(Topic ID: 285089)

Warlok NOS playfield, full game restoration.


By sethbenjamin

3 months ago

Topic Heartbeat


Topic Stats

  • 39 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 52 days ago by doghouse
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

11
#1 3 months ago

Sadly, our local western MA pinball spot "Mystic Pinball" was forced to shut its doors in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The silver lining is that the owner of Mystic wants to open another arcade once we are in the clear from this mess, and is having me restore a number of games which will be available to the public in the best playing condition we can provide.

I hadn't even heard of the game "Warlok", but Mark has a real knack for turning up the ultra-obscure oddball titles. The playfield on this specimen was in ROUGH condition, and the cabinet was pretty beat up as well. But, the sale included a NOS playfield, albeit one with some printing defects which would need to be addressed (including, most dreadfully, a big swath of halftones. More on that later...)

Here's the old playfield side by side with the NOS one:

IMG_5930 (resized).jpg
#2 3 months ago

In the above photo, I have made a first attempt at fixing the halftones, but it isn't what I ended up using ultimately. A closer look at why this had to be addressed:

IMG_91E5BACA51FC-1 (resized).jpeg
#3 3 months ago

The central bonus multiplier art was offset and funky looking, and would have to be addressed:

IMG_4823 (resized).jpg
#4 3 months ago

Annnnd the cabinet had some serious bangs and gouges. So I was gonna need to do a full cabinet restoration too.

IMG_5690 (resized).jpgIMG_5691 (resized).jpgIMG_5692 (resized).jpg
#5 3 months ago

The original Playfield isn’t bad compared to most of the warlok ones I’ve seen

#6 3 months ago

Initially all I had was the NOS playfield, so months before I started in on the project proper, I set myself to the initial task of leveling out the inserts which had moved, and epoxying *all* the inserts as insurance against ghosting down the line. This is standard practice for all my restorations
(thanks vid1900!)
Yes, I *am* wearing two pairs of readers. That happens a lot around here.

IMG_4824 (resized).jpgIMG_4825 (resized).jpgIMG_4826 (resized).jpgIMG_4828 (resized).jpg
#7 3 months ago
Quoted from Tilt:

The original Playfield isn’t bad compared to most of the warlok ones I’ve seen

If I didn't have another choice, I could have worked lots of digital magic to salvage the original, but honestly I was pretty psyched not to have to do that! The ball has worn a serious groove in the shooter path out to the rollover lanes!

#8 3 months ago

The NOS playfield I was swapping out had a few art issues to deal with. The halftones on the right hand side were smeared, and there was some misalignment on the bonus multiplier area which wasn't going to be so easy to remedy with frisket film and airbrushing.

The halftones were a real bear, as halftones are wont to be. I tried every variation I could find and hit up my graphic artist friends for tips on; no version of converting gradients to halftones worked acceptably for this purpose. In the end, I wound up purchasing a drawing tablet; the pressure sensitive styluses on those open up lots of brush tool effects that don't really work with just a trackpad. By creating a clipping mask in layers, I could "brush" the halftone pattern onto only the specific area of the playfield where I wanted it. It's like a digital version of frisket film and airbrush, except that you get to take a look and try again if you aren't happy with the result. This ended up being a trial-and-error process and took a while to get right. One issue I encountered was that the pressure sensitivity of the pen greatly affects the point size of the halftone dots, and it's very difficult and maybe not even possible to get them "perfect". But, I was pleased with the result. Printing out this big swatch necessitated using 11x14 waterslide decal paper. My printer is a typical home office model and can't take paper that wide, but I cut it down to 8 1/2" x 14" and was able to make that work. I printed out the word "collect" and let the decal break on the insert, where the transition would be least noticeable. A circle cutting template allowed me to easily slice around the keylining and place the decal perfectly.

