(Topic ID: 210702)

Time Zone playfield restoration


By phergott

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 60 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by DCRand
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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    There are 60 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 1 year ago

    Hey guys, a fellow pinsider reach out to me with a very flattering comment on my Gottlieb King Pin playfield restoration, and wanted to know how I went about it without clearcoating, and finishing instead with wax. Honestly, there's a lot of great, talented guys on this forum that I couldn't hold a candle to. But to those who might be interested in how I go about it, I humbly offer my techique.
    Bally Time Zone: A while back a friend at work told me his dad was giving him this game that was brought to there home in 77'. A little over 5 years ago, the game went fully assembled, wrapped up tight with a tarp, into an unheated shed. My friend said his dad was giving him the game, and asked if I would clean up the game for him(at this point he didn't know what kind of condition it was in), and I said I'd do it(the pf and shopping out the game.
    Fast forward a few weeks, and at work my friend tells me he got the game from his dad, and smiling says "OMG, the pf terrible(he's a Quality inspector here at work), and the flipper rubber melted onto the pf". He showed me some pics of it, and yeah, it looked ugly, and yeah, wasn't sure about the integrity of the topcoat, but I said, 'that'll clean up, but being a Bally, and having never worked on one, there are no guarantees on how it would turn out'. He said ok, so here goes...

    #2 1 year ago

    Here's the the game as I received it. For being in an unheated shed here in the northwest, it's in pretty good condition, though it played liked crap-old and tired.
    Also a pic of that nasty flipper rubber.

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    #3 1 year ago

    After inspecting the pf, I picked at the flipper rubber to see what I was up against. It adhered to the varnish, not the paint! Phew!

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    #4 1 year ago

    That should clean-up nicely!!

    #5 1 year ago

    Now to disassembling the upper pf. I always start with the plastics. The top post screws have 'zero' corrosion-weird, I would have expected otherwise.
    As I removed the plastics, I was surprised by the metal post built into them. Never saw this before. Plastics are very dirty, but intact. Should clean up nicely.

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    #6 1 year ago

    never seen those types of posts... must be original! Looking forward to your thread. I am another who likes the games to appear original- although I confess I love clear coat and all my restores end that way, but I can appreciate the other half of the coin and cannot wait to see where you take this.

    #7 1 year ago

    Those posts were a Bally thing for this era. Very annoying to work with, and makes it near impossible to flatten any warped plastics

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Those posts were a Bally thing for this era. Very annoying to work with, and makes it near impossible to flatten any warped plastics

    Thankfully they're not warped☺️

    #9 1 year ago

    Okay, here's the pf with all the hardware removed. Very dirty as I expected. Before I start cleaning I always vacuum the pf using a soft brush attachment. On the down side shot you might notice the white grit around the pop bumper. I'll explain it later.
    I have no idea how this pf will clean up. How will the topcoat fair against ME and alcohol? Will the paint flake off. We shall see.

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    #10 1 year ago

    So for cleaning a pf, I use Magic Eraser and
    99%isopropyl alcohol. I use an old kitchen towel to wipe up the alcohol as I clean. I always cut the ME brick into 8 pieces.
    Before I even started, I doused a rag with alcohol, and lifted the heavy dirt up from the two upper corners of the pf. Don't let the alcohol sit and evaporate when done, wipe dry immediately afterwards so as not to leave that milky residue.
    Regarding cleaning the pf, I like to start from the top and work my way down, left to right or visa versa, working a 2-3" area at a time. Because there was some ground in dirt, I very carefully used a hard plastic scrapper while cleaning.
    Don't saturate the ME block with alcohol, but use just enough to spread around the cleaning area. And don't press down hard when cleaning, let the ME do the work. When you think you're making progress, stop, wipe and dry with the kitchen towel. Repeat this process until the area looks clean. If you start to see white primer spots, STOP!, and move on to the next area to clean.

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    #11 1 year ago

    So the first pic shows some positive results.
    Oops! On the second pic, you can see on the middle saucer where I got a little heavy handed with the plastic scrapper-easy fix.
    The third pic shows the upper portion of the pf after cleaning.

