(Topic ID: 252065)

Not a simple Flash restore


By mark532011

60 days ago



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  • 62 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Silverstreak02
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There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 60 days ago

This was going to be an easy one. I picked up a non-working Flash project that seemed in pretty good shape. The backglass had a little flaking but not bad and the cabinet was worn but acceptable. Flash Original As-Is (1) (resized).JPG
Flash Original As-Is (105) (resized).JPGFlash Original As-Is (2) (resized).JPG

The playfield was dirty but didn't look like a lot of work:
Flash Original As-Is (15) (resized).JPGFlash Original As-Is (16) (resized).JPGFlash Original As-Is (17) (resized).JPG

Looking closely, there were only a couple of small spots where the paint was missing. It would give me a chance to practice some painting and clearcoat.

#2 60 days ago

The first step was to get it working. All the boards looked good visually, so I plugged it in, checked the fuses and turned it on to see what would happen.

And the power board caught on fire! It appears that the board mounts were a slight bit out of alignment and the back edge of the board was touching.SZJM8678 (resized).JPG

I ordered a new power board but when it came in, nothing would work. Looking at the cost of replacement ones, I sent the boards off to Chris Hibler and crossed my fingers.

#3 60 days ago

There's rarely a simple restore...

#4 59 days ago

The boards came back from Chris and when I plugged them in, everything worked. All of the lights, flippers, rollovers, targets, etc. Everything was rusty, sticky and weak but they all worked. Woohoo!

I wanted to do my best restore on this, so pretty much everything was removed and will be cleaned/repaired. For now the first step was the playfield. With Halloween coming I need my garage for our Haunted House and everything I have read says to give it 30 days after a clearcoat to let it harden so that would work perfectly.

Other than the typical black around the inserts, there were only 2 spots that needed to be repaired and they were pretty small and seemed reasonably easy. A black area next to a pop bumper, and a spot on the womans forehead:Flash-PreCleaning-Reference (26) (resized).JPG

#5 59 days ago

So the work seemed relative easy (compared to some of the mega restores I have read):
1) get the mylar off
2) clean the dirt and ball swirls off
3) drop a light coat of clear
4) touchup paint
5) get some clear on that bad boy and make it look like glass

The mylar came off easy, upside-down air can freeze and it popped off without any problems or the paint coming off.

#6 59 days ago

Cleaning is always a challenge for me, Naptha doesn't seem to get rid of the ball swirls, Novus 2 doesn't seem to either, it seems like I am always relying on Magic Eraser to get the job done.

I worked through Naptha, Novus 2 and then spent about 4 hours and several pads of ME with Alcohol. The results are a lot of work but really change the playfield. Here are the pre and post cleaning images of the same area (his manly chest).Flash-PreCleaning-Reference (27) (resized).JPG

Flash-postCleaning-Reference Image (28) (resized).JPG

I was feeling pretty good about things and thinking of how I was going to lay down the first light coat of clear when I discovered something troubling. The large black area at the bottom shows a massive amount of fade, even though nothing else does:Flash Original As-Is (28) (resized).JPGFlash-PostCLeaning-GridReferenceShot (33) (resized).JPG

That is not camera flash, that is how the black area looks. It does seem to dissapear when wiped with naptha, so we will see how things go bu I will probably have to paint the black...sigh

#7 59 days ago

Yesterday I discovered a new problem. While the Magic Eraser had done its job and removed the black ball swirls, I guess I didn't clean it off the playfield good enough as I now had "white" ball swirls that were very visible in the black areas:
Flash-postCleaning-Reference Image (29) (resized).JPG

I also had white stuck into the cracks, such as around the inserts and rollovers. While I had planned to paint these areas with black, I doubt putting paint on top of a powdery residue would be a good long term solution. It would need to be cleaned outFlash-PostCleaning-MagicEraserLeftover (1) (resized).JPG

#8 59 days ago

And now another new problem surfaces....

I attacked the edges of the inserts and rollovers with more Naptha, even water and finally a toothpick. While working on one of them I noticed it moved.

Uh oh, a quick push up from below revealed:

more work....now I am farther behind than I was when I started...

update: every single insert popped out without any difficulty, only the big "flash" seems to be solid (thank goodness) and the rollovers seem secure. Time to head to the hardware store for some epoxy.

#9 58 days ago

The reglue of the inserts is complete. I cleaned the underside of each one and then mixed up some epoxy, carefully smeared it around the ridge where the insert sits, popped it in and clamped it down. I started with a couple of triangle inserts in the upper left corner so if I screwed it up, they would not be too noticable.
IMG_4682 (resized).jpgIMG_4684 (resized).jpgIMG_4685 (resized).jpg

It seemed to go ok, so I did all the rest. Now I am, back to where I was a few days ago!
Flash-Playfield-Insert-Repair (16) (resized).JPGFlash-Playfield-Insert-Repair (17) (resized).JPGFlash-Playfield-Insert-Repair (1) (resized).JPG

Next step is to get some thinned clear into the cracks around the inserts and then a thin layer of clear to protect the artwork so I can begin working on touchups.

#10 54 days ago

Time to do some touchup on the playfield. I started with the end of the playfield the farthest away from the player so if I screw up it will be the least noticable.

Since I do not have a scan of the playfield or the ability to scan it, I did the next best thing, I created a 1 to 1 scale photograph. I started by taking a 11x17 piece of paper and drawing a grid of lines at exactly 1 inch intervals. I then cut out a hole in the middle making sure to leave a couple of inches all the way around:Flash-PostCleaning-Using the Grid (resized).JPG

Then using my mask I laid it out at the top of the playfield and took the picture:flash-postCleaning-GridRefShot (1) (resized).jpg

Now, with the image and the reference grid, it was time to head to photoshop and make it a perfect 1 to 1 image. I documented this in a short video:

Once the accurately scaled graphic of the paint mask was done, it was time to actually cut it out and get it on the playfield. I documented this process in a video as well:

I did not make a movie of the actual painting, its pretty straightforward, but you can see the result:IMG_4689 (resized).jpg

And the final result:IMG_4690-cropped (resized).jpg

Its not perfect, if you zoom in a lot you can see where the paint bled a bit, especially around those troublesome lightning bolts, but overall I will call it a win!

#11 54 days ago

I went back in with a x-acto blade and scrapped away the black, it looks much better now.

#12 52 days ago

Progress is being made. The upper half black is about done. I still have to do the edges around the inserts, but the main black graphic areas look good.
Here is a before and after of the black in the womans face area. Note that this is without any clear sprayed on yet:

Flash-PreCleaning-Reference (28) (resized).JPGDSC00009-zoomin (resized).jpg
#13 52 days ago

Jeez, what an idiot!
I was looking ahead to the finishing touches, getting the inserts touched up and I realized since they were all out, I could have laid them onto my computer scanner and gotten an accurate scan of them.. but I've already glued them back into the playfield.... sheesh.

#14 51 days ago

This may be boring to some but this is all new to me and so far things have been going well. The Flash area is a weird shape and not easy to replicate. I ended up using photoshop and drawing over the original scan by hand:My freehand overlay

and creating a mask that way, it remains to be seen how well it looks, the paint is currently drying:flash overlay paint with mask

Along the way, I discovered a neat trick. The vinyl I am using is semi-transparent. While this has no effect on much of anything, its great for masking the inserts. I created a set of circle templates and cut them out, then its really easy to look through the mask to see where exactly to stick it down in order to allow the text inside and outside the insert to show:insert with mask

The first set of inserts have been masked and painted, I will update tomorrow with the results!

#15 51 days ago

Ha, I do it in a much similar fashion.
HEP can cut his mask by hand with terrific results, I prefer to make a mask as I'm an very unsteady.
I look forward to seeing your results.

#16 50 days ago

Thanks for posting this restoration..
Flash is my holy grail pin ...

#17 50 days ago
Quoted from burtcam:

Thanks for posting this restoration..
Flash is my holy grail pin ...

thanks for following along, it looks to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to get this done and play it like crazy.

Yesterdays work had some ups and downs.
Everything worked well for masking and painting around the inserts:
painted around the inserts

And the paint looks good around the flash plastic, however when I pulled off the mask a bunch of black and yellow paint came off with it, apparently I did not lock down the original stuff as good as I thought or its just so weak.. in any case, it means a lot more work:
black areas with paint missing

#18 48 days ago

The final masking for black was finished yesterday.final masking for black

Things came out pretty good, the intricate detail for the kightning bolts needs a bit of cleanup.bottom area detail

The biggest problem I have now is that I missed masking a section and have black on the playfield. I am going to work with some water and q-tips and see if I can get it fixedblack in the wrong spot

#19 47 days ago

After a coat of clear, it looks simply amazing! The patches dissapear and it looks really good! DSC00019 (resized).JPGDSC00022 (resized).JPG

Its obvious a lot more clear is needed as it didn't fill into the areas around the inserts or even fill in the tiny cracks from the paint being lifted though: DSC00023 (resized).JPG

The next step is to paint her face where the big missing section is. Then I have to make a determination if I am going to do something about the white/grey/yellowy areas. Some of it needs repair, like the area behind the droptargets (see pic above)

and some of it could be done pretty easily, such as the triangular areas behind the side bumpers, but the intricate area around the SuperFlash where all the numbers are, is far too intricate for my abilities (see pic above)...

#20 45 days ago

The painting is all done! (I hope - more about that later)

The womans face has been touched up. I tried to color match the face color but it ended up a little too pink, my wife says its ok though. When zoomed in, you can see how it is not accurate and a hint of the old color peeks out. But I hope its not too noticable since a lot of the colors, especially the red, are not quite spot on from the original masking.painted face

The white(ish) spot behind the standup has been painted, again, I used the technique of camera, scanning, masking and painting. It came out a little too white compared to the other areas but should be ok since it has 5 posts and a rubberband behind the dropdowns, you won't see much of the paint itself.
original image in photoshopphotoshop mask mademask on the playfieldafter painting

#21 45 days ago

Now for the bad news. After a pretty good coat of clear the other day, I noticed it was not filling in the gap around many of the inserts:gap around the insert

So I figured I would drip a drop of clear down into the crack. I suited up and using the same can of clear (DiamondFinish Clear in a spray can) sprayed some into a cup. I then carefully dropped a drop down into the crack around some inserts. By the time I got to the 4th one, I noticed the others were puckering up so I stopped. But I have no idea what is going on, I used the same stuff as I sprayed on.IMG_4715 (resized).jpg

IMG_4717 (resized).jpg

#22 44 days ago

Wow that’s unfortunate, looks like the new clear drops attacked the existing. Did you allow the last coat of clear to fully cure before applying the drops? I’ve never cleared a playfield, but had something similar happen with regular paint when applying more too soon. As I understand it, you have a short window of time to add more, otherwise you have to wait days for full cure. Plus maybe applying a concentrated amount like that contained too much solvent for a small spot. Sorry this happened

#23 44 days ago

Just leave it alone for a few days. Then wet sand it out and then leave it alone a few more days after wet sanding. Let it cure and you’ll be able to spray over it again.
Also make sure you are shaking the can for AT LEAST the recommended time. The solvents in the can will eat up the soft uncured paint. When you spray in light coats the solvent gets a chance to evaporate.

#24 44 days ago

I agree with the above, it would appear you did not wait long enough for the other layer to cure.
I know I've had that arise when using standard aerosol paints. Makes the heart skip a beat or two.

#25 42 days ago

Thanks guys, it gives me hope that I have not destroyed the playfield. It’s going to go into the den for awhile while we make a haunted house in the garage. Then i will sand and retouch it

#26 42 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

Thanks guys, it gives me hope that I have not destroyed the playfield. It’s going to go into the den for awhile while we make a haunted house in the garage. Then i will sand and retouch it

Honestly when you sand this it probably be level and then you can spray a top coat. I used to think wrinkles were the end of the world but I’ve dealt with them so much that I’ve learned it’s all about waiting it out. Let the paint do it’s thing, wet sand it flat, cover it up. You’ll see it’ll be fine!

#27 42 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

Thanks guys, it gives me hope that I have not destroyed the playfield. It’s going to go into the den for awhile while we make a haunted house in the garage. Then i will sand and retouch it

Please just saying don’t give up on this ...
I am looking for more inspiration ....
So can get motivated to finish my flash .

#28 42 days ago

Two things- your going to be ok mostly becasue you are over black. I would wet sand this area and the entire playfield to bring it level- careful as you will certainly end up eating through the clear (around post holes is very common and not a big deal as it is invisible and easily fixed as always a solid color). Then hit the area that bubbled up with Naptha- examine carefully and decide if you can see the bubbling or otherwise dislike the appearance. If it looks good clear it again- if you dont like it just coat it with black and then another few coats of clear.

Also- probably too late now but in the future I would consider a different product. A quality clear coat like a 2-part Dupont or similar will not really react like your product did. A high solids polyurethane clear does not reactivate a prior coat because the curing is a chemicaly catalyzed reaction and is not based upon a solvent evaporation and once cured (this is incredibly fast) a new coat will not soften the prior.

The DuPont clear I spray is dust free in about 15 minutes and I routinely wet sand within 24-48 hours of application and have filled many a cupped insert and never seen this issue. I have sprayed at least 6 playfields many coats for each and never seen a reaction. The only thing about the high solids products is you need to use the correct temp range activator or you can have solvent pops in your too coat (dont ask why I know this).

I would be very careful with the thickness of your next coat as a thicker coat brings more solvent and thus increases the chance of the reaction you are seeing. Start by spraying a small area that will be under the apron first- check to be absolutley certain it lays down flat with no reaction. Then spray the whole thing at the same thickness as your test coat.

#29 38 days ago

While the clear on the playfield hardens and the haunted house in the garage is set up, I thought I would work on some of the assemblies under the playfield. First off is the small drop-target assembly. It seemed to work ok but was slow and sticky to drop (very typical) and I had no idea if the fancy contacts were in danger of falling apart.

The old assembly was dirty and grungy and since I know nothing about this assembly (which is why I started with the small one - that way I have the other one for reference if I get stuck) I took it slowly and carefully apart:
before disassemblybefore disassemblybefore disassemblyall in pieces

Then after ultrasonic and tumbler and some careful hand-polishing and cleaning, it looks much better!
cleaned parts

During the disassembly, I noticed that one of the wires came off, so it must have been hanging by a thread:
wire fell off

Some more before/after shots:before
afterbeforeafter

After cleaning everything and resoldering, it appears to work correctly. I will have to wait and see once its put back on the table and powered up for the final test. finished

1 week later
#30 31 days ago

While the haunted house in the garage gets built:
IMG_4731 (resized).jpg

Work continues on the assemblies. I actually really like this part of the process, taking the old rusty, grimy assemblies and making them look and work like new.Flash-assemblies restoration (12) (resized).JPG
Flash-assemblies restoration (16) (resized).JPGFlash-assemblies restoration (24) (resized).JPGFlash-assemblies restoration (27) (resized).JPGFlash-assemblies restoration (34) (resized).JPGFlash-assemblies restoration (33) (resized).JPG

#31 31 days ago

Lookin’ good! Enjoying the pics.

#32 30 days ago

I upgraded my slide boards on a Laserball, bulletproof reliability.
Food for thought:

http://www.siegecraft.us/pinball/images/AK-01-010.JPG

thanks hhaase !

#33 30 days ago

One part that definitely needs to be replaced, the coil at the bottom of the playfield:Flash-takedown (13) (resized).JPG
Checking the manual, there is no diagram of what coil is where. There is a description of all coils on page 29....but is this the "Ball Release" coil or the "Eject Hole" coil...of course the two are a different part number coil...sigh.

The coil itself is so burned I can't read the old part number on it.

I was going to post a query to the group but by zooming in, I was able to determine that the wire priginally connected to it was gray/brown. A quick check of the manual shows that gray/brown connects to Q15 Ball Release, part number: SA-23-900-DC

whew - this is exactly why I take hundreds of pictures at each stage of everything!

Flash-takedown (74) (resized).JPG
#34 29 days ago

That's the ball release coil.

Most of the coils in that era williams are just 23-850's and the various letter suffixes refer to if and where a diode is installed. You can usually just replace them all with the same type as long as there's a diode and you get the wires to the correct lugs.

Some of the manuals call out different coils like 23-900, 23-950, but the factory installed 23-850's anyway. They were trying to standardize on as few types of coils as possible to make it easier for operators to carry less spares.

#35 24 days ago

Work continues slowly - the Haunted House is done and all of my tools are behind black plastic...lol

The pop bumpers are being cleaned up. This is not a HEP restore, I am lkooking to clean them and fix them and make it look good, but not worried about museum quality looks. So everything was cleaned and polished but not repainted or powder-coated. Still, it looks a lot better!
DSC00146 (resized).JPG
DSC00156-cropped (resized).jpgDSC00160 (resized).JPG

#36 23 days ago

Awesome work so far! Thanks for the videos on using the Silhouette to create the paint mask, will really come in handy when I get to that stage on my Alien Poker project Bookmarked

#37 23 days ago

Thanks for the kind words!

Cleaning while watching the World Series, I came across a couple of small issues on the pop bumpers. One is pretty obvious and the other was a bit more obscure

I’ve got a broken diode on the middle pop
AD3C9403-87B6-4C60-B519-813403702292 (resized).jpeg

The other looks like a poor solder job, it’s hard to see in the pic but the solder is splashed up against the stack and is shorting the two connectors.
8AD4682A-9164-45B2-A939-43B06858A38A (resized).jpeg

#38 16 days ago

Kind of an interesting problem, the left target is pretty poorly painted. I can leave it, but it seems like it ought to be easy to do a better job on. But the rings are raised slightly, not sure if I should try to freehand it in or cut a mask for it or just leave it.

IMG_4756 (resized).jpg
#39 16 days ago

Free hand it with acrylics and scrape off any mistakes outside of the lines with a toothpick.

#40 15 days ago

One thing I have learned, playfield painting and restoration is not for the faint-hearted, it is also a lot more difficult than the experts make it seem.

Checking on my table, the clear has settled/shrunk and I now have tiny ridges everywhere. I knew this was going to happen but it is so disconcerting nevertheless.
DSC00174-cropped (resized).jpg

With extreme trepedition I gingerly used my sanding block and 400 grit on my playfield. It went about how I thought it would - terrible. It looks like I have some inserts that had raised corners, so the paint sanded off them and I still have gloop from the previous attempt:DSC00180-cropped (resized).jpg
DSC00179 (resized).JPGDSC00178 (resized).JPG

I am going to try and repaint some of it by hand ( fortunately only the black seems to have been sanded off ) and then drip into the cracks around the inserts that are still unfilled and see if I can't get something I can sand flat and not have it bumpy...sigh, I am feeling at the moment like this will never look good.

#41 14 days ago

Just touch it up with a paint pen.

image (resized).jpg
#42 14 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

One thing I have learned, playfield painting and restoration is not for the faint-hearted, it is also a lot more difficult than the experts make it seem.
Checking on my table, the clear has settled/shrunk and I now have tiny ridges everywhere. I knew this was going to happen but it is so disconcerting nevertheless.
[quoted image]
With extreme trepedition I gingerly used my sanding block and 400 grit on my playfield. It went about how I thought it would - terrible. It looks like I have some inserts that had raised corners, so the paint sanded off them and I still have gloop from the previous attempt:[quoted image]
[quoted image][quoted image]
I am going to try and repaint some of it by hand ( fortunately only the black seems to have been sanded off ) and then drip into the cracks around the inserts that are still unfilled and see if I can't get something I can sand flat and not have it bumpy...sigh, I am feeling at the moment like this will never look good.

I don't think you can make this work without using 2-part Auto Clear.

#43 9 days ago

I've touched up the black. I hope it will look good under a coat of clear.re-touched up

Tomorrow I will drip some clear into the cracks and insert-divits and see if I can get a surface I can put some layers of clear on...

I've covered the rollovers using a coin-masking technique. I measured the size (1-1/8") and found a coin the right size (an old one-peso coin) and cut out some painters tape around the coin. It looks like it will work, time will tell!
IMG_4781 (resized).jpgIMG_4782 (resized).jpg

#44 9 days ago

Disaster!

Today I got the paint booth and safety gear all set up, made sure the temp was good, sprayed a bit of clear into a cup and used a glass eyedropper to drop it onto the top inserts. Every single one started puckering immediately. Rather than let it harden, I decided to wipe it off. Unfortunately that took yesterdays fresh black off and even though it is createx (water-based) black, it apparently mixed with the clear and would not come off with waterpuckeringsmeared paint

In a panic I dug out some naptha and scrubbed with that and it seems to have come off...

After changing my shorts, I threw the Diamond Clear can into the garbage. Since I had all my paint stuff set up, I opened a can of SpayMax 2K. Spraying into a cup and droppering onto a different insert gave me the same result:puckering with spraymax 2K

Fortunately it came off with naptha as well. So now I don't know what to do. I've got 2 days before I have to throw away the $30 can of clear.

#45 9 days ago

I had a similar issue with trying to use Spraymax to fill the inserts. I bought a small can of two part auto clear from Amazon for about $40 and no more crazy bubbles. The spraymax is great to clear the entire playfield, but didn’t work to fill the inserts.

Bye the way if you put the can in the fridge after it’s activated it will be good for 7 days.

#46 8 days ago

Throw the can away.

The reason it works to spray a playfield is because its a thin enough coat that the bad juju does not happen as the solvent evaporates fast enough away from the existing coat that it does not wrinkle up. When you dump a thick layer you loose that game.

This is solvent reaction. Its due to the underlying clear coat being dissolved into the fresh drop of clear you added. The rattle can clears have been documented to do this numerous times- a true catalyzed finish Cannot do this, these rattle can clears are NOT the same as a quality two part urethane clear from dupont (only one I have used so not saying others are not good... just that I know how this one works).

A “true” automotive clear (dupont chroma clear as an example) uses a catalytic chemical reaction or process to “cure” (not solvent evaporation and gelling). In the process of curing the product is actually chemically modified such that it cannot be dissolved into the next coat- you could soak it in the can and it should not react- although I would be somewhat suprised if this really worked- but in theory a fully catalyzed clear is totally insoluble in a wet coat).

You- and multiple others seeing the same reaction- have proven beyond a doubt that rattle can clear coat is not fully catalyzed. Thats an inferior product.

Totally sorry this happened, I have also had a few learning experiences and based upon your pictures, you 100% rescued this and kept your head. Look into a spray set up, you can actually spray a playfield if you have about 200 bucks to get a small compressor and a small gun. Then you can work with a Dupont product and put all this in the rear view mirror.

The only problem is the Dupont stuff is insanely expensive. Its over 350 per gallon and you then need to spend over 100 on a quart of activator. You can get quarts of clear and pints of activator but those are even higher prices per volume. Its worth it as they work as they should.

Also- although I am more than competent to read about and understand chemistry- I am totally self taught when it comes to surface coatings and their chemisty. I would love for someone with deeper understanding or knowledge to add to or correct my post in any way. Learning is what its about and I would rather learn something and be wrong than leave bad information out there.

#47 8 days ago

Thanks guys...looks like it’s time to run down to the auto store and see if I can some 2 part clear. I’ve tried spraying clear with a gun and have had poor results, it’s not as easy as the experts make it out to be.

#48 8 days ago
Quoted from rufessor:

You- and multiple others seeing the same reaction- have proven beyond a doubt that rattle can clear coat is not fully catalyzed. Thats an inferior product.

Sparymax 2k IS a 2 part product that works just fine, I have used it myself for filling in inserts and low spots as the OP with no ill effects.

Something else is going on, there is another product on the playfield that is reacting causing this. The OP mentioned Diamond Clear being used which is where I suspect the problem lies.

20190630_145807_resized (resized).jpg20190701_063956_resized (resized).jpg
#49 8 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

Sparymax 2k IS a 2 part product that works just fine, I have used it myself for filling in inserts and low spots as the OP with no ill effects.
Something else is going on, there is another product on the playfield that is reacting causing this. The OP mentioned Diamond Clear being used which is where I suspect the problem lies.[quoted image][quoted image]

Do you find its easier/better to use the spray for clearing small areas? I have a can of the diamond max clear and its difficult to get it smooth and flat with a brush or foam applicator.

#50 8 days ago
Quoted from topkat:

Do you find its easier/better to use the spray for clearing small areas? I have a can of the diamond max clear and its difficult to get it smooth and flat with a brush or foam applicator.

I have only done complete PF so can't say.

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