(Topic ID: 199201)

Xenon Resto


By Darth_Chuckles

2 years ago



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  • 35 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Darth_Chuckles
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

Hiya! I recently picked up a Xenon from elevatorman that needs some love and thought that I've been lurking these boards long enough and should come out of the shadows. I'm a long time arcade guy and used to do a lot over on BYOAC under the name Le Chuck, While not new to pins, this is the most ambitious pin project I've undertaken.

I'm a good artist and builder so hopefully, I'll be able to bring some of that to the work I do on this project - but I definitely wanted to get some advice before starting and some feedback as I go along.

Alrighty, so some pics are attached. I'll list out my punch list - I appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks for looking!

-Lose the freeplay button drilled into the front and plug the hole

-Repaint the cab (done stencil kits previously, not worried)

-Bake the plastics flat - 8 OCT Update Done

-Replace tube shot tube (cracked) and LED the tube lights (blue or white or ??? - ideas welcome)

-Replace the bumper skirts

-Replace the drop targets - 8 OCT Update Done

-Leave the Day1 Mylar in place - 8 Oct Update, decided to pull it all off instead. Go big or go home.

-PF paint touch up (lot of feedback welcome here - there are some areas that need some substantial (to me) work. I'm confident that I can draw it up from source images and get it done, but are there other alternatives out there like vinyl patches or anything?) I'll be scrubbing the forum for guides to make sure I'm on the right path before I do any damage

-Some PF lights are out, this game is really dark too so I'm thinking LED kit. How's the kit from Marco? Any recommendations? I'm not looking to bling it out, just to brighten it up. 8 OCT Update - got the Marco kit. It's very nice, need to make some changes to it tho.

-Game came super clean on the inside and plays like a dream so no worries there. Also the backglass is pristine so that's super awesome. Makes all the other work worth it. I haven't decided if I'm going to hold onto this one for long or not, but either way I want a nice piece in my line-up when all is said and done.

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1 week later
#2 2 years ago

Over the past week was able to pull the PF apart, didn't strip down the back but did get the front cleared off so I could make some room to work. Noticed that the mylar had lifted in one corner and some dirt had started to accumulate underneath so I grabbed life by the balls and removed all the mylar.

The pf wood is in good condition, I've flour'd the adhesive, still have a bit left to do - those inserts are hard to clear off. Need to give it all a deep cleaning and see if I can get some of the grime up out of the paint before I lay down a locking coat of clear. Need to sand the shooter lane clean and take care of a few other things too before I get too far.

Already changed out the drop targets and have the bumpers off so I can do the rebuild on those as I go. Big order from Marco came in, so I'm just about set. Need to get a stencil kit from Pinball Pimp but I'll probably wait a month on that. OCT will be mostly taken up with playfield and prep to the body. Lot of weak panels that need regluing/strengthening on the body. She's got a bum neck and some bad gouges and other things that need attention before I start sanding everything down.

Last night, after I couldn't feel my fingertips from the flour/alcohol/friction torture I flattened the plastics. Oven to 180F, half-hour warm, half-hour flatten on the counter under weight - repeated twice.

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#3 2 years ago

Here's a closer shot of my two big damage areas. The paint all over is crazed pretty tightly, but the playfield isn't what I would call planked. The wood grain isn't showing, just the paint all cracked up. I'm not planning on doing a full repaint, just the problem areas, freshen up the blacks, and probably the red field around Xenon's face.

I also had some lifting around the inserts when I pulled the mylar, but that's just black outlines here and there so it's an easy fix. I'm hoping I can get the paint clean enough so the unmylar'd sections don't stand out so heavily some those that were mylar'd. Might have to repaint those to match.

Luckily the PF is damn near dead flat already, aside from the post hole divets, no cracked inserts and they are all near perfect flush.

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#4 2 years ago

You don't give yourself enough credit, you are one of the BEST builders over at BYOAC. I look forward to watching this restore, perhaps you can inspire me to fix the wear mark near the hotdog on my T2.

#5 2 years ago

Are you planning to clear coat?

#6 2 years ago

Mal, thanks! You're a good egg. I'm doing a supply run today so hopefully will get some paint down this weekend.

I also have thought up a unique custom shooter I'm planning to sculpt just for funsies so I'll get started on that as well. More to follow on that. I wanna make sure I don't muff it up first.

Superchicken, I will do a full auto-clear and get it buffed to a high shine.

#7 2 years ago

I have had good luck using black acrylic paint pens to touch up the bare wood areas. I also use water slide decals for complex art work.

If you haven't already been following this thread, now is time:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration

#8 2 years ago

Was able to spend some hours on this today. Made some good progress but really need to go back over everything I've done and tighten it up. Minor frustration this evening, for paints, I'm using Golden Fluid Acrylics but I didn't have any cadmium red - and you can't mix to a red you don't have so I was out of luck. I've been able to do color match batches on all the other PF colors tho (I borked up the white, so need to redo the "N"). Wifey says she'll pick up some cad red for me tomorrow so that's not too bad.

