Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

5 years ago


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#5401 3 months ago

I am about to airbrush a large amount of area on my #fast-draw playfield with createx sky-blue opaque after I apply the first coat of 2pac. There are small areas with bare wood , that have been covered with 2pac and sanded smooth . Since sky-blue seems to be not covering so effectively like red or blue , I am considering putting a light coat of white on all the area to be painted , before airbrushing the sky-blue. Is that a common technique , and also is white a good choice , or a light coat of grey is more suitable for colors that do not cover so effectively.

#5402 3 months ago

Lighter colors usually need a thin primer coat so the top color looks true.

Especially fluorescent colors, they always need a white undercoat.

#5403 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Lighter colors usually need a thin primer coat so the top color looks true.
Especially fluorescent colors, they always need a white undercoat.

So I guess I will go with a very light coat of white.

Thank you Vid .

#5404 3 months ago

Well,

After being away for a few weeks, I finally repopulated my Mini Pool PF.

Here's a pic......

Now to figure out where the short is! No PF lights, fuse blows immediately.

IMG_1679 (resized).jpg

#5405 3 months ago

DT, I have to say that it really came out nice. Best of luck on the electrical issue. Any chance you might bring it to Pintastic in MA this summer?

#5406 3 months ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

DT, I have to say that it really came out nice. Best of luck on the electrical issue. Any chance you might bring it to Pintastic in MA this summer?

Thanks.

I doubt it.

As far as the electric, I did solder a few light sockets while the game was apart. I guess I'll start by taking those out of the circuit first......off to a different thread for that!

#5407 3 months ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

Well,
After being away for a few weeks, I finally repopulated my Mini Pool PF.
Here's a pic......
Now to figure out where the short is! No PF lights, fuse blows immediately.

Nice work!! Cant wait to see it lit up !
Mike

#5408 3 months ago

Anyone have any opinions on 1-Shot Lettering Enamels? I recently saw a post about using them for playfield touchups and something about a Tom Considine who does remarkable work with playfield artwork repair. I have never seen or heard of either. I may be too out of the loop I guess. Just curious.
Mike

#5409 3 months ago
Quoted from packie1:

Anyone have any opinions on 1-Shot Lettering Enamels? I recently saw a post about using them for playfield touchups and something about a Tom Considine who does remarkable work with playfield artwork repair. I have never seen or heard of either. I may be too out of the loop I guess. Just curious.
Mike

Super fast drying oil paint that stinks up the whole shop, make SURE you wear a chem-mask.

It even has a warning not to use it in a house.

#5410 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Super fast drying oil paint that stinks up the whole shop, make SURE you wear a chem-mask.
It even has a warning not to use it in a house.

Ok I got that but is it worth it to use? I have had great luck with the airbrush paints.

#5411 3 months ago
Quoted from packie1:

Nice work!! Cant wait to see it lit up !
Mike

Since you asked so nicely....Not fully lit, but no short either!

IMG_1690 (resized).jpg

#5412 3 months ago

Vid,
After having my own adventures with clearcoating a while back, I had great results but did NOT enjoy the process. (mostly the toxic fumes coupled with my asthma.) So Ive decided to get a local autobody shop to shoot my clear on my RCT. I know you recommend Omni 161 due at least in part to its user friendliness, but the guy at the body shop is saying its a "low end poor quality clear" and is recommending DuPont Cromax, though he will shoot whatever I want. Is there anything other than ease of use that makes omni 161 the superior choice for playfields? If done by a professional could a more difficult to work with clear produce superior results?

@droptarget That Mini Pool looks amazing! Great job! Target pool is my favorite wedgehead.

#5413 3 months ago
Quoted from McSquid:

Ive decided to get a local autobody shop to shoot my clear on my RCT. I know you recommend Omni 161 due at least in part to its user friendliness, but the guy at the body shop is saying its a "low end poor quality clear" and is recommending DuPont Cromax, though he will shoot whatever I want. Is there anything other than ease of use that makes omni 161 the superior choice for playfields? If done by a professional could a more difficult to work with clear produce superior results?

Let the guy use whatever he is familiar with.

If he shoots Cromax every day, he is going to be a master with it.

Remind him NOT to hang the playfield, but to shoot it laying on it's back - body guys always try to hang playfields, I don't know why.

#5414 3 months ago

Sounds good. Thanks again. I've already begun hammering home that it needs to be perfectly level. I'll make sure they know exactly what that means before I leave it with them.

