Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

6 years ago



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#6151 84 days ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Filling VERY deeply cupped inserts -
Is there a depth that you recommend to be the max with one cure of clear? ie... fill half way up then sand and top off? I've had great success in the past with filling, however this Grand Prix has by far the worst cupped inserts I've seen.
Thoughts? Thanks.

Just fill them all the way up.

2PAC cures by chemicals, not evaporation.

I've cast cubes of the left over stuff and it cures all the way through the center.

#6152 78 days ago

Here's sort of a dumb question. I have stripped my playfield and used an HP4670 connected to my old WinXP laptop to scan it. Brought the scans to my main laptop and stitched them together. However, while doing this I find that none of the scans are what I'd call full size (1 : 1 of the area being scanned), so now I'm looking at trying to scale them up to get the correct font sizes for waterslide decals. Is there some setting in the scanner software I've missed, or is that just how it is?

And what's hopefully a more reasonable question: How do you keep the proper registration for these waterslide overlays when I'm looking at a complete repaint of some of the areas that they go in? My thought is to frisket/airbrush an area then apply the decal, but is there a secret to getting it right? These areas in question have planking/flaked paint that run through the lettering.

#6153 78 days ago
Quoted from PinballBillinFL:

Here's sort of a dumb question. I have stripped my playfield and used an HP4670 connected to my old WinXP laptop to scan it. Brought the scans to my main laptop and stitched them together. However, while doing this I find that none of the scans are what I'd call full size (1 : 1 of the area being scanned), so now I'm looking at trying to scale them up to get the correct font sizes for waterslide decals. Is there some setting in the scanner software I've missed, or is that just how it is?

Photoshop needs about a 25% overlap to autostitch, so make sure you give it tons of extra.

If I stitch 12 scans together, the final art loses about .25" .

That's why guys making reproduction playfields want a single pass scan, not a bunch of small ones stitched.

If you don't stitch anything, the HP scans the actual size accurately.

#6154 78 days ago
Quoted from PinballBillinFL:

How do you keep the proper registration for these waterslide overlays when I'm looking at a complete repaint of some of the areas that they go in?

Center the black layer over the inserts.

The inserts are the one area that any mis-registration really stands out.

#6155 77 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Photoshop needs about a 25% overlap to autostitch, so make sure you give it tons of extra.
If I stitch 12 scans together, the final art loses about .25" .
That's why guys making reproduction playfields want a single pass scan, not a bunch of small ones stitched.
If you don't stitch anything, the HP scans the actual size accurately.

Ah.. I'll bet that's it. When I scanned, I made sure there was some overlap, but I didn't go overboard. Since the scanned area is slightly larger than half the width of the playfield I lined up the scanner on each edge, so there's some overlap. And I think I used about the same amount of overlap down the length, for a total of 10 raw scans. I'll try again with perhaps 3 wide and more overlap in the long dimension as well.

As for my other question, I get it! I'll simply make decals around inserts that are larger than just the lettering itself. Since some of those are color, I've got to shop them out anyway, so no problem. The others, yeah, probably not critical to place them exactly over where they were. I bet there was some slop in the lettering position from the factory in the first place. It's not like these are precision machines with a long life expectancy.

As always, Thanks Vid! You are a real treasure!

#6156 77 days ago

Hey, Vid

It's been two weeks since my final clear coat and I know you recommend letting it cure for about six before proceeding. I'm wondering if it's safe to do a final sand and polish now, but then wait to repopulate.

It's not that I'm impatient, I just want to be efficient with my time.

#6157 77 days ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Hey, Vid
It's been two weeks since my final clear coat and I know you recommend letting it cure for about six before proceeding. I'm wondering if it's safe to do a final sand and polish now, but then wait to repopulate.
It's not that I'm impatient, I just want to be efficient with my time.

2 to 6 weeks before reassembly, is the rule.

You are waiting for clearcoat die-back or shrinkage to occur.