IMG_6033 2 (resized).jpgIMG_6035 (resized).jpg
#9 3 months ago

Next up was the bonus multiplier insert area. The yellow with the 1K-7K numbers had a crack in the paint where the 2x multiplier insert had moved, and it wasn't clear where it would make sense to end a decal. (I don't remember why this is wet. This was of course between coats of clear but I don't know what I was wiping off before taking the pic, sorry if that's confusing.) IMG_6037 2 (resized).JPG
So, in the end I took the scan of that portion of the playfield and recreated the whole shape - the sort of old school radio microphone shape, from the purple base to the yellow crown - in photoshop, separating out the layers by color and touching up where needed with the stylus on my drawing pad. Then, I exported all that into Illustrator where each layer could be converted to vector format.
IMG_6021 (resized).jpg IMG_6022 (resized).jpg 62753156211__AED93270-99EC-4857-9A1E-9EA3C9D00C7F (resized).jpg

A test print revealed that my scans weren't exactly 1 - a problem that is unfortunately common when you are using a flatbed scanner because the picture frame HP scanner you bought cannot be cajoled into working ever again thanks to planned obsolescence - so I had to measure with a ruler the overall length and width of the image, and resize accordingly. Which is an order of magnitude more difficult to do accurately that it sounds. Luckily I had pretty specific boundaries to measure to; unluckily they aren't straight lines, so it was just "hope for the best". I got it sorted out eventually.

Because this was being printed onto an opaque (white) decal, I needed to cut away windows for the inserts. I would have much preferred to print the image from Silhouette Studio, as that would allow me to use the cutter to slice out the windows as well as the overall shape of the decal. Technical snafus beat me on this round, though, as I couldn't get good color accuracy with the Silhouette software - a problem I would like to remedy before having to do something like this again. In the end, I sliced out the windows surgically, using a *fresh* xacto knife blade and substantial magnification. The overall shape I cut out with scissors and tenacity. The end result is indistinguishable once the playfield got its next coat of clear.

IMG_6039 2 (resized).JPG
IMG_6040 2 (resized).JPG

IMG_6020 (resized).jpg
#10 3 months ago

THose previous two posts were getting a little ahead of the order of operations...before doing that stuff, I had to cut new holes which were absent on the NOS playfield. This is where having a cabinet making background pays off. One way to do it would be to just use the original playfield and just locate the holes by lining it up and just drilling through it, but a) I don't like not seeing where my drill is drilling. What if the two playfields are slightly misaligned from each other? It's a factory reject, right? and b) I don't like the idea of drilling through the wood threaded holes. My old playfield might be useful to somebody some day, so I don't want to do additional damage to it, beyond what the years of neglect have already done to it. Instead, I make a map of the playfield holes using a piece of parchment paper. It might be easier to do with mylar and a pen, but I like being able to draw really specific, fine lines with a pencil. That's just me.

IMG_6017 (resized).jpg

For the ball trough cutout, I made a router template. This time I *did* use the original playfield to locate the hole; I then did my rough cut with a jigsaw and a down-cut blade, and used a pattern bit to clean up the hole, now the perfect size and with clean edges all around. Then I had to create the cutout for the ball kicker arm by cutting a new path in the template, placing it back on the playfield, and adjusting the router depth accordingly.
IMG_6001 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6003 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6004 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6005 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6006 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6010 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6007 2 (resized).jpg
IMG_6009 2 (resized).jpg

I had noticed that the position of one of the left return lane's placement was a little funky, a tad too high and past the fulcrum. Since the return lane holes weren't pre-drilled, I wanted to remedy that if I could. I eyeballed the locations of the holes and went around and around about it until I finally was able to commit to what seemed right to me. Of course you want to be very careful to get this right, and you don't want to lift the clear around the hole, which larger drill bits in particular really like to do. The playfield was getting another coat of clear, but still. So this was a little delicate.