Spent a lot of time on the lower PF. I'm pleased with the girl but need to redo the lines, I've got a bit of a slope on them and they are still too thick. Easy to fix with some black paint. I've been experimenting with loading up fine tip calligraphy pens with acrylic to do some fine line work but keep defaulting back to small brushes where I'm more comfortable. Still to do is the lettering and the red outline for the arrow but as I'm out of the right red I'll wait to clean up the arrow till I have that on hand. I'm tired anyway.

So far, I've done all the inserts and lot of the black fields, started to clean up the upper playfield too. Need to finish up the black fields and freshen the white. I think I'm going to go straight titanium white on the white zones to increase reflection (read about it in vid's thread). Xenon is such a dark game that the GIs need all the help they can get, and those areas don't show anyway so it shouldn't look too crazy. Of course there is a ton more touch up, pitted areas, post holes, and other stuff to fix, but I feel like I'm off to a good start...gotta fix that N tho, waaaaay too bright.

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#9 2 years ago

Girl legs are very well done!

#10 2 years ago

This is just such a classic title with such great history that it is worthy of this level of attention. One of the greatest features is the backglass, at least you didn't have to worry about that.

#11 2 years ago

The girl's legs repair came out very nicely.

#12 2 years ago

Minor update, been busy with life stuff and haven't gotten much painting done this week (it's been killing me walking past it every morning on my way out the door) and this weekend is going to be plenty full too. I was able to get the red finally and touched up the arrow and lines so they aren't all wonky now. Pics to come on that later.

This evening I took an hour and started to tackle the Bonus Collector lettering near the drain. If anyone is wondering, the font used is Handel Gothic BT - which you can find for free at the regular fonty type places. I laid it over a good source image in PS and then converted the text to a shape so I could preserve the vector workpath but edit the perspective and scale to match the lettering. It is done with a -25 font spacing in case anyone is really super curious.

First image is my source, second is the overlay, third is the working render. Plan is to cut this out of painters tape or frisket in with my cricut then stencil it down so I don't have to worry about decals when I got to clear. Maybe I'll get the cricut whirring tomorrow.

Once I get it sized and down I'll upload the file here or post it somewhere for others to use as they see fit.

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2 weeks later
#13 2 years ago

Busy time of year, but I dragged the PF into the living room so I could paint in the evenings and still be social with the family. The first night of that and it worked out really well. My two-year-old daughter is a fine helper lol. Lessee, I got the lettering down and cleaned up some of the lines in the outlane area. I still have some areas to repair and repaint vic the flippers but I'll get to those. I've transitioned to the upper playfield damage and hopefully will make some steady progress on that over the next few days.

I fixed N, it's not so bright now. Trimmed out the other letters while I was at it to crisp up some edges.

I'm planning on applying a Xenon decal to the tube. I experimented with mirror spray, that stuff you can spray on glass and the reverse side gives you a nice mirror finish...well it doesn't work well on acrylic. Just gives a flat grey, so I was bummed. Really wanted to do the Xenon decal in mirror on the back side of the tube so the ball rolls in front of it. I'm going to see if I can source some face adhesive vinyl and get the same effect. The Xenon graphic I ginned up for that is attached as well.

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#14 2 years ago

Two part question, feedback welcome and wanted -

1) I don't like the apron on Xenon. I'm considering vinyl wrapping it (don't want to do any permanent change) and then applying decals over that - similar to those on Playboy or Captain Fantastic - but of my own design. Leaning towards a black apron with mirror decals - to match the tube if I can get that to work, or maybe red and blue on the black to match the sideart.

2) While I've got the vinyl out I've been considering wrapping the rails and bar. Would black rails look funny? I think it would give it a unique look and of course, it can just be peeled off. I've seen some powder coated blue but that's a bit over the top for me.

Thoughts?

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Darth_Chuckles:

Two part question, feedback welcome and wanted -
1) I don't like the apron on Xenon. I'm considering vinyl wrapping it (don't want to do any permanent change) and then applying decals over that - similar to those on Playboy or Captain Fantastic - but of my own design. Leaning towards a black apron with mirror decals - to match the tube if I can get that to work, or maybe red and blue on the black to match the sideart.

I made a custom apron for mine. Go for it....I'd like to see what you come up with.

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#16 2 years ago

^ That's pretty sharp - very unique. I'll definitely have to give this some thought. I am leaning towards a more classic apron with some xenon-ish accents but it's great to see how others decided to dress up theirs!

#17 2 years ago

Custom apron is sharp indeed

4 weeks later
#18 1 year ago

Been getting as much done in the unseasonably warm weather we've had this week. Playfield reassemembly starts tomorrow. Might get a game in by the end of the weekend if everything goes smoothly. <furiously knocks on wood>

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#19 1 year ago

Nice job on the cabinet stencils!

You do amazing repainting work n the playfield. Looks great. Will be interested to see if you decide to clear coat it or not. I never had much luck with clear coats and ruined a perfectly good strikes and spares playfield on my first attempt.(see my post on "what not to do" if you want something to cry about...) I wont make that mistake ever again and bought a playfield protector for my Xenon. It worked great, protects the original paint while leaving the option open if a future owner wants to clear coat later.

