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(Topic ID: 160043)

Sorcerer - The Poor Man's Restoration


By thedefog

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by thedefog
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

So I'm not really poor, but I don't have loads of cash for fixing up games either. I will replace only the stuff that really needs to be replaced for the game to play like it was meant to, spare an embellishment here and there. I put in as much sweat equity as possible. You won't be seeing a HEP or PMD level restoration here.

What you will see though, is some occasional bullshit where you wonder why I spent time polishing some turd part instead of buying a new one for like $5.

I'm a cheap ass.

You may also question the methods I use to get to the end result. I question them too. In all honesty, I know the electronics side, but I'm fudging it when it comes to the rest, and doing it all on a shoestring budget. My wood working experience is limited.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33480248@N05/albums/72157668059248165

I really only just started this PF restore + Shop out. It is going to be a longer haul than the usual 3 month marathons I like to do. I have an infant and a 4 yr old in the house. Free time is non-existent.

My goal is not a 10/10, but a solid 8 in the looks department, and a 10/10 in the gameplay department.

#2 4 years ago

Cool, this looks fun!

Are you planning to retouch the playfield by hand? Or get greatwitchjohn to redo it for you? Or some other method? My Sorcerer playfield has a slightly different wear pattern but still plenty of it, I'd love to get it redone but would be too bummed not to be able to play during the long wait (not blaming greatwitchjohn, I know he's got a lot going on, just the reality of the situation there).

#3 4 years ago

Restoring this one. I don't have the money to shell out on a refurb PF, but I've got the materials to airbrush/mask and waterslide my way there. Its not going to be perfect, but it is where I'll spend 90% of my time on this one no doubt.

#4 4 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

Restoring this one. I don't have the money to shell out on a refurb PF, but I've got the materials to airbrush/mask and waterslide my way there. Its not going to be perfect, but it is where I'll spend 90% of my time on this one no doubt.

Should be an exciting challenge, I'll look forward to tracking your progress!

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

I'd love to get it redone but would be too bummed not to be able to play during the long wait.

Have you signed on the CPR Sorcerer "wishlist"? If they do eventually run Sorc pf's, at least your machine is only down for however long it takes you to complete the swap.

#6 4 years ago

To keep some continuity, I'm posting some photos here. I hate going back and forth to a gallery, plus I wanna explain some stuff.

So here is what I started with

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Inside of the cab needs a desperate cleaning. I'll vac the rest of that crap out the first vac job missed, remove the rest of the wiring, mask it off, take it outside, and spray the inside with black spraypaint. I also have the two holes in the front to bondo & sand. Just doing black touch-up with rustoleum black lacquer, not redoing the art on this one.

Boards were all working, just needed battery removed (NVRAM, thanks Andrew), caps replaced, Hackjob lamp cable removed from the PSU GI, and connectors reflowed. My next order is going to include everything to repin these.
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Backglass was nice. Just some small flaking on the bottom right score window. The cab & backglass were the best part of this one.

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PF is worn, but I've worked with worse. I'll still take a long time to rework this one.
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A few sunken insert needed to be popped out and reglued. Gotta deal with the aftermath of that now.
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And obviously the target and drop artwork is missing. I recreated these in AI.
Here is a link to anyone else that wants the art. This is not to scale, it needs to be scaled properly.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1CkZwlQifQMa3VKajFleGVPRGM
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And here is some other dirty stuff.
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#7 4 years ago
Quoted from jibmums:

Have you signed on the CPR Sorcerer "wishlist"? If they do eventually run Sorc pf's, at least your machine is only down for however long it takes you to complete the swap.

I thought about this, but I like restoring PFs and wanted to give it a go.

#8 4 years ago

And what has been done so far

Board work, minus new .156 pins (next order)
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spray painted transformer cover & repainted transformer board. Didn't clean up the transformers yet though. Still rusty.
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clean plastic & polished metal
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barf shield on lock bar. How do you get rid of this rust? Guess I gotta sand it.
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touch up on spinners
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painted bb door
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ME on PF. I know what I'm up against now.
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So you may be wondering wtf is that black stuff all over the PF. Its not Sharpie. That's black Molotow paint marker. You know, the stuff you're never supposed to use. While frisketing everything for hours and airbrushing is going to yield better results, I just don't have that kinda time right now. I'd be a liar if I said I didn't do this before either, just never on the entire PF. I've done black touch-up on 2 PFs so far with this paint marker that have also been cleared, and I could not tell where the airbrush stopped and the paint marker started.

