(Topic ID: 169167)

Playfields: Touch up or leave original? Poll.

By bkbirge

5 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Dono
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

“Playfield touchup or leave original?”

  • Touchup always, a pristine playfield is godly. 16 votes
  • Never touchup, wear those battle scars proudly. 6 votes
  • Touchup only areas that affect playability, cupping inserts, planking, etc. 18 votes
  • Send it off for restoration, let the pros decide. Understanding it may take awhile + recouping the cost will NEVER happen. 3 votes
  • Varies depending on XYZ I will discuss below... 11 votes

(54 votes)

#1 5 years ago

Did a search but didn't see anything pop up though I'm sure this must have been discussed before.

What is the considered consensus on playfield touch ups of EM games?

I've got an Aladdin's Castle that I've managed to mechanically tune up quite nicely with forum help. The playfield has some planking, a few wear spots around keylines and common ball tracks, some insert cupping, etc. Visually nothing too bad, looks nice and I would probably be ok with it as is, except I'm worried the roughness will cause the ball to tear it up more and of course it plays slower with those issues.

So... I'm thinking of clear coating. Question is whether to touch up first or not. In general when clear coating for playability would you want to always touch up the playfield first or do some of you like to leave the original battle scars? Assume I'm not talking about extreme playfield damage whatever that means to you.

Discuss away.

#2 5 years ago

I've never cleared any of my playfields because I know I don't have the skill (or confidence) to do much repair. Don't know much about clearing, but I hear a lot of people talking about 'clearing is forever' or other stuff, and I'd hate to lock in problems if that's true

#3 5 years ago

Touch ups first, clear second.

Just make sure your paint touch ups are as good as they can be as once you clear the playfield.

#4 5 years ago

If you are going to the effort to clear coat, then you might as well do the touchups first

#5 5 years ago

If damage is minimal, clean and wax. Play. If it has a couple of worn spots to the wood drop some primer and paint on there and spot mylar it.

If damage is severe enough to make the game unappealing for play, touch up.

If I touch up, I clearcoat. Painted areas will wear again quickly if not protected. Some areas of definite future wear get mylar.

If game is really rare, leave it alone, let a pro fix it.

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

Touch ups first, clear second.
Just make sure your paint touch ups are as good as they can be as once you clear the playfield.


#7 5 years ago

I repainted my entire Crescendo playfield (literally. The whole thing save the Gottlieb emblem.) and don't regret it. I think it's a lot of fun and super brutal with the cleared playfield.

Would I touch up without clear? No. It's too much effort to just lose the work, IMO, and cupped inserts drive me nuts so I need to fix or clear them anyways. Sticking mylar over a touchup might be a good stopgap, but that's all it is to me, a temporary measure. I'm sitting on a Magnotron right now that I'm about to have to make some tough choices for... would love to have it cleared, but it's really super hard to justify on a game that I'm not sure is a keeper or not for me, so I'll wait to decide until after it's playing correctly and I get some time on it.

I have throught about clearing a playfield as-is, even with wear, but it's one of those things where unless I can do it myself (which I can't...I'm in a condo with no garage or anywhere to do anything..) I'm not about to pay someone 400 bucks to clear just any old playfield...

#8 5 years ago

I only ever touch up anything if I can do it in a way that no one can see it has been touched up. As I am not an artist I usually leave alone.

Bad touch up's are not my favorite thing...... Pop bumper circles with wobbly lines are bad.

Had games where touch up's are so good it is incredibly hard to even decide if it is a touch up or not.

#9 5 years ago

I know how you feel Op.

Its a dilemma with some playfield what to do.

I have currently a slick chick playfield choice and am leaning now to fixing the wear and if I do it probably means a clear coat I guess. 2pac is easiest to do but like all clears is permanent. This game didn't get enough wax or love back in the day and has a lot of ball swirls and wear especially the shooter lane and ball top arch, bumper area and flippers.

The game will never be in a museum but I can restore it with modern techniques so it is a keeper. Oh... I suddenly know what to do.

Search not working for you too. How unusual.

Steve J

#10 5 years ago

I touched up one playfield where I thought I was helping but afterwards i wish I didnt do it.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from TVP:

I touched up one playfield where I thought I was helping but afterwards i wish I didnt do it.

Why not? Was it not a good job or did you not like the play?

#12 5 years ago

I found that these new sharpie colors.permanent markers are the bomb for around inserts and minor wear areas.the colors are near match for old bally ,Williams playfields.can show example.

#13 5 years ago

Would love to see that example, please post. I thought I read on the forum that clear coating over sharpie causes smearing?

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from bkbirge:

Would love to see that example, please post. I thought I read on the forum that clear coating over sharpie causes smearing

It can depending on the clearcoat used.

#15 5 years ago

Never touch up, can only be original once.

Just my humble opinion, wear & tear shows history. Besides it's the cheapest/easiest route too.

I encourage everyone to do whatever they want with their machines though. Whatever makes you happy is definitely the only right choice.

Edit: I mis-voted. I voted never touch up, but I'd definitely attend to ANYTHING that affects playability.

#16 5 years ago

those who can WILL
those who can not WONT

#17 5 years ago

No right or wrong answer - I think it really depends on the game's shape, whether it's a keeper, etc... I touch up what I think I can do without looking obvious - pop circles are especially difficult, and take a LOT of time to do them right - nothing is worse than a crappy touch up job... if you can see the touchups, it's crappy IMO. Planking is the toughest to deal with - If you're gonna tackle hard-core planking that's a bitch and like pop circle surround work, it's tough and takes some serious time to do right. Just finished shopping a 4 Belles woodrail, and I had a big decision to make - spend a million hours getting the playfield pristine, or do nothing at all, as the playability is not affected by planking or other areas of wear; for this game I chose to leave as is, and glad that I did. Then again, I'm working on a Cleopatra EM, did a ton of touchups after taking off mylar - clear coated and its a keeper for me, at least for a few years; it's all good man, it's pinball...

YORK Baby, CANT FRIGGIN WAIT. Got my IPAs at the house and ready for the show.

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