(Topic ID: 10304)

Paragon restoration - begins

By Half_Life

9 years ago


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  • 37 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 years ago by pinballfan
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#1 9 years ago

Although I've been working this one for a little while, I thought I'd share some photos along the way. The machine was completely disassembled and all paint was stripped from the cabinet using my Festool RO125. Once down to bare wood I filled all of the dings, deep scratches , gouges and built up the corners (where it looks like they took a beating at some point) and sanded all of these repairs smooth. The cabinet was weakened quite a bit and loose in many places so I re-glued all of the seams and clamped. I replaced the old style leg bolt plates (1/2" wide x 3" long) because someone had overtightened 3 ot them and cracked the mounting block underneath) with the newer style that wraps through the inner corners. Next the cabinet and backbox were sprayed with a primer followed by the yellow base coat with sanding between coats. I just finished the red layer and will give it a few days to dry before I sand it and then apply the blue. I matched the colors using my Pantone guide to colors found beneath the legs and siderails. Here are a few pics (before and during).

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#2 9 years ago

Couple more pics.

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#3 9 years ago

Looks good so far!

#4 9 years ago

Excellent choice for a restoration (IMHO of course). Nice job so far - I look forward to seeing more pics!

#6 9 years ago

Can't wait to see the blue on there. It's gonna pop big time! Nice job so far.

#7 9 years ago

Looks good. It's going to be really helpful cause they all were used to death and wore in the exact same way.

#8 9 years ago

Nice! This is gonna be another cool thread like Hulk! I'm watchin' !!

2 weeks later
#9 9 years ago

And now the blue layer is complete. Next is some light sanding and applying the clear coat.

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#10 9 years ago

Looking good!

#11 9 years ago

Wow that's looking great! Such a classic early SS Bally. Can't wait to see it all finished.

#12 9 years ago

That looks awesome! I've always wanted to redo a early SS cab but never had the right machine to try on.

Great work, I'm sure it will give other confidence to try it themselves.

#13 9 years ago

Aww man, that is awesome! You're gonna let me play it, right?

#14 9 years ago

WOW, looks great! Especially without those damn paint flecks! Good luck with the rest. Can't wait to see it done.

#15 9 years ago

wow it looks great, very well done.
the final result will be awesome.
this is an early ss i'd like to own one day!

#16 9 years ago

Nice work!

#17 9 years ago

So that is what the Paragon cabinet is suppose to look like!
Very nice, very nice indeed.
Did you use butcher paper to trace the outline and then transfer that to a more stiff "poster board"? Just wondering if you will share your trade secrets.

#18 9 years ago

dare to say...as good as new? amazing detail. that is how to restore a cabinet!

#19 9 years ago

Looking very good, I am planning on doing this to my flash gordon eventually. Although I'm too afraid to do my playfield, the cabinet seems do-able for my skill level. That's gonna be my summer project this year. Very good work.

#20 9 years ago

Beautiful....just beautiful.
Are you also doing a playfield restore - or just the cabinet? I have a Paragon with some playfield wear in the bonus section, and I've been looking for the best way to repair.

#21 9 years ago

Looks nice, I may need to try this, how you get the right colors? As in what are they?

Quoted from jwwhite15:

So that is what the Paragon cabinet is suppose to look like!
Very nice, very nice indeed.
Did you use butcher paper to trace the outline and then transfer that to a more stiff "poster board"? Just wondering if you will share your trade secrets.

This would be helpful too, as yours looked better then mine befor you repaired it.

Thanks

#22 9 years ago

Great work, they do look much better with no fade.

#23 9 years ago

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. Restoring is the part of the hobby I enjoy the most, other than meeting other pin folks. So much satisfaction when it's complete and you take a step back and see the pin that was in your minds eye. Plus, I like the fact that there will be another pin saved and maybe someone will enjoy it. I don't flip pins for the money. If that were the case I'd starve because I spend way too much time on them. Heck, I spent 14 months restoring my '67 Williams Apollo. But, it looks damn good (in my humble opinion). I learn from every one of these I do. I've acquired new skills along the way and one never stops learning.

Quoted from jwwhite15:

Did you use butcher paper to trace the outline and then transfer that to a more stiff "poster board"? Just wondering if you will share your trade secrets.

Good question. For this restoration (and one other) I actually used the stencils from Pinball Pal. They are made of a thick vinyl and really do a nice job. Those stencil kits do not come with transfer tape and the creator of them say it isn't necessary. That may be true if you've done hundreds of them. I've found that the stencils are much easier to apply when using transfer tape. I bought a roll of it off Amazon and apply it before I attach the stencil to the cabinet.

For restorations that there are no stencils for, I create my own. First I trace each color using velum (basically a clear acetate film) onto separate sheets, one for each color. Next I then use frisket as my stencil and trace the pattern to it. The reason I use frisket is that it is adhesive backed and sticks very well to the wood surface and usually doesn't leak. To cut the frisket I use a scalpel and #11 surgical blades. I've found that the scalpel blades are better quality than xacto blades, produce better cuts and take longer to dull. The sharpness of the surgical blades prevent them from stretching the frisket before it cuts which reduces lifting and seepage of the paint.

