Defender (Williams 1982) - NOS playfield

(Topic ID: 225894)

Defender (Williams 1982) - NOS playfield

By g94

21 days ago

Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by TechnicalSteam
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders


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#1 21 days ago

I bought this game in june 2016 from a very gentle Pinside member in the US. It's by far the most expensive game in my collection. The previous owner had got it restored in may 2015. Cabinet had been redone, all assemblies had been revised, or replaced, there's lots of new parts as well, but most important: it had a perfect NOS playfield. I doubt that the previous owner played the game a lot since its restoration, because it still looked like new when it arrived at my place.

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I reckon it got some 200 plays since, but I stopped playing it about a year or so. The reason: the NOS playfield starts showing too much damage already.

And that's where I don't understand the previous restorers. They did such a great job on the cabinet and the assemblies, but neglected the most vulnerable part of the game: the playfield. What were they thinking (or not thinking). Of course it would get damaged if left unprotected, the question not being whether it would happen, but when. And I must admit that I'm surprised myself how fast playfield damage happens.

An overview. There's some mild planking, mostly visible in the black areas.

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There's substantial insert bordering.

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Paint chipping off on drop target holes

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'Is that all damage there is', you might ask. Yes, that's about it. Perhaps you think that I'm overreacting, but my point is that all this damage could have been avoided if they would have walked the extra mile and had properly protected the playfield before populating it.

It simply makes me sad to see all paint gone where posts sat.

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My plan: fix the current damage and protect it to prevent more damage in the future by clearcoating the playfield.

Obviously I have to remove everything from the upper side, but the idea is to keep the bottom side as populated as possible as there's no point in completely stripping it. This is without doubt one of most populated, and as a consequence one of the heaviest playfields in pinball history, so I decided to unsolder all metal assemblies, and added connectors to the drop down assemblies, which will make future servicing easier.

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OK. Weight has been brought back to acceptable proportions . Next I have to finish depopulating the top and will then apply a first layer of protective clearcoat.

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I'll keep you posted

#2 21 days ago

Thanks for posting and good luck with the work. This is a unique and fun game that I hope to own one day!

#3 20 days ago

I made sort of crate to protect all the stuff that will remain attached to the playfield: wire harnesses, switches, lamps...

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Apart from the damage mentioned before, there is some mild insert cupping but nothing substantial that clearcoat cannot fix. Shooterlane is rough and needs sanding.

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I lightly sanded the playfield surface with #400 to improve the adhesion of the Dupont 2K clear.

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#4 20 days ago

I know this game!!!! Awesome to see someone doing it right by it.

I had a Defender I was going to restore with different NOS playfield and the guy who signed the bottom of your pf had a perfect 10 backglass in a frame on the wall that he was going to sell me for a pretty penny. I drive 120 miles to pick it up, bring him some eegee's from Tucson and when I get there he shows me a Defender (still with the original 8 /10 pf) in his garage and says he's going to put the 10 backglass in that and sell me the 8/10 out of that game instead (at a discount ) I'm livid after 120 mile drive to have someone do that but I play nice and buy the 8 because it was still better than what I had.

I then clearcoated my 10 NOS playfield to a glossy glass flat finish like a reasonable person would do, restencil the cabinet to a better than factory 10, put in my perfect new 10 plastic set in it, then put my f'king 8/10 backglass into the game. 5 years later he puts an NOS pf into that game (without clearcoating it first!!!!) and sells it to someone else I know.

Pretty sure the cabinet artwork on yours was a very nice original and unrestored when I last saw it.

I swear my back problems came from moving my Defender when I bought it. Mutliplexed coils meant it has 32 different drive coils and is likely the heaviest game Williams made.
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#5 20 days ago
Quoted from kbliznick:

Pretty sure the cabinet artwork on yours was a very nice original and unrestored when I last saw it.

Well wow ! I think you are right. I just had a good look and indeed it seems like the original artwork... How crazy is that: by its appearance I was really convinced that the cabinet had been restored and repainted. Me and a friend talked only this week about the nice "original looking" overspray they managed to obtain in some places

But indeed on a closer look there are a few minor scratches, which proves your point. Also because the inside appears original and untouched.

I feel stupid now ha-ha.

#6 20 days ago

I remember talking to Ron Kruzman and he said that NOS pf's pre diamond coated, are easily damaged as the paint is pretty fragile and mild ribbing is common.

That is why he clears them so that they will last for decades.

#7 19 days ago


I cannot guess how many games were played on my EBD since I restored and cleared it, but for sure it are many. The playfield still looks like the first day... I always clear my playfields when restoring a game, it makes no sense to me to skip such essential part in terms of preservation.

