(Topic ID: 250691)

Hey look Bob, a Fish Tales restoration! (Completed)


By uncivil_engineer

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 83 days ago by punkin
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 63 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_0624 (resized).JPG
IMG_0570 (resized).JPG
IMG_0569 (resized).JPG
IMG_0564 (resized).JPG
IMG_0563 (resized).JPG
IMG_0568 (resized).JPG
IMG_0566 (resized).JPG
683CFC59-D580-4F3F-B7DE-1CA965F6EF1C (resized).jpeg
21008EC9-A048-49C5-B5FF-879C6C94D948 (resized).jpeg
79A5F68B-00C7-47AF-BF3B-08DEB3FBC03C (resized).jpeg
520A029A-151E-436C-9987-B039553569C9 (resized).jpeg
CBBEB274-9C0E-407A-9AB9-F029BFD34EB0 (resized).jpeg
2EA5A84E-4E94-4572-876F-B4EC75F64FAC (resized).jpeg
66C8B5D1-F910-43EE-945A-5223E3DB31DB (resized).jpeg
IMG_0493 (resized).JPG
IMG_0495 (resized).JPG

12
#1 9 months ago

Well hot off the completion of Sorcerer, I have started my next project: A restoration of a Fish Tales Machine.

I first encountered Fish Tales int he basement of the Student Union at Oregon State University in 1992. It was flanked by an Adam's Family, and spent quite a lot of time there instead of studying. I love the fast pace of the game. If you don't hit that boat ramp, or the long cast, then you are in trouble. Bricked shots are not very often forgiven.

I also love the goofy call outs, and it has one of my favorite call outs of all times.. "Hey look Bob, water skiers!" The first time I saw the video mode, I nearly fell over with laughter.

So on to our restoration subject. This machine belonged to a friend of mine (acitti) and was a regular part of his collection for years until I acquired it as part of a trade for my Fun House. The machine is not in that bad of shape. The playfield has the usual issues with lifted inserts (the fish bodies), and the cabinet has the typical fade that so many of these machines suffer from. However on the plus side, there are no termites to deal with, and more importantly NO CORROSION.

So here is the plan for this machine.
1. Strip, prime, and repaint the cabinet and head (single stage gloss black)
2. Apply new decals
3. replace the playfield with a CPR gold playfield
4. Upgrade the speakers
5. Install a Color DMD
6. Have the rails, lockbar, coindoor, and other miscellaneous cabinet hardware power coated blue (not green).

In the end, it is going to be a bit of a show machine for acitti when it is done, so for the first time I am kinda doing this machine as a commission.
IMG_9676 (resized).JPGIMG_9677 (resized).JPGIMG_9678 (resized).JPGIMG_9679 (resized).JPGIMG_9680 (resized).JPG

#2 9 months ago

So this last weekend, I performed the annual ritual of setting up the paint booth. I made a few changes from last year, and I am hoping this year it seals up better, and I can get all my painting done before the weather turns cold on me. So here it is before I made the openings for the filter and fan, and I haven't sealed up the ends yet.

IMG_9675 (resized).JPG
#3 9 months ago

Following... Such a great game. I have a project FT that is probably next up for restoration, so I will.be watching to see how the green powder looks.

#4 9 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Following... Such a great game. I have a project FT that is probably next up for restoration, so I will.be watching to see how the green powder looks.

I actually think one of your past projects is the inspiration for this one.

#5 9 months ago

Please skip the green powder coating.

This thing will look killer once done. IMO the green is going to look horrid.

#6 9 months ago
Quoted from Blackbeard:

Please skip the green powder coating.
This thing will look killer once done. IMO the green is going to look horrid.

We are going to go blue. Love the look of how this one turned out

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive/64624

#7 9 months ago
Quoted from acitti:

We are going to go blue. Love the look of how this one turned out
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive/64624

My mistake... Ive corrected it in the first post.

#8 9 months ago

I did mine in a darker blue that you might like as well.

E4B84CC8-A288-492A-BF14-F1AFCD808355 (resized).jpeg
#9 9 months ago
Quoted from Stretch7:

I did mine in a darker blue that you might like as well.[quoted image]

Is that green on the apron rail and wireforms?
Do you have a pic of the wireforms with the glass off?

#10 8 months ago

Yes i picked a green powder to match playfield. I can get grab a pic later for you. I also have another fish tales im just finishing with black powder and the same blue i used on mine for the ramps.

#11 8 months ago
Quoted from Stretch7:

Yes i picked a green powder to match playfield. I can get grab a pic later for you. I also have another fish tales im just finishing with black powder and the same blue i used on mine for the ramps.

I would like to see the pics if you get a chance to post them. I went with all black and really liked the clean look but I am going to be starting another FT soon and was thinking about black for the legs, lockdown bar, and side rails and green for the wireforms, apron rail and a handfull of other playfeld parts.

