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I'm back - Details of my Digital Print restores. (long post)

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Hi All, 

Been a long time since I posted on AA. 

Been a long-time member and met some great people. 
Because of this, is how I started restoring Pinball machines. I then would get asked to do others (mostly playfields) and just gathered more momentum. 

I had a bit of a hiatus from here, as some negativity directed towards me from some members was just not worth the stress. This is done on the side of my full-time work. 

So, if you have any crap or anything negative to say do not post in here, it is not needed... 

Thought it was time I came back and contributed and spoke about one of the types of restores I do, which I call "Digital Print Restores" (I have a trade background in Automotive refinishing and did a fair bit of my time on high-end cars) 

It started from what I would call the normal, airbrush / touching up type of restores. I was getting a lot of requests to do the dithering you see in screen printed playfields, this is because of a limited palette and how screen-printing works. I was also getting a fair few requests to do custom work...and the dreaded playfields that were just too far gone, bare wood, or very heavily worn 

Well, no matter how good at airbrushing / touching up etc. I could not do this type of work, well not to the level I would like., nothing will beat hi-res print, so I when I had a TMNT playfield presented to me which was well worn to wood, thought it would be ideal candidate, the owner was happy to peruse this digital print method so that is how it started. 

I hear people say it is just a sticker, etc. it is more than that and yes in a way it is a sticker, but hopefully the details below give insight to what is done. And anyone that has visited me to see one of these playfields in its final stages or finished, are always impressed. But totally understand if this is not your cup of tea, thus why this is only one type of restore I do, but the level of details that comes from it, is great. 

I re-do the entire artwork by hand at a 1:1 scale at 300dpi. (Finished work is 300dpi, but when doing the artwork, I work at 600dpi then scale down each section. )

I do not charge for this, my restores are usually the same price. The digital artwork takes me around 4-6 weeks to do...  

What may affect the cost is major customisation to the artwork, or severely damaged playfield. Things like changing to greyscale or adjusting colours here and there won’t incur any extra cost. 

Once the artwork is done, I’ll then make sure everything lines, up with the playfield. Sometimes it may take 3-4 more adjustments to get right. Needing to print each time to test. 

Once satisfied, I’ll make the inserts. Then add in cut lines into the artwork and send off to Noodle shirt for printing on high-quality laminated adhesive vinyl. 

The playfield is then sanded to bare wood, done in three stages, and any repair work is done then too. 
Clearing bare wood, not only gives a great surface to work on, but soaks into the wood, further strengthening it, also really the only way to sort out planking issues, and help prevent it occurring again. ( you'll see one of my photo's of planking, and then clearing this)

It this prepped (wax and grease remover / tack ragged, dusted off etc) and clear coated, around 4 coats. 


This is left to cure. I then sand this down in three stages, again prep the playfield, this time ready to apply the artwork. 

Applying the artwork is not easy, but once laid down, and inserts decals added, it is then rolled and left a few days.  

I then sand the artwork, cut out any holes / switches etc prep and clear the playfield, again about 3-4 coats. 

This is then repeated. (Sanding / prep and clearing) 

After sanding in three stages, and airbrushing or touchups are done, like around some holes, or blacking out areas etc... 

Then another 3-4 coats of clear are applied, then depending how it is, I may sand and apply some more clear. 

It is then left for a week. The clear is sanded down in 4 steps. 

It is then cut and buffed several times, and then polished. 

After this, I sand the edges of the playfield and underneath (actually I usually sand underneath the playfield at the beginning) Then I Dremel out all the main holes (well all except the small screw and wire form holes) 

Then a last polishing is done. 

I think this covers most of what is involve in my digital print restores. It is many hours of work, the polishing and dremeling is 2-3 hours just for that. 

I’m always continually looking at ways to better the work I do, recently changing the type of clear, and refining sanding techniques (dust extractors 3m and Norton sanding discs etc.) 

I've included a few photos of work I’ve done... And, one of my Motorbike, I don’t just do Pinball / arcade stuff. (I also have a large Hydro dipping tank) the Motorbike is a 3-layer pearl candy, with some bits hydro dipped in carbon fibre look film.. 

Sorry for the long post, enjoy the photos 






Creature 02.jpg


Custom Attack from mars.jpg

Custom Medieval Madness.jpg

Custom World Cup.jpg

motor race.jpg









Xenon 02.jpg


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