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#20 1 year ago

Thanks for the kudos, it's coming together nicely. Got the playfield repopulated and am running down the punch list of things I somehow messed up over the past few weeks. Those outhole rollover switches are pesky, wasn't getting a game started for a few hours until I figured out that my finger would trip the wire but the ball wouldn't.

Have about 4 or 5 more switches that are just a tad out of tolerance now, not closing, probably from me banging the playfield around lol. Have some bad lamps now - which is new and bothersome. Some stuck on, way too many stuck off. Figuring that I have a short along a ground somewhere that is knocking out a few lines but can't rule out a bad SCR (although I didn't do anything to the lamp board so that should be fine). I'll fiddle through the issues as I get it all put back together.

As for the clear - I chickened out. I went and bought a sheet of Lexan from tap plastics and routed my own playfield protector. Since the playfield was stripped it was too easy to do with a flush cut template bit.

I'll get some more pics uploaded in the coming week as I get more of the ol'girl put back together.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Darth_Chuckles:

As for the clear - I chickened out. I went and bought a sheet of Lexan from tap plastics and routed my own playfield protector. Since the playfield was stripped it was too easy to do with a flush cut template bit.

GENIUS! I should have done that when I had the new comet PF. Amazing work as always chuckles.

#22 1 year ago

Thanks Mal! I'll go into details in a later post. For now, I'm sorting out some lighting issues. Have another thread open just about that since this subforum doesn't seem to get a lot of love...or maybe it's just me lol - either way here are some updated pics. I'll get some better ones up this week.

I went ahead and vinyl wrapped the apron, rails and bar. I'm working on some custom graphics for the apron to tie it together and I need to get he score cards printed out. I also want to do something about he legs as they're a bit ratty but that isn't priority one at this point. Fixing my led issue is. Oh, and the red leds that come in the kit for the backbox chase lights. I hate those, switching them out for blues shortly. If they still annoy me I may move those back to whites.

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#23 1 year ago

I have a Xenon with a slightly worn playfield, also a CPR playfield to fit when I get time. I was going to just wax the living daylights out of it and fit mylar in the heavy wear areas ( pops, slings and the saucer kickout ). Do you guys think the playfield won't hold up in a home environment? I wasn't even considering fitting a protector, I know I'll be looking after it and waxing it fairly regularly as I do all my machines.

#24 1 year ago

If that’s the case I wouldn’t be concerned about it while you’re owning it, but unless you plan to be buried with it the pin may have a life outside your tender loving care so I’d do what I could to protect the PF. That’s why I went with the overlay since I didn’t feel comfortable doing a clear coat myself - and if you’re switching PFs out you might as well imo. The sheet cost me $4 from Tap Plastics and took me a few hours to prep.

#25 1 year ago

I need a favour from someone with a xenon? I'm designing a magnet apron mod and could use a hand. This design is in preliminary stages and need a few things from the playfield lined up with my apron.

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#26 1 year ago

Looks interesting, how can I help? Would something like this be useful?

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#27 1 year ago

Totally would! As well I need a few measurements? I’m trying to extend the tubes onto the apron. I’d totally appreciate a copy of that scanned playfield as well.

#28 1 year ago

Do you have a high res file of that Playfield?

#29 1 year ago

Game looks awesome Darth. Great job! Ninja, I'll be in for one of those apron magnets when you get them done.

#30 1 year ago

That’s the highest quality I have unfortunately. What measurements can I help with and I can take some better photos of my PF after the 28th.

#31 1 year ago

I need the measure from the left top corner to where tube on the playfield. As well I need the width of the tube. Repeat for right side. I’ve kinda marked in red where to measure.
I really appreciate the help.

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#32 1 year ago

Measured mine. Looks like 3" from top left inside corner of apron to tube on playfield. Tube width looks like 2 3/4", or you might want to take it to 2 9/16" given that it's progressively getting wider as it approaches the apron. Hope that helps.

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#33 1 year ago

Thats what I needed! Thanks guys.

1 month later
#34 1 year ago

The touch ups look great. I know you didn’t clear but did you wind up locking the repairs in with anything or are you just using the protector?

Quoted from Darth_Chuckles:

As for the clear - I chickened out. I went and bought a sheet of Lexan from tap plastics and routed my own playfield protector. Since the playfield was stripped it was too easy to do with a flush cut template bit.
I'll get some more pics uploaded in the coming week as I get more of the ol'girl put back together.

Was thinking of attempting something like this - especially if I’ll have my playfield apart for a shop job anyway. Did you notice if it plays any slower? Any recommendations for someone looking to do this? (e.g., material thickness, technique, etc)?

Thanks!

#35 1 year ago

Once you wax it, it plays nice and fast. Just like any waxed pf. Used .05 sheet from tapp. Cost me $4. Holding up like a champ. I didn’t lock in the repairs since I went with the cover. Very satisfied.

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