Sometimes it takes a year or more depending on the clearcoat applied as well as the conditions it was applied under.

If after 4 to 6 weeks there is no change, you should be good to go and finish it up.

#6158 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

2 to 6 weeks before reassembly, is the rule.
You are waiting for clearcoat die-back or shrinkage to occur.
Sometimes it takes a year or more depending on the clearcoat applied as well as the conditions it was applied under.
If after 4 to 6 weeks there is no change, you should be good to go and finish it up.

Thanks, Reno. What am I looking for, to know if shrinkage has occurred?

#6159 77 days ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Thanks, Reno. What am I looking for, to know if shrinkage has occurred?

Any noticable change in the surface.

#6160 77 days ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

What am I looking for, to know if shrinkage has occurred?

Looking across the surface, see if the outline of the inserts have telegraphed through the clear

#6161 77 days ago

I already asked this one on another thread but since I got no answer I thought I will try my luck here too
I am about to fully restore my newly acquired Surf champ. I already restored a Fast draw (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fast-draw-playfield-restoration-first-ever-attempt-/page/2#post-4481363 ) and it seems to me that the colors of both playfields are identical. This would make things super easy for me , because it took me a while to nail the Colors of Fast draw using createx paints which I have in stock. Anyone having both pins with original paint , or knowing Gottliebs choice of colors for these 2 pins , could chime in and advice on this.
Thanx in advance !

#6162 76 days ago
Quoted from phototamer:

and it seems to me that the colors of both playfields are identical.

It could well be.

There is a 70s "Gottlieb Purple" that is used in a lot of machines...I always keep a premixed bottle of it because it takes a while to match.

#6163 76 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It could well be.
There is a 70s "Gottlieb Purple" that is used in a lot of machines...I always keep a premixed bottle of it because it takes a while to match.

I compared flyers of both games , and also looked really carefully at images of well kept playfields . It seems that Gottlieb used the same color palette for those 2 titles. Red , Yellow and blue are definitely the same. So I guess the remaining color , light blue ( Sky blue ) , would be the same too.

#6164 75 days ago

I shot my first PF's last night. They came out great... I used Matrix MS-52 2PAC, shot a base, let sit until hard enough to sand smooth, cleaned, tacked and shot 3 consecutive coats to finish..... HVLP...

The PF was a NOS board that had cracks all over it in the finish... I just scuffed and coated... the Hurricane was a total mess, removed all the mylar, did some minor touch up but once it cleaned up it looked almost brand new.. any wear is basically under hardware...

I am very happy with the result, better than I anticipated.... Now I have to figure out how to put the Hurricane back together since i lost my phone with all of the detailed pics (and no auto backup). Oh well... i marked MOST of it . I have 2 PF that both play so that will be an easy one

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#6165 75 days ago

those look great

#6166 74 days ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

those look great

Thanks, I used to have a cabinet business so I have years of spraying experience. This was my first time using auto clear and spraying PF's. I am really happy with the result, much better than I expected....

#6167 74 days ago

Great Job!!

#6168 73 days ago

I too am new at this. The mechanics I can handle but the playfield... it's hard. I'm at #10 post of 124 of Vid's restoration; I feel so lucky that after five years he's still doing this. I have two questions on my Williams Stardust:

What is the reference to mylar? Is this a sheet that fits over the whole playfield? I don't think that I have one.

It's not clear if I should sand, fill, and paint before I do a lite clear coat? I have no loose paint; it just needs touchup.

Thanks Vid, I hope as I read further all the posts are available in a binder form.

#6169 73 days ago
Quoted from redrock:I'm at #10 post of 124 of Vid's restoration; I feel so lucky that after five years he's still doing this.

One day I'll check out and it will be up to you guys to keep this MF going.

Quoted from redrock:

What is the reference to mylar? Is this a sheet that fits over the whole playfield? I don't think that I have one.

Sometimes the Mylar is around the pops, or in front of the slingshots. Other times it's the entire lower playfield.