IMG_6018 (resized).jpg

#11 3 months ago

All the spinners were of course pretty beat up. It was a pretty simple job to scan them and trace in Illustrator. One approach here would be to apply the art by making stencils with the vinyl cutter and airbrushing, which would technically be more in line with how they were manufactured, but not in any way that is inherently superior to what I ended up doing; I've done that in the past and it looks great, but it adds a step. On this project I just made opaque waterslide decals. Applied over a freshly spraypainted spinner, they look pretty indistinguishable from what they'd look like if I stencil and airbrushed. I hit the base paint with rattle can clear, apply the decals, and clear again. Along with the playfield layour, Williams just reused the spinner design from "Blackout", which makes less sense here. I mean, what is this game's *theme*, exactly? Is Warlok a Space Wizard of some sort? Where to the falling moon rocks come into this? This game raises many bafflements.

IMG_6174 (resized).jpg
#12 3 months ago

If you have the whole pf art scanned in beautifully like that, greatwichjohn is looking for his next game to recreate new playfields. My brother has a Warlok (not for sale) that sure could use a new playfield!

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

the picture frame HP scanner you bought cannot be cajoled into working ever again thanks to planned obsolescence

I have mine working under Linux. The colors reproduction is bad and it's a bit of a clunky process but it creates a 600dpi scan. Would not use it if you are scanning stuff day in day out but for a scan here in there once in a while it works fine. Can't beat those HP 4600 scanners.
Let me know and I can send you the executable (called binaries under Linux...) files that you need to run the scanner.

#14 3 months ago

With the playfield ready to clear, next step was the grunt work of disassembling and cleaning the drop banks, re-graining ball guides, re-pinning connectors, all that stuff you can do sitting at a bench. I highly recommend using this as an opportunity to catch up on your stupid grind house movie watching. I recommend “Ninja 3: The Domination” unreservedly. 58E51FF2-395A-4A81-8578-50B91EE21D9C (resized).jpeg

As anyone knows who has worked on a few machines in their time, you’re apt to find some weird hacks or incorrect parts along the way, from some route tech who had orders to “get it earning again!” One of Warlok’s odd features is that the third drop target bank operates using 3 separate solenoids (each target can be activated remotely). Somebody swapped out two of them for coils of a too-strong value, and the coil stops had cracked as a result. So, order new, correct coils, and stops, and re-wire the assembly correctly.
FD685476-41B2-4E5E-AADF-37D9CA0DD07D (resized).jpeg747884A0-552B-491B-B82E-2FFCDE4720B4 (resized).jpeg

These drop targets were pretty filthy, though the metal brackets weren’t too bad. Even on an obscure game like this, Marco had target decals...but, get this, they aren’t printed on any backing at all. So it’s just black print on clear stickers (which is not how the originals were done, AND would make them look crappy and hard to read on the red drop target background.) So I stuck the decals *onto white decal paper* and then transferred them to the targets themselves. Sheesh. And here I thought it was worth paying for ready-made decals because it would save a step...
0908FFAE-CB4E-4D5C-BC81-7C36AC4CA2BE (resized).jpeg1E489355-0CF9-473E-A5D7-EE200D9161F0 (resized).jpeg086A3FFD-4A67-4F51-B7B0-BDBFC7CC1CD0 (resized).jpeg

#15 3 months ago

Could you take a pic of the games serial number in the cabinet?

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from Fred736:

I have mine working under Linux. The colors reproduction is bad and it's a bit of a clunky process but it creates a 600dpi scan. Would not use it if you are scanning stuff day in day out but for a scan here in there once in a while it works fine. Can't beat those HP 4600 scanners.
Let me know and I can send you the executable (called binaries under Linux...) files that you need to run the scanner.

Mine works fine in Windows 10 with the 64 bit Vista drivers!

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Sadly, our local western MA pinball spot "Mystic Pinball" was forced to shut its doors in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The silver lining is that the owner of Mystic wants to open another arcade once we are in the clear from this mess, and is having me restore a number of games which will be available to the public in the best playing condition we can provide.

