(Topic ID: 154435)

A Boob Job: My "This Ain't No HEP" AFM Restoration-COMPLETE


By beelzeboob

3 years ago



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  • 344 posts
  • 51 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by balboarules
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#1 3 years ago

Prologue: Just A Few Words From Our Host...

This Attack From Mars came to me by way of four Pinsiders: One in Ohio, who sold it to a guy in Utah, who sold it to another guy in Utah, who sold it to a Pinsider in West Texas, who sold it to me. (You can find the ads if you care enough.) This was a perfect restoration candidate as it played nearly 100% and already had a Color DMD installed. It also came with some of the stuff that I'd need to get it going.

Much to the chagrin of some purists, I'm going to be doing some modding to this one to get it just the way I like it. It'll be tasteful (IMO), but not outrageous. All armor will be done in black, and will be modeled on this machine from HEP...

http://christopherhutchins.com/gallery/album563?page=1

...as well as this one that Skypilot did:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-black-attack-from-mars-finished-product

I'll also be using Skypilot's excellent restoration thread as a resource, as well as what I consider to be the best restoration documentation ever done on this site--the IJ done by Bryan Kelly. The links can be found here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/attack-from-mars-restoration-the-beginning
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ij-restoration-started

Total time to complete the restoration should take 3-4 months (it takes time to do it right...and I've got some vacations planned!).

Unlike my Funhouse restoration last year, I'm structuring this one a little differently for those who want to follow along. Many people ask how long it takes to do a complete restoration properly. My answer after the Funhouse was, "F**king long." I'd like to be a little more specific this time.

Each update will be labelled with a day number, and each "day" will mean that I put appoximately 8 hours of work into the machine. It might not happen all in one calendar day, but as soon as I've gotten to eight hours, I will consider that one day's worth of work. At the end, it'll be easy to multiply the days by eight to come to a close approximation of the time it takes to do a restoration from start to finish. (At least for me...please remember that I sanded, Bondo'ed, and painted the Funhouse backbox 3 times because I wasn't happy with it the first two times. So I have some issues.)

So let's get started! Here are a bunch of before pictures...

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#2 3 years ago

Day One: The Teardown (8 hours)

The first thing I did was remove the habitrails from the playfield. Along with all salvagable cabinet parts (hinges, bolts, legs, etc.), they'll be sent to Matt Reisterer for black powder coating while I'm working on the cabinet. The rivets holding the UFO flasher sockets had to be drilled out in order to be removed.

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I also took the time to lightly sand the back of the new playfield and seal it with satin clear coat, being careful not to allow anything to drip into the inserts. I also waxed the hell out of the topside because...well...why the hell not?

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The cabinet and backbox were completely depopulated and stripped of all non-wood parts. Every connector was labelled (except for the ones I already recognize...confidence is a wonderful time-saver!), and all hardware and parts were put in categorized piles. The cabinets are now ready for sanding and finishing.

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#3 3 years ago

I'll be following!

#4 3 years ago

me too!

#5 3 years ago

I'd also like to add that anybody considering doing a restoration should invest in a pair of Vampliers. They're usually designed for getting stripped screws out, but worked wonderfully for getting those staples out of the cabinet. The guys at B/W stapled the shit out of stuff down there, and some of the staples were BELOW the surface of the wood. Regular staple removers won't work, and needle nosed pliers won't grab them either.

#6 3 years ago

You should start a PODCAST!

#8 3 years ago

2016 - the year were everyone has a podcast.

I'm going to likely do my AFM restore this year as well, so I'll let Boob lead the way and keep any on this thread. Best wishes to our resident class clown.

#9 3 years ago

Love the humor and nice seeing more restoration threads here vs. the drama lately. Looking forward to this! You have a great sense of humor and a talent.

#10 3 years ago

Mr. B:

Whose play field did you use? Was the original not worth clear coating? I have a Funhouse that I am thinking of restoring and need to to revisit your FH pages.

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from reynolds531:

Mr. B:
Whose play field did you use? Was the original not worth clear coating? I have a Funhouse that I am thinking of restoring and need to to revisit your FH pages.

Mirco playfield. The old playfield was beat to snot. (You can see it in the playfield photo...the stroke of luck hole was chewed up to a hole the size of a lemon, and there's a big trail of wood shooting out from that hole. Bad stuff.)

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from reynolds531:

Mr. B:
Whose play field did you use? Was the original not worth clear coating? I have a Funhouse that I am thinking of restoring and need to to revisit your FH pages.

His FH thread was great. Helped me and friend on his FH.

#13 3 years ago

Boob, I will be following this one close as my next project after the Pinbot will be a full resto like this...thanks for taking the time to document and share

#14 3 years ago

Great choice, Boob. My dad has a Mirco on his AFM and it's gorgeous. I look forward to following your restoration; good luck! AFM is an awesome pin!