Sometimes it's not even Mylar, it can be vinyl or who knows what....

Quoted from redrock:

It's not clear if I should sand, fill, and paint before I do a lite clear coat? I have no loose paint; it just needs touchup.

Often I touch up the black keylines around the inserts, and level cupped inserts before I do the lockdown coat

You also have to fix the shooterlane before you seal all that dirt under the lockdown coat.

Post pics if you have questions

#6170 73 days ago

I removed a lot from the top but I'm reluctant to removed all the components from the bottom. I feel that the wires and solder connects are fragile, and I would have to unsolder the bare, silver common wires stapled to the board. I could unscrew all the components and slide a thin plywood under the components and pull all out as a unit, or maybe with a frame use a blanket to lower all the components a few inches as a unit.

It's the non-mechanical front that gives me pause. The inserts are cupped a little but are available so I can handle them. With no experience in airbrushing -- and the one-time expense -- I think using a paint brush might be easier for me. I just don't know there to start. And again, I keep questioning if a first thin clear coat before work is done is the way to go. And there are so many clear coats referenced; the SprayMax can sure looks the easiest for someone without experience.

Probably unlike most of the posts that I have read, I'm retired and need projects to do; if it takes a year and I paint everything by hand, OK. So it's not the time, but is cost. Where so I start?!

Williams Stardust (resized).JPG
#6171 73 days ago
Quoted from redrock:SprayMax can sure looks the easiest for someone without experience.

Spraymax is super expensive, and tiny repairs (if you chip something or have to fill a suckout or fisheyes) cost you another can.

But if you live somewhere where you can't plug in an air compressor, then it might be your only choice

Quoted from redrock:

With no experience in airbrushing -- and the one-time expense -- I think using a paint brush might be easier for me.

Airbrush is 1000x easier than paint brush.

Quoted from redrock:

I removed a lot from the top but I'm reluctant to removed all the components from the bottom. I feel that the wires and solder connects are fragile, and I would have to unsolder the bare, silver common wires stapled to the board. I could unscrew all the components and slide a thin plywood under the components and pull all out as a unit, or maybe with a frame use a blanket to lower all the components a few inches as a unit.

You don't HAVE to remove the bottom mess, but it does let you put the harness in the dishwasher and get all the muck out.

It's not fragile.

Any solder fragile enough that moving it broke it, would of had to be re-soldered anyway.

Should you remove it all, put it on the thick cardboard from a TV box to transport it to the dishwasher.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cleaning-playfield-harnesses-vids-guide

You don't have to use bare wire for the power lines if you don't want to:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-re-populating-playfields#post-4559360

Quoted from redrock:

I just don't know there to start.

If that was on my bench, I'd start with sanding out the shooter lane, wipe with naphtha and see how clean it will look clearcoated.

If the wear is too deep, then I'd just paint it wood tone.

Next I'd look at any other bare wood (like in front of the slingshots) and see how clean they are when wiped with naphtha.

I'd paint the black keylines around the inserts (by hand), and level the cupped ones.

#6172 73 days ago

Thanks for your input. I'll built the rotisserie, strip to bare wood, and then...think some more.

#6173 73 days ago
Quoted from redrock:

I removed a lot from the top but I'm reluctant to removed all the components from the bottom. I feel that the wires and solder connects are fragile, and I would have to unsolder the bare, silver common wires stapled to the board. I could unscrew all the components and slide a thin plywood under the components and pull all out as a unit, or maybe with a frame use a blanket to lower all the components a few inches as a unit.
It's the non-mechanical front that gives me pause. The inserts are cupped a little but are available so I can handle them. With no experience in airbrushing -- and the one-time expense -- I think using a paint brush might be easier for me. I just don't know there to start. And again, I keep questioning if a first thin clear coat before work is done is the way to go. And there are so many clear coats referenced; the SprayMax can sure looks the easiest for someone without experience.
Probably unlike most of the posts that I have read, I'm retired and need projects to do; if it takes a year and I paint everything by hand, OK. So it's not the time, but is cost. Where so I start?!
[quoted image]