Following and thanks for posting Benjamin. It's great to hear that the Mystic spirit lives on. It was absolutely my favorite location in all of New England (albeit a little far for a day trip from where I was). I miss it dearly, but man if Mark and Danny didn't have the an amazingly bizarre and rare selection of games available at all times. Mystic was like a museum for the curious enthusiast and a blast for the average "what the hell is pinball" player.

My real question is where on earth does Mark find things like a NOS playfield for a game that barely exists... It baffles me constantly.

#18 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Somebody swapped out two of them for coils of a too-strong value, and the coil stops had cracked as a result.

750's are stronger then either of the incorrect coils pictured. The coil stops crack from wear, and always have. One of the more common things on WMS games' of that era to have to inspect/replace.

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

750's are stronger then either of the incorrect coils pictured. The coil stops crack from wear, and always have. One of the more common things on WMS games' of that era to have to inspect/replace.

Just going off what is listed in the manual as a stock part, but good to know for next time.

#20 3 months ago

A little mini-project in this was making reproductions of the pop bumper caps. I haven’t been able to find these anywhere, and the particular game I am working on actually didn’t have the little red bursts in the center, only the black fleur de lis design. Virtual Pin has a Warlok table, though, and I was able to snag a decent image of the red bursts to use as a starting point.

D0C0B30B-5C7B-4501-95B2-999BBD472779 (resized).jpeg

I opened the screen capture in Illustrator and just outlined the relatively simple design using the Pen tool. The black portion was a bit more time consuming, but pro tip: you can just trace one quarter of the design, and rotate it around to complete the circle.

E0A42193-0AA7-4970-A34C-F1352C201C17 (resized).jpeg

I decided to be fancy and send the files over to my Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter, from which I could cut stencils and airbrush the design. Water slide decals could work just fine also, but I was attracted to the idea of using paint for this particular application. I actually should have done the reverse of how I approached it - the black art first and then the red would have been less risky, as I had to protect the paint on top of the caps when masking for the perimeter. Duh.

0556F201-765A-47C0-8B7D-C181AB2202F7 (resized).jpeg E67FD9BA-E29F-4B6A-AF38-C0F424C1E0E5 (resized).jpeg

I like airbrushing. It’s a bit more time consuming but there’s just something about it, and you don’t get any “ghosting” from the clear decal around the printed portion. The end result here is pretty different from the original “hot stamped” approach (one of many things about pinball manufacturing I’d love to know more about, just out of curiosity). But it looks very crisp and I’m quite happy with the results.

94AC6D61-EF7C-483A-AB54-BCBCFB43FC9A (resized).jpeg776DE888-A1F6-4CF4-9D8B-7895150FE4D8 (resized).jpeg7F9AD72D-6931-46BC-95AC-BDFB7B1903B0 (resized).jpeg873E5DC1-B80B-4CE8-830E-005E2941E0BD (resized).jpeg

#21 3 months ago

(If somebody can explain to me why the Pinside interface can’t place the photos in the order I put them in, that would be GREAT. )

#22 3 months ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

If somebody can explain to me why the Pinside interface can’t place the photos in the order I put them in, that would be GREAT.

Edit your post and put the cursor in your reply where you want particular pictures to be. Hover over the thumbnail attachments and click the '+' icon. It will insert the html code for that picture at the cursor position.

Adding pictures to Pinside posts

#23 3 months ago

AMAZING!

I’ve been running this ad for exactly one year (really, to the day!), if you maybe would be interested in making a few extra?
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/90358

#24 3 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

Edit your post and put the cursor in your reply where you want particular pictures to be. Hover over the thumbnail attachments and click the '+' icon. It will insert the html code for that picture at the cursor position.
[quoted image]

Yeah, that's exactly what I have been doing, and the preview looks fine, then I go to post and there are things out of order.

