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(Topic ID: 129006)

Restored games: Do you prefer "original" or "pimped out"?


By Aurich

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by QuarterGrabber
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Topic poll

“For a pricey high end restore, do you:”

  • Keep it original, nothing that changes the fundamental character 50 votes
    46%
  • Add personal touches, and long as they're tasteful and well executed 58 votes
    54%

(108 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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#1 5 years ago

I was talking with my friend Pat today about game restores. If you missed his Funhouse restoration it's really worth checking out here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-restore-chrome-and-mustard

Lots of great before and after shots, and documentation of his process. I've seen the game in person, and it's gorgeous.

Now one thing he did is he bondo'd the inside bottom of the cabinet, got it entirely smooth and nice, and then painted it yellow. It's really striking in person, and it makes the inside feel special and pop. Here's a photo:

Funhouse

He's working on a second restored Funhouse right now (he's going to sell it, send him a PM if you're interested, he does really amazing work) and we were talking about whether or not he should do the same inside yellow trick for it or not.

It seems like there are two camps for these high end restores. The kind of people who will pay $6k for a redone top to bottom Funhouse. Those who want it "like new, but better", where it feels original, just incredibly nice. And those who want it over the top, and if it's not a factory look that's okay, as long as it looks great and they can enjoy it and show it off.

I'm not a purist. If you can improve on the factory look because you're taking the time to do something they never would have (paint the inside like that? makes no sense for a commercial game) and it brings something great to the table I'm all about it.

What's your take? It doesn't have to be about this particular game, or color of yellow or anything, just a great example of something new, that might divide opinions. Blacking out a game with powdercoated hardware might be another easy example. Chrome I guess falls into that same category. Are you an original purist, or do you like things blinged out a bit?

#2 5 years ago

Personally, I like original.

If anything was going to be worked on and/or customized, I'd like to do it myself (or find someone to do it for me)..

#3 5 years ago

I prefer original - never really liked the tons of toys added to TZ for example. But making it perform better than new is okay, like clearcoat or better speakers.

That said, the above is way over the top and if the guy who did it expected to recoup the cost at sale time, I'd think he was crazy. Things like chromed power boxes is a waste of time and money for something that won't be seen.

Also, chrome should be used sparingly. Side rails? Okay. Coin door? TOO MUCH.

#4 5 years ago

Most of my games are pretty stock. Quite a few are "players" grade games. And that's how I like them. They need to work 100%, and looking good is just a bonus. Games that are over the top are nice, but not my style.

#5 5 years ago

I add a personal touch to all my pins, so I'd say do it. That cab looks badass!!!

#6 5 years ago

OK so on my two HEP projects I went crazy with mods. Now after having them home for six months I wish I left it stock other then LED's in inserts. Just all the bling in TZ actually detracts from gameplay mainly. Plus factor nobody pays for mods when they buy a game, it adds little value to it.

Powder Coating a bunch of stuff is very nice, but not sure while I'm playing I get any more enjoyment from my murdered TZ.

#7 5 years ago

I have a nice sample funhouse I have been debating taking all the way. Its hard for me because there is little to no fade on the game, but the cabinet is far from perfect. I think because its a Sample I am almost afraid to redo it. I am usually the guy that buys games with nice playfields, but usually just average games and likes to make the playfield area look new again. Your not going to please everyone. I tend to agree with the chrome and extra bling is just too over the top for me. I'd prefer to spend my money on another game for the cost of that.

#8 5 years ago

I think the work Pat did to make the "interior of the cab" look really neat and clean is benign, even for someone who might lean on the "purist" side of things in general.

If the game still "looks and plays" like Funhouse should, I don't see any harm to making the inside of the cabinet look great and having it tricked out.

If you asked me what I think about tricking out the PF to the max with toys, or if I thought the cabinet should be painted its original design or not, then I would think twice about it.

It's not like the interior of the cabinet was ever designed/built to look great, imo this kind of work is ALWAYS a welcome upgrade.

