(Topic ID: 279856)

Dr. Dude - First Time Restoration


By killerrobots

3 months ago



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#1 3 months ago

I just finished a full restoration of my Dr. Dude and I hadn't planned on posting anything. There is so much information here from people way more experienced than me that it felt like a drop in the ocean. It was also a little intimidating particularly because I know I made some small and major mistakes along the way.

But to be honest, it was a bit of a roller-coaster ride with a few "OMG, what have I done" moments and I figured there must be other people out there who are thinking about whether or not they should consider taking on a project like this. Although I am not yet an expert I learned a lot and am proud of the end result and the fact that I committed to finishing it.

So this is in no way a definitive guide but I just wanted to layout what I went through and maybe someone would find it interesting. So over the next few days I am going to layout the process and particularly some lessons learned which I will use next time.

#2 3 months ago

Firstly, I think there are two general things to comment on for anyone thinking of starting:

1. What general experience/talent level does a restoration require?

I am pretty new to pinball as a hobby but I take my hobbies pretty seriously. I have quickly graduated from one cheap pin bought on a whim to owning six and building a clear-coating booth in my garage in about a year. There is a lot to love about pinball (playing, collecting, restoring) and I love all three but I suspect the restoring part is not for everyone and could be very frustrating.

Although I am no expert on pinball I do have a pretty strong background for this type of project. I am a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in fabrication, design, and project management. I used to be a machinist and welder and I am a pretty serious woodworker. I have done lots of projects large and small. I am a "project guy" who is always working on something.

However, this project was no joke. It is not the hardest thing I have ever done but it was very challenging. I would not recommend this to someone doesn't have a pretty high level of hand's on experience.

The real challenge is that doing a project like this requires not 1 or 2 skills but like 10. I am great mechanically but not great electrically. I can build a cabinet from scratch but am a terrible artist. It is the fact that you have to be good or at least competent in a wide range of skills that makes it such a challenge.

It also required a lot of patience and doing some pretty tedious things. If you don't like labeling hundreds of wires or hours using an xacto blade it is probably not for you.

That being said, I personally loved doing this project and can't wait to do another one.

2. What facilities do you have to do the restoration?

Some of this may be my own personal preferences but this project takes space. I have seen videos of people doing this on the ground in the their living rooms. I am not saying you can't do that but I would personally not enjoy that. I am a bit compulsive and very organized and I like good work surfaces with good lighting. I like things to be clean and to be able to easily grab tools and hold onto things.

I know that many people enjoy or at least don't mind working in a mess with a lot of clutter but I am not one of them. For me this is a hobby and about me enjoying the process so if you are like me then expect to use a fair amount of dedicated space.

I have a woodworking workshop in half my garage and have a 3'x7' assembly table with a good overhead light. I used this bench for most of the playfield restoration. I also did all the painting, sanding etc here:

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I also used an extra room in my house to do all the playfield tear down, wiring, and lighting (basically anything that wasn't messy). This was not necessary but I didn't want to take over my woodworking shop and I had the room. I built the benches to make sure I had plenty of area to lay things down. I also built a tool chest and had some small parts storage but this is just me being compulsive. To be honest, even this got very cluttered during some stages of the process. I would also recommend having access to a computer with a good sized screen so you can check back to your pictures while you reassemble.

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So of course I understand that not everyone has this much space and they have to get by with what they have. However, staying organized, particularly with tearing down the playfield is really, really important so you have to find a way to stay neat where ever it is done.

#3 3 months ago

So I have had a Dr. Dude for about a year and we were not playing it as much because we had some newer machines. Also, I am finding myself getting more and more particular about things being dirty or worn. The game played fine but had some wear and dirt on the playfield. In particular there was some pretty bad wear near the flippers.

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It also had lots of embedded dirt in high traffic areas

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I had also started watching and reading about playfield restoration and in the boredom of pandemic times I decided I would do a full restore. I was particularly interested in clear coating the playfield so it wouldn't get any more wear.

I knew that messing with the playfield was risky but I told myself I would take my time, read the forums; do things right.

My mantra going in was "Do no harm". I shouldn't try this if it wasn't going to be an improvement or if I damaged something.

Unfortunately, that mantra did not survive the process; at one point I thought I had basically destroyed the playfield.

In the end it turned out all right but not without a great deal of work.

#4 3 months ago

So the first step was to move the machine into my workshop. I know there are two schools of thought on playfield depopulation.