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from radial_head:

Following and thanks for posting Benjamin. It's great to hear that the Mystic spirit lives on. It was absolutely my favorite location in all of New England (albeit a little far for a day trip from where I was). I miss it dearly, but man if Mark and Danny didn't have the an amazingly bizarre and rare selection of games available at all times. Mystic was like a museum for the curious enthusiast and a blast for the average "what the hell is pinball" player.
My real question is where on earth does Mark find things like a NOS playfield for a game that barely exists... It baffles me constantly.

Mark is constantly on the hunt. I don’t understand how he turns this stuff up either. But I’m with you - Mystic was the absolute best assortment of machines under one roof I’ve ever seen, and the fact that those titles could be enjoyed by pinball obsessives as well as casual people off the street was awesome. Eventually when he opens Mystic 2, it will be even better, bigger, and with more restored machines on the floor. It’s is a deeply satisfying thing to do this work toward that eventual goal!

#26 3 months ago

There’s nothing so full of promise as a freshly clear coated playfield. Like the Princess Irulan says in DUNE, “A Beginning Is A Very Delicate Time.” Nice fresh clear coat, and all you have to do is be careless with the ol’ battery drill for one second and you can ruin everything. 2647B66B-BEB1-451E-965F-CCDBB684D879 (resized).jpeg

I took a page (as I so often do) from vid1900, and used copper foil tape instead of wire braid for the lamp grounding. I love this stuff. It’s WAY less finicky to deal with, you don’t have to fire as many staples, hardly have to do any soldering at all, and you can easily move it if you discover you accidentally made a path that is going to hit a coil bracket (though if I had been smarter, I would have placed the brackets first...sometimes I have to do things the dumb way a few times before it sinks in...)

Anyhow: here’s the playfield with the lamp matrix installed. God, I love the simplicity of older machines. There’s probably half as much wiring on this as on a 90s pin.

6171541D-EC01-4A1B-A805-F69E7661CB6E (resized).jpeg

#27 3 months ago

A hazard that comes with factory reject playfields is that they often don’t have all of their holes drilled or slots routed. I missed a significant one while prepping this playfield; it would have been a really simple matter to tend to back when I was routing out the ball trough hole, but I got all the way into installing the lamp matrix and switch matrix before I realized, there is a secondary groove in the playfield for the third drop target bank. Did I already mention that I sometimes have to do things the dumb way a few times before I correct my course? Pro tip: install your coil brackets first. 064B2657-3CA7-4BF0-84C8-4850B728FDE0 (resized).jpeg

The third bank is unusual in that it has 3 coils; the targets can be activated remotely from rollovers. This mechanism is probably found on other games as well but it was new to me, so the need for this extra groove (for a bar which can clear the targets) wasn’t something I anticipated. In the fog of war, I had looked right at this groove while tearing down the playfield, and it simply didn’t register with me that I was missing this groove on the new playfield. 875A7805-8771-4914-8DEF-4DB34770D1C1 (resized).jpeg 7A8B861B-4153-4D14-ACE7-06902D0F1A25 (resized).jpeg

So, cabinetry background to the rescue once again, I knew I could make a pretty simple router jig to create the second groove. It was a bit of a pain to have to move stuff out of the way that I had just installed, but luckily there weren’t a ton of things in the way. I could clear enough room to safely clamp down the jig. FBE774DA-A737-4147-8963-40DDB5EE0D4A (resized).jpeg

Now it was just a matter of going light and taking the material away in a few passes. In an excess of caution, I limited the depth of cut to 1/16” at a time - unlikely as it was, I didn’t want to take any chance of losing control of the router and damaging the playfield or the nearby wires. So I made the groove in 4 passes. F50F2C68-3348-4F6A-8E95-86910B13AC97 (resized).jpeg

5 minutes later, the groove is cut, and the drop target bank sits in the pair of grooves just right. (Why yes, you sharp-eyed observer, I do see that the mounting tab on the target bank is hitting my copper foil GI grounding path! A piece of electrical tape solved that issue. I could have also just pulled it up and laid down a new path, but it’s really 6 of one, half dozen of the other. Install your coil brackets first! INSTALL YOUR COIL BRACKETS FIRST!!!) 2C416C98-F06D-4DD6-BFD9-780042FAA97C (resized).jpegBA880254-EB5B-46AD-A689-C5F1F0F9592A (resized).jpeg

