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Dr@No's fun filled (and often long-winded) restorations

Discussion in 'Pinball Blogs' started by DRANO, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. VA3AVP

    VA3AVP Member

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    Dude Amazing !!!
     
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  2. VA3AVP

    VA3AVP Member

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    Great work and information even in test play in my Highspeed in progress I notice the traffic light gets hit very easily with the ball and even pops the housing off sometimes - not good. Also would be interested to know if those clear ramps were available one day.
     
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  3. VA3AVP

    VA3AVP Member

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    Very Nice you guys are definitely into the hobby where can you get those paint pens my high speed needs some touch up I have also been doing some wood repairs on it.
     
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  4. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    For the clear ramps you'll have to search on Pinside. The member is named FREEPLAY40 and he has made several special ramps for certain machines.

    The paint pens are MOLOTOW and you can get them at Curry's art supply or through mail order (at bombscience or bombingscience ? Something like that). There was a recent thread here on their black Friday sale.

    It's not normal for balls to strike the light housing. You must have something weird going on there. But, if you want to make the modification I did, it's covered somewhere in FREEPLAY40's clear HS ramp thread also.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! I haven't posted any new content since June.

    Things are always busy in the workshop and I have gotten into the habit of posting projects in their own respective threads. It's easier for people to find the content that way I suppose... especially if it is game-specific.

    The summer was pretty busy with real work and I actually managed to take all of my vacation this year and took the family on a few road trips and a great vacation down south. In between all of that I kept pushing forward on a few projects.

    *Holy Pinball Batman!*
    This is the custom build being attempted by myself and Monkeybug and it's based on a 1970's Williams EM that we are modifying. I'm sure there's a thread here somewhere. I'll post an update there also.
    We've gotten the cabinet artwork and backglass sorted out and are working on getting the backbox wired up and soon moving on to finishing up the whitewood so we can get flipping and play with some rules.

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    *The Stern Sisters*
    Earlier this year I finished acquiring the sexy holy trinity of collectible classic Stern. Star Gazer, Quick Silver and Sea Witch.
    I had tried to restore all 3 by the end of this year, but with all that was going on this year, I just couldn't pull it off.
    SG got finished and I'm half-way through QS. I just finished restoring the playfield. You can read about the process a little it here:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/restoring-playfields-with-small-text

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    *Playfield Palooza*
    As winter neared I started to catch up on some of my playfield backlog. Not sure why I started this practice, probably because Summer is prime time to work on cabinets outdoors and winter is better for shooting clear and detail work indoors. The aforementioned Quicksilver was in the mix as well as an NOS Grand Lizard, a Stars and 2001 for Spiroagnew and a recent Space Shuttle that was a CPR second. I repaired and cleared it too. There are still a couple waiting in the wings. A NOS Swords of Fury and two Special Force playfields for myself and Menace ;)


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    A few other games have come in and left and some light work here and there, but nothing unusual or spectacular.
    Spiroagnew did a couple of EM cabs for me which turned out awesome. I just repopulated them for now and will have to get to the playfields on those games soon as well.

    Just wanted to offer this quick year in review.... or at least the last half of it.
    I'll do my best to post more in 2017!

    Thanks for following.
     
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  6. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    I really should post in here more.

    Been working on a few projects. Still plugging away at Batman. I got the Fan-Tas-Tic playfield modified on the CNC recently and am in the process of sorting through the parts that will go back on... as well as figuring out solutions for the new and custom parts. Here's a pic of the playfield. It's a bit of a mess, but the notable features are that many original elements were filled in while new holes for inserts and switches were cut. The shooter lane now has a huge openening for a Centaur styled escape hatch (aka Batcave exit) and we did away with the round porthole in favour of a more retro TV inspired shape that will better show off our LCD screen

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    My recent encounter with Genesis and the few custom elements have been well documented in a few other threads, but my continuing love affair with classic Stern games is starting to take over the game room.
    I grabbed a nice player's copy of Big Game recently.. bringing the 'sturd' count up to 6 machines... with 2 more on their way!

    I didn't want to embark on yet another restoration project... especially with Sea Witch still in pieces and Quicksilver still waiting for the playfield swap. My goal with Big Game is simply to try and complete a relatively thorough shop job within the week and get it playing and looking as nice as I can. I just want to be able to play it and decide if it stays.

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    Some of the things that have to be done include:
    -rebuild flippers/repair hacks
    -clean up pop mechs
    -clean up drop mechs
    -address a few bad switces and sockets/bulbs
    -make sure the 'card' insert lamps are all working
    -thorough clean of playfield with light touch-ups and wax
    -clean up plastics/posts and re-rubber

    Here's a few pics of the progress so far.
    Not a bad starting point at all. I should have it flipping and shiny by the weekend.



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    #326
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  7. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    I got a lot accomplished over the weekend.
    In addition to getting the ground mods complete on my Genesis, I managed to knock out most of the major issues with the Stern BIG GAME.

    I gave it a great clean using the usual nasty stuff (melamine foam with Bleche Wite + CP100). The swirls and dirt really cleaned up nicely. You can compare the tired looking game pics I posted above to the freshly cleaned, touched-up and waxed images below.

    I didn't want this game to turn into a major project, but I did want it to play well. So, after spending the majority of my time rebuilding flipper, drop target and pop bumper mechs, the rest of the work consisted mostly of some light touch-ups with some paint pens and a good waxing.

    I did address a few flaky sockets and some poor connectors to the lamp driver board, and all switches and lamps seem to be okay. I even got all 4 displays matched up and working perfectly. Just a few bad sockets/connectors there as well.

    I may spend a little more time just cleaning the cab and re-spraying the coin door, but I think this one is nearly in the books.
    It was even nice enough to cough up the GC for me while I play-tested it on Sunday! ;)


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  8. Fifty

    Fifty Active Member

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    Wow, the white paint on the PF really pops! I really need to get some of that Bleche Wite.
     
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  9. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Sorry buddy. They no longer make it.. at least not the same formula that burns your nostrils and makes your hands dry up like king Tut. They've ruined a good thing. It probably causes all sorts of genetic mutations or something.

    I may have a healthy green glow next time you see me :D
     
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  10. Coitusmysterioso

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    What paint pens do you use?
     
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  11. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    They're called MOLOTOW
     
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  12. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Allentown is just a couple of weeks away and, as usual, I select a machine to bring down for Free Play each year.
    This year I decided it would be Frontier... but the game had some cosmetic issues that I wanted to deal with prior to bringing it down.
    A huge section of the "Den of Predators" bonus area was worn away and even some of the animal inserts were starting to disappear.

    I didn't plan to strip the entire playfield but this repair would need to be clear-coated. So, my approach was to first fill in anything that I could by hand with acrylic paints and a brush. This is sort of my primer coat to cover up any bare wood. It's never smooth and the edges of the wear are still very easy to see. However, after a few layers I decided to mask around the Den rectangle and shoot a little spot clearcoat. This leaves a raised edge and shiny surface, but it also locks in the painting.

    Afterwards I lightly sand the area with my hand. I don't use a block because the surface is still very uneven and my hand will be able to go into the low parts and smooth/blend things in better. Then I did some more blue on top of that sealed layer and I started to re-draw a lot of the black portions... including the animals. A lot of this had to be done freehand with my usual Molotow pens.

    I didn't like the hard edge I got with the clear mask, so I decided to mask off all the playfield parts this time and just shoot my clear freehand. I figured I would just blend it later.

    After a couple of rounds of this process I was ready to stick down some circle stencils that I cut to draw in perfect rings around the inserts. Then I started to paint in the missing parts of the cliff and the branch under the cougar and eagle on either side of the Den box. With all of this done I cleared one last time. By this time the dips in the worn areas are almost perfectly level with the rest of the playfield. I perform one final sanding to make sure that any shiny areas are dull. Then I wet-sand with 800-2000 grits and finally I polish it as best as I can without making it shiny. The lest step is to wax it all.

    The final product is a spot repair that doesn't stand out like a sore thumb and restored art that won't damage easily again. To the touch, you can definitely feel the difference, but to the eye, the whole playfield looks uniform. I actually tried to make it a little imperfect so that it looked as original as possible.

    I'm fairly pleased overall. This is the largest repair of this type that's I've attempted.


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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  13. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Well-Known Member

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    Nice work!
     
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  14. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Chris. Pretty happy with it.

    Here's a short YouTube video of the machine in action. Getting it all dialed in before the show.

    Apologies for my poor camera work :(


     
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  15. Fifty

    Fifty Active Member

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    It looks wonderful Drano. I'm looking forward to new Batman pics.

    Yes, you should post in this thread more often.
     
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  16. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Been busy building the whitewood.


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  17. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    It's been a busy Summer so far, but still plugging away on a few projects.
    I currently have my Nine Ball playfield on the rotisserie getting a small touch-up and clean, but I recently finished up this nice Gottlieb SPIN OUT. I did all th playfield stuff and mechanism clean up and got it working. Spiragnew did the lovely cabinet and BGresto provided a new backglass. It was a wreck of a machine when I first got it. Looks and plays like a million bucks now!

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  18. Coitusmysterioso

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    Very nice! A game worthy of restoring.

    I installed new springs in the roto target on mine but its still randomly lands in between numbers. guess i need to take it apart and clean everything.
     
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  19. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
    I sold away my first Spin Out and couldn't resist this one since it was so inexpensive. I had missed the game. On the surface, it's almost too simple and wide open. In reality, it's punishing and, while collecting the numbers for a special is tempting, playing the rollovers for score is very satisfying too.

    I took the roto right off this time around. Desoldered the 10 or 12 switch wires and gave it a really good wipedown, polished the contact studs and applied a fresh thin layer of Teflon grease. If your discs are binding, might be worth taking the whole assembly apart and making sure they are moving freely around the centre. Mine wasn't too bad; just a bit dirty.
     
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  20. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Another quick update on the Nine Ball playfield.

    I didn't want to get into a big project wth this game. Everything on it is really nice except for the central playfield wear. I decided to attempt a rather large spot repair; similar to what I had done recently on my Bally Frontier. This consists of a 'top shop' of all parts, a hand touch-up and spot clear of the damage and then a new plastic set and drop targets. It'll refresh the game and give it some new life without doing a full blown restore.

    Here's a before image of the playfield with lot of stuff removed and then a progress shot of the touch-ups I've been doing.
    I'll post a final in a few days.

    Thanks


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