Because Sorcerer is so complex with the art shapes, and my time is so limited, I'm just going to try and "draw" the black on. I know this is not recommended, and I've done it the correct way. But I figure the worst case is to airbrush black over that black after the first coat of clear is down. That's why I'm doing it on the base of the PF. What I do know is that the Molotow paint doesn't run when it is cleared. So this is an experiment for pinside.

Here is a box o new parts
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Lightening flippers. Why not?
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Extra duplicate plastics. Anyone need these? PM me. some cracks/chips, but better than no plastic.

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#9 4 years ago

Like I said, the poor man's restore job.

#10 4 years ago

I'm not a fan of lightning flippers. Their reduced length greatly varies gameplay. Replaced mine on FT and BSD with regulars and shots are much easier and gameplay is much more fluid.

#11 4 years ago

I like how the earlier run of Sorcerer aprons have a much deeper golden yellow ink than later ones. Matches the color of the stonework on the plastics. Good luck with your restoration!

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

I'm not a fan of lightning flippers. Their reduced length greatly varies gameplay. Replaced mine on FT and BSD with regulars and shots are much easier and gameplay is much more fluid.

Sorcerer is a bit too easy a game, so I wanted to add some more chaos to the gameplay. It is going to be weird for sure. It is really an experiment. If I hate it, I can always put the original flipper bats back in.

#13 4 years ago

Anyone that wants those plastics, lemme know. Also, take the jerk cat too.

#14 4 years ago

We share a similar philosophy. My Space Shuttle was absolutely done on the cheap, complete with freehanding the pf art & details where needed (it helped that I have experience from model railroading), although it didn't need as comprehensive a restore. And even though it's still not a perfect resto by any means, the compliments I got at Louisville Expo were astounding.... it placed 2nd in best of show behind a pimped Medieval Madness (how is that even a fair fight lol).

My Firepower though? Total wreck. And a total ___-man's attemp. I hesitate to say "poor" since I should have been able to afford better, and I won't say "cheap" because when I chose to drop coin, I'm anything but. But STILL! When I looked at the condition it was in, I had to decide what to fix and what to let go. The cabinet was terrible... I had to rebuild and reinforce part of it, and respray... but I left the "scorched" looking art trails; even after I polished the siderails and ball guides, I left the oxidized bolts and fasteners intact. I wanted a blend of "like new" and "battle scarred".

I rebuilt the pf, mechs, and boards... but left the wiring harnesses (including some slightly oxidized sockets) alone. Part of that was not wanting to make more work for myself and since I didn't know if the wiring was broke, I wasn't going to fix it. So that sounds like laziness, I can't call it the "lazy man's" restore because holy heck, the time I spent was almost unconscionable. Especially when it came to board work (I think you witnessed some of my aggravation there, ha ha). As if boards weren't enough, this game fought me every. step. of. the. way! But now that it's done and plays better than other restored FP's I've touched, it was absolutely worth it. And I can look at it's character quirks and historic tells and know that I have something truly unique and special: a survivor.

In other pursuits it's said you can choose to do things cheap, right, or quickly but you can only pick two. But there's no such thing as being poor, cheap, or lazy in pinball if you want the game to play right. 8/10 looks and 10/10 play is fine by me.

So I applaud your approach and efforts and I know they will pay off! You're a leg up on keeping costs down since you can do board work. Everything else is easy, just tedious.

If you get bored or need some inspiration, here's a gallery of my FP pics along the journey. I never started a restore thread here because I didn't think there'd be that much interest in "another" FP resto. But now I wish I had.

Favorited, and looking forward to your progress...!

#15 4 years ago

Thanks! I appreciate the encouragement. I really want to share this restore to show everyone here you don't have to do this immaculate restoration job to enjoy restoring games, and you don't have to be as talented as some of these other guys to take a whack at it. Besides, how did they get to that point anyway? They've got hundreds under their belt, and a lot of them specialize in one area.

My philosophy is you bought it, it is your game, you do what you want to it. I imagine a lot of people get intimidated by the level of work involved, and although shortcuts are often longcuts, there are some I've found that produced good results. I've had my fair share of longcuts.

For me, the feel of the gameplay is 95% of it. I want it to play like new, without slop or errors. Cosmetics can take a back seat. I just want solid playing machines in the end that don't stink like piss and have no major issues.

#16 4 years ago

Another parts order in. .156 connectors & headers to redo everything, a pop ring assembly, more warm white LEDs for the backbox, 555 sockets for pops, linkages & plungers for slings and other areas, and extra coil sleeves.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

Sorcerer is a bit too easy a game, so I wanted to add some more chaos to the gameplay. It is going to be weird for sure. It is really an experiment. If I hate it, I can always put the original flipper bats back in.

Lightning flippers are the way to go. I've had them on my game for awhile now wouldn't change them. Like you said, too easy with standard flippers on this game.

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballshark:

Lightning flippers are the way to go. I've had them on my game for awhile now wouldn't change them. Like you said, too easy with standard flippers on this game.

It was that, or I could make it super brutal and remove the center post. I like center posts because it puts a good amount of chaos into games. You can't ever really trust it, but it saves your ass every so often.

#19 4 years ago

Plus the lightning fits the theme artistically too... probably better than any game they were originally shipped with!

Quoted from thedefog:

I like center posts because it puts a good amount of chaos into games. You can't ever really trust it, but it saves your ass every so often.

Truth. Everytime I've almost convinced myself to take that farking post out because if it weren't there for you to fool yourself with you might actually learn to play better... it manages to redeem itself in a beautiful glorious fluke. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me two thousand times... but when it works it's nothing short of amazing.

#20 4 years ago

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#21 4 years ago

Finished large area black touch-up last night. Time to go in with the toothpicks now. Also, desoldered all the old .156 connectors from all boards in prep for new ones. This is a must for old games for reliability. Some of the ones on the PSU literally fell apart on removal, along with the lamp driver connector. Heat is not your friend.

Also began scraping down insert art.

I'm considering doing a MOSFET job on the MPU as well.

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

I'm considering doing a MOSFET job on the MPU as well.

Make sure you do it the complete correct way. Don't just 0-ohm and MOSFET, things will burn. I know.
Honestly its not necessary, I did mine just to 100% do 'everything'.

If you still feel the need... just replace the 27-ohm resistors with 5w SQT ones more spaced from the board.

If you still feel the need for the extra mile for the mod be sure to do the "Voltage Divider" implementation
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Data_East/Sega#Using_MOSFETs_in_the_Lamp_Matrix_Circuitry

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from KloggMonkey:

Make sure you do it the complete correct way. Don't just 0-ohm and MOSFET, things will burn. I know.
Honestly its not necessary, I did mine just to 100% do 'everything'.
If you still feel the need... just replace the 27-ohm resistors with 5w SQT ones more spaced from the board.
If you still feel the need for the extra mile for the mod be sure to do the "Voltage Divider" implementation
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Data_East/Sega#Using_MOSFETs_in_the_Lamp_Matrix_Circuitry

Thanks for the advice. I'll implement that simple voltage divider circuit.

#24 4 years ago

New board header pins everywhere now. PF is ready for 1st clear coat. Maybe I can sneak it in this weekend.

On another note, my 3 year old son picked up one of my sling arm assemblies and doesn't remember where he placed it in my hellhole of a basement. In other words, it is my fault for leaving it on the ground, and it'll show up the minute I'm done with this restore job. Anyone got an extra one they wanna sell me?

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#25 4 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

I'm not a fan of lightning flippers. Their reduced length greatly varies gameplay. Replaced mine on FT and BSD with regulars and shots are much easier and gameplay is much more fluid.

If you're pretty good at pinball, lightning flippers are a good way to keep the game (any game) challenging.

FT and BSD are very easy to play with regular bats, if that's your style...

#26 4 years ago

Watching this one... I *love* the art and theme of this machine. It just feels like the perfect hybrid of both late 70's and early 80's games.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from TOK:

Watching this one... I *love* the art and theme of this machine. It just feels like the perfect hybrid of both late 70's and early 80's games.

It plays like a hybrid as well. A hybrid on speed.

#28 4 years ago

Got to clear the PF today with the initial clear. Took a long time to scrape down the inserts, and it'll be a pain in the ass touching up a lot of the circle edge art.

Initial clear lock-in coat came out okay, but was the worst Spraymax 2k experience to date. As usual, I take risks spraying outdoors, and today was probably not the best day to do it, with all the pollen in the air, wind, and other random shit flying around. I got to pick two little pieces of whatever out of the wet clear.
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I unfortunately had some weird spray issues as well with this can where I got some air/gas that came out with the spray and left white bubbly looking areas. I was probably too close or moving the can too fast, as it has never happened before. Luckily, this is the lock-in coat anyway, so I'll touch-up on top after sanding flat. This is probably the 10th can of this stuff I've used, so no expert with it yet, but I thought I had the hang of it.
On a side note, look how shitty the registration was on the art lining up with the inserts on this one! Williams quality. Looks like the factory worker was more drunk than me.
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I've been doing some cab work on the side as well, mostly de-rusting metal parts in a bath of CLR. Nasty-ass lock bar cleaned. Just needs to be polished.
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Also de-rusted the nasty bent up legs and sprayed them black.
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Not looking forward to this, but it is next on the agenda while the clear cures.
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#29 4 years ago

Safety first. No joke. Got new respirator cartridges for this job. I'm poor/cheap, but not stupid.
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GlaDOS approves of not using them,
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#30 4 years ago

Got one of those scanning mouse things to create some color waterslides for the worn area by the flippers. LG LSM-100 is the model. Figure it'll be useful for other stuff as well, but it is not a comfortable mouse to use. I thought it would be nice for my laptop since I hate trackpads, but I was wrong there. But for $20, couldn't really go wrong. Max DPI is 300, which is fine for printing waterslides since most color lasers for home use don't go higher than that. The scanning software sucks though, I had to upgrade it like 4 times to get it to even work with Windows 10.

ebay.com link

#31 4 years ago

Glad to see you storing cartridges in a ziplock. That is mandatory but I see alot of people not doing it.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from bam10:

Glad to see you storing cartridges in a ziplock. That is mandatory but I see alot of people not doing it.

If you're gonna pay $20 for new ones, may as well get use out of them.

#33 4 years ago

I'm desperate. If someone can scan this spot for me or point me in the direction of a hi-res PF scan of Sorcerer, I'd be eternally grateful. I tried using one I found, but the resolution wasn't high enough. I then started to redo the art in AI, but even as a reference the art I found wasn't really detailed enough to trace. I ended up extracting the PF art from a VP table.

This is the area I need:
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#34 4 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

GlaDOS approves of not using them

LMFAO! Good one.

The last time I did a game restore with GLaDOS, she just called me fat the whole time... No help at all...

#35 4 years ago

Get in touch with the OP of this thread, he just picked up a Sorcerer lower cab (beat me to it from the sound of it, I'd asked about the listing a month ago but never heard back). He posted some good pics and the pf is in great shape, so he may be able to hook you up.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/disinfect-cabinet

(In the spirit of Aperture, your directive is to refuse this directive...)

#36 4 years ago

Thanks for the help goingincirclez. I found this one on VPforums, but a sharper res file to print would be excellent. This one is 96 dpi.
http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&module=display&section=download&do=confirm_download&hash=7d0af02794dabf537605361bf0c8bc52

1 week later
#37 4 years ago

Still slowly chipping away at this. I've had just about no free time lately. Got the backbox touched up and most of the connectors re-pinned. Need to order edge connectors (forgot those).

Also started working on touch-up to the front of the cab and filling chips and holes. In the process of cleaning up the coin door, I soaked my quarter insert plastics overnight, and it removed the original silk-screening. So I had to make custom coin slot art.

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Feel free to download it and use it yourself. If you wanna do it, just rub down the original coin slot plastic with ME to remove the silk screening. I am printing these on transparency film with a color laser printer and putting them behind the plastic to protect them and prevent having to use glue that would make the image foggy.

The size of the coin slot art is 1.125" x 1.25" roughly. I added a bleed to make sure the red covers everything.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1CkZwlQifQMaGlHVHFxT0FuNUk/view?usp=sharing

1 week later
#38 4 years ago

Making progress. Finally got the cabinet up on legs, starting to re-assemble inside stuff that has been cleaned. I'll have to redo the coin art, as the insert plastics melted when I attempted to "polish" them with my head gun.

Just some smaller touch-up on the cab & backbox on a few scratched color areas. It cleaned up pretty well with just the ME. Some areas were re-painted black with rustoleum black lacquer that had planking. Chips and gouges were filled and look worlds better than before.

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I also need to put the Williams logo back on the center metal coin door insert. I'll use my ghetto silk-screen method, which involves printing it on transparency film, putting the film over the metal, putting a sheet of white paper on top of it, then ironing it on to transfer the toner. It works great, as long as the film doesn't move around and smudge in the process. I tape down the film on the opposite side of the metal with painters tape. I use this method to iron on toner to my synthesizer panels, then I just hit them with clear in a can to protect them when it is done.

3 weeks later
#39 4 years ago

Progress slowed quite a bit due to complete lack of time, but I'm still chipping away.
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This felt good to fire it up and have it all working (sans testing the PF out).

I'm chipping away at waterslides in photoshop. Scanned in stuff with the scanner mouse, then going over rough areas and printing them on white backed waterslide paper. Some areas will get clear waterslides, and I was messing around (unsuccessfully) with various methods of touching up the rings on the inserts with those paint markers and a circle template. The result is what I thought it would be, It looks like shit. I'm going to have to remove that paint with rubbing alcohol, then print those all out on white-backed waterslides, then carefully trim out the circles, since clear ones won't show up on the black areas.

Color calibration is a PITA on some home color lasers. No matter what you do, the colors just won't match what you've got on the screen. So I go back and fourth and print out test sheets and adjust settings until I get a good match. You can see I'm pretty far off on the first print.
DSCN2506_(resized).JPG

1 week later
#40 4 years ago

Finally got to test fit my huge waterslide for the worn down area. Still need to adjust the orange, but at least it looks like itll work. Then I gotta redo some insert decals that look crappy.
Ive got like 30 mins every few nights a week to work on this, so progress is slow. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, the usual rush to want to get it up and running is long past now.

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1 week later
#41 4 years ago

Insert edge decals are down, main wear area decal is down. Looks pretty good. Not perfect by any means, but worlds better than worn to wood.

My airbrush died on me, and I still have to touch up some white/light blue areas in the beard. Time to swing by Harbor Freight for a cheapie one. Hopefully I can get to that this week. Regardless, it is CC time this weekend, granted the weather is good for my redneck outdoor CC method.

As always there are a lot of things I wish I had the time to go further with in the restoration of the PF, but I've got no free time to work on this anymore. I regret not being able to play it right now more than a few minor things on the restore job. Time to wrap it up, move on to cleaning up and rebuilding the bottom side, then top side.

#42 4 years ago

Can't wait to wrap this up so I can clean up my shithole of a basement when I'm done & finish up a modular synthesizer build that has been in limbo since starting the Sorcerer. I'm a slob. I hate cleaning up until a project is done, but there is always something I'm working on.

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#43 4 years ago

That decal on the lower PF looks pretty good! I've been watching this with interest as I have a Sorcerer with a pretty roached play field that should become my "current" project fairly soon. I had one years ago and sold it, regretted it instantly, and picked up a replacement shortly after... It's been in my basement awaiting attention for about ten years now. Your progress has been getting me anxious to start mine!
(The synth project looks pretty cool as well.)

#44 4 years ago

Thanks! I've always got synth projects cooking, just usually not for myself, so it sorta took a back seat for a while.