-mof

#9 5 years ago

I personally prefer original type restores with a better quality build.The over the top stuff in my opinion starts to detract from the quality of the restoration.There are some times where it is cool to change things up or see how far it can go but if I am an owner I prefer quality over bling and a lot of these mods and bling make for extraordinary bills that add little to nothing to the game . Even worse all the chrome or gold gets more credit and makes a sub par core restoration look better than it really is.
That said I *did* just button up my most over the top IJ ever.It started out a total turd so nothing lost there.

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#10 5 years ago

I personally prefer original to 'pimped out'. Having said that, when I did my full Taxi restore, I did have the cabinet interior bottom painted yellow. A painted surface didn't make sense from the factory as the inside was never seen... but it makes finding dropped screws/keeping the cabinet interior clean so much easier. I also used LEDs (I'd like to think tastefully!). I guess it comes down to personal preference.

Here are my least favorite 'pimps':
I will never use colored LEDs in the GI. It tends to oversaturate a game's appearance and detract from the original artwork IMHO
I do not like changing the color of the lockdown bar or side rails. Again, same reasons as the GI LEDs. Also the treatments I've seen of these tend to overwork one color and not keep the contrast that the original chrome or black provided.
I really dislike plating coin doors. That's just a personal one.
I dislike external subwoofers, 'ground effects' lighting, mirror blades, and MAN do I dislike custom shooter rods. I do *not* want to grab a sculpted head/figure to plunge.

Things I could go either way on:
'Toys' in the game. Bill Ung's Saucer mods in AFM and the TRON arcade cabinet mod are good examples of how you can expand the existing game designer's vision without being tacky. However I really dislike when people put tons of action figures inside the game. Can make it look cluttered and a little cheap/tacky.

Anyways, my .02c! Feel free to disagree vehemently and rip me apart

#11 5 years ago

PIMPIN' ain't easy......as they say. I like the patina games get over the years....cabs get dinged, scratched, and marked up....adds character. That being said I'd buy a pimped out version over an original version of a pin I was seeking anyday of the week. The newer looking and cleaner games are....the happier I am as a buyer.

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from mof:

I think the work Pat did to make the "interior of the cab" look really neat and clean is benign, even for someone who might lean on the "purist" side of things in general.

This is true. Especially as you're never going to see it unless you open the game. I guess some people would rather see a really nicely sanded interior, with no stains or overspray. The yellow looked great though, and the bondo work made it super clean.

Quoted from Richthofen:

I dislike external subwoofers, 'ground effects' lighting, mirror blades, and MAN do I dislike custom shooter rods. I do *not* want to grab a sculpted head/figure to plunge.

Hmm, I can get all of those but the subwoofer. Are you just opposed to seeing something sitting under a game? Mine are mostly in my garage, and I store shit under them. That's just the reality of our storage space though.

I have a friend's Fathom right now, and it's got a total repaint, CPR playfield, chrome armor etc. The inside though was basically not touched. I have to be honest, I don't care. I'm never gonna show off the inside of a game to someone. But I will admit, seeing Pat's all sweet when he opened it up was really the final topping on a great looking game.

I'm from the school of thinking that mods are great, so long as they fit into the game. Not so big on gluing action figures everywhere for instance. But I'm happy with the hammer replacement I made for Metallica. That took an existing part and "upgraded it", rather than gluing on something that doesn't look right.

Or the Mezel "Hells Bell" cover for ACDC, that goes over an ugly bare piece of metal. I just got mine today. I wasn't into the shiny 3D printed look, so I sanded and primed and repainted it, but it really classes up an otherwise blah piece of the game.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from High_End_Pins:

I personally prefer original type restores with a better quality build.The over the top stuff in my opinion starts to detract from the quality of the restoration.There are some times where it is cool to change things up or see how far it can go but if I am an owner I prefer quality over bling and a lot of these mods and bling make for extraordinary bills that add little to nothing to the game . Even worse all the chrome or gold gets more credit and makes a sub par core restoration look better than it really is.
That said I *did* just button up my most over the top IJ ever.It started out a total turd so nothing lost there.
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...and they made you put sideboard decals over that wonderfully-painted brand new cabinet. Yuck...that's an insult to the restoration.

