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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. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick update showing the final product on this Nine Ball touch-up.
    I sealed my repairs with some spray can clear in this case and then blended the finish across the entire playfield with a series of wet-sanding/polishing to match it all up. The goal was to make it look like a minty original, not a brand new work of art. I think it was successful and the game now looks and plays great without the trouble and expense of a massive overhaul.

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    #341
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  2. fantasygoat

    fantasygoat Member

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    Wow, nice. Which clear, 2X?
     
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  3. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Dude, I don't even know :D
    I'm ashamed to admit it was some old can of rattle-can "auto" clear that I had bought at Canadian Tire.

    I'd used it before for spot clearcoating where I mask off an area of the playfield and then blast a shot or two of this stuff. The goal is not to get an even glossy clearcoat, but rather just to seal and level the repair area. Then I actually sand it smooth and try to blend it into the rest of the playfield for more of a polished semi-gloss/satin look.

    As I got comfortable with this technique, I started to apply it to larger and larger repairs on games where I did not want (or feel it necessary) to do a full blown strip-down and clearcoat or full restoration. On recent projects like my Frontier and this Nine Ball I didn't even bother with the cut masking, I just covered up the surrounding areas of the playfield and shot the stuff freehand. You get pretty good control with a can and then I was able to feather it all in. I did all of the insert outlines and other little touch-ups as well.

    It's not a method I would recommend for every application, but it worked well here and I've had a bit of practice with it now.
     
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  4. fantasygoat

    fantasygoat Member

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    It's good to know you can get such amazing results without going full tilt on a resto! Thanks.
     
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  5. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I jokingly refer to these projects as my "good'nuff" series :)

    Also, because I'm only using the clear to seal the art and not to lay down a thick layer, these games are playable within days of the final finish.
     
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  6. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    I'm picking up on an ongoing project that I had put away for most of the Summer.
    In keeping with my recent run of classic 'sturd' projects, my Stern SeaWitch has been disassembled for some time.
    The cabinet was really rough and the playfield also needed a lot of love. Despite all that, the game played really well and the plastics and backglass were excellent.
    I stopped working on the playfield in the Spring, hoping to get a few other playfields together to shoot at the same time... but this one required a little more love than most. The big field of blue on the lower half just had a ton of ground in dirt. Magic eraser did a fair job of cleaning it up, but the colours were just so worn and uneven that I had to give it a light coat of fresh colour to level it out.
    The amount of complicated cuts needed to mask this area off probably factored into my procrastination.

    In any case, I figured I should get this one further down the line since I'm doing a few other playfields at the moment and also some cabinet stencilling (which I'll cover in another post).

    Here are some shots of the original condition after basic cleaning, some damage caused to the soft/worn paint by the magic eraser and then the stages of the masking and airbrushing.
    My end goal will be to make custom transfer decals for the text that had to be painted over. If anyone saw my Quicksilver playfield, you'll know what I mean.

    Enjoy!

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  7. superjackpot

    superjackpot Active Member

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    Looks fantastic. Hours of work just to get to the painting part which doesn't take nearly as long I'm sure.

    Do you take steps when mixing/matching your paint to ensure the final colour — after clear coat is applied — doesn't change (become brighter/darker)? Is this even a consideration?
     
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  8. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Yes, great question. There was some bare wood as you can see. I always like to seal that up by hand with a brush first and also I like to clearcoat and sand until the playfield is somewhat smooth before I airbrush.
    Because of this I mix some colour and use it as a primer for those first bare wood touchups. Then I seal.
    I was able to get a really close match if you look closely at the early repairs in the first few pics. I even got to see how it looked after a layer of clear.

    Once I knew it was that close, I simply added some airbrush medium to the mixed paint in order to thin it... and applied the remainder via airbrush in this most recent step. It was a very thin layer just to balance out all the uneven colour. And yes, it was maybe 5 minutes of spraying after hours of trimming and prep :(
     
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  9. Fifty

    Fifty Active Member

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    It looks great Drano. You have some extreme patience with masking. I love Seawitch. Such a fun game.
     
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  10. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tim.
    My dream is to have Seawitch and Fathom fully restored and side by side.
    Two awesome games from the same year and competing manufacturers; using near identical systems. Both machines with like themes, unique sounds and 3 flippers in near identical configurations. Both with heavy use of drop targets and spinner as well. I think it would be a great pairing and comparison to say the least.
    My gut tells me Seawitch still comes out slightly ahead, but it'll be close ;)
     
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  11. Aunt Agnes

    Aunt Agnes Member

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    That's a real tough problem to have

    Great work you've done so far. Can't wait to see it finished.

    How's the Future Spa project coming along?
     
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  12. Dr.Dude

    Dr.Dude New Member

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    As a member of the side-by-side Seawitch/Fathom club, I couldn't agree more! Seawitch probably has the edge in terms of playability, but Fathom is a better sound/lights package, and multiball as well. Tough choice, and great problem (choosing between the two) to have!
     
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  13. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    My two Future Spa project pins are in cold storage. I didn't expect to get to them this year.
     
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  14. DRANO

    DRANO Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd post an update and a nice little tip for polishing chrome.

    I've been working hard to declutter the game room and garage/workshop for some time now. I recently sold my Shadow and Stern Ali to gain space, moved some larger parts/items into storage and just did some overdue spring cleaning.

    With the extra space I've resumed work on my custom Batman cabinet and repainting my Seawitch. Here's a shot of the custom stencil work on 'Holy Pinball Batman'

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    At the same time, I've been receiving some refreshed cabinets from Spiroagnew for my Williams Heat Wave and GTB Sweet Hearts. Now that they were both back I decided to start repopulating the cabinets and then getting to work on the playfields.

    One issue was the legs. They were looking pretty tired and tarnished. While I usually keep some standard sized repro legs lying around, these were not standard so I wanted to clean them up as well as possible.

    I'd heard in some car/motorcycle forums that rubbing tin-foil on chrome with coke would remove any pitting and tarnish without scratching like steel wool. I've also read that coke wasn't necessary and one could use water. I had some vinegar Windex so used that. The process creates a grey sludge in the surface which is full of aluminum oxide and somehow this does the trick. Here are a few photos. Oh yeah (wear gloves).

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    The effects were amazing on any chromed surface. However, not so great on the back where there was little to no chrome plating.

    Unfortunately, the leg levelers were rusted and seized so I ended up having to dip them into a rust bath overnight. That got things loose enough to pry them off.

    Anyway, an easy and inexpensive way to bring new life to your chrome parts if they aren't too far gone.

    Enjoy!
     
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