#8 19 days ago

I would not use varathane on that playfield. It does yellow slightly and will dull your colors. If you are going to clearcoat, have it done right and do it with autoclears.

#9 19 days ago

Actually I don't clearcoat my playfields myself.

It's not my ambition, not only because I have no garage (hence no chance to build a spray booth) but also because there's an amazing guy working in a car body shop nearby who is doing his magic to my playfields since years. I have no hope to obtain a result that would even be remotely close. Hence I prefer to stick to what I think I'm good at, and leave this delicate work to a professional.

He's using Dupont 2K clears, that's all I know.

#11 19 days ago

I've been touching up some damage prior to clearcoat. Some may find it pointless to try fixing post damage, but I cannot stand the idea to know that it would remain there. It looks like some damage may still be visible outside the post border. And if not: it's good practice for the future... and actually fun as well.

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Before-after. Not perfect but I experienced before that things blend better together once the relief is levelled after clear.

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Left side.

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I also already addressed some planking in the black areas. And the shooterlane is smooth now.

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I think the playfield is now ready for its first clearcoat. I just have to find my box with old bulbs to keep the sockets clear-free .

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#12 19 days ago

If possible, please scan it before you repopulate. I don't think anyone has a good scan of this PF.

#13 19 days ago

Looking good!

#14 19 days ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

If possible, please scan it before you repopulate. I don't think anyone has a good scan of this PF.

Yes I will do that.

#16 19 days ago

No problem, I don't mind sharing. I'm happy to help.

#17 18 days ago

Really hoping CPR or Hardtops will consider doing this important game.

#18 18 days ago

Count me in on a scan too, please.

#19 15 days ago

Whilst waiting for the playfield I've scanned my plastic set and drew plastic protectors in Illustrator. I created precise vector outlines on the plastic borders whilst adding 2pt extra protection where the ball can hit the plastic.

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Here's a combined file with clear protectors for Defender, Barracora and Quicksilver. Ready to be lasercut from 2mm polycarbonate.

I had some space left and added a few extra protector sets for the slingshots and the center plastic on Quicksilver. And also some clear lane guide sets for Eight Ball Deluxe. Drop me a PM if interested.

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#20 14 days ago

I think CPR playfield actually sells Defender Plastics. It' the playfield that is needed!
Doh Misread that - Plastic protectors FTW

#21 14 days ago

I seriously wish someone would start a business to produce plastic protectors on demand. I really need a set for my alien poker and of course no one makes them. I also think the sets that only have a few plastics and not all are a waste.There are many ways a plastic can get scraped up and lose paint besides ball strikes. Your lucky to have the knowledge and tools to make them on demand.

#22 11 days ago

Look who's back, more shiny than ever...

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Obviously still bumpy near some inserts after only the first clearcoat session. Yet I don't think it needs additional clear applied locally.
I'll let the playfield settle for a few more days, and will sand it flat after the weekend.

#23 10 days ago

did you scan it in before clear? My scans are clearer if I scan before I clear, as the clear adds depth away from the scanning surface and things don't come out as clear.

#24 10 days ago

Oops, no sorry, I didn't. Usually I only scan my playfields before restoration in case the damage is substantial and I might need these scans to reproduce missing artwork using design software. Which wasn't the case here.

I only planned on scanning the playfield before repopulating, as requested above.
Note that I always try to keep the layer of clear as thin as possible, most will be sanded away anyway.

#25 10 days ago

Inspires me to start moving forward with Warlock, TF and Flight 2000 retouching

#26 10 days ago

I would love a copy of the scan. My defender is going to need some work.

#27 10 days ago

As said I'm happy to share. Even better: I will stitch the scans together by hand, as it should, by manually rotating and positioning each scan pixel perfect. In my opinion the automatic stitch functionality in Photoshop doesn't do an accurate job. Photoshop CC will rather imagine pixels to visually fit the different parts. The result for sure looks good, but it is no exact carbon copy of the original.

#28 8 days ago

that would be awesome. Anytime you need a scan of something. let me know, as I have probably 400 playfields scanned in. Most of mine are not stitched together thou. But I have every section if you need certain parts.

#29 7 days ago

I need a Bally Wizard! if you have it...TIA

#30 3 days ago

The playfield has been sanded. The insert borders had some cracks and glitches. Not anymore

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Only remaining job is to fix some light damage in the pink borders round the Baiters drop targets, and then the playfield will be ready for its final clearcoat.

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#31 2 days ago

If anyone has a Defender that is Shit out of Luck and want to sell - hit me up!

This game is sexy.

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