(Topic ID: 294463)

Frugal playfield restoration. Subject matter, Flash Gordon!

By Caucasian2Step

14 days ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 1 Pinsider participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Caucasian2Step
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 14 days ago

I'm finally getting to the playfield on my Flash Gordon. The game has always played great, but the playfield is belt sanded down to the wood over the bonus count and pop bumper area. This is not uncommon for this title of game. So I'm getting into painting the playfield and I've done a couple of presentations about this subject matter for the Rocky mountain pinball showdown a number of years ago. I think you can still find some of that linked information on pinball news.com. so I'm starting out here by showing you what I'm doing in relation to materials and techniques.

I'll be adding more pictures as progress is advanced. If anyone has any questions, let me know and I'll answer them to the best of my ability. Also, I'm open to suggestions. If people watching this have some ideas of how I can do this better, I'd love to hear it. Thanks for the joining in , and let's get this game looking like a champ!

One of the first things I want to mention is that this technique may not be good for working with a clear coat. I'm using enamel paints. Depending on what kind of a clear you use, the chemistry may not work. In fact, the clear coat May reject the enamel paint all together. I haven't looked into this much, and if somebody is willing to test this out I'd be very interested to hear what they find out. Most people who are doing restorations with clear coats are painting with acrylic paints which are water soluble and very easy to work with. One of the reasons why I'm not working with acrylic paints is that some of the colors in particular yellows and oranges and reds will change their color and shade over time. Quite often they will dry in a darker shade and end up looking muddy. Enamel colors do not change as they dry and will dry within just a few minutes. Well enough to play a game on it if you really want to.

Other factors involved are due to the economics of space, safety, time and accessibility. All the materials shown should be readily available at any hobby shop. The cost of paints is nominal being one to five dollars per bottle. Russia should be of non-synthetic nature and need to be cleaned out at the end of each use. Paint thinner and in some cases not the our best for cleaning brushes as well as removing mistakes from the playfield.
Make sure to thoroughly clean your hands as well at the end of each painting session. I'd also recommend that you find a comfortable yet damageable set of clothing to wear while you're doing this. I personally have a couple of pinball painting shirts that have acquired over the years after realizing that I had gotten paid on them after I started a project. They're the best!

I'm sharing this information in hopes that other people will be able to restore more pinball games to their own satisfaction. I'm also willing to paint play fields for people if they are interested in having those services provided to them.

PM me for details on services.


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#2 14 days ago

Learning to use a color wheel is going to be the first thing that you're going to have to really get a hold of. The good news is that most people don't have to fear the mistakes that they make during this process. I'll elaborate as I go on, but more than anything else just know that you don't have to be afraid to make mistakes. You can start over and repaint as you go along. In fact, I'm guaranteeing that you're going to have to do it at least once as I've already started with just one color and had to repaint a couple of sections already.

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#3 14 days ago

Some of the repainting will be of your own damage that you cause yourself. Allow me to demonstrate. Here, you can see me using some paint thinner because I painted one section put my hand down on the playfield and then move to paint another. I dragged some of the enamel paint on the bottom of my hand into an area I didn't want it. You can see how quickly it removes and I'm able to rectify the situation by making a little posting stand up for my hand using a bottle cap from a vitamin container.

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#4 14 days ago

Another big issue with restorations like this is dirt and old wax on the playfield. I make sure to wipe down the playfield with not the. Pay attention to the color of the rag that you're wiping with. You do not want to take off original paint if possible. Grease, oil, dirt and other particulates will be the biggest hindrance for your restoration to take the way it should. The paint that you put on will not adhere to the playfield if it's dirty. Or even worse, you'll be cleaning your playfield again someday and all of the sudden, your hard work pops off because it couldn't bond to the playfield properly.

I like to use the woven cloth paper towels that you get at Auto supply stores. You can see me pointing to them in one of the pictures here. For those not so easy to get two places, unless I'm disassembling the playfield, I will use some cleaner and q-tips. Lots of q-tips. Buy them in bulk. You're going to be using them.

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#5 14 days ago

After color matching the burgundy red on the playfield here is the first pass. I'll be using picture references on the interwebs for some of the details around the Martian City when I have too much wood and not enough detail to guess what the next part of artwork will need.

I'm not particularly worried about the details of some of the artwork on the playfield. If you can dot your eyes and cross your teeth, you have the manual dexterity to create those details yourself. Just be patient and if you make a mistake know that you can clean it up and recreate the area that you're trying to restore as you'd like.

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#6 14 days ago

Initial cost of materials. 40 to 50 dollars for paints and thinner. When you're buying paints, make sure that they're a glossy finish. Matte colors might look good on the initial application, however under lights their inability to reflect a shiny as other paints being applied to the playfield will become readily apparent.

After that, we have $7 for a sharpie pen kit. Most of the time I use the sharpies for painting cabinets rather than playfields. $5-10 for an assorted batch of inexpensive hair brushes. Do not use artificial brushes as their application of the paint is not as smooth and consistent as animal hair. They do not keep their point as well as natural hair brushes and it makes a difference in your ability to apply specific detail to your project. Your brush should be able to maintain a point when loaded with paint and dragged across an area of application.

Under $10 for a pack of paper towels, Auto non-fibrous towels, q-tips and a couple of sacrificial glasses, toothbrushes shirts, shorts and saucers.

This is bringing my initial total well under $100 for a kit that I will be able to use on the number of projects.

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1 week later
#7 7 days ago

A bit more in the middle.

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#8 3 days ago

Layered progress by bonusonus count and flying city.

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#9 2 days ago


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