#28 3 months ago

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I set myself to the task of restoring the spinners. Warlok being essentially a repurposed Blackout playfield, the good folks at Williams were sparing a few expenses when putting this into production, so they didn’t go to the trouble of coming up with a new spinner design - it’s the same design...and what is this design meant to convey, exactly? “Beware: Falling Rocks”? “Here Come Space Meteors”? And what has this to do with a Warok? Look, I’m not one to scoff at the idea of Space Wizards and the like in my pinball, give me an absurd half-baked concept over a licensed theme any day (Cosmic Gunfight, anyone?), but the more time I have spent with Warlok the harder time I have figuring out what my relationship as a player is to this glowing-red-eyed man in a helmet.

That personal digression aside...making new spinners is always satisfying. It’s one of the easier tasks in a restoration and always looks great when you’re done. I didn’t take pics of all the steps this time, but my process goes like this:

1) Make a nice scan of both sides of the spinner.
2) Using a wire wheel on the buffer or bench grinder, get rid of all the old paint. Get it clean down to bare metal.
3) Clean the spinner’s arms with mag polish! Make ‘em shiny!!
4) Mask the arms and spray Rustoleum 2-in1 black primer/paint.
5) Spray some rattle can clear coat.
6) Open the scan you made in step 1 in Illustrator. Trace the image using the pen tool. Save this file, and
7) either send it to the vinyl cutter to create an airbrush mask, or send it to the printer and make a full color water slide decal on white (opaque) decal paper.
8) Spray the appropriate paint color, or apply your decals.
9) Spray the spinners with a top coat of rattle can clear coat.
10) Remove the masking from the arms of the spinner, clean off any stickiness from the tape, and put some wax on the arms.
11) Photograph for posterity and make a big deal out of what a nice job you did.

2FB5E713-AE98-4B53-BE62-7BFA49B5A95E (resized).jpeg

#29 89 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

install your coil brackets first.

I'll add that to the swap guide -- to at LEAST check for fitment first on the BIGGEST mechs in the game (that have the highest variance for being cut right)
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-swap-guide

THANK YOU

#30 89 days ago
Quoted from mof:

I'll add that to the swap guide -- to at LEAST check for fitment first on the BIGGEST mechs in the game (that have the highest variance for being cut right)
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-swap-guide
THANK YOU

Hey Mof! I’m flattered that my post I had something to contribute to your guide! I studied it closely before I did my first playfield swap. Very useful (plus you got me on Team Molex!)

#31 89 days ago

Repopulating the playfield on these earlier, simpler games is a pleasure. There aren’t a million switches and optos to wrangle, you’re not likely to have to backtrack because you did something out of sequence, the posts are not that numerous or varied, there’s just not that much to screw up. It goes easy.

I like to drill all the topside holes with a 3/32” drill bit, and countersink using one of those little metal counter sinks that you can never figure out a use for otherwise (in cabinet making and woodworking, I use Fuller bits which drill and countersink in one go, so a dedicated countersink was always odd to me. No more!) It cuts the clear away from the holes neatly and consistently, sparing you the ugly worry of cracking or lifting the clear. But, as anyone who has done this will tell you, don’t trust the playfield dimpling. Verify. Check that components land correctly before drilling. It’s no fun glueing in a dowel in the topside and having to pare it away with a chisel without scratching the clear...ask me how I know...

A couple of the plastics were broken, so I had the pleasure of making new ones from scratch. (I’ll be fine with not dealing with any halftones for a while after this project.) I scanned the originals, did a bunch of drudgery in Pshop and AI, and sent the outline shapes to a friend to cut on his CNC. I printed on clear waterslide paper in reverse, then applied a white waterslide decal layer. (Two white decals work better than one.) the result is a pretty convincing reproduction; the half tones will always be a little different from the originals, but unless you’re looking at them side by side you wouldn’t pick up on it. (I’ll take photos of the installed plastics; apparently Indidnt have the presence of mind to do so while I was making these, but it’s late and I’m not going out to the shop just now to take pics at this hour...)

