Monday, April 15, 2013

high speed project

I hate to detour this blog with restore projects, but it's the only blog anyone follows.  So I bought a high speed from a semi-local guy that I've bought from before.  He restores pins on a consistent basis (probably has more than a dozen projects in queue), which is probably one reason he let this one go.  Paid $600 for a fully working high speed.  Now you may say "wow! what a deal".  Hold your horses, the playfield looks horrible (which he warned me about).  While a lot of people would rather fix issues and have a perfect playfield, I'm finding I'd rather have a working pinball and fix up cosmetic issues (especially after I've put off fixing black knight for a while after replacing every board).  So the cabinet is in decent shape, all the artwork still looks great, but I'm gonna have to bondo the areas by the legs since it's chipping away (easy fix).  Backglass looks awesome, displays bright, sound works, flippers flipping (does need a rebuild).

Now for the playfield, you might even laugh at this.

So let's start off with the fact that it appeared all the plastics were in good shape, until I lifted this one.  Since the plastic was cracked, the previous owner decided the best fix was to just glue it to a piece of galvanized steel (which is great for allowing light to shine through):

All the rubber was so aged, it was flaking off into a fine powder.  My favorite though, the flipper rubbers were falling off so badly he decided that rather than spending $1.50 that he would simply wrap them with electrical tape:

This is my favorite though, this artist has decided to touchup the center playfield with what looks like a hobby paint set (thankfully this was not directly on the playfield, but on a top mylar layer):

So aftert stripping all that crappy plastic off (which was also scotch taped on the edges), I finally have a cleared off playfield.  Granted the paint is still missing, at least you can see the playfield instead of a muddy mess:

I removed the rest of the plastics and posts (still have a few things to remove).  Just as a test, I printed out a chunk of the center of the playfield (I'm working Photoshopping a clean play-field by starting out with a playfield image from visual pinball, and merging chunks from the web).  I simply printed it on photopaper and glued it down with some wood glue.
Obviously this isn't permanent, photo paper (even if it were cleared over) is too thick and would tear easily (and the inserts would need a lot of filling).  Plus I plan to sand the playfield completely before doing an overlay.  Really I wanted to see how bad it would be shifting and lining up an overlay, and rolling it flat, and making sure glue wouldn't seep through holes.  I'm trying to avoid putting more work than I need to.  The professional way would be to completely strip both sides, remove inserts, replace them, then overlay, clearcoat, and re-assemble.  I may still do that (I would want to connectorize and serialize every part so it can easily be re-assembled), but if I can avoid it I will.  I've clearcoated a playfield in the past just by filling any holes with foil (which works better than you would think), and it seemed to work pretty well.  I priced out a vinyl print, and I can get it done for $16 plus about $7 shipping, which I think is really reasonable (same place that printed the blue october cabinet artwork).

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