1. Just do enough to spray and then mask what remains

2. Remove everything.

I didn't like the idea of all that masking and it also seemed much easier to handle as just a flat board. So I decided to remove everything. Although it is a lot of work I would definitely do this again. Considering the amount of work I ultimately had to do to the playfield it was so much easier to just handle the flat playfield. I moved that thing all the time when I was repainting.

First step was to disconnect the wires from the head unit. When I disconnected the wires from the boards I labeled them. I found this worked really good but maybe some people don't like marking them.

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I had also seen a bunch of stuff on rotisseries and decided to make one. I thought the ones made with pipe were pretty ugly and since I have a wood shop I built one out of wood.

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It was fine in design but I used it way less than I thought I would. Once I pulled the playfield I couldn't set it on the rotisserie because the wiring harness stuck out the back. Luckily, I could just set it face down on the table because the apron and back plate supported it nicely. This also dictated that I do the underside first.

Once it was on my bench I started to remove all the wires from the back of the playfield. My system was to label each wire set prior to de-soldering with a note on their orientation. I just used masking tape.

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Generally I think this was the right approach but I would do it differently next time. For some reason, I choose to label the orientation with "Left/Right" relative to where I was standing and the orientation of the playfield. I realized quickly that this might be confusing but decided that I would just reassemble it in exactly the same manner so it would be clear. That ended up working about 95% of the time, there was a number of times during reassembly where I was confused and had to refer to pictures.

I told myself to take lots of pictures and I did but as I think everyone finds out, I did not take enough.

I wish before I got started I would have taken a picture from multiple angles of every major component, particularly where the wiring was very close and congested. It took me a long time to get my pop bumpers rewired and I could never seem to find the right angle on my pictures.

I also took a video scanning back and forth on the playfield. I figured this would be a final backup if I didn't have a picture. This worked but it is awkward to find just the right moment in the clip and then zoom. I would recommend this but pictures are easier.

Also, I think I de-soldered too many things. I started de-soldering insert sockets and then realized they could just go with the harness. You have to de-solder the larger components but lots of smaller things can just hang there. In the end it just meant more re-soldering and wasn't really that big of a deal.

I started with the cheap solder gun I had but quickly upgraded to one with a temperature control. That made a big difference.

After the wiring harness was off I laid it carefully under my cart and then started removing all the components on the underside of the playfield.

I removed each component and then put it in a plastic bag and labeled it. I started putting fasteners in the same bag but I am not sure this is the best way since ultimately I tried polishing the hardware in a vibratory tumbler and they had to be taken out of the bags anyway.

I also made a potentially sacrilegious decision to mark on my playfield the component numbers. I found this very helpful in reassembly and labeling but some people may not want to deface the playfield this way. I can't really see a downside other than philosophical. I thought about putting down tape and then marking that but often something is in the way so this was much easier.

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At this point I put it on my rotisserie and then depopulated the front of the playfield. This went fine. I bagged everything and labeled it but most of this stuff was obvious. The only small thing I would do differently is number them so I knew what order they came off. A couple of times in reassembly I had forgot to put something on under something else.

I was also amazed at how dirty and faded it was. It was worse than I thought when I was playing it. Part of this area was under a ramp and you can see the difference in color.

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It was also kind of funny how many little issues I found. I had never even noticed the weird repair of that Rock-n-Roll plastic.

#5 3 months ago

So after I had the playfield stripped I removed the side rails and back so it was just the board. I had one piece of Mylar around the pop bumpers.

I used the freeze spray method and it worked great. It came right off with no issues.

I then used the alcohol and flour method to remove the glue. This also worked but made a major mess. It dripped through the holes and onto the back of the playfield and was really hard to clean off. I think I will try Goo-Gone in the future to avoid the mess.

I then cleaned the playfield with Naptha equivalent. I live in Colorado and Napatha has recently become illegal and they sell this replacement stuff. During the clear coating I actual found some old stock and now have a bunch but I didn't at this stage. Anyway, this took off a ton of surface dirt and grime but did nothing for the tracks and ball swirl.

I then did the magic eraser/alcohol method. This helped on the tracks but did nothing for the ball swirl. Also, I started to hit paint so had to stop.

Before Cleaning

After Cleaning

After this I decided to try my first touch up.

Note, I should have tried to get down a light coat of clear at this point but I wasn't set up for that yet and wanted to try my hand at touching this up.

I had some clear frisket in sheets and laid one down over this yellow lane. I then used an xacto to cut out the yellow area.

I masked the rest of the playfield with paper and tried my hand at airbrushing.

I had bought the cheap airbrush at harbor freight. I have never done any airbrushing and found it very hard to get it flowing right. I ultimately got much better at airbrushing and bought a better airbrush. I know lots of people use these but I can't recommend the cheap ones.

Dr. Dude has a very comic book style to the graphics and many areas have shading with dots.

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This is beyond my abilities to replicate so I just did the best I could with shading using two colors in the airbrush. My first attempts were okay but later I think I got much better.

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It is pretty hard to see the orange at the bottom of the picture but it is more pronounced in reality.

I also tried my hand at waterslide decals. This was my first repair:

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That went pretty well I think.

After this I worked on another area but unfortunately the frisket pulled up this decal and some paint in another area. I got kind of stuck because this meant I couldn't really do any more touchups with the frisket. So I decided I would put down a single layer of rattle-can clear coat.

And this is where everything went wrong...

#6 3 months ago

So at this point I had not decided whether or not I was going to do 2PACC or something simpler. I was justifiable intimidated by the setup and also seriously concerned about the hazard.

To be honest I was kind of putting off the decision and at this point hadn't bought the paint or had a booth to shoot it in. I must have read Vid's guide about 5 times but I really didn't want to use 2PACC.

Okay, so a while back I had done a small repair on my Lord of the Rings and used this clear coat and it worked fine:

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My theory was that I would just put a very light coat down so I could keep touching up with the frisket and not harm the paint. Just a very light coat...

So I cleaned it very well but I didn't clean it again with Naptha because the paint was starting to come off and I really couldn't clean it more without damaging the playfield. I just wiped it with alcohol and a tack-cloth.

I then made a kind of mini-paint booth around my bench to keep any dust out.

I then sprayed a very light coat and it was fine, I added a little more and then it started to bead up (fish eyes?).

I had recently watched a video on Youtube where a guy was spraying his playfield and had a similar problem and he "flooded" it to overwhelm the beads.

In the moment I guess I latched onto that as a solution and tried to spray on more to flood it (not thinking that what I was spraying was not 2PACC).

So at first everything was fine but then the clear coat started to react badly with the playfield.

The first thing was that it pulled apart cracks in the playfield and created a very uneven surface.

The second thing it did was react with some of the paints and fade them or wash them out.

#7 3 months ago

So here is the result:

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And a close up just to see the fine details of the destruction:

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To add insult to injury, the worst damage was the very center of the playfield. Under the apron, looked fine.

I was absolutely devastated. I am not sure I have every had something go quite this wrong this fast. I was trying to be careful but in one decision I had apparently just ruined my entire playfield.

I actually don't have a full picture of the damage because I just couldn't bring myself to take a picture of it but it was basically destroyed.

I immediately started looking for replacement playfield but they currently don't make one.

I really felt like an idiot.

So after a terrible nights sleep, I decided I would just have to fix it, whatever it took and I decided that I would have to redo the entire playfield piece by piece.

#8 3 months ago

So that is what I did. I started in the corner and just did one little piece and then move on to the next.

I just slowly built everything back up with frisket, airbrush, and waterslide decals.

I would start with this:

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and color by color, text by text build it to this:

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I decided to start at the top of the playfield and work my way down, hoping my skills would improve by the time I got to center of the playfield. When I started there were many areas where I had no idea how I was going to fix it but one way or another I figured it out.

I ended up doing all the detailed graphics first and doing the background last. The background has a very slow fade from top to bottom using 5 colors (purple-to-blue-to green etc). It probably would have made sense to do the background first but I just wasn't confident enough when I started.

I think I spent something like 150 hours redoing everything.

I knew I would be able to finish with something decent when I finished the Dude Meter which is right in the center of the playfield and it look pretty good:

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#9 3 months ago

And finally, here it is finished, prior to clear coating:

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#10 3 months ago

Okay, so at this point you may guess that my opinion on 2PACC has changed slightly and I decided that I would commit to it.

The first thing I did was make a paint booth. First, I built one with plastic and 2x4s outside but when I did a test spray I got dirt in my spray. I then decided I would have to do it in my garage.

This required a number of safety precautions. I used my wife's side of the garage and pulled her car out. I then hung plastic from the garage door rails creating a little room. Note I also disabled the garage door.

I tried to buy the clear coat recommended by VID but I couldn't buy it easily and instead went to Sherwin-Williams and got their basic spot repair clear coat (I forgot the name but it was the $40/q option). I also got a rated mask and bunny suit and googles.

So here was my process:

I would let the booth sit closed up overnight to give some time for any dust to settle out. I then put the playfield on saw horses and let it sit for an hour or so (to settle any dust). I would then prep my spray gun. I just had the harbor freight cheap gun. I also had a relatively small compressor (8 gallons).

I did install a water filter and desiccant near the gun. I also had an air regulator near the gun.

I would make sure my compressor was full and suit up. Safety glasses, goggles, respirator, gloves, bunny suit.

The set up in my garage was that I would lock the door to the garage from the house and put a note to not enter. I would then open a side door and crack the bottom of the other garage door open slightly. I then put a fan in the door to move air out of the garage. However, I did not directly ventilate the booth.

I then wiped down the playfield with a tack cloth one last time.

I mixed my paint and put it in the gun. I think I used about 6oz each time.

I then entered the booth and sprayed the playfield as evenly and smoothly as I could. I would use all the mixture in the gun.

I would then exit the booth and close it. I would immediately clean the gun with a spray cleaner and run it through until dry (in the garage but not in the booth).

Next I would go out the side door of the garage (not through the house) and take off all my gear outside.

I would then wait about 2 hours. I then put my respirator back on and entered the garage and opened the flap of the booth and pointed a small fan inside to clear any fumes out. I would let it sit like this for another 2 hours.

My theory was that after 2 hours the coat was set and no dust would stick. I also didn't like directly venting the booth during spraying because it felt like a lot of fumes would flood my neighbor houses. I liked slowly venting it.

The con of this approach was that a lot of fumes built up in the booth with me but I figured I have the mask and my neighbors don't. You can make your own choice on this.

I had a brand new mask, a clean face, and it was on very tight. I never smelled anything during spraying. I had glasses on under those science googles and did sometimes get a slight burning in my eyes. I couldn't use swimming googles because I need my glasses to see.

So that is kind of the bad news, its a pain in the ass and even if you do all you can there is still some risk from the chemical hazard.

However, here is the good news. It sprayed great. I have never sprayed a car but I have used a gun like this for cabinets. It was easy put on and I didn't have any issues with the fan geometry or fish eyes. It spread even and self-leveled and dried hard in two hours.

Now, I did have an advantage in that I had completely recoated my playfield so there really wasn't any wax or other contaminated to react with the clear coat. Before I sprayed the 2PACC I tested it on a board with every paint and coating I had used and there was no reaction.

I ended up doing four coats and using the entire quart of clear coat. I sanded in-between coats with 1000 grit. In the end it wasn't perfectly flat but very close.

Here is the final product:

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#11 3 months ago

Great job recovering from the clear debacle.

Hard to really tell how flat the clear is from the pics, but it seems to me it is not nearly as flat as it should. 1000 grit does not take off a lot of material and I personally use 320 grit between coats.

#12 3 months ago

Overall it turned out pretty good. It is not perfect but it looks good with a few minor flaws. It isn't going into a museum but considering the state it was in I am pretty proud of the final result.

That being said there are some areas that didn't quite turn out as nice as I would have liked for various reasons.

I used a lot of waterslide decals and overall they came out pretty good but getting them fully adhered is a bit of an art. You really need to wipe them onto the surface but if you wipe too hard the text come off. There are some areas where there is a kind of "ghosting" around the decal where they weren't fully adhered:

You can see the edge on the little white stripe.

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It is a little hard to see but there is a shimmer on the left side of this text that shows up at the right angle

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This decal goes over the insert and has some bubbling.

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In some areas the black lines are not consistent and there is some white fringes due to many layers of frisket and paint.

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Clean and consistent black lines was the hardest part. I could have spent another week touching up black lines but eventually had too just say it was good enough.

This purple and pink texture was really hard to duplicate and I think my effort is okay but I don't love it.

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Probably my least favorite part was the underside of the ramp behind Molecular Million. It continued the same texture but I forgot about it until I went to reassemble. It had a decal but didn't match my new repair. I figured I would just do the same thing as before but I had thrown out my old paint. I just didn't do a good job of color matching this. Luckily it is hidden behind a big piece of plastic so you don't really see it.

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But so as to not be too hard on myself these are areas that I think turned out great.

This dude in the center of the playfield!

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These mouths:

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This set of texts:

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#13 3 months ago
Quoted from lb1:

Great job recovering from the clear debacle.
Hard to really tell how flat the clear is from the pics, but it seems to me it is not nearly as flat as it should. 1000 grit does not take off a lot of material and I personally use 320 grit between coats.

Maybe it could be flatter but you can't see any deviations when it is installed and it plays fine.

The starting surface was not flat due to the damage from the first clear coat so it took a while.

In retrospect I wish I had put a thicker initial coat so I had more to sand away. I would sand until I hit something (like a decal), fix it and then put another coat on to have more to sand. I did this four times and then ran out of clear.

I actually tried a couple of grits (400, 1000) and found the 1000 was fine. As I said, I sanded enough to take off decals so I was removing material.

#14 3 months ago

So at this point I was pretty much on the home stretch. I moved it back inside and started to repopulate the playfield.

It was actually easier to put it back together (or at least faster) because the labeling takes a long time when it comes off.

I also bought new posts, screws, and rubbers.

I tried polishing the hardware but it was easier to just buy new stuff.

I did clean and finish the steel rails but I didn't go so far as to polish them to a mirror finish.

You will need to clean up any tight holes due to the clear coat but it is easy.

I also installed nice new 2SMD LEDs in Cool White (mostly) and installed my DIY stadium lighting.

I also did some minor things to the cabinet but it was in pretty good shape.

So I will finish this off this just my last thoughts.

First on Tools (what I liked, what worked, what didn't, etc):

1. Frisket - I much preferred sheets of frisket to rolls. The rolls were hard to manage. However, I did use both. Low tack for sure.
2. Airbrush - I didn't like the HF version and upgraded. Maybe you will have better luck.
3. Soldering Iron - Get a decent temperature controlled one
4. Tumbler - Kind a waste of time for me.
5. Compressor - Used a 8 gallon and didn't have any issues
6. Waterslide Decals - I used sunnyscopa (white and clear) from Amazon and it seemed fine
7. Software - Got Photoshop and it seemed fine. I am a total newb with it but managed to do what I needed
8. Scanner - Bought the HP flat scanner on Ebay but honestly just used my phone.
9. HPLV Gun - HF special and it worked fine for me
10. Paint - Createx. Stick to opaque (not wicked). It is hard to find locally for me and expensive. Way more to choose from in acrylic but I stuck with it.
11. Printer - HP Pro 400 (B/W laser), wish I had a color one. Maybe next time.

By far and away the most important tool for me was a magnifier.

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This sounds silly but I used this constantly. I have gotten to the age when my eyes struggle with up close work but to do the fine detail work you really need magnification. As I said, I am not an artist but I found that if I zoomed in close enough I could manage.

In terms of painting, I definitely got a technique down by the end. Maybe the most critical was the brushes. They weren't special but I actually made my own micro-brushes. I would take the smallest brush I had and then shave off most of the bristles with an xacto. I made three by the time I was done and each was smaller than the last. I bet the smallest one only had 4-5 hairs.

My techniques was to put a tiny drop on a paper plate and then touch the brush to it. I would then roll the brush around the edge of the plate to remove any excess and then paint. This limited how long the brush would last per dip but it was impossible to control that first blob of paint without a wipe first.

I also did one thing which worked but in the back of my mind I kept thinking I shouldn't. It was difficult to fully cover an area with airbrush paint, particularly dark colors. What I ended up doing was just priming the masked area white first. I used 2X white primer in a spray can from home depot. I let it dry and then put the air brush colors on. I tried this with the white Createx and it just wasn't solid enough.

For large white and black areas (like under the GIs) I used Gloss White/black Spray paint in a can. It looked great and didn't react to my Clear Coat (I tested it first). I feel like someone is going to tell me this is a sin against the pinball gods but I don't know why.

In terms of color matching, not much to say other than I am not great at it. The advantage I had here was that I was fully replacing most areas so it just had to match itself. Also, keep your colors if you can.

I didn't mention it specifically but I also replaced a lot of inserts. That went pretty good for me (following Vids advice). The only things is that I didn't do a good job removing the old glue in one spot and the insert stuck up a tiny amount and I had to sand it down.

Things I will do next time:

1. Better Pictures
2. Label the order things come off the top of the playfield
3. Make better notes on wire positions
4. Do a better job making sure the decals are fully adhered
5. Don't F* up the playfield

Something I have been thinking a lot about but don't have a final conclusion is the order of operation. I choose to do section by section, including water slide decals. However, this was a mistake. The waterslide decals are too delicate and I had to be really careful where I masked so as not to lift off a previous one. I would do all the waterslide decals last and make sure they are adhered.

I think in theory doing one color at a time makes sense but masking off such large areas can be a pain. I am not sure if this would work well. I definitely would mix up a number of the basic colors to use again and again.