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    #12 1 year ago

    So I finished cleaning the pf. Apart from the pop bumper/kickout hole wear, the pf cleaned up better than I would have expected. From the first pic of the left kickout lane(light blue/red), I thought for sure there would be excessive
    ball wear/paint loss, but thankfully there wasn't -just some minor pitting.
    Now for a minor disclaimer: the big yellow circle surrounding the 'time tunnel' doesn't look as good as it looks in the pic. This is a high traffic area, and there are ball swirls present.
    I swear these cell phones have a built-in photoshop.

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    #13 1 year ago

    Looks like it is cleaning up nicely. Do you have plans on repairing the wear at the out holes and pop bumpers? I will be starting a clean-up and detailed shopping of a Space Time shortly, so I will be following your thread. Thanks for posting your efforts!

    Phil

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from BleacherBum:

    Do you have plans on repairing the wear at the out holes and pop bumpers?
    Yes. ☺️

    #15 1 year ago

    As requested by a fellow pinsider, here's a pic of the bonus tunnel gaskets.

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    #16 1 year ago

    Thanks for posting the gasket pictures, very helpful.

    #17 1 year ago

    So I told the owner how well the pf cleaned up, and asked him if his dad had waxed it over the years. His answer was, "no, he put shuffle board sand on it". Huh?! Never heard of anyone using it for a pinball pf before.

    #18 1 year ago

    With the pf cleaned, it's time to start color matching. For now my primary focus is the red and two shades of blue. Apart from black, it is very rare(at least in my experience), to be able to use a color straight out of the bottle. A test board and hair dryer are what I use for testing color matching. When I think I'm close to a match, I'll dab a spot on the pf in an inconspicuous area like where a post will go and let it dry for 24 hours. If it drys looking matched, great. If not, back to mixing.
    Almost forgot. Some guys will use Novus 2 on the pf after cleaning. I've done that as well, but have shied away from that. Instead I use automotive compound. It works great for cleaning up microdot touch-ups, a better job of polishing out any leftover haze from ME/alcohol.

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    #19 1 year ago

    When you finish, remove that lockdown bar receiver and give it an Evaporust bath. You'll be glad you did.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    When you finish, remove that lockdown bar receiver and give it an Evaporust bath. You'll be glad you did.

    It's some ugly layered rust, so I was planning to do that. Thanks☺️

    #21 1 year ago

    Time to start touching up. After cleaning up the pf, there were a few specs of exposed primer in the red portions of the pf-the most concentrated area being on the mid-lower left. I lightly dabbed each hole with paint, then lightly smear with my finger. Let it dry for 20-24 hours, then rub/buff the area with the automotive compound and microfiber cloth. It removes those smears, and polishes at the same time. Again, the florescent lighting brings out the worst in anything. You can't even tell by just looking at it.

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    #22 1 year ago

    With some of the preliminary touch-ups done, it's time to address the nasty pop bumper and kickout hole wear. I'll be honest with you guys, I've been dreading this part of the restore. It requires a LOT of patience layering the paint, and some bravado to do the artwork-sometimes I lack both.
    Okay, regarding the wear around the pops and k'outs, I had to determine if the wood was worn enough to warrant wood putty or paint layering. The wear wasn't so deep, so I opted for layering.
    For the first layer of paint, I used this primer from Michael's. I laid it on thick, flushed with a scraper, and wiped up the residue around the area. Even though it's initially flush, the paint does sink some when dry.
    A few days have passed since I primered, and have been layering the light blue around the pops. Maybe one more layer. I started painting the other areas, and couldn't find any pictures on the net that were clear enough. I found a flyer, but even that isn't very clear. If anyone out there has this game with intact artwork, a detailed pic of the 'START TUNNEL' area would be appreciated.

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    #23 1 year ago

    So I started the detail painting on the right side pop bumper and k'out hole. Its coming along slowly. If there is any overlap, I dab a toothpick with Windex and use it to remove it. It works pretty good.
    Many thanks to Bill_Froog and DCRand for the detailed pics of the discrepant areas.

