and poly on the bottom and clear on top. I hope to get some more time to work on it soon.

3 weeks later
#25 4 years ago

Ok, back at it. I will be posting more in the coming days hopefully. I finally got the playfield ready and prepped for its first coat of clear. I still need to fix the damage on the kickout holes, but that should go quickly. I spent a few hours really going over the playfield with 0000 steel wool to flatten it out and give the clear a good surface to stick too. I have also been polishing and rebuilding all of the mechs. I will get pictures of those up soon.

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#26 4 years ago

The art looks to be in great shape.

#27 4 years ago

Ya, only wear was in the shooter lane and kick out holes. Easily fixed. Game had a good coat of clear on it initially so it held up well.

1 month later
#28 4 years ago

I just joined the Congo club, I'll be doing this same project in a few months, hopefully before it gets cold.

I really like some of your ideas, the labeling and wire brush. Nice!

Fiberglass tape and 2 part plastic epoxy will fix your volcano right up, I bet your a pro at this, so nothing you don't already know

1 week later
#29 4 years ago

Thanks

I noticed I haven't updated in a while. The repair work on the playfield started a while back. We began by fixing the shooter lane and kickoff holes. Unfortunately when we were masking off the area around the mystery hole the tape pulled up part of the mystery insert.........WHHHYYYYYYY!!!!!!

Luckily it was a pretty easy fix. We also painted a lot of the wood areas to cover up the damage and repairs. The color was insanely hard to match but it turned out pretty good IMO. Once it is all put together you don't see 90% of it anyways. In between messing up the decal/painting and such, the playfield has gotten two coats of clear. I am hoping that is all it will need, but time will tell. I will let it cure for a couple of weeks before we block and polish. Fingers crossed.

The cabinet is ready to prime and paint as well, so hopefully that will happen soon.

We also cleared a few more playfields while we were at it.

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#30 4 years ago

The last picture is of the fixed insert and the last coat of clear.

#31 4 years ago

Great repair on the insert. Look forward to seeing the final product.

#32 4 years ago

So? Can you please give some tips as to the formula / colors / approximate amounts of each you used to match the wood color? I am having a horrible time trying to match the wood!

#33 4 years ago

Short answer.....no. I have no idea what the formula was. My mother (who is an artist) and I sat and slowly mixed paint for over half an hour before we came to the color we did. Even then it wasn't perfect. It is definitely an inexact science at this point for us. I would love, love, love to know the secret formula that Chris Hutchins or HSA uses.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Short answer.....no. I have no idea what the formula was. My mother (who is an artist) and I sat and slowly mixed paint for over half an hour before we came to the color we did. Even then it wasn't perfect. It is definitely an inexact science at this point for us. I would love, love, love to know the secret formula that Chris Hutchins or HSA uses.

Did you try bringing the pf to a paint store and have them match it?

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Did you try bringing the pf to a paint store and have them match it?

Nope We are just using airbrush paints.

3 months later
#36 3 years ago

Finally some progress made again on Congo. We are getting some other things out of the way so we can focus on this pin. I am really excited to make some progress towards getting it back together.

We blocked the playfield to find any low spots and to get a start on fixing a few issues with the clear. As you can see we have some problems around the Amy targets and some other low spots on the edges of the inserts. We are going to use an eye dropper with clear to fill those, then block again and hopefully apply a final coat of clear. Fingers crossed.

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#37 3 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

Finally some progress made again on Congo. We are getting some other things out of the way so we can focus on this pin. I am really excited to make some progress towards getting it back together.
We blocked the playfield to find any low spots and to get a start on fixing a few issues with the clear. As you can see we have some problems around the Amy targets and some other low spots on the edges of the inserts. We are going to use an eye dropper with clear to fill those, then block again and hopefully apply a final coat of clear. Fingers crossed.

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Damn fine work.

#38 3 years ago

Definitely, cool color for the cab too!

I did all of these steps for black knight as far as the playfield goes, you're on the right track, very tedious work in need of much patience

#39 3 years ago

Looking forward to playing this at TPF.

Don't let Marcus talk you into putting this into the tournament area so all can have a chance to play it.

#40 3 years ago

Thanks, I really hope I get it done by then. I haven't had much opportunity to work on it lately. And no, my games will never go into the tourney area. I do not like that only people that pay to be in the tourney can play them.

2 weeks later
#41 3 years ago

Starting to pick up some momentum again!! The (hopefully) final coat of clear has been applied. Just waiting for it to cure and then we will block sand and buff it. Before the last coat was applied I went ahead and sanded the bottom of the playfield to clean it up a bit. Looks much better now, but you will have to trust me since I forgot to take a picture

I hope to get the cabinet painted within the next couple of weeks. I am also going to be sending off all of my metal cab hardware to get powdercoated gloss black. I think I am going to do the wireforms in black as well. IMG_20151206_162234.jpgIMG_20151206_162230.jpg

4 months later
#42 3 years ago

It has been a long time coming, but the playfield is finally finished! Now the real work begins A lot of work went into this playfield, even more than we thought there would be. It turned out great though.

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#43 3 years ago
Quoted from Gov:

It has been a long time coming, but the playfield is finally finished! Now the real work begins A lot of work went into this playfield, even more than we thought there would be. It turned out great though.

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That's a thing of beauty.

#44 3 years ago

Thanks It was a labor of love for sure. Have to thank my dad for putting up with my pickiness regarding how I wanted the playfield to look in the end. He did a fantastic job shooting the clear and polishing it out on the final pass.

#45 3 years ago

Now that's the inexpensive way to do it. He did a great job.

#46 3 years ago

Beautiful!

4 weeks later
#47 3 years ago

Small update. The new siderails have been cut and drilled and I am in the process of applying the stain now. I am not sure how I will like the color until they are dry and I can hold them up next to the playfield. I was hoping for a bit lighter color but this might be ok.

If all else fails I can always paint them black.

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#48 3 years ago

This will be a beauty for sure !

#49 3 years ago

Just bumped into this thread.... Congo is a very fun game and deserves lotsa love!

#50 3 years ago

Some progress today. Decided just to go black on the side rails. Looks good. T-nuts and pop nails installed as well. Cab is ready for some more primer.....

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