(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

By vid1900

6 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

142 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #7 Playfield damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #8 Insert damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #34 How to sand your new inserts flat. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #35 Cleaning old glue out of the insert holes. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #38 Prime the insert with 3M Plastic Primer before gluing. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #60 Repairing Insert Ghosting - fill, clean, remove bubbles, cover. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #61 Repairing Insert Ghosting - clamp overnight. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #76 Source for needles - https://www.dispensinglink.com/needles.html Posted by rancegt (6 years ago)

Post #84 Air brush information. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#5345 1 year ago

vid1900, so here's my Future Spa. According to the person I purchased this from, the playfield was a "NOS Assembly," meaning the playfield was swapped with a completely new assembled playfield with mechanicals and plastics. It does look great.

There isn't 40 years of chemicals and wax and ball trails in it, which is great. However, I've noticed the inserts are cupped, and the surface of the playfield seems to have some ribbing of the wood grain showing, which I assume is normal.

Right now, my plan is to wax it properly and play on it a while, but I will be restoring the cabinet next year. Since the paint is pretty much perfect, do you recommend a clear coat process for this playfield before we play on it too much?

IMG_8905 (resized).JPG

#5348 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yep, it's great to find those populated playfields still in the Bally Crate!
That thing looks amazing.

Thanks, I’m proud of it. The cabinet is going to be my first painted restoration (meaning stencils, not decals) as it needs it. I’m an amateur with paint but it looks like a good first project.

Quoted from vid1900:

I would not even play it, if it were mine.
It's too nice to tear up.
I'd clear it and then you will have one of the nicest FS in the world.

That’s what I’m thinking... but I feel compelled to have it professionally cleared/restored because I’ve never shot 2PAC in my life. I’m going to do it for the cab, but that’s more forgiving. Should I just man up and do it myself?

1 month later
#5477 1 year ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Sadly, didn't work.

Guess what scanner the HP site has no driver software for?

I don't understand, when I look at that page, I get a different result:

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 11.20.49 AM (resized).png

It still doesn't seem to work, though.

#5480 1 year ago

I have no problem with Windows. It's just the Mac that creates this issue, as HP hasn't released any updated drivers for this since the mid-2000's. The only ones that I know exist are for PPC.

#5484 1 year ago
Quoted from radium:

How about VirtualBox? You can run whatever old Windows version as the guest and scan into a shared folder.

That works, but it doesn't solve my issue around scanning right into my Photoshop application, which has advantages. This is really not a deal killer for me, I can scan files into tiff format on Windows, move to mac, deal with them in Photoshop. It's just takes me twice as long.

2 weeks later
#5517 1 year ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I would think that would be fine for airbrushing but not for 2pac. HVLP guns really are that - high volume. I use a 22 gallon compressor (approximately 83 liters) for clearcoat. I always make sure the tank is on a fresh charge when I shoot clear. I always make it through a full coat without the motor kicking on, but without much air to spare. The compressor usually kicks on a quarter of the way through cleaning the gun.

What horsepower and type of compressor is it? Also what CFM? Thanks!

#5519 1 year ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

This one:
Cheapo HF. I may regret it on the durability front someday but if you wait until it's on sale and use a 20% off coupon the price is hard to beat. I think I paid around $130 out the door. So far so good for me 2 years in. I hunted Craigslist for a better build for awhile but gave up as nothing good ever came up.

You feel that the 5.8 CFM @ 40 PSI is good enough for painting? I keep getting mixed messages...That the clear coat benefits from having a higher overall capable CFM (like 13-15). vid1900 was recommending higher horsepower, but the price difference is 10x.

1 month later
#5603 1 year ago

Important safety tip: This is what happens when brand new plastics are put on a playfield in 1979, the playfield is crated up and not exposed to any heat, weird air conditions, or humidity, and 40 years happens:

IMG_0770 (resized).JPG

The lighter color plastic "leached" the red dye out of the red post. Sorry to say the same thing happened with the Tuff Coat on the playfield.

My guess is that a good way to prevent this would be to spray the top and bottoms of the colored posts with some kind of krylon matte clear coat or something along those lines. vid1900 any thoughts?

FWIW, I don't think this is something you can fix, as the red dye is impregnated deep into the plastic. I'll probably hide this with shiny washers and call it a day. I'll probably also order new red posts and hope that some magic in modern manufacturing makes this happen less frequently.

#5605 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can just use scraps of Mylar on the posts if you want.
New white plastics are $1, and yellowed old ones can be had free for the asking on Pinside.

These plastics are actually white. They weren't exposed to a lot of air so I suspect the bromine in the ABS didn't yellow. It's just the red rings! I'd buy brand new white plastics if I could get them with the Bally logo.

2 weeks later
#5630 1 year ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Holy cow, vid you read my mind.
I thought I had a 1/4 chisel, even picked up sharpening stones on the way home from work. I didn't have that small of chisel so i tried that xacto blade and aside from giving me arthritis, it worked beautifully.
Is there anything that guy doesn't know.
Thanks vid!!

It is strange. He does seem to know everything. Wait a minute... MAYBE HE ISN'T ONE PERSON.

2 weeks later
#5687 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

This broad has a great trick for you:
» YouTube video

vid1900 where the heck do you find this stuff!?

1 week later
#5741 1 year ago

vid1900 curious about your thoughts on technique in regards to airbrushing. If you take a look at a situation like this:

apron_example (resized).jpg

You'll see there is pretty typical wear and tear around the lower right edge of the apron. My instinct here would be to:

1) Scuff up with 800 (maybe wet?) for the entire apron
2) Clean w/ naptha
3) Mask off everything but the burgundy area around the outside of the apron white stripe
4) Mix paint to match (Createx) and airbrush everything unmasked
5) Cure with a heat gun
6) Repeat 3-5 for every worn out area
5) Spray with matte clear (possibly sand w/ 800 again, clean, and spray again, depending on how it looks.)

