Arcade Collecting > Pinball

Careful what you wish for- I finally got to join the club

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Nice work so far Bobby  :cheers:

When I bought a dirt cheap Black Knight 2000 on Ebay... I took a 13 ish hour drive to pick it up... only to see that the playfield was
completely ATE up.   The photos he used, were deceptively backed away and slightly blurry.  I should have known better.. but I was
younger, and this was the first Pin that I was about to own... And probably the only one that I could possibly afford.

 Anyways... I ended up buying another entire Playfield set... that was in much better shape.  Still, I wanted to touch a lot of it up,
but the Mylar was covering things.

 I tried to Freeze method.  Froze the thing with the spray can... and then I believe I used a razor blade and went to peel up a corner.
POP!   The whole thing instantly came up INSTANTLY.   There was no slow and cautious "Peeling".   It just "Let Go".

 Now.. heres the thing... the MYLAR comes off... but what stays behind, was the Glue.   That glue took several Hours worth of work
to remove from the playfield.

 I think there was a few tiny spots of paint that lifted.. but it was only some of the black outlines around the edged of a few Inserts.
Nothing serious.

 Many of the Plastic Inserts, had wear on the decals.. and a few were not "Level" with the field.   I decided to try the Heat-Gun method
to remove them.   I was very worried about potentially bubbling the paint... or even damaging the plastics.  But, I heated them from
the rear... and with a little bit of pushing... I was eventually able to pop them all out, without any issue.

 The inserts looked "Cracked"... but it turned out that the plastic was fine.  The cracks were actually the Clear-Coat or Lacquer that they
originally used.

 So... I sanded all of them Flat, and ran every Insert under a Buffer.

 I had won a Sticker Sheet for the Decals on Ebay... but when they arrived.. the Quality of the lettering was total GARBAGE!  But that wasnt
even the worst part.  The Colored center sticker... was completely Off in its colors and details.  Completely unusable.  The good thing is,
I had left my original one as-is... and the damages to it, wasnt "That Bad".

 I was able to Touch up the entire field, and admittedly did an excellent job in matching the colors.

 But the Seller of the Prints, wouldnt Update the Clear Sheets... and I had never got around to trying to make & print my own... and then
my health started to take a nose dive... and everything Sat untouched.

 Also... when I asked my buddy about the possibility of Clear Coating the field.. he stated that he would have to do a light sanding on
the field for the clearcoat to "Stick".  Maybe my work would have held up to the sanding... but maybe not.  It was just sort of Soul Crushing,
because I probably had a week worth of work into the painting / touchups.

 The other thing that I learned much later on... while watching some Art channel content..  was that if you watered down Acrylics too much,
that it would cause the acrylics to eventually Crack...  as you need the Binder to be strong enough to hold the paint together effectively.

 I had needed to water down the paint a LOT, to make it flow well enough for very fine detailed lines.  I would often have to go over the same
spots / lines... about 3 times, to layer it up thick enough.  Its Probably OK.. but I have no idea.

 Anyway... heres the takeaway:

 If your Insert details are worn..  dont expect to buy an acceptable replacement sheet... unless you dont mind really bad work.  And if there are
any colors on the inserts... dont do anything to them, because the sheets wont match at all.  These companies have No quality control... and the
person behind them, is partially color blind (cant see enough shades to know that there even is a huge matching issue).

 If your inserts are Decent.. then fine.  They are not too difficult to remove.   However... be aware.. plastics get quite Brittle from the years of
Heat from the Bulbs that were under them.  They could easily end up cracking into pieces when trying to remove them.

 If you can print your own quality Insert Sheets... or maybe make Friscut Spray Masks (laser cutter would probably be the best option for this),
then IMO... buy all new plastic Inserts, rather than trying to sand and buff all of those inserts.  Especially since its so easy to have the buffer
catch one... and fling it across the room at Mach 5.

 If you are repainting, try not to water down the paint too much.  Use acrylics if you plan on Clear-Coating, as Ive heard that enamals will melt/run.
Use a good magnifier visor, so that you can see the details very clearly, when doing the painting.   If you are not good at color matching.. hire
a good artist.. and have them prove their matching abilities on one section, before going  All-the-way.

 If you remove the Mylar... and have repainted, you have to either Clear-Coat the field (several coats),  or to Re-Mylar the field.
Otherwise.. any of that touchup paint will be quickly removed from the field.

 Even IF you do not Touchup.. but have removed the mylar.. you should replace the mylar as soon as possible.  Mylar protects the field from
a massive amount of damages from the ball.  My original BK2K play field.. was an early version, that didnt have the Mylar installed on it.
As a result... there is wear right down to the Wood.  Also, there are tons of tiny Cracks in the paint.  I believe the mylar + glue... prevents the
wood from expanding / contracting  and causing cracks in the paint.

 Now... all of this was from over a decade ago... so MAYBE there are sellers out there that have Upped their game.  I just wouldnt count on it.


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