#5415 3 months ago
Quoted from McSquid:

Vid,
After having my own adventures with clearcoating a while back, I had great results but did NOT enjoy the process. (mostly the toxic fumes coupled with my asthma.) So Ive decided to get a local autobody shop to shoot my clear on my RCT. I know you recommend Omni 161 due at least in part to its user friendliness, but the guy at the body shop is saying its a "low end poor quality clear" and is recommending DuPont Cromax, though he will shoot whatever I want. Is there anything other than ease of use that makes omni 161 the superior choice for playfields? If done by a professional could a more difficult to work with clear produce superior results?
droptarget That Mini Pool looks amazing! Great job! Target pool is my favorite wedgehead.

Thank you. I'm an add a ball guy, but I think Target Pool is the better version.

#5416 3 months ago

Hey Vid. Are you aware if decals can be made using Elements 15 instead of PhotoShop? I've been struggling for some time now with Elements but just can't seem to figure out how to make the decals. You've talked about using the channel function but Elements doesn't have that feature.

#5417 3 months ago

^ I only have Photoshop, so hopefully somebody will be an Elements expert and chime in.

#5418 3 months ago

Man, where do I buy one of those wheels? I need to regrain some large Gottlieb side rails and that would make short work of it!

#5419 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can also use Stainless Welding Rod from HD or any welding shop.

Vid any techniques for bending smooth long curves with the welding rod? The small tight curves are simple enough, but for guides with a good curve?

#5420 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

^ I only have Photoshop, so hopefully somebody will be an Elements expert and chime in.

I've tried using Elements. It's not especially useful or intuitive - more for doctoring / filtering photos. Honestly, using MS Paint would be more useful for decals. And that's not saying much.

#5421 3 months ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Vid any techniques for bending smooth long curves with the welding rod? The small tight curves are simple enough, but for guides with a good curve?

Run it through a slip-roll, or draw it over the edge of the workbench

#5422 3 months ago

I have one of these from harbor fright that I had gotten for some other purpose, but it worked very well for making some large curved rails for my home brew.

https://www.harborfreight.com/gear-driven-ring-roller-36790.html

#5423 3 months ago

I shot my first coat of 2pac ( one light coat and a second full coat , 15 minutes apart ) and I am getting ready to paint/airbrush most of this #fast-draw playfield. I am a newbie so I was a bit reluctant with the spray gun and I guess my attempt in clear coating resulted in a not so heavy coat and orange peel.
After 24 hours and wet sanding with 400 grit , the playfield looks nice , but the small pits that were all over the place are still there. Maybe a little less prominent though. I will not get a good weather to attempt another coat , so would it be ok if I would go ahead and do my touch ups hoping that the second 2pac coating attempt will cover them ? or must I wait another 2 months for better weather to lay another coat and try to fill those pits ?

Thanks in advance everyone that helps people like me with no experience in playfield restoration and especially Vid that opened my eyes on that subject

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#5424 3 months ago
Quoted from phototamer:

, the playfield looks nice , but the small pits that were all over the place are still there. Maybe a little less prominent though. I will not get a good weather to attempt another coat , so would it be ok if I would go ahead and do my touch ups hoping that the second 2pac coating attempt will cover them ? or must I wait another 2 months for better weather to lay another coat and try to fill those pits ?

You can drip some 2pac into the pits, or just go ahead and paint.

The next coat of clear will fix it.

#5425 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can drip some 2pac into the pits, or just go ahead and paint.
The next coat of clear will fix it.

I will go with the middle road then . Fill the major pits with a 2pac soaked toothpick , sand , and paint.

Thanks Vid !

#5426 3 months ago
Quoted from Pindufus:

Hey Vid. Are you aware if decals can be made using Elements 15 instead of PhotoShop? I've been struggling for some time now with Elements but just can't seem to figure out how to make the decals. You've talked about using the channel function but Elements doesn't have that feature.