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    #24 1 year ago

    While it's been a few days since the last posting, I've been ever so carefully completing the final touch-ups. After completing the right pop bumper area, I moved on to the right k'out hole spot. It took a couple of days to get the yellowed white area right, or least close.
    The last and absolutely most challenging aspect of the touch-ups were the letters on the shooter lane and right k'out hole. I had zero reference for the font, so I winged it. This is the part that takes 'bravado', and believe me I didn't want to do it, cause' if you screw up-especially where there are micro cracks like in the shooter lane-it's really hard to remove the black paint. So I did it anyway.
    Hey, not bad. Actually turned out nice. Phew!

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    #25 1 year ago

    So with all the touch-ups completed, it's time to apply a layer of polyurethane to four places. Below the kickout holes, just above the tunnel, and the shooter lane. I decided to first go over the pf with the automotive compound, avoiding the areas where I did major touch ups. Pic shows an example of the results.
    A more detailed explanation of polyurethane application to follow.

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    #26 1 year ago

    Just came across this and watching your progress, looking good .
    -Mike

    #27 1 year ago

    For the mylar platters and spot polyurethaning I used Frisket for the polyurethane, and adhesive mylar. The mylar can be obtained from PBR in sheets-which is what I used. Compass circle cutters are what I use and I highly recommend them. Use throw away paper to size up the circle. I used a ruler over the pop bumper area to figure out the diameter of the cut. After I cut out the main circle, I cut the inner circle out.
    I did the same with the Frisket, but for the k'outs cut the pieces out with a knife. Before applying the polyurethane, I leveled the pf using a spring clamp. I usually apply a layer of polyurethane and go with it.
    One hiccup was that the white area below the right k'out darkened-crap! I showed the owner a pic of it, and he was fine with it.

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    #28 1 year ago

    You know Steve also sells adhesive mylars for pops right?

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    You know Steve also sells adhesive mylars for pops right?

    Right, but I already have a sheet of mylar that I bought from Steve that I use to make full size platters for the Gottliebs. He doesn't sell full size adhesive mylar platters.

    #30 1 year ago

    I just sold my TZ Friday, but attached are the best pics I have of the time tunnel area. Yours looking great. I just cleaned and waxed mine before selling, didn't have the time or patience to do a full restore. EDIT: Forgot to mention, did touch up the black on the time tunnel area, the second and third pics show the difference.

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    #31 1 year ago

    Waxed the pf last night. I don't know how other guys do it, but I use the microfiber cloths from Costco, along with Meguiars mirror glaze #26
    carnauba wax. I applied two coats and buff it by hand each time.
    Ordered parts Monday, so while waiting I cleaned the plastics with soap/water and let air dry-turned out nice. Started cleaning the stainless as well.
    Today I cleaned the posts' with the ultrasonic cleaner using Zep citrus degreaser. They cleaned up nicely as well.

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    #32 1 year ago

    Great thread and great work, Chris! I wish we still lived nearby so I could come by and learn some of these painting techniques from you. Tim only taught me the Sharpie Method which, although great in many cases, does have limitations depending on the condition of the playfield. Nice work!

    #33 1 year ago

    Thanks Mark, very much appreciated. You are missed up here.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from phergott:

    For the mylar platters and spot polyurethaning I used Frisket for the polyurethane, and adhesive mylar. The mylar can be obtained from PBR in sheets-which is what I used. Compass circle cutters are what I use and I highly recommend them. Use throw away paper to size up the circle. I used a ruler over the pop bumper area to figure out the diameter of the cut. After I cut out the main circle, I cut the inner circle out.
    I did the same with the Frisket, but for the k'outs cut the pieces out with a knife. Before applying the polyurethane, I leveled the pf using a spring clamp. I usually apply a layer of polyurethane and go with it.
    One hiccup was that the white area below the right k'out darkened-crap! I showed the owner a pic of it, and he was fine with it.

