(Topic ID: 77565)

Space Invaders Restoration: Let The Invasion Begin


By nerdygrrl

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 26 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by nerdygrrl
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

I picked up my first SS project, Space Invaders last April. The project has been on hold for the last few months as I have been attempting to secure the various bits for my upcoming High Speed restoration (gotta get the parts while the gettins good). I decided to post the work done thus far as I am about to get back in the game on this one.

The cab was a bit rough around the edges, the back where the head attaches was separating from the body and the left joint on the head itself was also coming undone, the interior of the cab was dirty and stained. The game was missing a couple of legs, the lockdown bar and unfortunately the PF glass. The playfield as one might expect took the brunt of the damage from being stored for many years without glass. Thankfully the mice that had resided in it were evicted before I took delivery. The MPU was also in fairly rough shape and looked like it had taken an acid bath with Jerry Garcia. Almost all of the metal components had some amount of rust and/or were pitted. Amazingly the cabinet artwork and the backglass were near flawless. I definitely had my work cut out for me.

Semi complete album: http://s1209.photobucket.com/user/nerdygrrl/library/Space%20Invaders%20The%20Invasion%20Has%20Begun?sort=2&page=1

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#2 5 years ago

-First step was to get it working. I picked up one of BarakandI’s rebuilt MPU’s. I can’t say enough about the quality of his work and his overall help. He’s really great guy and an asset to the community.

Once it was determined it worked and amazingly passed all of its tests it was onto the tear down/gutting. The artwork was in pretty great shape so I was going to leave it be, but the interior needed a lot of love. Typically, I am a traditionalist when it comes to these things, however in this case I decided to go with a black for the interior instead of the traditional grey.

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#3 5 years ago

Next up was disassembling the playfield. Thankfully the family of mice that once resided under the apron were evicted prior to me taking delivery.

This was my first ever attempt at a semi full/full tear down and I am still a little worried that I might not get it back together properly. Thankfully I took about 5,000 pictures, if only I could remember where I put them.

I keep going back and forth about having this professionally touched up and cleared. The perfectionist in me says do it, I’m just not sure if it’s worth it though

As you can see there was not much left worth salvaging off of the playfield. It was going to need flippers, plastics, posts, bumper caps, etc. I was really stressed out about finding plastics for it. I knew they hadn’t been run in quite some time and the market was bleak. You can imagine my shock when a week or two into the project CPR re-released their SI plastics set. Major score. I was also able to source some pop bumper caps from pinball resource and that place I shall not name in PA.

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#4 5 years ago

Time to move onto the metal. This stuff was dingy, rusted, pitted, etc. I had been following whridlsoncestood High Speed restore thread and knew if I wanted to do this right I needed to pickup a tumbler and buffing wheel, so off to Harbor Freight I went.

What a huge difference a little elbow grease makes. It’s like night and day. I was able to clean up and polish everything except for the backglass lift, that was too far gone. Thankfully Marco had some in stock.

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#5 5 years ago

The trim around the head was a little meh, so I decided to hit that up with some paint as well. I also fixed the loose joint using some nails and wood glue. Hopefully it will hold for another decade or so.

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#6 5 years ago

The apron was was just trashed so I decided to strip and repaint. I am going to order a decal kit for it this week.

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#7 5 years ago

The bulk of the body is almost entirely done. I just have to run a few more grounds and source a new 6x9. This one is kind of toast.

I added a little decorative touch to the speaker grill. Originally I wanted to paint a giant invader in the middle, but I just couldn’t get the scaling right. This little guy won’t be visible from above, but I’ll know he is in there

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#8 5 years ago

I have over a hundred hours and too many dollars then I care to admit into this project. All that remains is the playfield and lighting. Still going back and forth about having it professionally touched up and cleared vs just letting it be. Sometimes you have to know when to walk away.

This project has been a blast thus far. I have learned a ton and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I can't thank my local New England pin community enough for all of their help and guidance. I can't wait to get this one finished.

#9 5 years ago

One of my favorites pins to play back in the day. I never could get a game to last very long on it though. Progress looks like it's coming along nicely. The playfield looks like a ton of work, wishing you the best moving forward. Looking forward to more updates. Thanks!

#10 5 years ago

Glad you're back on it! Sounds like your visit this week rekindled some lost love

#11 5 years ago

Toddzilla, Yeah, it's coming along pretty nicely. I feel really good about where it is now compared to where I started. The machine was a great first SS project to work on. It's nothing too expensive so there is some wiggle room for the occasional error. Having the right tools made the job easier as well as the abundance of restoration threads on here

DZ, It was a combo of the trip down to you and finding out that I will have a definitive answer about a High Speed playfield in 3-4 weeks. I decided to start cleaning and polishing the playfield's bits and bots as well as sorting the PF parts. Won't start dropping more cash on it until the HS PF is secured and then it will be full steam ahead on finishing this guy off.

#12 5 years ago

The playfield cleaned up pretty nicely. It has the traditional wear around in the ball lanes and around the inserts. Nothing too egregious. Everything is still intact on the underside. That is the part that really scares me. I keep going back and forth about doing a full strip and tumlbing every bit and bot underneath.

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#13 5 years ago

You should check out my post ,, cool looking space invaders , I added some mods on my space invaders,,,, the one thing you should add is a second light to the sling shots ,, it helps with the dark area,,, also added a switch to the top of the ball chamber, when through ball hits the target , the two top lights up,, clear flippers that light up

#14 5 years ago

Nice job Nerdygrrl! I'm right behind you with my latest project, Elektra. I feel like I've saved a piece of artwork from the dumpster! SI is such a great looking pin, I like how you did the buffing, I just bought one and can't wait to use it.

#15 5 years ago

It's always great to see some early 80's pins get some love.

#16 5 years ago

itshowtime, Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely check out your post.

Aladdin, yeah the buffing wheel makes a world of difference. It really brings the metals back to life. I picked up one of the harbor freight 6 inch guys for $50. It worked better than expected, though I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than pin parts. In hindsight, especially when working on larger pieces (coin door, lockdown bar) I kind of wish I had spent the extra money and gotten the 8 in wheel.

Having the tumbler has helped immensely with the little bits. It's definitely worth acquiring. I just set it up and let it go while I work on other tasks. I have a batch in there now vibrating away.

I keep debating on an ultrasonic cleaner, I'm just not sure if the results are any better than a soak in simple green

#17 5 years ago

Nice project for a great game but I have a question. When you buff the rusty parts all your doing is making it "look" good, the rust is through the protective zink coating and into the metal, your not protecting the metal from future rust. So my question is why arn't you getting those parts re-zink coated to protect the metal from the rust coming back?

#18 5 years ago

Agreed, Simple Green. If the plastic stuff is that bad, why not just replace it.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Nice project for a great game but I have a question. When you buff the rusty parts all your doing is making it "look" good, the rust is through the protective zink coating and into the metal, your not protecting the metal from future rust. So my question is why arn't you getting those parts re-zink coated to protect the metal from the rust coming back?

Honestly, just a noob move. This is my first head to toe restore-I thought a good wire brushing would be enough to keep the rust off and away. Thanks for the tip. I will look into having the replating/coating done. I know there are a few places in state that handle such things.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Aladdin:

Agreed, Simple Green. If the plastic stuff is that bad, why not just replace it.

I have replaced all of the plastics (actual plastics, caps, bodies, bumper caps, post covers, acorns). I was just referring to cleaning the various bits. I know a lot of guys like to throw assemblies, bases, coils, etc in the ultrasound. I just wasn't sure if it worth it-if the results are better than a good soak.

#21 5 years ago

Great project! One of my grail games from waaay back when. (Just picked up a pair of them from one dusty, musty warehouse to be combined to one good game after TPF.) I wish mine looked nearly that good! Once you remove the rust, unless you spill a lot of water or store them in a damp warehouse it won't really return any time soon. Looking forward to seeing this back in one piece!

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Great project! One of my grail games from waaay back when. (Just picked up a pair of them from one dusty, musty warehouse to be combined to one good game after TPF.) I wish mine looked nearly that good! Once you remove the rust, unless you spill a lot of water or store them in a damp warehouse it won't really return any time soon. Looking forward to seeing this back in one piece!

I don't think anyone that has seen this wished theirs was in a similar condition. Yours must be rough

I am a huge SI fan in general. My folks had an upright in our pub when I was growing up and I would play it daily. When I got into pins I knew it was just a matter of time before I hunted one down. It really was the perfect first SS project.

#23 5 years ago

Curious, what size, ohm, speaker is that in the cab? Do you think it's stock?

#24 5 years ago

According to the manual and parts catalog this came with an 8 ohm speaker.

The 6x9 that was in there was a little hard to read, but it appears to be an 8 ohm/8W speaker. Traditionally these came with 4" speakers. That being said, there aren't any mods/extra holes drilled out for it, leading me to believe this was in it from the factory.

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from nerdygrrl:

I don't think anyone that has seen this wished theirs was in a similar condition. Yours must be rough

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/space-invaders-x2-i-caved-i-have-a-disease-i-need-help#post-1269141

Embrace the horror... if you dare! Scroll all the way to the bottom for the P/F money shots.

#26 5 years ago

I see what you mean. Still, there is a ton of potential. I am amazed how far my cab has come. I am really looking forward to finishing it off.

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