#15 3 years ago

This thread ends with a marketplace ad - Fore Sale - AFM project

(who luvs ya boob)

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

This thread ends with a marketplace ad - Fore Sale - AFM project
(who luvs ya boob)

No way, brother. I'm building a f**king spray tent to do this game, for God's sake! I won't consider it done until it's as perfect as I can make it, and I'll give it to one of my kids before I sell it. (Who loves ya, Tax?)

Quoted from dmacy:

His FH thread was great. Helped me and friend on his FH.

This was really kind of you to say. You know, I put all this stuff on Pinside thinking it'll just get glossed over and won't ever help anybody. Nice to see somebody got some benefit from it.

#17 3 years ago

No it was helpful. And I've done a FH playfield swap before. Keep up the progress. And I'm one of the weirdos that doesn't "get" AFM.

#18 3 years ago

I'll have to check out the FH thread. I bought one recently with everything taken off the top of the playfield and left for a few years. So I have a game that boots and tests work (even Rudy's eyes). But I don't know if I have all the parts or where they go.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

I'll have to check out the FH thread. I bought one recently with everything taken off the top of the playfield and left for a few years. So I have a game that boots and tests work (even Rudy's eyes). But I don't know if I have all the parts or where they go.

Well, don't look to my thread for any help. Ever since I put the game back together, Rudy is cross-eyed and speaks German.

#20 3 years ago

^^^Bwahaha...subbed

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#21 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Well, don't look to my thread for any help. Ever since I put the game back together, Rudy is cross-eyed and speaks German.

Funhaus, hahaha

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Mirco playfield. The old playfield was beat to snot. (You can see it in the playfield photo...the stroke of luck hole was chewed up to a hole the size of a lemon, and there's a big trail of wood shooting out from that hole. Bad stuff.)

Mr. B:

Did you pick out the play field yourself or order it directly from Mirco? You hear a lot about the iffy quality of some Mirco play fields. I am thinking about a new FH play field and wondering if I should see it in person before buying.

I will follow this thread.

#23 3 years ago

Mr. R:

I ordered it from Mirco and it was shipped from Germany. I did tell him that I was a picky S.O.B. in terms of clearcoat and registration in the print. I used a Mirco FH playfield, and that, too, has not only looked wonderful, but held up very well with no extra clear put on it. Highly recommended.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Well, don't look to my thread for any help. Ever since I put the game back together, Rudy is cross-eyed and speaks German.

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#25 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Boob, I will be following this one close as my next project after the Pinbot will be a full resto like this...thanks for taking the time to document and share

I will also be following this VERY closely.....although I don't know why.

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I will also be following this VERY closely.....although I don't know why.

Boobs usually come in pairs Bryan!

10
#27 3 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I will also be following this VERY closely.....although I don't know why.

For the same reason people slow down at accidents.

#28 3 years ago

Wow, and it only took a couple of seconds for me to watch you tear that machine down and get it ready for paint!

You are so industrious - - I feel like such a slacker

You definitely picked a machine worthy of a "Boob Job"

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your restoration!

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I will also be following this VERY closely.....although I don't know why.

I know why...so you can tell me I'm an asshole when I do something wrong.

#30 3 years ago

I'm not waiting until you fuck something up to call you an Asshole........ .

Quoted from Taxman:

For the same reason people slow down at accidents.

OMG best post of 2016 on Pinside.
Joking aside,good luck on the restoration Boob I'm sure we will rake your ass over the coals to make your AFM great!

#31 3 years ago

Get to work

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#32 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinterest:

......You definitely picked a machine worthy of a "Boob Job".....

Great line/name!!

Beez - you should consider renaming this and any of your future resto threads with that title

Looking forward to seeing the progress. I've gotta stop by one of these weekend days to check it out

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Get to work

AFM.fin_002_(resized).jpg

You missed a spot.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Mirco playfield. The old playfield was beat to snot. (You can see it in the playfield photo...the stroke of luck hole was chewed up to a hole the size of a lemon, and there's a big trail of wood shooting out from that hole. Bad stuff.)

That new playfield looks great.

I hadn't noticed the damage on the old playfield until you mentioned it. Had to click on the photo and zoom in to see it. That ball trail into the wood is pretty ugly. Nevertheless, some of the restorers on this site can probably revive it for a future project.

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from mac622:

Great line/name!!
Beez - you should consider renaming this and any of your future resto threads with that title

Wish granted.

#36 3 years ago

Pm me when you get to the Pinsound board installation loaded with all our favorite yacht rock classics...
1) Booby Come Back...Player
2) Sailing...The Unstoppable Christopher Cross
3) What a Fool Believes...Michael McDonalds
4) Rosanna...Tutu
This thread needs more delicately grazed chimes.

PMS--this is gonna look spectacular Boob !

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I know why...so you can tell me I'm an asshole when I do something wrong.

Doesn't matter whether you do something right or wrong. I'm still going to call you an asshole!!

#38 3 years ago

love a good adventure story... watching

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

I'm not waiting until you fuck something up to call you an Asshole..

Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I'm still going to call you an asshole!!

Anyone notice a pattern here

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Anyone notice a pattern here

No, asshole. What's the pattern?

Update: Put another three hours in today. Update when I hit 8 hours of work, which may come tomorrow or after TPF.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from mac622:

Great line/name!!

Even blind squirrels...

11
#42 3 years ago

Day Two, Part One: Roughing Out the Cabinet (6 Hours)

This restoration is going to be a mixture of high tech and white trash, and nowhere will this be more evident than in the cabinet restoration. To wit: Since I plan to do multiple restorations a year, and perhaps even start doing them for other people, I decided to stock up on some great equipment. (I was also told by McCune and Skypilot that it would be a great idea.) So I stocked up on a Festool setup: 3 different sanders plus the sanding block set, and the HEPA dust extractor.

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Problem is, once you spend all that money on the high tech, it only leaves you enough money to go white trash on the drop cloth:

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But while my last restoration took me a whole day to remove the decals and sand (using a Wagner heat gun, a scraper, and a pair of very sore arms), I stripped the cabinet clean in under an hour. Yes...the Festool saved me pretty much an entire day of work. I did everything with 80 grit sandpaper (9 boxes of Festool sandpaper: $400! F**k my life...).

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After sanding, I noticed that somebody's already been here before...

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I circled all the areas that were of concern, and a few corners had to be rebuilt with automotive fiber repair paste. So I cleaned out all the dead and loose wood and drilled holes to help the paste "grab" the wood, built up the corners, and filled the lock bar holes, then used the lightweight body filler on a good portion of the cabinet to flatten out any imperfections. The filler(s) of choice this time is U-Pol Fantastic and Fibral, and I must say it was a huge step up from Bondo: much easier to use, dispense, etc. Thanks to Jim McCune for the tip!

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I also had to nail and glue some loose joints on the backbox.

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While all that smelly stuff was curing (and so I would stop sniffing it!), I did a little work on stripping down the playfield. Removed the main saucer and rear power box, as well as all three ramps. I've got the playfield down to the first level of stuff. I'm doing both playfield and cabinet concurrently so that I can have it all done at the same time.

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Did a little more sanding with 120-grit sandpaper, and you can see how the previously demolished corner is now solid fiberglass, is almost back to its original shape, and stronger, really, than it ever was before.

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Ran out of gas--and ran out of daylight--six hours in. Two hours left in Day Two, which I'll continue on the other side of TPF.

Off to Texas, yo'!

#43 3 years ago

Perfect timing! Texas just imported a steer, so you will even out the other half of the ratio.

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

So I stocked up on a Festool setup: 3 different sanders plus the sanding block set, and the HEPA dust extractor.

Okay - I'll bite. I spend the weekend sanding a cabinet also. Was wearing a dust mask most of the time - but still got enough of the dust in my lungs to dry out my throat and start coughing, etc. Please tell me more about the Festool setup you got. I didn't mind stripping the cabinet with the heat gun - but do mind sanding all the body filler and saw dust. Please do tell more about your Festool.

#45 3 years ago

Good stuff here. I'll be following along to see all the work I'm not willing to do!

#46 3 years ago

This is shaping into one of the best thread ever!

Though the 6 boxes of sand paper cost $400, you can't have gone through that many disks?

You could almost provide the decal removal as a service for local folks. I would gladly pay $100 to have someone sand the whole thing clean.

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

Though the 6 boxes of sand paper cost $400, you can't have gone through that many disks?

Me not too good at math: It was actually 9 boxes of sandpaper. 3 different sander sizes, 3 grits each: 80, 120, 220. Thanks for bringing that to my attention...it's been corrected! And no...that'll probably last me through several machines and my wife's dining room table (at the very least, but probably much more!)

Quoted from Pinterest:

Please do tell more about your Festool.

This sounds like the beginning of a Penthouse Forum story. Anyway, the entire setup sits at around 2k. Do you need all that? Probably not. You could probably get by with an RO90, which has a smaller sanding disk and converts to a delta sander. You could also get the smaller HEPA dust collector and get both for well under 1k. But I've found that every time I try to skimp on something, that's the one tool I need. So I always get it, and if I don't need it, I can always sell it.

Feel free to PM me for any details.

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Perfect timing! Texas just imported a steer, so you will even out the other half of the ratio.

Says the guy who wears matching teal shirts with Shlockdoc. What your wives don't know won't hurt them.

#49 3 years ago

Man, if there was ever a wardrobe decision I regretted.....

#50 3 years ago

yes!!! local (very!!!) pin restores by a great guy!!! let me know when you are ready for one of mine

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