Reading through your thread, a couple things concern me. First, I notice other restorers often replace an entire color. That seems impossible given the Bally script and tiny black lettering around the middle of the apron. Second, if I re-do the burgundy...I probably have to re-do the black and the white striping... and at a certain point, you fall down this black hole of repainting everything but the black lettering. That's fine but then you're left with these rectangles around the lettering, right?

I just want to hear how you might approach this. Before reading this thread I might have painted the worn out areas with an airbrush and NOT replaced an entire color, just the worn areas, then cleared to finish.

#5743 1 year ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

Rub on lettering? Water slide (might show edge)?
my inexperienced 2¢

Well, similar to decals, you can paint and clear over sometimes and really reduce the edge effect. What bothers me about doing that, though, is my lettering and paint around them is absolutely perfect and unworn. It would be such a shame to lose it.

#5747 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The clearcoat dissolves the waterslide decal itself.

Just to clarify: Are you saying that the waterslide decal would dissolve, leaving the ink behind, making it flat...or that you shouldn't clear over the decal?

Quoted from vid1900:

You could computer color match the color, then just spot repair the chips.

You think this would be a better approach than mixing Createx opaque paints? Not dissing The Home Depot's color match technology, just the paint.

#5750 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If the apron is toasted, I paint that with the same paint as the cab - then clear over it for durability. If the apron is a common color like black, I just powdercoat it myself.

Just my luck, my apron is a unique color totally different than any other color on the playfield, rails or cab. Still, I can bring it in and paint match it as an option to get close to the color and clear over the latex.

Quoted from La_Porta:

Just to add in my two cents, see my post in my resto thread below to see what I did:
I really scraped back around those areas to make sure there was no remaining flakes or rust underneath.

Great post, thank you. I think my current plan is to stare at it for a stupid amount of time and decide what to do next. I'm fine doing some detailed masking. Any reason not to use frisket vs. masking tape? If I can't blend in a color, I'll probably have to re-do the graphics/lettering, which shouldn't be too difficult.

1 week later
#5773 1 year ago

vid1900 I spent a few hours yesterday at a automotive paint supply (pretty much the only decent one left here, FinishMasters) near San Francisco, California.

I figure I'd share what I learned here in case there are California folk interested in getting their hands on clear coat.

The typical auto parts stores aren't selling anything even close to quality clear coat or paint products, and I've checked them all. Even with FinishMasters, I had to go to more of a central hub to get access to decent inventory.

One interesting tidbit is that it is now apparently illegal to buy/sell PPG JC660 (or, as you say, it's cousin Omni 161) in California. I believe the current product name for that is the Omni MC161 High Solids Urethane Clear...They still make it, but I'll be damned if you can find a jug of it in California. Omni/PPG make a line of clears and paints with the code "VOC" (stands for meeting the standards for Volatile Organic Compounds) that meet the newer regulations, so you can only buy these VOC coded products. My sense is that they were selling 161 as part of their inventory until it was gone, which seems to be the case everywhere. They have various universal VOC clears of various brands, though when describing the types of clear coating we all do here, they admitted the JC660 would have been way more forgiving (particularly on something laid flat). They used the term "spot clearing," which I guess is a thing that JC660 is often used for.

This is what we settled on, Omni MC760, is a "universal" VOC 4 clear, though no question it has different characteristics than the JC660.

IMG_1094 (resized).JPG

Anyone ever used this stuff? I'll report back our experiences with it. I'm not sure it's hard enough for a playfield, but I'd love any thoughts on this. For the technical folk, here is the datasheet:


For this clear, you need to sand the base coat if you wait longer than 24 hours after the base coat is applied before shooting. They recommend 5-10 minutes between coats of clear, and 4 hours before it resists masking tape, and around 16 hours of air-drying before you can sand or polish it.

The OneChoice SLV4985 is a flattening agent to bring down the gloss if you want something more like a semi-gloss or matte clear (which we will be doing for our cabinet work). They recommended only using the flattening agent if you plan on covering everything you want to coat in one pass from one mix, because it's apparently super hard to get consistent mixes. Also, you can't sand/buff a flattened clear, so it's obviously only useful for cabinet work.

All of this stuff is wicked expensive and you really want to do more research than I did before you jump in.

3 weeks later
#5821 1 year ago
Quoted from Walamab:

Has anyone ever used a waterslide decal to repair a small portion of cabinet art? I'm thinking I could do this to fix the fade of the guy in the cryo on the sides of the Demolition Man cabinet. I realize it will be very be thin and prone to more damage...
Any other thoughts?

Couldn't you matte clear over it? I guess some decals dissolve when exposed to the wrong types of clear. That would be my thought.

1 month later
#5894 1 year ago
Quoted from statictrance:

Any tips for someone who's never used fiberglass before?

I love using resin. You have to create a mold/dam where you're pouring it in. Maybe a piece of waxed wood (so it doesn't stick to the resin) clamped to the underside. You mix the resin (you don't need fiberglass fibers unless it's a large hole, YMMV) with the hardener in a cup, and pour it in. I'd probably tape around the hole and mask the rest of the area to protect it as well. The stuff dries in like 5 minutes and you can sand it.

3 weeks later
#5961 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Of course double check every time you buy, but yes, those are rated for isocynates.

Do you recommend P100 if given a choice? Both rated for isocynates.

7 months later
#6527 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Put pieces of cut up sponge in the holes to keep clear out of the inserts when painting.

Just for the record, I tried using crumbled up paper towels, and I regretted it. Use the cut up sponge method because little bits of paper towel get clung onto the edge of the insert hole and are a mess to clean. It cleaned up, but what a pain.

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