You probably will have to go to Gimp if you want the features of Photoshop for free. I also use Photoshop so I haven't tried Gimp, but from what I understand it has all of the powerful features you will need. The interface may take some work to figure out though. Then again, Photoshop can be a bit of work as well when you are starting out with it. I get Photoshop paid for from work. If that day ends, I'll probably head for Gimp. I like free stuff.

https://www.gimp.org

#5427 3 months ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

You probably will have to go to Gimp if you want the features of Photoshop for free. I also use Photoshop so I haven't tried Gimp, but from what I understand it has all of the powerful features you will need. The interface may take some work to figure out though. Then again, Photoshop can be a bit of work as well when you are starting out with it. I get Photoshop paid for from work. If that day ends, I'll probably head for Gimp. I like free stuff.
https://www.gimp.org

You can also try something like paint.net if you are on Windows. I have a hard time using GIMP. Inkscape, on the other hand, is good for vector work.

#5428 3 months ago

I have used gimp and inkscape for any art restoration that others have demonstrated on pinside using Photoshop or illustrator. its really an amazing product that is completely free.

#5429 3 months ago

If you are using a Mac, Pixelmator is the way to go.

#5430 3 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

I have used gimp and inkscape for any art restoration that others have demonstrated on pinside using Photoshop or illustrator. its really an amazing product that is completely free.

Yes, between Gimp and Inkscape you can do what you need to do. Expect to spend time learning how to use them by following the tutorials. They are powerful tools and require training if you want to be proficient with them. Just like with any tool, you want to read the manual.

#5431 3 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The wood of the playfield rails is no longer sealed.
Dust and filth are in the wood itself.
I'd remove those rails, sand them down to clean wood, and seal with poly or lacquer
Lacquer is a good choice because you can tone the wood so it does not look too fresh.

Quoted from phototamer:

I use lacquer dry flakes dissolved in 96 percent alcohol, or IPA ( isopropyl alcohol ) (about 1 part flakes to 4 parts alcohol ) and get the desired tone by repeating passes of the mixture on the wood surface .

Rails removed - ready to sand and lacquer as you recommended...

Since this is my first time, can you recommend a sandpaper grit (sponge better?) as well as exact brand of lacquer? (product link?) Vid, do you use flakes or liquid? Is color the advantage to using flakes?

Also, do you leave metal rail or remove before sanding and lacquering? (It's riveted so would prefer to leave of course)

image (resized).jpeg

#5432 3 months ago
Quoted from spinal:

(It's riveted so would prefer to leave of course)

Pretty sure those are just little nails actually.

#5433 3 months ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

Pretty sure those are just little nails actually.

OK thanks - then should be easy to take off.

#5434 3 months ago

Sand with 120, then 150, then 220. Use a wooden block or one of those black rubber 3M sanding blocks to back up the paper so you sand the surfaces nice and flat without rolling the edges.

Lacquer isn't sold in flakes, that's shellac. Shellac has its place, but don't use it here.

Lacquer dries VERY fast, and it is VERY noxious. If you're going to use lacquer, do it outside on a warm day. Apply it with a sponge brush and chuck the brush when you're done (but don't use the crappy ones they sell at Home Depot. The ones at a proper paint store tend to be denser foam.)

That said, lacquer will give you a very shiny, very visible layer on top of the wood. On an older game, you may want to use something which builds more gradually. Wipe-on polyurethane is nearly impossible to screw up; you apply it with a foam brush or even a rag, and keep building up layers to until you like the look. You don't want to use too little, as it won't seal the wood. But it will give you good protection without looking like there's a plastic barrier between you and the wood.

Take the rail off. It's probably filthy under there.

#5435 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Lacquer isn't sold in flakes, that's shellac. Shellac has its place, but don't use it here.

My bad .. sometimes I mix up my words .
Shellac is not so durable and hard as lacquer , but I like the way the color deepens with repeating applications giving the desired tone , and the fact that is a natural product.

#5436 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

That said, lacquer will give you a very shiny, very visible layer on top of the wood. On an older game, you may want to use something which builds more gradually.

Sounds like lacquer on the rails might make it end up looking different from original.

Anyone know what Gottlieb put on rails originally (C37, 1977)?

#5437 89 days ago

If anyone is curious to follow along and see how all this information translates into practice in the mind and hands of a newbie playfield restoration practitioner, I have started a thread documenting my Comet project. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/comet-restoration-project

I have two previous projects under my belt. Both of them turned out well, but not without LOTS of mistakes along the way. This time I decided to "do it in public" with a restoration thread. I hope folks will chime in with tips, suggestions, warnings and alternate approaches.

I would like to offer up a BIG thank you to Vid once again for his generosity in sharing his knowledge with everyone here.

#5438 87 days ago

@vid1900 anything that works to counter/undo the two part epoxy?