#14 5 years ago

As you can tell from my ongoing Funhouse restoration thread, I prefer original but improved as a finished look. I do like putting TONS of mods in my machines, but nothing that can't be undone with relative ease. So no painting the bottom of the cabinet for me!

#15 5 years ago

I like games with nice touches but no mods. They don't add to the games value. There ment to be played, not put lipstick on a pig.

My vote OG

#16 5 years ago

I put a shaker on my Congo that goes off when the volcano erupts. That ain't no lipstick on a pig...it's the whole f-ing pig roast.

#17 5 years ago

Mods aren't about value. If you're buying a $6k Fungouse it's because you're a collector who really wants one. Same with a HEP. You're not going to get your money back out.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from cavalier88z24:

put lipstick on a pig.

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#19 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Same with a HEP. You're not going to get your money back out.

Thanks Rick !

#20 5 years ago

I'm personally in the "make it look new but original" on the outside for the most part. However specifically to your point - I personally feel that extra work to the internal look really pays off if you are trying to move it under the "high end restore" banner. If a buyer is going to be picking through your photos, and they inevitably get to the shots inside the cab and head, my opinion is that a stock look (bare wood/overspray) just doesn't quite sell it as high end.

As already mentioned, the factory didn't spend time on these areas for good reason, and we don't want them to (unless you are buying a limited edition perhaps.) However, just like strolling around the car show with all the hoods popped open, the perception that you are getting better than new/something special without it simultaneously being a frankenstein from butchering the outside can come from spending the extra time inside.

#21 5 years ago

While that FH restore looked absolutely fantastic, the mustard interior made me cringe a bit. Another less distracting/contrasting color might have worked better.

I prefer original for the most part. But, I also like some tasteful mods that add a little something extra, but only if they can be easily reversed.

There are certain exceptions for specific titles, though. Some mods can become a "standard" of a sort.

#22 5 years ago

I am a genuine "minimalist" when it comes to refurbs (that's why I don't call them "restores"). I like the games to retain some/most of their personality they've acquired over their lifetime.

The only time I want a "sterile" game is when I unbox it!

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

I am a genuine "minimalist" when it comes to refurbs (that's why I don't call them "restores"). I like the games to retain some/most of their personality they've acquired over their lifetime.
The only time I want a "sterile" game is when I unbox it!

I think that's a great attitude for sure. You don't strike me then as the kind of person who'd want a $6k Funhouse.

I'm kind of in between. I like my games nice, but I don't want to have to baby them, or feel guilty about playing them or something. They're sitting there waiting to be played, not looked at.

#24 5 years ago

id rather buy a stock game and do all the work myself. kinda like used cars. the wrong people try to do things, then you buy it, and go "what the heck is this wire doing here" etc. most people dont know what they are doing in the pinball realm, lots of amateurs. same comes with shop jobs, shipping packing, etc. even some that restore looks wise, but things dont play correct.

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from silver_spinner:

id rather buy a stock game and do all the work myself. kinda like used cars. the wrong people try to do things, then you buy it, and go "what the heck is this wire doing here" etc. most people dont know what they are doing in the pinball realm, lots of amateurs. same comes with shop jobs, shipping packing, etc. even some that restore looks wise, but things dont play correct.

Sure. But if you saw Pat's game you wouldn't feel that he cut corners, it's crazy meticulous. The wire routing alone is the cleanest I've ever seen, all wrapped.

Still, I agree, I'm not personally the kind of person who would pay crazy money for a restored game. But that said, if one came along that was the right game ... you never know.

Obviously you only buy it if you're happy with the work.

#26 5 years ago

I prefer a bit closer to original than completely over the top "pimped out" but on something like AFM, there are some things that really can and should be "improved" on in my opinion, and make AFM look better than original, such as the Bill Ung saucer kits, metallic type coating on the saucers, the backboard LED kit, black powder coating etc. And even a shaker motor. That's what I had McCune do when he restored mine:

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I prefer a bit closer to original than completely over the top "pimped out" but on something like AFM, there are some things that really can and should be "improved" on in my opinion, and make AFM look better than original, such as the Bill Ung saucer kits, metallic type coating on the saucers, the backboard LED kit, black powder coating etc. And even a shaker motor. That's what I had McCune do when he restored mine:
ยป YouTube video

Yeah, see, that's what I'm talking about. Not stupid crap all over it, but tastefully upgraded.

I guess everyone already knows my opinion on alt translites.

#28 5 years ago

I like some mods, but not all. I like to enhance the game play with extra lighting and sound. In my home where I control those exterior distractions, I believe undercab and speaker lights coupled with added playfield lighting and an external sub really bring a pin to life.

I blinged-up a Shadow last year and was really happy with the results. I might have went a bit over-board but the new owner didn't seem to mind. I can see where purists wouldn't like it, but I did.
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I added lighting and sound to my MET as well, which I also enjoy over factory. It's great out-of-the box, but it feels just so much better with added enhancements.
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Next-up is my TZ. I don't want to go over-board again but lighting and sound is tops on the list, after all mechanicals are working first of course. As I said, I like some mods but not all. I like the gumballs w/lighting, piano, slot machine, etc. but I won't do all the mods such as the "faceless manikin". I'll keep you posted on where I go with this one.
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It's all in the eyes of the beholder. One guy will like it and the next one won't. It's what keeps life interesting!

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Also, chrome should be used sparingly. Side rails? Okay. Coin door? TOO MUCH.

Agreed. It generally doesn't suit games that were designed with a black coin door in mind.

#30 5 years ago

I like my pins to be original. Only mod I guess is putting LEDs to improve lighting. That's it.

#31 5 years ago

I do my restorations for the love of restoring. I tend to personalize them in some way. If I plan to keep the pin I might add or tweak it a bit more.AFM.fin 012.jpg I like replacing the black plastic wood rails with exotic woodsMisc 002.jpgIn my two Taxi's I kept one original and the second all black Misc 004.jpg

I guess I will never be on the "Purist" Christmas card list.

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I think that's a great attitude for sure. You don't strike me then as the kind of person who'd want a $6k Funhouse.
I'm kind of in between. I like my games nice, but I don't want to have to baby them, or feel guilty about playing them or something. They're sitting there waiting to be played, not looked at.

Interesting point. I like games nice also, but my really nice games make me wince when I see the smallest scratch. My games that are a little rough I am much more comfortable sharing and bringing to shows. I get a lot of enjoyment from the social aspect of the hobby.

I have had many more new or very nice games than rough, but the rough ones give me more pleasure fixing than then the nice ones playing.

My overall favorite is a nice playfiled and playing game with a rough cabinet.

#33 5 years ago

I like to keep my pins original.but like a street rod just a few subtle improvements can make a machine just pop.i can clearly understand why guys do this and can bring a sense of pride while learning and trying something new..with out my son putting LED lights in haunted house it would not look anywhere near as cool with-out that eerie glow it has now..easy for me to also see playfield as slight problem for me to see..but like a street rod I think adding every thing under the sun can have opposite effect..i like to see what others have done to improve their games and encourage this for my son and his crew.

#34 5 years ago

I'm not gonna lie, I like mine pimped.

#35 5 years ago

Pimped, as long as it is well executed to my tastes.

#36 5 years ago

The "tasteful and well executed" is key to my answer. There are way to improve on factory spec without overdoing things with bolt ons and toys. I'm 100% in favor improvements that nicely compliment the overall look or improve reliability.

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

The "tasteful and well executed" is key to my answer. There are way to improve on factory spec without overdoing things with bolt ons and toys. I'm 100% in favor improvements that nicely compliment the overall look or improve reliability.

+1
Some good examples:
- Led & GI ocd boards
- Aurich's MET hammer
- Arcade Upkeeps backbox kit

#38 5 years ago

If all Funhouse pins looked the same it wouldn't be fun. If investing a lot if time and money in a game, I don't see why you wouldn't try to improve lighting, sound, gameplay, and a little artistic touch. Tacking on toys and trinkits that do nothing for gameplay is not my thing. Neither is buying one of every mod out there. It's easy to go overboard with that stuff.

-3
#39 5 years ago

Pimp it out with a personal touch

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#40 5 years ago

I have 6 fully restored games and I went original on all of them.I tried some "pimp" and wound up going back to NOS wherever I could.

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from silver_spinner:

id rather buy a stock game and do all the work myself. kinda like used cars. the wrong people try to do things, then you buy it, and go "what the heck is this wire doing here" etc. most people dont know what they are doing in the pinball realm, lots of amateurs. same comes with shop jobs, shipping packing, etc. even some that restore looks wise, but things dont play correct.

This.. I can't tell you how many "plays great" games that ummm... don't. I cannot even begin to describe how annoyed I get when I see a game with 18 million lumens of LED power, toys and trinkets and other things on them yet the flippers aren't even adjusted right! If a game does not play right, it's just not fun. Period.

Quoted from Aurich:

I think that's a great attitude for sure. You don't strike me then as the kind of person who'd want a $6k Funhouse.
I'm kind of in between. I like my games nice, but I don't want to have to baby them, or feel guilty about playing them or something. They're sitting there waiting to be played, not looked at.

And this. While I have to admit that I am a little protective of a game after I have done a restore, it's still meant to be played. You have to know that 1000-2000 games after your restoration you're going to have to strip the topside again, polish, clean and wax the playfield, but new rubbers on it, replace the flipper coil stops, etc. Pinball machines are all about maintenance and proper adjustments.

I will never use colored LEDs for GI, and I prefer not to use them very much in general. My exception to this is the really hard to get to bulbs and those that will obviously take a beating - such as the 89 flasher in the Balrog on LOTR. The other thing I like to do is add GI behind plastics or signs in a game.

Tasteful mods that add to the gameplay experience are ok in my book. Mods that make a game unplayable or difficult to play - super bright flashers, colors that make it hard to see the ball, etc, are out.

Michael

#42 5 years ago

I like my games in original condition.
How ever, I can appreciate the efforts of a modified out pin, some look great others not so much. Cool mods are the ones that are noticeable only by Pin-Heads, casual players would not really notice the changes.

#43 5 years ago

Nothing worse than have a pinball discussion with some guy who hotglues baby toys on his machine and wants to tell you all about it. : )

Keep them original.

#44 5 years ago

i am a fan of mods, but only when they are awesome, which is actually a pretty major qualifier!


mods i like:

- ColorDMD
- LED/GI OCD
- LEDs are great when done right. (aka they light up dim areas, they avoid clown puke syndrome, arent too bright or harsh, etc)
- functional / protective stuff like cliffy protectors, leg guards, that little mechanism that prevents balls from falling out when lifting the playfield, etc.


stuff i'm not a fan of:

- additional toys aren't necessary in my opinion unless you're upgrading toys that were already on the game originally (for example, the higher quality, more detailed Hallmark versions of the ships that are on STTNG).
- chrome or gold hardware, unless it truly matches the theme and color scheme of a game. Gold works alright on Theatre of Magic, for example, but not on most other games. i could see chrome working well on a motorcycle or robot themed game, but not on, say, WH20.
- Most (custom) toppers and aprons. i feel like they usually don't quite match the art style of the original.
- under-cab lighting. feels cheap and lacks class.

#45 5 years ago

The more pimped out the better. I want a UFO to mistake my game room for a landing zone.

#46 5 years ago

At one time I felt LEDs were "pimpin'"- which btw- I was still OK with.

However, after seeing OCD boards in action, the results are so impressive, I feel like even a purist could go LED and not have an ounce of regret.

To a lesser extent, now having seen colorDMD on a few of my pins (TSPP, ACDC, MB) - this mod doesn't even feel like a "mod" to me- it's the way these games should have been done in the first place.

#47 5 years ago

Agree 100%! (To what Richthofen said at the beginning of the page, can't get the quotes to work on my phone)

Also, I like to think like this: modding is fine if you keep the original stuff with the game and they can be changed back later on. Side rails, lockdown bars and so on are good mods (if you like it) since they can be reverted back to original. I don't like when people make permanent changes like other side art, cutting plastics to fit toys, paint ramps and so on.

#48 5 years ago

I prefer pimped out!

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