I'm kind of at a similar place in my efforts. I followed the suggestions in here for stripping the top of the playfield. I took pictures of each major grouping of parts, each with a descriptive name on a piece of paper - upper left playfield, upper center, etc. Put the paper and the parts in a ziploc bag and put all the bags in a bin for later. Alas, my phone decided to completely wipe itself, so I lost the pics, but fortunately it's a pretty simple playfield. I had the same thoughts regarding the underside - to strip or not to strip. At this point I've opted not to strip, so I built a quick and dirty box that supports the playfield, so if I shop out the clearcoating I have a safe means of transport. Cheaper than a rotisserie for a one time restoration. I'm into the cleaning and checking with naphtha phase now, and based on what I've read here, I picked up some airbrush stuff at Harbor Freight. I have no experience with it, but will practice before doing anything stupid, or more stupid than I already have! Got the Createx paint set, some frisket, new blades for my knives.. Just taking it slow.

#6174 73 days ago
Quoted from PinballBillinFL:

Alas, my phone decided to completely wipe itself, so I lost the pics,

That is why you always upload your teardown pics to Pinside's **shopout** gallery.

https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/time-warp/gallery/shopout

#6175 73 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That is why you always upload your teardown pics to Pinside's **shopout** gallery.
https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/time-warp/gallery/shopout

Holy Crap! Never knew about this resource! Thanks Vid - you are da man!

#6176 73 days ago
Quoted from redrock:

I removed a lot from the top but I'm reluctant to removed all the components from the bottom. I feel that the wires and solder connects are fragile, and I would have to unsolder the bare, silver common wires stapled to the board. I could unscrew all the components and slide a thin plywood under the components and pull all out as a unit, or maybe with a frame use a blanket to lower all the components a few inches as a unit.
It's the non-mechanical front that gives me pause. The inserts are cupped a little but are available so I can handle them. With no experience in airbrushing -- and the one-time expense -- I think using a paint brush might be easier for me. I just don't know there to start. And again, I keep questioning if a first thin clear coat before work is done is the way to go. And there are so many clear coats referenced; the SprayMax can sure looks the easiest for someone without experience.
Probably unlike most of the posts that I have read, I'm retired and need projects to do; if it takes a year and I paint everything by hand, OK. So it's not the time, but is cost. Where so I start?!
[quoted image]

No need to remove anything from the bottom, unless you want to clean and wash everything.
I made a case that fits the playfield like a glove and it was used in restoring my fast draw. I now use it to restore my surf champ.
You can do everything by hand , but an airbrush is a big help for painting big surfaces.

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#6177 72 days ago
Quoted from phototamer:

No need to remove anything from the bottom, unless you want to clean and wash everything.
I made a case that fits the playfield like a glove and it was used in restoring my fast draw. I now use it to restore my surf champ.
You can do everything by hand , but an airbrush is a big help for painting big surfaces. [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Nice, I was thinking of making a similar fixture for bare playfield transport & storage. The backside is so delicate that it only makes sense.

#6178 72 days ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Nice, I was thinking of making a similar fixture for bare playfield transport & storage. The backside is so delicate that it only makes sense.

The one I build is without a bottom and if the whole contraption can be made to rotate , it can be easily converted to a rotisserie. So you get a Playfield support for touch ups and clearcoat, transportation box ( if you add a removable bottom ) , and a rotisserie .

#6179 72 days ago

kind of a weird question but what do you do if the playfield is in decent shape? If I naptha/novus2 and ME some spots to get rid of the ball swirls but the pf doesn't really need repainting, can I just wax it or does it have to be clearcoated?

After all of that it seems like its bare paint and would need more than wax to protect it, but spraying a clear is non-reversable step and if it isn't perfect beforehand you can't go back. Say you only got rid of 95% of the ball swirls, if you clear over then the pf will never ever be better.

am i thinking of it wrong?