37e6d0136ae4168a86c640c3f04b7b0fe3d50187 (resized).jpg59c4bb606d5495b8e1f8c0af07556bcee9558e53 (resized).jpg
#12 8 months ago

Well the cabinet is cleaned out, and the sanding has begun.

EB1189BF-19C1-43D3-8FAA-B5F3FAC6EAB3 (resized).jpegF486DE1E-32A7-4294-9679-7AEECF4395BE (resized).jpeg

Now one thing I an still trying to decide is what I’m going to do with the back of the machine. It is in pretty good shape, but not perfect. I’ve got some feelers out to try to find a silhouette cutter file to use to make a stencil from. In the meantime I’m not going to sand the back.8F4B50C7-ED0B-40BD-9F7D-15BAB0398ED6 (resized).jpeg

#13 8 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

Well the cabinet is cleaned out, and the sanding has begun.
[quoted image][quoted image]
Now one thing I an still trying to decide is what I’m going to do with the back of the machine. It is in pretty good shape, but not perfect. I’ve got some feelers out to try to find a silhouette cutter file to use to make a stencil from. In the meantime I’m not going to sand the back.[quoted image]

I believe magicsmoke has the file for vinyl cutting but if you come out this way for MoP in Oct. I can silkscreen the warning for you.

93b0688a5d92494ada445b32b16fbefb2cca4aed (resized).jpg
#14 8 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

I believe magicsmoke has the file for vinyl cutting but if you come out this way for MoP in Oct. I can silkscreen the warning for you.[quoted image]

Hmm.. I may take you up on that offer.

#15 8 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

I would like to see the pics if you get a chance to post them

8983D13B-438A-46CC-9E1B-2E9C69BDC652 (resized).jpegD2BE0355-1904-425E-9BD6-32346C75FF84 (resized).jpeg
#16 8 months ago

So I have made progress on the cabinet. All the decals are now off, and I am starting to fill the dents with bondo. The last WPC I restored was a Funhouse, and that had very thin decals that sanded off very easily. The decals on this Fishtales were much thicker, and I had a hard time getting the glue off after I got through the vinyl. I did use the heat method to remove some of the decals, but that left me with a messy adhesive I had to deal with. Ultimately, I went with my sanding method. I just took longer than normal.

Overall this cabinet is is pretty good shape compared to others I have dealt with.

IMG_9808 (resized).JPGIMG_9812 (resized).JPG
1 week later
#17 8 months ago

Progress!! The good news is my paint booth worked better than expected. The bad news is my primer tried to setup in my gun. Luckily I was able to finish before all the paint set up.
71AAD3AD-0C7A-489D-95C3-F9BF10A64AD9 (resized).jpeg22FFB6AA-2416-418C-B913-72099F37B022 (resized).jpeg

So now let the sanding begin!

1 month later
#18 6 months ago

So I realized I have neglected this thread for far too long. I have wrapped up paint on the cabinet, and have started to put decals on it. The head turned out great, but I feel like I am constantly chasing bubbles on the cabinet. I didn't buy the decals, but they did have a PPS gold sticker on them. However the quality seems to be lacking compared to other decals I have used in the past.

Also if I had to start this one again, I wouldn’t paint the bottom of the cabinet. I tried it in gloss, and it looked bad. So I sanded it all out, and redid it with a semigloss enamel. It looks much better now.

56F4F75E-FC49-4DB3-8AA1-B1F681BA9ADF (resized).jpegA04EB534-81BA-4AEA-964E-18D838121120 (resized).jpeg181CF2B0-FAE6-4495-A8DD-2BD929D55DB4 (resized).jpeg200DF1AE-0F26-4A99-A86D-1C18D0B2C445 (resized).jpegD44D0AC4-DEE1-4180-9638-BE4523079637 (resized).jpeg5D55170C-615C-483B-A835-740533940F6C (resized).jpeg
#19 6 months ago

I almost forgot about this thread. Glad to see things progressing. Such a fun, brutal game.

1 week later
#20 6 months ago

After a slight delay, the cabinet is finally done!

0F58B55B-02F8-49BB-93D6-CA7C42EA9538 (resized).jpeg1ACB5334-12B7-4C30-AC26-5E1629EE58BA (resized).jpeg
#21 6 months ago

While I am waiting on parts to be powder coated, I’ve decided to turn my attention to the playfield. The replacement playfield is a CPR reproduction.2F4B1956-7FE0-48A3-BC98-18CE0AE4651A (resized).jpeg

The first thing I like to do is get all the hammering done with the playfield flat on the work bench before I mount the playfield on the rotisserie. So I start with the blind nuts, and then install the guide rails.Installing blind nuts.