723167FE-B8E6-48A0-8D85-0555AA2DAA1B (resized).jpeg

A6516C12-D71A-49D2-A197-CCC34455D23E (resized).jpeg1710A890-28A4-488F-A223-D1AAAD26B089 (resized).jpeg

#32 89 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

AMAZING!
I’ve been running this ad for exactly one year (really, to the day!), if you maybe would be interested in making a few extra?
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/90358

I would be interested as well!

#33 88 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

AMAZING!
I’ve been running this ad for exactly one year (really, to the day!), if you maybe would be interested in making a few extra?
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/90358

When I read his post above I remembered that someone has been looking for Warlock caps for a long time. Glad that someone can help you fill that need.

#34 88 days ago

I sanded out the whole cabinet, but not before photographing it carefully. I wanted to mimic the “under spray” you see on older cabinet stencil paint jobs, so enlisted a friend to help me prep files in Illustrator which could be sent to a plotter.

950144EB-8740-40B1-A382-245E5A7FC79D (resized).jpeg

I use a Silhouette Cameo for smaller stencil cutting and the like, but I always wanted to be able to make full cabinet stencils, so I bought a 22” plotter from US Cutter, and a roll of 10 mil stencil vinyl. It’s non-adhesive by has a paper backing to keep it feeding properly through the cutter.

27D5B2DB-A8E3-448C-9B2D-4EE17C15BFBC (resized).jpeg

This product is *no good for this*. I had nothing but trouble with it, and once I managed to get a decent set of stencils cut (long story not worth relating in detail), it became obvious that the material is, alas, not quite heavy enough to lay flat - I would get way too much under spray for it to look correct. Soooo then I had to add double stick tape strategically, but not so much as to eliminate the under spray entirely.
This was one of those things where you realize that you’re rolling a boulder uphill, but quitting and starting over is just too painful to consider (my own personal encounter with the sunk cost fallacy.) A better solution would have been to have the stencils cut via CNC using 1/8” plywood or even 1/4” hardboard like Medex or possibly Masonite. Next time. If anybody needs a 22” vinyl cutter, hit me up...

Anyhow, all that said: the stenciling worked out nicely. I got some under spray as intended but not too much. I also learned that I most definitely need to get cracking on a proper spray booth for my shop. I ended up bringing the cabinet up to the local cabinet shop I do work for and using their booth; the difference was night and day.

8E8012CF-B21A-4655-898C-EABA11F3677B (resized).jpeg71BBCBDF-C035-45AC-A622-CBAF2792552D (resized).jpegC3B2930A-F3B0-436A-B00D-C361ADEE67E2 (resized).jpeg3F0526A0-CEE3-4E49-B43E-ED75E66F3828 (resized).jpeg84A817D8-0FDB-4D97-A18D-68D97BB5D358 (resized).jpeg44F1F15E-90A5-4A04-A532-5EE0CABE3618 (resized).jpeg

#35 87 days ago

Reassembly is satisfying work. I love the steady forward progress of putting things together. In the middle of a job it can feel like you’re not really going anywhere (especially when having trouble with color matching and the like on playfield restorations.) Reassembly is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and being able to see what you did after a few hours. It’s great. 090038DF-D1F3-4A38-8E18-38D4BFA31309 (resized).jpeg

I didn’t take photos of the step where I cleaned up the coin door; I always disassemble them down to their component parts, sand out any flaky paint, hit the parts with primer, then with textured spray paint, and finally with a matte clear topcoat. At one point I had tried getting a coin door powder coated, but some parts simply would not accept the finish. The guy doing the coating chalked it up to just very low grade metal, which sounded about right to me. SonI went home, got out the spray cans, and was blown away by how good it looked. I’ve never looked back, and now I kind of dislike dealing with coin doors that *aren’t* painted black!

