(Topic ID: 297202)

Is my playfield too far gone? Should I get a hardtop replacement?

By aaron__b

3 months ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 30 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 89 days ago by pookycade
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

4824A75C-0462-49B5-8A12-ABC1DD13A467 (resized).jpeg
51B9F161-EA93-43EB-9548-FF08B282A817 (resized).jpeg
pasted_image (resized).png
PXL_20210722_055121044 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054610214 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054603851 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054552617 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054546499 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054529099 (resized).jpg
PXL_20210722_054522917 (resized).jpg

#1 3 months ago

This is my first pinball machine and it's turned into a bit of a project.
I'm trying to decide if I should buy a hard top and replace the whole thing (outsideedgeproducts.com has a jungle lord) or if the current playfield condition is "good enough".
Also, where the ramps meet the playfield only the middle ramp is smooth. The other ramps are sitting on the playfield and are a bump up onto the ramp. Maybe this is just how Jungle Lord was made. I dunno.
Thanks in advance for your expertise.

PXL_20210722_054522917 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_054529099 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_054546499 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_054552617 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_054603851 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_054610214 (resized).jpgPXL_20210722_055121044 (resized).jpg
20
#2 3 months ago
Quoted from aaron__b:

if the current playfield condition is "good enough".

I'd say it's good enough. Clean it, fix it, wax it, and enjoy playing it. It's not a mint museum quality game, and a little bit of wear isn't going to hurt anything.

#3 3 months ago

The playfield isn't too bad, but if you have sunken inserts the hardtop will make it play better and look pristine. If the inserts are raised like they commonly are on this era of Williams, you will have to get them level with the playfield before installing the hardtop.

#4 3 months ago

Way better than most JLs. I'd stick with that one for a while.

#5 3 months ago
Quoted from aaron__b:

This is my first pinball machine and it's turned into a bit of a project.
I'm trying to decide if I should buy a hard top and replace the whole thing (outsideedgeproducts.com has a jungle lord) or if the current playfield condition is "good enough".
Also, where the ramps meet the playfield only the middle ramp is smooth. The other ramps are sitting on the playfield and are a bump up onto the ramp. Maybe this is just how Jungle Lord was made. I dunno.
Thanks in advance for your expertise.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

How does it play? Buying a project as your first can be difficult. I don’t understand what you mean by the ramps exactly. Your playfield is just fine as it is. Usually Jungle Lord is MUCH worse!

#6 3 months ago

I think that playfield looks fine for its age definitely seen worse.

#7 3 months ago

I definitely wouldn’t call that a bad playfield. The only thing that would bother me is the ball swirl, but you can do miracles with Magic Eraser if you do it slowly and carefully. Once all the dirt is out of the grooves, wax it 3 times. Search the forum for “Magic Eraser” and you’ll find lots of tips. I cut mine into 1” cubes and use 97% isopropyl alcohol, never water. Turn the cube frequently, work on small areas, and learn to get a feel for how much you can clean without losing paint (you may lose a little paint while learning this, but that’s okay).

#8 3 months ago

Get a hardtop and tuck it away. Clean and wax the playfield and enjoy the heck out of it. It will be just fine for a long time and then when you are ready, and likely have a few more pins to keep you flipping while you do the hardtop, you can go ahead.

The one thing I might suggest is hold tight on getting the hardtop this second. It has a color difference in the skull art and it might get an update. Stay up to speed on that and if so, get the new one. If not, get what is available.

#9 3 months ago

There should be a recessed hole where the ramps mount if I remember correctly. Your ramps might be misaligned slightly or maybe there's something stuck under them

#10 3 months ago

I need to clarify what I noticed with the ramps.
#1 the play field has been routed out slightly and is lower where the ramp sits, so it's a smooth transition.
#2 there isn't a lower spot here. The ramp sits on the play field so there is a bump up onto it.

I think this probably isn't an issue as it probably came from the factory that way. I assume that Williams would have routed out a lower section for #2 if it was a concern.
Again, I haven't played it yet, so I can't say if it affects game play in any way.

pasted_image (resized).png
#11 3 months ago

My Paragon looked just like your JL when I got it. This is what it looks like now. Magic Eraser for the win.

4824A75C-0462-49B5-8A12-ABC1DD13A467 (resized).jpeg51B9F161-EA93-43EB-9548-FF08B282A817 (resized).jpeg

#12 3 months ago

Do i try to remove any of the plastic protective pieces (see first 2 pictures)? I'm scared that they might pull up paint.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

My Paragon looked just like your JL when I got it. This is what it looks like now. Magic Eraser for the win.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Thanks for sharing the pictures for reference. I am hoping the magic eraser can get minimize the ball swirls.

#14 3 months ago

Man, be careful with a ME, it will eat that paint quick.

No do not try to remove the mylar.

If you are not experienced, just clean, wax, and enjoy.

#15 3 months ago

This playfield is perfectly fine. Not every game can be or should be high end. Clean it up, wax it, maybe use a magic eraser (very, very carefully). And play it. it's a game, it's meant to be played and enjoyed.

#16 3 months ago

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I won't try anything drastic. I'll do the minimal to keep in playable condition. I'll post some after pics, but don't expect them anytime soon. I'm gonna go slowly and take my time.

It is nice to know I can always fall back to the hardtop option, but I won't worry about it for now.

#17 3 months ago

It's a nice patina and doesn't look like it would affect gameplay negatively.

A hardtop seems like overkill at this stage and if you actually want a mint condition museum piece it should be a restored playfield not an overlay.

#18 3 months ago
Quoted from Black_Knight:

Man, be careful with a ME, it will eat that paint quick.
No do not try to remove the mylar.
If you are not experienced, just clean, wax, and enjoy.

Yeah, if you look at my first Paragon pic, I kept the mylar even though it was pretty dirty and swirled under the mylar. Just not worth the risk.

If you can get a scrap playfield with ball swirl to practice on, you can develop a technique for Magic Eraser. But you’ll definitely lose some paint, so it’s always a trade-off.

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from swampfire:

My Paragon looked just like your JL when I got it. This is what it looks like now. Magic Eraser for the win.

DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO CLEARCOAT THE GAME.

How do people keep missing this?

#20 3 months ago
Quoted from Pahuffman:

DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO CLEARCOAT THE GAME.
How do people keep missing this?

Would novus be better than magic eraser on the ball swirls? Or do i not worry about them at all. I think applying a clear coat might be a bit out of my skillset for now...

#21 3 months ago

You could always try a playfield protector to smooth out the bumps and add a little shine to the game. Some people don't like how they play but I don't mind the differences and they're easily installed and removed.

http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=GS-JL-PF-PROTECTOR&Category_Code=GS-1338

#22 3 months ago

Is that a JJP pf? Oh wait they all wear over time?

#23 89 days ago
Quoted from aaron__b:

Would novus be better than magic eraser on the ball swirls? Or do i not worry about them at all. I think applying a clear coat might be a bit out of my skillset for now...

What you're doing when you use a Magic Eraser to remove ball swirls is actually removing the lacquer finish put on by the factory. This means that any NEW ball swirls will be in the paint itself, irreversibly damaging the playfield. Just wax and play. A hard top would be nice but it's still a decent amount of work.

#24 89 days ago

Do u have thoughts of keeping this for a long time or moving it in soon?

#25 89 days ago
Quoted from Pahuffman:

DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO CLEARCOAT THE GAME.
How do people keep missing this?

I’ve done this to several games and I never clearcoat them, I just wax them and play them.

Quoted from Pahuffman:

What you're doing when you use a Magic Eraser to remove ball swirls is actually removing the lacquer finish put on by the factory. This means that any NEW ball swirls will be in the paint itself, irreversibly damaging the playfield. Just wax and play. A hard top would be nice but it's still a decent amount of work.

I agree that using ME removes most of the lacquer, so I only use it for badly ball-swirled games (like the OP’s JL). You won’t get NEW ball swirls if you keep the playfield waxed and change out the balls every year or so. Obviously it’s a different story if you’re planning to put the game on route. In that case - yes, clearcoat it or get a playfield protector.

I strongly disagree that “a hardtop would be nice”. I’d rather play an unrestored game like this JL than one with a hardtop, and I think hardtops devalue the game.

#26 89 days ago
Quoted from aaron__b:

Would novus be better than magic eraser on the ball swirls? Or do i not worry about them at all. I think applying a clear coat might be a bit out of my skillset for now...

I would say for now, don’t worry at all. You have a nice Jungle Lord. It probably has 50,000 plays already, so the next 1,000 aren’t going to matter, especially if you have new balls.

#27 89 days ago

Since it's my first one, I plan on keeping this for a while. I hadn't thought of the playfield protector as an option, so thanks for the suggestion.
I decided I'll try think of the imperfections as laugh lines of a well played and enjoyed machine; positives rather than negatives. Thanks for all the advice.
Definitely looking forward to getting this up and running. Currently working my way through Vid's guide to bulletproofing the power supply and boards.

#28 89 days ago

Your in a good position. You can work on this one and get it playing. If u like the way the playfield rolls, great, if not, you at least have options and a hardtop is one of them. There’s a lot of Pinsiders that would love to have your options. I have hardtops on 2 of 3 games and I absolutely love them.

#29 89 days ago

Just take blurry pictures of the play field throw it on Craigslist ask $6,000 & mention rarity

#30 89 days ago
Quoted from aaron__b:

Since it's my first one, I plan on keeping this for a while. I hadn't thought of the playfield protector as an option, so thanks for the suggestion.
I decided I'll try think of the imperfections as laugh lines of a well played and enjoyed machine; positives rather than negatives. Thanks for all the advice.
Definitely looking forward to getting this up and running. Currently working my way through Vid's guide to bulletproofing the power supply and boards.

I have a playfield protector on mine to level out the inserts and it works great. Highly recommended even if a bit pricey for a piece of plastic

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