I use an old pinball as an installation guide. I use a rubber mallet to hammer them in until they hit the ball at the widest point. This game only has a handful of guide rails, so it went pretty quickly.
This guide needs to go down some

#22 6 months ago

The other thing I have found very handy is when you strip down the old playfield, take lots of pictures, and also take the time to mark the backside of the playfield. I have found I use the marked up playfield more than the photos when rebuilding the underside.

6288E42C-9E86-443F-908B-7FEC999DF996 (resized).jpeg
#23 6 months ago

Well %#^*.... I imagine I am not the first guy to put a screw through the playfield in this spot. oh well at least it is not visible when the playfield is complete, but I am still going to patch it up. Time to go buy some filler.

8D5ADEF6-A9A4-4E40-AAF4-C2CF271E0435 (resized).jpeg
#24 6 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

I use an old pinball as an installation guide. I use a rubber mallet to hammer them in until they hit the ball at the widest point. This game only has a handful of guide rails, so it went pretty quickly.
[quoted image]

A trick I use is to cut a piece of hardwood on the shy side of 3/4" thick and slip it under the wire guide. Then tap the guide down until it contacts the wood block. Works perfectly every time, and dead center of the ball. It also helps the wire from deforming from tapping i with a mallet.

Excellent work so far! I can't wait to see more.

-Paul

#25 6 months ago

Loving your work again. Hoping you'll find a Space Invaders to do next. Another machine i'm finding hard to source in Australia in nice condition and one i love for it's own sake.

1 week later
#26 5 months ago

Well after a great night of pinball courtesy of acitti , was going to go out to the shop this morning and get started on populating the cabinet... By my youngest child had different ideas, like she decided to puke in my lap at 1 this morning. Needless to say it was a rough night, and I don't think I will get much shop time today.

In the mean time, last week I was able to finish cleaning up all the under playfield mech's and I have just about all of the on to the new playfield.

IMG_0259 (resized).JPGIMG_0303 (resized).JPG
#27 5 months ago

Terrific restoration so far!!

2 weeks later
#28 5 months ago

Some more progress... the head is almost ready to install. I also test fit the new speaker in the cabinet and finished off the ground braid in the cabinet.

3677D6FB-9310-4EC5-91AC-197927A7DD92 (resized).jpegD24CA52F-2CBA-428F-B6BC-343BDA4786F8 (resized).jpegDE90B398-CF15-44CB-9444-CA4746D3E42D (resized).jpeg
#29 5 months ago

After all the kids opened their presents, I was able to sneak out to the shop for a few hours. I managed to get the machine back on its feet, and install more of the cabinet wiring.4A0DED63-4258-431F-9B72-9A3AE4DB9EEB (resized).jpeg
I like using these spacers under the legs, it goes a long way to preserving the cabinet decals. You do have to trim the decals out from under them when you install them.

24CD3004-062E-45F9-9297-1C5B9BFDDC3F (resized).jpegB5D78E46-DE06-4804-94A8-08CE014940D3 (resized).jpeg

The powder coating on the legs turned out pretty nice.

76E6535B-D836-40F8-8C7B-327067436F23 (resized).jpeg. The cabinet wiring is about 80% done. I’ll finish it up after I put the head on.
B5D78E46-DE06-4804-94A8-08CE014940D3 (resized).jpeg

1 week later
#30 4 months ago

I turned my attention back to the playfield this weekend. I got the mini-playfield populated, and the wiring harnesses on the main playfield are almost complete.

1E6427A1-4E02-4056-8E18-E2A8D0FA6B85 (resized).jpeg3593D211-76A4-4A77-8657-8B877AB62A17 (resized).jpeg
#31 4 months ago

So today I remounted the topper on the head. There is a reflective strip on the head that I removed before painting. Obviously the strip didn't survive the removal process, so I decided to replace it with a strip of reflective vinyle. I think the results look pretty good, as the strip tend to reflect more blue.
IMG_0446 (resized).JPG
IMG_0448 (resized).JPG

I'm still waiting on the powder coated rails, but after I finished the topper, I decided today to go ahead and mount the head anyway and do a power up test. I am glad to report it booted up with no issues.

IMG_0449 (resized).JPG

#32 4 months ago

Awesome. I got this powdercoating recently done

IMG_20191101_185952196 (resized).jpg
#33 4 months ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Awesome. I got this powdercoating recently done [quoted image]

That is the look we are aiming for.

1 week later
#34 4 months ago

More progress this weekend...
I have completed the wiring on the playfield, and it has been successfully tested. The next step will be to get the playfield off the rotisserie, and back into the cabinet.

This is the first time I have used titan rubbers on a playfield, and I must say I like the color.

IMG_0493 (resized).JPG
IMG_0495 (resized).JPG

#35 4 months ago

Lookin' great!

