I used to own a Pinbot, and this is the sequel to that machine. The original condition of this one was poor, but the translite was new (as photographed above), and the playfield was partially protected by mylar, so I felt confident I could repaint the few wear spots.
The final results are shown below.
I started by
stripping all the parts from the top of the playfield.
reverse order) will be used to reassemble the parts:
Chrome Helmet (H)
Left clear Ramp (R)
Skillshot value clear plastic
Right clear ramp (A)
Left head cover
Left wire ramp (W)
Right wire ramp
Lamp board for skillshot
I then removed all the posts and fastened them into a cardboard panel
to save their locations.
All the parts were removed and those that bolted into the
playfield were fastened into a large plank of cardboard.
The playfield was extremely dirty, and I had to disolve a thick black
layer with Novus 2. I then removed the two pieces of mylar using
freeze spray (took about 8 oz), and removed the glue with
alcohol. I then scrubbed the playfield with Magic Eraser to
prepare for repainting. This is because the areas that were not
covered with mylar had wear marks.
The first task is to match up the colors. The circled parts show
the color samples.
The first task was to color
match. I did this by using all the similar colors in our
collection of acrylic paints, and putting a spot of each onto a clear
sheet. After they were allowed to dry, I then wet them and
the corresponding area on the playfield with Naphtha to simulate the
effects of clearcoating. At each mixing step, I refined the color
blend by taking a picture of the candidate mix and the target area on
the playfield. This image was then opened in Photoshop, and I
used the 'sample' tool to read the RGB value, using this information as
a mixing guide.
These were the colors I used for the playfield :
Black : Delta Ceramcoat Black #02506
Orange : Deco Art Pumpkin Orange
Yellow : Delta Ceramcoat Bright Yellow #02027
Red : Crafters Edition Real Red #72007
White : Mix of Delta Ceramcoat Antique White #02001 and Grey
Light Blue : Crafters Edition Teal #72018 and Blue Heaven #02037
Grey : Mix of Delta Ceramcoat Antique White #02001 and Grey
The photo below shows how close the match is for the grey and
blue. This latter color is usually extremely hard to match for
me. The grey below the two small astronauts was repainted, and
the area at the bottom of the inlane was painted blue.
Before (left) and after of the lower
right area of the playfield. Note the change in the color of the
grey as it goes from above the sling to below. This is because
area above was mylared.
An important painting technique is to
thin the paint with Flow Improver and water. This technique, that
I first learned on F-14,
produces repaints that are very thin and will not become bumpy and
blobby when dry. The result is perfectly flat like the original
paint and will aid in its disappearance once the playfield has been
clearcoated. You can also paint on multiple layers without risk
of height buildup.
Left is before, right is after.
Lettering has always been the most difficult for me to produce. I
think I did a good job on these tiny letters this time. Note the
closing of the gap in the words "Happiness" and "Joy", and also the
clean lines on the concentric circles for the Bride's chest. Most
of these circles were completely repainted.
The left inlane is were a ball drops from the wire ramp. As a result, it gets
beaten up pretty badly. This area had a big ugly divot in the playfield, and wood was missing along the edge of the switch slot.
I repaired the missing wood in the
left inlane with a new technique. It consists of apply a small
amount of epoxy into the depression, and then along the edge of the
slot. I then taped it over with a piece of masking tape that was
stretched flat to form a mold. This causes the top plane to be
flat to the playfield surface. Any extra will be pushed into the
switch slot, so you need to try and judge how much epoxy to use.
Tape covering the epoxy to restore the missing wood.
Once the epoxy had cured I used a
small abrasive wheel to clean up the edges of the switch slot.
After repainting, the results is seen two images below, and I think it
looks quite good.
Top half of the playfield after repainting and clearcoating.
Bottom half of the playfield post-clearcoat. Note the repaired left inlane.
My work area. You can see the cab behind me, and my electronics
on my left. The magnified lamp is fastened directly to my playfield
rotisserie, and allows me to clearly see any area of the playfield.
Except for the mini-playfield, plastics
As a result, I
decided this was a good project to try and make some to replace the
Original state of the chest plastics. They were broken and the
were missing. Someone replaced them with pieces of red plastic.
The approach I decided to use was to print on white paper and glue
these to Lexan pieces using 3M's 467MP adhesive transfer tape.
The most important thing to remember is to burnish (rub) them to press
all the air out between the plastic and the paper.
These were the plastics I made.
I started by printing a color wheel
with components similar to the original plastics. Then, I
selected areas that matched, and used those RGB values in my redraw of
the plastics. The artwork was then printed on a color laser on
plain white paper. This seems to have the same kind of light
transmission as the original plastics. The artwork was drawn a
little larger with a thin line just outside the original dimensions. I
then glued the paper
using 467MP transfer adhesive to Lexan pieces. They are then cut to
size with a pair of tin snips. Finally, the pieces are then
ground with my bench grinder for a clear crisp edge.
Comparison to the orginal plastic. Note the protector installed
under the new plastic.
I had no idea how the chest plastics
are configured with the flashers, so this is what
I decided to do. Originally, the flasher bulb was located inside the hole of the
playfield through which the wires pass. This makes them much more visible.
The original inlane plastics have no
artwork, but are just plain grey with the names of the designers.
I decide to make new ones with custom artwork. The right one has
an astronaut playing pinball, and the left one has the Hubble Space
The new sling and inlane plastics
The cab had a few dings, and the red was faded. This is quite
common for cabinets of this age. The first thing I needed to do
was find a match for the purple color. Using the Magic
chart, I could see that the closest match was
Dioxazine Purple. I looked through my wife's stock and found this
color along with some other purples.
The five purples in my wife's
collection of paints. Left most is #1.
I put a dot of each one of these onto
a clear plastic sheet and once it was dry, shot a picture to see which
color was the closest. It turns out that none were very good (as
can be seen below), so I decided to lighten #4 by mixing it with
#1. The result were very close, and you can hardly see the
spot. It is inside the red circle below.
Test spot of paints. The bottom (lightest) one is #1 and the rest
are in the order as lined up in the previous image. The
circled color was a blend of #1 and #4.
Without the flash, the color is exactly right. The bright flash
reveals a small difference due the difference in the surface gloss of
the two locations. Afterwards, I brushed some clear gloss onto
the touchup spot and that made it even more invisible.
The two colors used were "Crafters Edition" brand, "#72027 Lilac Purple", and "#72024 Purple".
The cab had some dings in the purple, and the red and yellow were faded.
The match in the purple was very close. The red and yellow were
added with translucent ink from Sharpie pens. I also painted the
outer corners as these are often dinged and show exposed wood.
The top right corner had a chunk missing.
The top right corner of the backbox
was missing. After thinking about it a bit, I decided to make a
right angle form with two blocks of teflon as a mold.
The teflon mold clamped onto the corner of the backbox.
I realized that special measures were
needed to prevent air pockets in the repair. This was done by
placing the mold below the area of damage. By placing constant
pressure onto the blocks, I could ensure no epoxy would leak out the
bottom edge. I then slid the mold up slowly, while filling the
void gradually to prevent air pockets and to ensure complete 'wetting'
of the wood. Once it was slid to the top and full of epoxy, I
clamped it down for curing.
The repair work quite well. It was flat and flush with the
surface without sanding.
As I suspected, the side color of the
head was the most difficult to mix. I used "DecoArt Americana
Pansy Lavender" and "FolkArt Red Violet #636" to get close to the
purple. I then added "FolkArt Blue Ribbon #719" to make it more
blue. Finally, I used a few drops of flat black to dull the color
and reduce the saturation. Once dry, I applied some satin finish
clear to get the right surface reflection. The match is almost
invisible with the naked eye, and shows up a little with flash
An area that usually escapes my notice is the lockdown bar
mechanism. However on this pin it was so bad that it was clear I
needed to clean it up.
Cleanup of the area under the lockdown bar (left=before).
Note the custom score cards from pinballrebel.com.
I used a brass wire cup brush in my
electric drill to polish this area to a shine, and one of my pin
Nova) gave me a sheet of "shop out" stickers.
cab flat black and installed the hardware back
in. The result is so nice that I will be going back to my other
pins to do the same.
Articles on making playfield plastics:
10/11/10 - Playfield completely stripped of parts and ready
for mylar removal.
10/22/10 - Last clearcoat layer applied. Yield is two coats per Varathane can.
11/9/10 - Installed new helmet, and playfield restoration is done at one month mark.
11/20/10 - Touched up coin door, painted legs, and finished painting scuffs on the head.