I glued an existing insert that ended up lower than I would like.. (guess the clamp was too tight and deformed my block) but now with the fresh epoxy, of course it's set. I don't want to risk popping the insert fully as it has a lot of art along the insert edges and it's a diamondcoat field that would need scoring to keep from taking too much.

Anything that works to release two part epoxy?

#5439 87 days ago

I'm planning to put some Cliffy protectors on my Last Action Hero. Someone suggested that I fill any wear on the scoops first so that the Cliffys don't get beaten up and dented in those spots (I guess because nothing is under them to support them).

What do you fill scoop wear with? Mine's not too bad, but still noticeable. I don't plan to paint or clearcoat because the rest of the playfield is perfect....just want to fill the wear and cover with Cliffy protectors.

#5440 87 days ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

vid1900 anything that works to counter/undo the two part epoxy?
I glued an existing insert that ended up lower than I would like.. (guess the clamp was too tight and deformed my block) but now with the fresh epoxy, of course it's set. I don't want to risk popping the insert fully as it has a lot of art along the insert edges and it's a diamondcoat field that would need scoring to keep from taking too much.
Anything that works to release two part epoxy?

MEK eats epoxy, but I worry it will cloud the acrylic lens too.

I'd just fill the insert with 2PAC and level her off.

#5441 87 days ago
Quoted from shirkle:

What do you fill scoop wear with? Mine's not too bad, but still noticeable. I don't plan to paint or clearcoat because the rest of the playfield is perfect....just want to fill the wear and cover with Cliffy protectors.

Most people use Bondo, but if you are not painting, you can just fill the wear with 2PAC.

#5442 86 days ago

Does anyone have scans of a PinBot playfield? I'm currently restoring one, and the outlane insert lettering has yellowed, as these were not covered with mylar. Also some worn art will be easier to restore with waterslides off a scan than trying to repaint.

MVIMG_20180127_112019 (resized).jpg

MVIMG_20180127_111933 (resized).jpg

#5443 84 days ago

Anyone have a suggestion for leveling GI light sockets that are above the level of the playfield? I can't just bend them down and was wondering if there is a proven easier way.

#5444 83 days ago

Can you pull the Staples out a little from the back?

#5445 83 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Also some worn art will be easier to restore with waterslides

I don't know if this will help you but this was an interesting way to redo some lettering, keylines and graphics...

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/restoring-playfields-with-small-text

#5446 83 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Can you pull the Staples out a little from the back?

I was looking at that last night. I will try that tonight and see what happens

#5447 83 days ago

Vid I have a question. I have a green shade of paint that I absolutely cannot match. Would I be able to use another brand of paint that is close to or an exact match other than the Createx airbrush colors? Out of all of the playfields that I have done this is the first to have me stumped.

20180130_191227 (resized).jpg

#5448 83 days ago
Quoted from sohchx:

Vid I have a question. I have a green shade of paint that I absolutely cannot match. Would I be able to use another brand of paint that is close to or an exact match other than the Createx airbrush colors? Out of all of the playfields that I have done this is the first to have me stumped.

If the bottle in the picture is your starting point you'll never get there. The bottle of green in your picture is clearly a tint (contains white). The green on the playfield is a dark green on the bluish end of the spectrum. Try starting from scratch with primary colors using a warm yellow and a deep blue. The tinyest bit of a deep red on the blue side of the spectrum might be useful to push the color towards gray if need be.

#5449 83 days ago
Quoted from sohchx:

Would I be able to use another brand of paint that is close to or an exact match other than the Createx airbrush colors?

You can take the playfield into your local store and have them computer match the color.

Buy a quart of the highest quality paint they have (cheap paints fade).

I do that with pinball cabs all the time, take the head in on a dolly and computer match my colors.

You can also get other high quality airbrush paints like Jacquard - they have an amazing orange that Createx simply does not make.

#5450 82 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can take the playfield into your local store and have them computer match the color.
Buy a quart of the highest quality paint they have (cheap paints fade).
I do that with pinball cabs all the time, take the head in on a dolly and computer match my colors.
You can also get other high quality airbrush paints like Jacquard - they have an amazing orange that Createx simply does not make.

What based paint would I ask for that is safe to have 2k laid down over it and that can be airbrushed? I'm so used to using Createx on everything that I have no experience airbrushing any othrr types of paint on fields.

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