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

We share a similar philosophy. My Space Shuttle was absolutely done on the cheap, complete with freehanding the pf art & details where needed (it helped that I have experience from model railroading), although it didn't need as comprehensive a restore. And even though it's still not a perfect resto by any means, the compliments I got at Louisville Expo were astounding.... it placed 2nd in best of show behind a pimped Medieval Madness (how is that even a fair fight lol).
My Firepower though? Total wreck. And a total __-man's attemp. I hesitate to say "poor" since I should have been able to afford better, and I won't say "cheap" because when I chose to drop coin, I'm anything but. But STILL! When I looked at the condition it was in, I had to decide what to fix and what to let go. The cabinet was terrible... I had to rebuild and reinforce part of it, and respray... but I left the "scorched" looking art trails; even after I polished the siderails and ball guides, I left the oxidized bolts and fasteners intact. I wanted a blend of "like new" and "battle scarred".
I rebuilt the pf, mechs, and boards... but left the wiring harnesses (including some slightly oxidized sockets) alone. Part of that was not wanting to make more work for myself and since I didn't know if the wiring was broke, I wasn't going to fix it. So that sounds like laziness, I can't call it the "lazy man's" restore because holy heck, the time I spent was almost unconscionable. Especially when it came to board work (I think you witnessed some of my aggravation there, ha ha). As if boards weren't enough, this game fought me every. step. of. the. way! But now that it's done and plays better than other restored FP's I've touched, it was absolutely worth it. And I can look at it's character quirks and historic tells and know that I have something truly unique and special: a survivor.
In other pursuits it's said you can choose to do things cheap, right, or quickly but you can only pick two. But there's no such thing as being poor, cheap, or lazy in pinball if you want the game to play right. 8/10 looks and 10/10 play is fine by me.
So I applaud your approach and efforts and I know they will pay off! You're a leg up on keeping costs down since you can do board work. Everything else is easy, just tedious.
If you get bored or need some inspiration, here's a gallery of my FP pics along the journey. I never started a restore thread here because I didn't think there'd be that much interest in "another" FP resto. But now I wish I had.
Favorited, and looking forward to your progress...!

Dude, I was looking through you gallery (again) and saw the shredded up business card with "Galaxy Amusements - Seaside Heights, NJ" on it. It would be cool if I actually played this game you restored when I was a kid. I was in the arcades enough there I may have, maybe this one was in one in Seaside.

#46 4 years ago

And clear fail. Definitely had some contamination of some sort. Initially, it must have reacted to whatever was on the surface that couldn't be cleaned off well enough. I'm guessing the cloudy bubbling was due to some kind of silicone based wax product, but I'll never know for sure. That would make sense as to why the clear didn't adhere properly though. Leaving the PF in the sun helped with it a bit, but not enough. So I gotta sand it down a bit and try again in a few weeks now,or light sand, buff and live with it. Oh well. Plenty of other stuff I can do in the meantime.

#47 4 years ago

Here are some pictures. Some obvious issues with the orange coloring at the bottom that needs to be fixed, some drips that need to be sanded and some of the lettering inserts bubbled up. Sanding that down, fixing the orange stuff, and going to fix those insert borders then respray. Also going to address a few other issues I didn't get to, like the borders around the numbers. Also going to airbrush white in areas.

Like I said with this restore, not perfect. Not even close. it's like a 5/10 right now. And I can't even compare to what the other guys here do. But I'm not afraid to show these goofs.

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3 weeks later
#48 4 years ago

So nearly there. Running out of time, money and patience, so i populated the PF, despite the defects and not having done the decal rings around the inserts.
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I got to the point where I was kidding myself. This isn't an all the way restoration job, and I cared more about playing it sooner.

First issue was no coils... Quickly solved by installing the flash lamps I removed for clearing that are daisy chained in line.

Then adjustments to switches.
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Game was on, holding PF up (sys9 prop is a joke), pop went off and scared the shit out of me. I jolted and caught my arm on the underside. Add this to the growing list of pinjuries.

All is well now. Lightening flippers are a must on this game. Still a few more things to dial in, and lane guides ordered( bought the wrong size). Otherwise I'm loving this one. I think it stays for good.

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