(Topic ID: 229190)

Williams 1954 Spitfire restoration complete

By dr_nybble

5 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Fred736
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 5 months ago

I picked up this 1954 Williams Spitfire from an antique shop in Montreal for $500 CDN. Sounds like a lot to some folks but it is slim pickings up here.

The cabinet had been repainted by hand with latex:

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I was able to remove the latex, the original paint wasn't in that bad a shape really -- looked better than the repaint attempt. I scanned the cabinet with my Doxie Flip. I do have an HP 4670 but often use the Doxie as it runs on batteries which makes it super convenient. After stitching the images, I brought them into Inkscape and redrew them vectorized. The vectorized images are used to laser cut stencils out of 1/8" MDF board at my local library.

My coin door was not original, it was made out of plywood. I bought a used coin door for another Williams machine and repainted it. Here you can see the laser-cut stencil I used. I based the artwork on a picture taken for me by odin of one of his machines.

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As is typical for an old EM it was very dirty. Here are some shots of the mech panel.

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The playfield only had a few bad wear spots. Flipper drag here:

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Bumpers worn down:

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"Midget playfield" worn:

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There was also a lot of pitting where tiny chunks of the original artwork were missing.

Also, someone must have sprayed something all over this playfield in a vain attempt to improve it. All they did was make a mess:

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Most of the inserts were yellowed, warped and sunken.

This is really the first game I've tried to restore. Not everything went as well as I had hoped but I learned a lot!

I replaced all of the inserts. For the 1-2-3-4-5 inserts, I scanned and redrew the artwork in Inkscape. Using my Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter I cut paint mask and airbrushed the artwork. Turned out very well. In fact all of the touchups were done with the Silhouette Cameo. I got better at colour matching as I went on. The paint is Createx AutoAir. It is not as easy to level inserts as I thought, this is definitely an area I'd pay more attention too next time.

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This is one of a handful of "Star Feature" Williams games, where by playing an extra nickel you can in theory win up to 200 free games! The credit counter:

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The game came with metal legs. I could not find a set of 32.5" woodrail legs so I had a set made at a local carpentry shop out of maple.

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My shooter gauge was broken; I bought a rusted out but intact one off eBay. Chris at Pinball Plating nickel plated it for me. I had a dry rub-down transfer made and it worked awesome!

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In terms of painting the cabinet, it is done with Molotow paints.

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I am lucky that the backglass is in pretty good shape. A bit of ink loss but not in the detail areas:

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Someone drilled holes through the lockdown bar, I filled with maple plugs and tried to line up the grain lines:

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Playfield is clearcoated with SprayMax 2k. Next time I would consider getting some non aerosol 2K for insert filling. That is something I could have done better.

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Here are a few other shots of the machine cleaned up:

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#2 5 months ago

Beautiful pin! Great job.

#3 5 months ago

For fun I spent a few bucks and got a roll of 1954 nickels. I added a plug at the coin door so the game can easily be changed from free play to coin play.

I did polish up the interior metal guards (mirror blades!).

I redrew most of the labels on this machine from scans. This involves finding a closely matching font and then tweaking individual characters as required to get pretty much pixel-perfect replication.

If anyone needs any of this vectorized artwork PM me.

How does the game play? Well it is not the best...it has the infamous Williams impulse flippers. The only way to score big-time is to drain. But it is still challenging, I have not yet lit all 8 bumpers.

#4 5 months ago

Really nice work. You should be commended for saving this ol' gal!

#5 5 months ago

Definitely a labour of love...none of it makes any financial sense!

1 week later
#7 5 months ago

All stencils for the cabinet repaint are laser-cut -- just like with the coin door. Gives that nice overspray effect and tons of perfect circles and curves!

#8 5 months ago


1 week later
#9 4 months ago

Any reasons you decided to go with rub-ons sheet from AllOut rather than from CustomRubOnTransfers (aka Reprografx)?
Ive got my full set of lettering for my Grand Prix ready to go and find Reprografx is cheaper than AllOut.

3 weeks later
#10 4 months ago

No particular reason, not sure I carefully price compared. Is repografx Canadian?

2 weeks later
#11 3 months ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Is repografx Canadian?

Looks like they are in Montreal.

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