As with anything else, preparation is key for a good result. I use my Festool RO125 to strip the cabinet down to bare wood. Next I make sure the cabinet is structurally sound (joints are solid, plywood layers not separated, etc.). If needed I re-glue / clamp and pin nail where needed. Next is filling holes, gouges, scratches and reshaping corners as necessary using bondo. After that is sanding and more sanding. Next, I mask and tape all the areas not receiving the paint color I'm applying. I got burnt on this step once (paint seepage everywhere causing a complete re-sanding of the cabinet) by using some very cheap masking tape. Never again; I get painters tape in bulk packs. So far all of the pins I've restored have had a white "primer" coat beneath a light colored base coat. I've yet to do a pin with a black base coat so I will assume the primer is black as well. I'll spray two coats of primer because the bare wood sucks up the paint like crazy. I sand between each coat and clean with naptha each time. That may be overkill but that method hasn't let me down yet. Next comes the base coat, again two or three coats depending on the color. The white primer helped make the yellow on Paragon jump out. Once the base coat is dry (usually 2 or 3 days) I sand and clean with naptha. Then I just repeat the steps using the next color. If you create your own stencils, you can see which color was laid down when during the painting process. If you follow that you'll do fine.

Quoted from SunKing:

Are you also doing a playfield restore - or just the cabinet? I have a Paragon with some playfield wear in the bonus section, and I've been looking for the best way to repair.

Yep, the playfield will be touched up where needed and clear coated. I actually bought another playfield as the one in my machine was in slightly worse shape. Mine was not bad; the other one just had less wear. In the areas where there is some intricate details I'll scan the area, create decals on water-slide paper (same stuff we used as kids on model cars and airplanes). The water-slide decal paper is super thin and doesn't take much in the way of clear coating to cover. I'll also level all of the inserts with the playfield by removing, re-gluing and re-seating. If needed I'll repair any that are concave due to the heat of the lamps. While the paint was drying I was rebuilding the drop target mechs and bead blasting the larger metal pieces to remove rust and years of dirt. Smaller parts get tumbled (I've gone through two tumblers so far). I don't bother tumbling screws as I have found that they don't always come clean. I get my hardware from McMaster-Carr; they ship stuff quickly and are way cheaper than any of the pinball parts stores (only when you buy boxes of 50 or 100).

#24 9 years ago

great job on the paint work.

#25 9 years ago

Just Awesome!

4 months later
#26 9 years ago

... and finally comes to a close....

Finally able to complete this restoration. Once I got started, it was hard to stop. The part that took the longest was having to learn playfield touch-ups by hand with brushes (on an old 8 Ball Deluxe playfield) before I worked on the Paragon PF. Lots of new parts in the machine; drop targets, bumper caps, reproduction plastics, hardware, flipper rebuild kits and probably more I've forgotten about. All in all a fun project and I'm pleased with the results. I've attached a few pics below. Now please excuse me as I have a Bally Strikes and Spares and Skateball in the queue.

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Post edited by Half_Life : forgot to resize images first

#27 9 years ago

Fan-tastic!!

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#30 9 years ago

It looks amazing!!!!!!!!!! Nice work!

#31 9 years ago

Amazing craftsmanship. Just fantastic.

Can you give me a little more on the paint process, like whose paints you used and the color-match info? I imagine you own a hvlp sprayer as well?

I ask because I'm looking at a project Paragon here in my garage that is going to need exactly the same, thorough treatment in order to get it up to my standards, and I'm going to be blazing new ground here so I'm kinda nervous.

Enjoy it. Great game.

#32 9 years ago

Gorgeous! Great job. This makes me miss my old Paragon.

#33 9 years ago

Awesome

#34 9 years ago
Quoted from mrbillishere:

Can you give me a little more on the paint process, like whose paints you used and the color-match info? I imagine you own a hvlp sprayer as well?

I used Americana brand acrylics which typically can be found at Michael's or any craft store. I actually got mine online from a distributor in GA. As far as color matching goes I have enough of the paint that I can usually match the colors without mixing. If not then I mix colors and write down the number of drops added so I can repeat if necessary. To verify that I've got the same color as what's on a playfield, I mix on a small sheet of glass. Then I place the glass sheet on the PF to compare the mix to the PF paint to make sure it matches.

I also use an airbrush at times for larger areas but that typically requires masking which takes a little time. For the cabinet paint and clear coats, I use my HVLP gun. I've read where some folks use rollers or brushes on cabinet repaints but I personally don't like the finish those methods leave. I will say that touch-ups by hand require great patience but in the end can be quite rewarding.

#35 9 years ago

Thanks everyone for the kind words. For me, the best part of this hobby is putting some life back into these machines and saving them from ending up in a local trash facility.

#36 9 years ago

Paragon is a real beautiful game! If it didn't have those 3 flippers, it would definatly be in my collection...

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#37 9 years ago

congratulation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!fantastic!!!!!!

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