    Assuming you used spray polyurethane? Semi-gloss? Varathane?

    So I have this correct, you masked with frisket and then spray poly?

    Some great work. Looks awesome.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from tengle93:

    Assuming you used spray polyurethane? Semi-gloss? Varathane?
    So I have this correct, you masked with frisket and then spray poly?

    No spray, I used a small 3/8" brush straight out of the can. Minwax polyurethane.
    Thanks for asking, I completely forgot to mention how I applied it

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from phergott:

    No spray, I used a small 3/8" brush straight out of the can. Minwax polyurethane.
    Thanks for asking, I completely forgot to mention how I applied it

    Chris is that to lock in the acrylic paints -- as an alternative to clearing? And do you do the whole playfield or just the new painted areas?

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from goldenboy232:

    Chris is that to lock in the acrylic paints -- as an alternative to clearing?

    Yes Mark. It serves two purposes. To lock in the paint and it blends in better than a piece of mylar. I forgot to mention that I also applied the polyurethane around the inserts and tunnel circle where I touched up the black.
    No, I don't do the entire pf.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from phergott:

    Yes Mark. It serves two purposes. To lock in the paint and it blends in better than a piece of mylar. I forgot to mention that I also applied the polyurethane around the inserts and tunnel circle where I touched up the black.
    No, I don't do the entire pf.

    OK cool, and you can’t tell a difference between the areas you did, and did not, use the polyurethane on after you wax?

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from goldenboy232:

    OK cool, and you can’t tell a difference between the areas you did, and did not, use the polyurethane on after you wax?

    Before waxing. And depending on how warm it is in the room, allow to dry a few days.

    #40 1 year ago

    Looks great, much better than the clean up of my game. But I wasn't brave enough to try paint touch ups yet.

    #41 1 year ago

    Yours looks good. It takes time to get comfortable with it.

    #42 1 year ago

    All the parts arrived Thursday, but there few more things to do before repopulating the pf. As a side note, I did a small order from Marcos after ordering from PBR. Why? 1) the locks from Marcos fit the latch for the backbox door-
    Steve's do not. 2) I didn't notice until after ordering from Steve, that the 4 fuse holders on the relay board were breaking apart, and these as well.
    So the lockdown bar mechanism had a nasty layer of rust on top of it, so I soaked it in Evaporust along with the shooter assy for little under 24 hours. And yes, it DOES work.
    Yesterday I cleaned the three metal rail guides. Instead of being chrome, they have a matt type finish. Too bad, chrome would have really made them pop on the pf.
    Got the side rails and upper arch installed along with the metal rails.

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    #43 1 year ago

    If you take some wet/dry sandpaper to the lockdown bar receiver, you can even out some of the differences caused by the rust removal. Sure, you're the only one who will ever see it, but if you're like me, you'll want it to look as good as it can.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    If you take some wet/dry sandpaper to the lockdown bar receiver

    Receiver, is that the narrow strip of metal mounted underneath the piece I derusted that slides with the lever handle?

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from phergott:

    Receiver, is that the narrow strip of metal mounted underneath the piece I derusted that slides with the lever handle?

    No, the actual upper part is what I'm talking about. The narrow strip below is the lock mechanism. I was talking about the discoloration left when the rust was dissolved by the Evaporust. The upper part that shows.

    #47 1 year ago

    While it's been a few days since last posting, I finally got around to cleaning the tunnel, and was it dirty! Used Zep citrus degreaser-really good stuff. Wasn't happy with the finish after cleaning, so I applied a light coat of wax and now nice and shiny. All assembled and ready to install. But before I do that I want to install the window first, which is delayed because I need to buy the material to replace the old gasket.
    In order to install the tunnel, the relay bank under the pf needs to be removed, so that's why I'm at this point. The pics show how crappy dirty the pf was, and how it looks now.

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    #48 1 year ago

    Looking nice. I like the old games original.. this is a nice way to restore them. Excellent!

    #49 1 year ago

    Great work

    #50 1 year ago

    Lookin’ real good, Chris!

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