#36 4 months ago

Wow , I love your work
Hoping to have a go at a machine myself one day

1 week later
#37 3 months ago

I moved on to installing the ‘bling’ on the machine today. In this case it means adding a color dmd, a lighted speaker panel, button leds, and some light strips in the trough and along the back of the playfield.

So I started with the color dmd on the lighted speaker panel. The speaker panel kit Adam provided to me is pretty nice, and included the speaker lights.

2EA5A84E-4E94-4572-876F-B4EC75F64FAC (resized).jpeg

66C8B5D1-F910-43EE-945A-5223E3DB31DB (resized).jpeg

I’m burning through the zip ties trying to keep the wiring nice and neat. So far it’s looking pretty good.

1 week later
#38 3 months ago

So last week the rest of the powder coated parts came in. I spent today getting them all put on and they look pretty nice. I really like the coin door with the clear coin slots.
520A029A-151E-436C-9987-B039553569C9 (resized).jpeg79A5F68B-00C7-47AF-BF3B-08DEB3FBC03C (resized).jpegCBBEB274-9C0E-407A-9AB9-F029BFD34EB0 (resized).jpeg

#39 3 months ago

I love how this is looking, I can’t wait to check it out when it’s all done in person.

#40 3 months ago

Did you paint the coin return plastic? I still have the black plastic on mine because I'm afraid I will never match the powder color.

#41 3 months ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Did you paint the coin return plastic? I still have the black plastic on mine because I'm afraid I will never match the powder color.

Do you mean the flap over the coin return, and the frame around it? They were powder coated. The plastics on the backside were all left stock.
21008EC9-A048-49C5-B5FF-879C6C94D948 (resized).jpeg

#42 3 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

Do you mean the flap over the coin return, and the frame around it? They were powder coated. The plastics on the backside were all left stock.
[quoted image]

Oh, I didn't think plastic could be powder coated.

#43 3 months ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Oh, I didn't think plastic could be powder coated.

I didn’t think so either before this project, but the came out fine.

#44 3 months ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Oh, I didn't think plastic could be powder coated.

maybe it's like plastic bumper bars

#45 3 months ago

Lots of progress this weekend! We got it flipping again. I forgot how fast fish tales plays, especially with a new playfield.

It was not all good news this weekend however. I discovered that the 12 volt circuit cannot support all the accessories I added. It worked fine in attract mode, but as soon as I started a game, it blew the 2amp break I setup to power the accessories. Come to find out the lighted back panel draws 1.5 amps by itself. So I’m going to have to setup a separate power supply to run the back panel, the lighted flipper buttons, and the trough and back strip light. The color Dmd will stay on the driver board 12v circuit as it the ground reference to work correctly.

I also had an issues with my new sound setup. I’ve been using the WPC speaker upgrade guide publish by Tony Dziedzic to wire up new speakers for the machine. I’ve done it on 2 other machines and this is the first time I’ve had an issue. The problem is the amp would start to cut out after about 10 minutes of play. I think I isolated the problem however. I used a 120 hz crossover on this installation, and I don’t think it isolates the base well enough, and you have to turn the volume up to around 16 to get the base to feel right. On my other builds I used a 100 hz crossover, and I had no amplifier issues. So I have a new crossover on order. Hopefully this will take care of the issue.

683CFC59-D580-4F3F-B7DE-1CA965F6EF1C (resized).jpeg
#46 3 months ago

Ok, I have just about gotten this one buttoned up...

First, I did install the new power supply for the accessories. I used a small 5 amp power supply wired into the switch side of the AC feed circuit. The accessories are protected by a 3 amp slow blow fuse.
IMG_0566 (resized).JPG

I also replaced the 120hz crossover with a 100hz crossover. That made a lot of difference with the bass in the machine. I only had to turn the volume up to 12 to get it thumping nicely, and the onboard audio amp handles it nicely without cutting out.

I also did one very important test with all the new accessories. I put the head down to make sure I had enough slack in the wiring harness so that nothing snagged or pulled out. If you are adding anything to a WPC game, it may seem trivial, but you don't want to move the game for the first time and pull out all your hard work.
IMG_0568 (resized).JPG

So now all the accessories work, and it looks pretty nice all lit up.
IMG_0563 (resized).JPG
IMG_0564 (resized).JPG
IMG_0569 (resized).JPG
IMG_0570 (resized).JPG

#47 3 months ago

Sweet!

#48 3 months ago

Agreed
That's a pretty game.
That new Playfield looks awesome!

1 week later
#49 83 days ago

Ok, this one is getting delivered to Bakersfield today, so I am closing the books on this restoration. I've played the game enough now I think I have all the bugs worked out.

The next restoration will start soon...
IMG_0624 (resized).JPG

#50 83 days ago

Whats up next mate?

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 369.00
Cabinet - Decals
Mircoplayfields
$ 279.95
Lighting - Led
Pin Stadium Pinball LEDs

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside