Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

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cap
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby cap » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:02 am

bjm-maxx wrote:I went and looked at my boat compound. It is 3M Marine Rubbing compound, it says to follow up with Finesse-It II right on the bottle. Is II vs III a thing?

I know next to nothing about 3M products.

When I look at the 3M Canada web site, it appears there are many Finesse-It compounds with no suffix in their names.
These are categorized as abrasives.
3m.JPG
3m.JPG (25.4 KiB) Viewed 177 times


There is only one Finesse-It II compound. It is categorized as a paint finishing and detailing.

There are also many Finesse-It pads and a single Finesse-It II pad.

There are no Finesse-It I or III products.
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby dr.nybble » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Beautiful work done out of passion! I have done my share of scanning & redrawing but nothing to this extent. I have a playfield waiting to full repaint, still mulling on the best way to do it. Currently I am thinking to airbrush everything and screenprint the black layer.
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby cdnpinballer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:46 pm

I think I recognize that pin from some time ago...

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby steamfitter » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:49 pm

Very nice work Brian , looks amazing

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby Dave W. » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:01 pm

Enjoyed reading your thread. Very nice work! Takes passion and dedication to complete something like this

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby superJackpot » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:16 pm

Appreciate your doing this thread and sharing your fantastic artwork restoration! Very well done!!
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:01 pm

I appreciate the comments. Normally I just toil in silence and figured some fellow enthusiasts would understand a project like this. Non pinball people think its cool but the level of effort is lost on them.

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:27 pm

So here we are with the playfield all finished. Forgot to mention that I polished and clear painted every visible screw and piece of metal. The ramps polished up pretty well. Everytime I work on a machine I have to top my previous efforts. So hours in front of the buffer.

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Look at that red! Why did it ever go so pale?
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This looks like it was wet.
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Memorize what this rectifier looks like, it turns out much better.
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I find it fascinating how the nicotine swirls form such a distinct pattern. Turns out cast aluminum wheel cleaner will remove anything off aluminum.
180727-04.JPG

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:58 pm

Ready for being stripped down to the bare wood.

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I actually really like an original cabinet with reasonable patina. But this is just hacked up and gross. Time to fix it.
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Every time I do a cabinet I find some weird flaw, here a whole chunk of ply was just detached.
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On all corners of the head and cabinet I countersink Kreg screws, they grab really well. I then trickle fiberglass resin into each one. I finish with body filler but I only want a skim coat of filler at the end. This cabinet and head had solid corner joints I did not have to fix them, just reinforce them.
180731-08.JPG


I don't know what happened here, it looks like a beaver gnawed at the corner. Made a dam from a gloss faced piece of cardboard (Cheerios I think), then pour the resin in. A couple of raised screw heads are embedded in there to provide a strong grip. Being the front you obviously want this to look good. This is the third cabinet I have done and the wood quality is always crap. I spent quite a bit effort removing the waviness, it turned out well but not perfect.
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It looks like a random collection of materials. The lightest colour streaks are actually factory filler. It seems an awful lot like plaster. If it was at all loose I chewed it out and replaced it.
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Honestly this is where the most time is spent. Many touch ups of filler. Glazing putty only for the smallest of flaws and never to repair a corner, only to smooth it. Even the tiniest wrinkle at a corner was fixed with resin, then filler if there were any voids.
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I know this is a common issue but as the first time I had to deal with it. I cut new edges and glued them in down both sides.
180804-04.JPG

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:23 pm

I decided I was tired of making a mess of the garage. So I put up a spray booth (front wall went on after). Although it worked perfectly and I always wear a mask, I got way dirtier. I wound up wearing old shoes, a Tyvec suit, gloves and a mask. I built a furnace filter inlet and an exhaust fan which cleared the booth really quickly.

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I did everything with Tremclad or Rustoleum paints. This is the last time doing it this way. Although I got a great result, consumer paints are too hard to work with and require too much time due to the need to wait out the recoating times before moving ahead. Otherwise you risk wrinkling the paint. This high body primer though is a serious exception, it can be sanded even wet sanded within 20 minutes of painting and can be recoated at any time. Makes a great final build surface. Word of warning, do not wet sand the stuff unless there is a layer of paint somewhere underneath, it is not water proof but the primer is not harmed by water. I got grain rise on the top of the head. Sand it flat and move on right? Well two weeks later that raised grain you sanded flat, shrinks back down leaving depressions. It all looks like natural structure, since it is, but your beautiful flat surface is not the same.

It took quite a lot of prep to get to this point. Until you put paint on it though, you just don't know how it will turn out.
180905-01.JPG


180905-02.JPG

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby Azatotht » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:57 am

Extremely interesting thread, thank you.

Great work is being done on emperor Ming for sure :D
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby tinyrodent » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:34 am

:shock:
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:04 am

I have made some updates to the printing section posts. I think this link will work. The bottom photo I talk more about the printing process. I have a couple of interesting photos to be added soon.

https://www.maaca.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=24981&p=213367#p213367

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby AMX » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:13 pm

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:03 am

Back to printing for a moment. I mentioned I had done an Eight Ball directly onto the playfield. Here is an accident that was caused by a printer tech ignoring my explicit instructions but it gives a great example of what the process looks like. The printer has a large printer head array with 10 separate steps with multiple heads in this case. You can see the layers of white being built up, then the colour layers. The print heads have to be about 1 mm away from the surface to get the most crisp looking result. Imagine spray painting something from too far away. They use a vacuum table to hold flexible materials flat but can print on solid objects up to 2" thick if desired. But that solid object better be flat to within 1 mm. I knew this so I created a backing plate for the playfield made of 0.75" MDF and screwed it on the back using shims to make it truly flat. All they had to do was line it up carefully using a special alignment layer I gave them (the thin line near the perimeter). There was a second rectangle that would just barely hit the edge of the wood if aligned correctly. Then they were supposed to print the main artwork now that everything was lined up.

The tech decided my extra backing plate was hard to work with so he removed it for me (Grrrr.) So then the playfield was no longer flat so he raised the printer head height (again Grrrr.) But he did not raise it enough and the head collided with the playfield resulting in this photo. In the end I figured out a way to make it more fool proof and the next one came out perfect. I felt I had to manage too many variables and got lucky so this is why I went the overlay route because I get to do the final alignment and the print quality is guaranteed. As you can see here they were off in position a little by at least 2 mm where that rollover is. With Flash Gordon I would have to get two playfields perfectly aligned on a fixture and perfectly flat.

I think this is what Greatwich John (sp?) was doing for people. However in his case he had to stencil paint the white first then get the artwork aligned to that. It never comes out aligned, I know because I tried it several times. In my case the white is perfectly aligned every time since it is printed in one go.

By the way, ever wonder why playfields have those two circular large holes, one at each end and the upper one usually has a GI socket dangling in it? Those are to align the playfield in the silk screening machine. The playfield gets put in and out of the machine for every colour and they need to accurately place it each time. The pattern is not symmetric so if you have it spun around the wrong way it will look obvious.

EightBall Mis Print.JPG

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:48 pm

Finally got a first coat of base red on everything. Took 4 cans for the first coat. Where possible I use Tremclad 'Oil Based Technology' spray paint. I think it is the closest thing to an old school enamel left on the market, at least that is what it smells like. Although it is pretty consistent to use with a stencil, it has to be recoated within an hour or wait 48 hours. Try to rush the stuff it will wrinkle up pretty badly, especially if you had done any wet sanding.

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Decided to back track to smooth out the sides. Every coat is wet sanded before doing another layer.
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The head is starting to look pretty smooth. Here it is wet sanded, ready for hopefully the last red coat.
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Had take some time to sand out a run on the back and left side. The biggest pain is knowing that a mistake takes at least 2 days waiting for things to cure before another coat can go on.
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I have skipped quite a few steps, but finally it was time to start the stenciling. I always start with the head because there is so much less area to repair.
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...and finally it starts to take form.
181015-03.JPG
Last edited by bjm-maxx on Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:30 pm

The other side of the head came out fine. Every stencil operation has a pretty involved process that I have worked out. I only do a single stencil at a time. To get good coverage without having any issues I spray a pretty solid but somewhat minimal coating of paint. I wait 5-6 minutes to let it set up. Then I do a second coat. I wait another 5-6 minutes only. Then I immediately begin to peel back the stencil. I try to make sure I peel the the stencil vertically from the surface wherever possible. If things take too long, the paint starts to get a bit stringy and the strings can land like unwanted little blobs. Once the stencil is off, I have a little container with Naptha ready to go, and I use a cue tip to remove the strings. I can spend up to a solid 15 minutes doing these little clean ups. It is fiddly having to avoid touching the wrong thing.
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Now onto the first side of the cabinet. I took careful measurements to make sure the front edge was aligned correctly for where I wanted the front artwork to be. I still had another red coat for the front to do so I started on the side.
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Both black coats are done.
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Pulled the stencil off pretty cleanly. It is always such a race to get through this whole process. Go too slow and the paint gets messier and messier. Wait not enough time, and the paint can run.
181007-03.jpg

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby tombiosis » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:48 am

Very nice work!
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby HPR Pinball » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:41 pm

Very nice job ! What is your location by the way ?
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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:38 pm

Updated my profile, I am in Ottawa

Nice and shiny, I had to redo this side when I got a couple of wrinkled patches. Each coat is two sprays several minutes apart. I never have issues top coating if I wait the full 48 hours. Although I had waited 48 hours on this side I had done a 3rd spray where the other side only got 2. I guess 48 hours should have been 72 hours. The skin needs to cure that much more to prevent the new one from dissolving into the uncured layer which causes the wrinkles. I keep a log of each coat and photos. All in it took 6 weeks to get from starting the primer layer to completed paint. Most of the time was more filling and re-priming but much of the time was also having to take a day off waiting for paint to cure on the base red coat. With 5 stencils per colour, I stagger work from head to cabinet so I could do a different surface each day.

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Other cabinet black layer done.
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Front stencil is pretty simple.
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Stencil now done. The wisp of red at the corner was due to masking and doing one side at a time.
181015-04.JPG
Last edited by bjm-maxx on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:45 pm

So this part is confusing, I had to spend quite a while getting the masking in place to paint this correctly. I don't get what happened in the factory where this was probably done in about 10 minutes.

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There all done with black paint. Up next gold.
181016-02.jpg

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:05 am

I needed to select the last paint. I really wanted to stick to my well known Tremclad but they do not make a gold in that type. Pinball Pimp Jeff told me he used Rustoleum Yellow which is actually the Tremclad yellow (Rustoleum owns Tremclad but only uses that brand name in Canada). To me this was not the right match, I wanted more of a gold.
IMG_E7684.jpg


I bought a couple of test cans and went home to try them. In the end this is what I chose. I wanted to check compatibility. If a paint says recoat anytime it is almost certainly a lacquer and will destroy an enamel paint. Most paint these days are sold as quick drying and they are a nightmare for stenciling work, by the time you can get enough coverage it will be stringy when the stencil is pulled. I settled on this paint.
p_1000520530.jpg
p_1000520530.jpg (9.62 KiB) Viewed 33 times


So I decided to do a quick test. Take a painted white panel, apply tape, spray the paint and wait. After 2 minutes slowly pull off one piece and watch what happens at the edges. Wait 1 more minute, pull another. Keep doing this as the paint dries. I left the last one for a day then pulled it. The test was not all that definitive but the middle ones seemed to peel better.
181020-03.jpg

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:03 pm

Pinball Pimp stencils have that nice simple alignment method of aligning the squares. Apply the stencil, mask off everything else around.

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Used my normal painting scheme but the coverage of the first coat was not that good so I wound up applying a heavier coat than I intended. It is hard to cover red and black. Waited the normal 5 minutes to remove the stencil.

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The paint was a little bit stringy but mostly came off okay. Paint segments had raised ridges rather than strings. Used Naptha and Q-Tip to swab edges. It removed the edges very well. As I progressed it was obvious the paint was curing very fast. I could wipe pretty directly on the paint after a while. I had to actually wipe to get the edges to reduce. In the end I traced out every edge of artwork. End result is very good. I figured for subsequent work, remove the stencil right away.
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Some days later, I moved onto the other side of the head. This part is relaxing, I find there is a lot of anxiety once I start spraying the paint.
181020-01.jpg


Decided to try and fine tune my process. I wanted to speed up the whole process hoping to avoid stringing. First coat went on fine. Waited ~3 minutes to do second coat. I waited a further 3-4 minutes total before I was actually pulling the stencil off. The paint was much stringier than the first time. Q-Tip took off strings without issue. Smoothed all edges like before and worked well but needed most edges to be done. Result looks very good.

181020-02.jpg

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:31 pm

With the head now complete I was able to get it into the shop and out of the spray booth. So now I could finally move the cabinet away from the back wall of the booth. When the fan is on, the walls pull in quite a bit so not having to push the wall out of the way to spray was a relief. For now, get the stencil on, and mask off everything else.
181022-01.jpg


I decided to slow everything to avoid the issues from the head painting. First coat went on fine. Waited ~5 minutes to do second coat. Waited 8 minutes total before starting stripping of tape etc. Probably 12-14 minutes before I was actually pulling the stencil off. Stencil came off well, minimal clean up needed, paint was almost touchable by the time I was finished removing the stencil.
181022-02.jpg

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Re: Flash Gordon restoration - done the hardest way

Postby bjm-maxx » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:38 pm

Now the big surfaces. Hopefully all my practice will pay off. Paid special attention to the alignment at the front end. You want the artwork to look like a continuous piece as it rounds the corners.
181024-01.jpg


First coat went on fine. Waited ~5 minutes to do second coat.
181024-02.jpg


Stripped tape and plastic back while waiting for 2nd coat to cure. In total waited 10 minutes total before pulling the stencil off. Stencil removal started getting stringing. The long strip sections pulled off quickly and came out fine. The interior crest area caused issues, there are a lot of fine corners in that area which can pull of the gresh curing paint. The paint started stringing so I felt I should let it wait a bit but not sure this helped.
Spent a long time doing clean up with Naptha. Paint was really curing quite hard by the time I wrapped up. Suspect I should do things quicker on the other side.
181024-03.jpg



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