I guess the last and most important lesson learned is that the first coat of clear is critical. Once it is on, everything should be okay but the potential for it to react or fisheye is always there. I will definitely use 2PACC and try and put a fine layer down but I will be nervous as hell the next time I try it.

The other major concern I have on the next one is where to stop. I certainly wasn't happy that I messed up the playfield but I am actually happy that it is 100% new. If I had fixed just a couple of areas then it would have still been an old, faded playfield. The whites would have been dingy with a bunch of ball swirls.

One thing I found was that when you make the worst thing better then something else looks like the worst thing. If you paint one area bright, shiny new white, then all the other whites look terrible. Where do you stop? It is one thing to touch it up and then wax it. You can always readdress it some other day but if you are going to bury under clear coat you are locking in whatever issues are there. If I do this again I think I will find it hard to stop and might end up doing most or all of the playfield just to have it nice and clean before burying it under clear. I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.

Alright that's enough. I don't know if this is helpful to anyone but I kind of just needed to get all these thoughts out of my head. If you did read it thanks for taking the time.

#15 3 months ago

I guess I should show the final product:
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*Note that I caught this when the stadium lights on blue-green but normally they are white. It has all white GIs.

#16 3 months ago

I suppose I should show the final product:

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#17 3 months ago

Pretty good example of the labors of love we take on.
I think you did a great job, imagine what you will improve on the next one!

#18 3 months ago

Thanks for sharing your work, and a pretty good recovery from your near disaster. Your work space looks awesome, BTW.

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Pretty good example of the labors of love we take on.
I think you did a great job, imagine what you will improve on the next one!

Thanks a lot. You are right that the next one should be easier. I have a pretty good set up now as well.

#20 3 months ago
Quoted from ReadyPO:

Thanks for sharing your work, and a pretty good recovery from your near disaster. Your work space looks awesome, BTW.

Your welcome, it took me a while to get over the shame of screwing it up before I posted but it came out in the end.

Yeah I love a nice work space, for me it makes it so much more pleasant.

3 months later
#21 7 days ago

I just finished my second restoration and thought I would do a quick final post here just to show that I did learn something...

So I redid my Taxi. Didn't seem to be in too bad of shape but once I got the playfield cleared it was worse than I thought. The grey road was really discolored and there was a clear line where a previous mylar had been. Worse, the area around the pops was worn down to the wood.

Before (cleaned)

1108201852c (resized).jpg

I was more careful in the labeling of the wiring harness and only desoldered large items. It took a long time to label but it went back together so much easier. This was probably the biggest difference in the whole process. Also I was much more careful to note how the wiring harness was routed including brackets.

Wiring Labeling

Playfield Labeling

The repainting went pretty well. I definitely was quicker and more confident. Also, I did a lot more free hand work in small areas and it saved me a lot of time masking. I was also better about making a larger batch of a color and saving it through the whole process. This was very helpful.

Clearcoating went well except for one weird issue. I had trouble with some decals that would look great under 1 coat of clear, however on a second coat (24 hours later) they would wrinkle? It took me a while to figure it out and I ended up sanding decals off a number of times until I just did one final coat. It took a while but didn't effect the final product. Overall it was much flatter and cleaner than my first.

Final Clearcoat

I cleaned up the cabinet and did some touch up but there are still some gauges if you look real close. To fix these I think I would have had to do a full sand, fill and then decal which I didn't think was warranted given it was in pretty good shape. Also, having a "perfect" cabinet is not really that important to me.

Cabinet

Playfield repopulation went great. Cleaned everything and replaced worn items. New white rubbers and all new 1smd warm white LEDs. Taxi is kind of a dark, New York theme so I didn't want anything too bright. I also didn't do stadium lighting for the same reason.

Final Assy

Lights

Closeup

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome. It took a while (particularly because of the repeated clearcoating) but otherwise went very well. Some key things I learned:

1. I can do more hand touch up (i.e. no frisket)
2. Mix a color once and save through the whole process
3. Desolder a little as possible
4. You can't label too much when depopulating
5. Still need to work on my decal process but I got it in the end

The playfield looks pretty much perfect. There are some tiny spots with imperfections but only I would notice them.

Although ultimately I was happy with my Dr. Dude I still notice some imperfections. However on this second one I really got the result I wanted and it was much less frustrating. I wanted to post this so any other first time restorer could see that even if you screw up you can get there in the end.

#22 3 days ago

Nice job! That looks great!

#23 3 days ago
Quoted from RocketFromTombs:

Nice job! That looks great!

Thanks.

#24 3 days ago

That looks great!

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