#6180 72 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

kind of a weird question but what do you do if the playfield is in decent shape? If I naptha/novus2 and ME some spots to get rid of the ball swirls but the pf doesn't really need repainting, can I just wax it or does it have to be clearcoated?

As long as you did not pull the Mylar or remove the topcoat with the Magic Eraser, you can wax and play.

#6181 67 days ago

I'm gonna need some scans for Agents 777, if anyone has made them. Was *very cautiously* removing slingshot mylar with heat gun and plastic razor, and was initially pleased that it seemed to be lifting the top coat with it.
I *just touched* the area with alcohol on a shop towel and it obliterated the art.
Yikes.

Not sure how I'll make this look passable again, aside from making tiny dots with a paint brush...

Mylar around the pops came right off without so much as a scraper. Whole playfield's top coat is a crackly mess, so lots of ME time on this one. I'm gonna try to scan the other side before removing the mylar...

IMG_20181113_224637 (resized).jpgIMG_20181114_115519 (resized).jpg

#6182 67 days ago

Well, now I have a big problem!

I decided to remove all the components including the lamp wire buss to refinish the front of the playfield. It was a big job, and honestly, I'm sorry that I did it. I would not do it again. The problem is that I can't find the buss wire.

Having checked some of the pinball supply houses, an electrical distributor, and Amazon and e-Bay, I can't find the 20 gauge stranded bare tinned silver wire for the light buss. Solid is readily available, which might be the only alternative. Any suggestions?

#6183 67 days ago

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1041-third-coast-pinball/00662-18ga-stranded-tinned-bare-wire

Quoted from redrock:

I can't find the 20 gauge stranded bare tinned silver wire for the light buss. Solid is readily available, which might be the only alternative. Any suggestions?

#6184 67 days ago
Quoted from redrock:

Well, now I have a big problem!
I decided to remove all the components including the lamp wire buss to refinish the front of the playfield. It was a big job, and honestly, I'm sorry that I did it. I would not do it again. The problem is that I can't find the buss wire.
Having checked some of the pinball supply houses, an electrical distributor, and Amazon and e-Bay, I can't find the 20 gauge stranded bare tinned silver wire for the light buss. Solid is readily available, which might be the only alternative. Any suggestions?

I found mine at Lowes for 3.99 for i think a 20foot roll.

#6185 67 days ago
Quoted from redrock:

Having checked some of the pinball supply houses, an electrical distributor, and Amazon and e-Bay, I can't find the 20 gauge stranded bare tinned silver wire for the light buss. Solid is readily available, which might be the only alternative. Any suggestions?

PinRestore sells it for $1/ft. You can also use copper foil tape or regular wire (though regular wire is rather a bit of work with all the daisy chaining involved.)

#6186 66 days ago

Thanks for the help. Purchased from Third Coast Pinball.

#6187 66 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That is why you always upload your teardown pics to Pinside's **shopout** gallery.
https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/time-warp/gallery/shopout

I have tons of teardown pics from a few games. This is a great suggestion. I am going to start uploading what I have if it is not already available for those games.

#6188 66 days ago

tomass brought up on another thread this issue some people have had with clearing over sys11 play fields. vid1900, I haven't heard you mention this in this guide or elsewhere. What can you tell us about this?

#6189 63 days ago

Something to be aware of: I was installing new GI bulbs in my F-14 today, and on a few of them, the force of the upholstery stapler was enough to put a couple of hairline cracks in the clear! The gun runs at 90 psi but in the future I will back it off some, maybe try 75 and see it it's sufficient.
Fortunately the cracking is all in areas that are not where the ball travels, so I will probably just let it be and file this lesson away. Thought I'd share though, as a warning...

IMG_20181118_172058 (resized).jpg
#6190 62 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

#6191 62 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

tomass brought up on another thread this issue some people have had with clearing over sys11 play fields. vid1900, I haven't heard you mention this in this guide or elsewhere. What can you tell us about this?

There are lots of pictures of F14, BK2000, Whirlwind, Pinbot, ect.... on this thread, so obviously people do not have problems clearing them.

The biggest problem is usually getting the Mylar off.

Try heat first, if no release, then switch to freeze and try again.

1 week later
#6192 55 days ago

Asking for a friend. What do you think would be the best material/technique to fill in the wear around what will be a new magnet core on Godzilla? Thanks!

godzilla (resized).jpg
#6193 55 days ago

^ there is probably a Cliffy made to protect around that magnet.

You can paint, then fill the chip with 2pac, then Cliffy or Mylar

#6194 52 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

After you get the Mylar off, pat down the residue glue with white baking flour. Really press it into the glue, and let it sit a few minutes.

Next, wet the flour with 91% or higher isopropyl alcohol, and allow it to sit until most of the alcohol has evaporated.

Starting at the edge rub all the glue into little crumbs with your thumb.

Any idea where this method originated? My son and I removed some decals from his Jeep a few weeks back and I tried everything to get the residue off. Then I remembered this technique, it was a little difficult as it was a vertical surface but it worked brilliantly. I got to thinking, who and how on earth decided, let's try flour and alcohol...

#6195 52 days ago

I'm not sure where it came from first.

I remember another restorer telling me it worked great on classic Bally, and I though it sounded like BS.

Little did I know how well it actually works, lol

#6196 51 days ago

Hello, Doing the Shadow Sanctum repair with Bondo and airbrush with Createx paints, carefully hand paint Sanctum letters, what should I use for product to clear that small area and the method that I should use? Do I airbrush it also or whatever. Is there something in a clear that is self leveling? How long should I wait on paint curing before the clear, how many coats? Do I need too thin the Createx paints for spraying. If so, what product? Going to do 5 or 6 misted on coats, very thin coats. Going too use members color mixture, 98 drops, etc. Mylar when I am done.

Thanks, Brad

#6197 51 days ago
Quoted from Demoman1:Doing the Shadow Sanctum repair with Bondo and airbrush with Createx paints, carefully hand paint Sanctum letters, what should I use for product to clear that small area and the method that I should use?

Spot clearing usually chips right at the edge of the new and old clears meet - same reason they won't spot clear your car in the center of the hood.

So I will recommend you clear over the entire playfield.

If not, **spray and pray**.

Quoted from Demoman1:

Is there something in a clear that is self leveling?

Yep 2pac clear self levels, so make sure the playfield is on it's back and level.

Quoted from Demoman1:

Do I need too thin the Createx paints for spraying.

Nope, they spray right out of the bottle.

#6198 51 days ago

Anybody else on here have issues with frisket leaving sticky residue behind? I don't remember having this problem on my first project, but lately it's been an issue. I thought it had to do with the very humid summer we were having, but I have a new roll of Frisket brand masking and it's still happening. You can get it cleaned up with Naptha, but that also dissolves the paint unless you can remove the residue with a q-tip and take it very carefully. Seems like such a dumb problem to be having. I didn't buy film that was "high tack" or anything like that.

#6199 51 days ago

I've had frisket pull ink off inserts, but never leave glue behind.

#6200 51 days ago
Quoted from Demoman1:

Hello, Doing the Shadow Sanctum repair with Bondo and airbrush with Createx paints, carefully hand paint Sanctum letters, what should I use for product to clear that small area and the method that I should use? Do I airbrush it also or whatever. Is there something in a clear that is self leveling? How long should I wait on paint curing before the clear, how many coats? Do I need too thin the Createx paints for spraying. If so, what product? Going to do 5 or 6 misted on coats, very thin coats. Going too use members color mixture, 98 drops, etc. Mylar when I am done.
Thanks, Brad

This might help
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shadow-sanctum-repair-updated

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