17E38CC9-E54C-4738-BD3C-F2E5034473B9 (resized).jpeg

Another non-photographed step was making new playfield rails. My shop was initially built around cabinet making, so cranking out new wooden rails is pretty quick work. I’m baffled as to why pin manufacturers used those absurd contact-paper wrapped rails; it seems like way more trouble than it’s worth, but that’s bean counters for you. For black rails I use european beech because it’s very hard and non-porous, so it takes paint nicely. I use ash for blonde rails; Warlok had blonde rails, but to me this playfield seemed to call out more for black, so I made the executive decision to go that route instead. A purist I am not.

One last project that I needed to tend to before this was ready to wrap up was the apron. The apron was in decent shape, but had some ugly scratches that I thought I could clean up. Some Frisket film and Createx paint did the trick!

6E540567-AEF9-4A6D-B2A8-3CF900FA1280 (resized).jpeg08AEA6B6-8409-4781-9E86-3E62A899ADA9 (resized).jpeg

The last graphic art project that remained was to make some custom rule cards. Since I had the playfield graphics scanned into the computer, it was a simple matter to use Illustrator to tweak the playfield art for a nice design.

3FB76749-C2B6-4571-9FA9-5FC8EBA6D06D (resized).jpegAD2EF7BC-3C53-4852-9404-BBEE9749F5CE (resized).jpeg2054FDC3-A8EC-4590-8DE1-38B5F3FE4DD6 (resized).jpeg

#36 85 days ago

I think that about wraps it up...you’d never guess from this short list of posts how many hours and weeks get put into one of these projects, but the effort all feels worth it once you get the game fully assembled and play that first ball.
Ok, usually not the *first* ball, because you always discover some pain in the butt thing which needs to be adjusted, and it always means more work that you thought you were finished doing But a clear coated, freshly waxed playfield where everything is tuned up and running properly for the first time in decades? That’s a nice feeling.

The LH pop bumper loves to dribble the ball hard against the bands to its left; while the original didn’t have wear in that area, I took it as a sign and went ahead and added mylar rings around the pops (which I generally do anyway, just here it seemed particularly well advised.)
The orbit shot is a pretty difficult one to hit, and I was psyched to see how much faster the ball return is now. A very different feeling game now. I love the action and the flipper placement on this machine. Makes me want to work on a Blackout next.

B3F8C68F-9E22-4849-819C-EC4F7980D810 (resized).jpegC887F07C-B693-4A40-BE2A-7EFC8EBAD24A (resized).jpeg20C0BCD8-2FD0-4B8A-B5BB-8700E9D8C833 (resized).jpeg0B1EAD22-2A81-4CEF-BCF1-0F9D5B672067 (resized).jpegC9B6ACFB-1CBA-4374-9B5E-17261F5D72A0 (resized).jpegB3F8C68F-9E22-4849-819C-EC4F7980D810 (resized).jpegE17F538F-0E71-4845-881E-4FB859FE51F1 (resized).jpeg

766E89A0-8F5F-4F77-B4EF-4AA5B0277092 (resized).jpeg
1 month later
#37 54 days ago

that really looks sweet! Thanks for posting your process.

One question, the wiring looks good, did you replace all the wiring or just clean it?

#38 53 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

that really looks sweet! Thanks for posting your process.
One question, the wiring looks good, did you replace all the wiring or just clean it?

On full restores like this one I typically toss all the wiring harnesses into the dishwasher. Doesn't necessarily clean every bit of it (helps to clip down of the zip ties and let the detergent get into more of the strands), but it for sure makes things nicer to deal with when handling everything on reassembly.

#39 52 days ago

Nice job. You have a very nice Warlok. One of my favorite games, and a favorite of many who have played mine. Congrats!

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside