Pin-Bot Restoration – Painting

Next on the list – Pin-Bot.

Mechanically, this machine needs little work. I need to fix a bit around the ramp, and it needs a good cleaning. The big task on this machine is painting the cabinet. I have stencils for it. I just have to gut it, fix up the wood, sand, and spray. Then put it back together again.

Now the big question: Do I do anything with the metal side rails, lockdown bar, and coin door? Powdercoat them? Leave them?

Do I paint using the traditional colours or change it up a little? Doing the machine with a red base coat might look really cool. Maybe swap the red and black colours.

I have some cabinet work to do first, so i guess I’ll have time to think about it.

I took one of the pictures above, threw it in Photoshop, and mocked up what a Red-Bot would look like. I decided what the hell. Let’s do it red!

Started breaking down PinBot and his little “fix” someone did is going to slow me down.

All these wires are supposed to be in a multi-pin plug so they can be disconnected. If you tape them together, you can’t pull the playfield out of the cabinet without disconnecting everything in the backbox. Sigh.

Side rails off. Coin door off. A little glue and clamp on a section that was de-laminating.

Side rails had a little head dent on them. This is my first attempt at knocking out a backbox dent on a side rail. Not too bad. I just need some slightly different tools to pop those out. I used a hammer, a vice and a huge flat head screwdriver.

I got the PinBot playfield out.

I needed a new sander. Even at 60 grit, my orbital finishing sander doesn’t have the right movement to dig into the paint. Even so, some of this old paint just needed an excuse to fall off.

I managed to get all the paint off the areas that need filled and repaired.

I found a lamination defect on the top left inner backbox. A good 3 inch section of the second layer was missing under the first layer. Good thing I found it while I was doing filler and not after I was finished painting.

The first application of two part wood fill has gone on.

New sander works like a charm. It filed down the first layer of wood fill in no time. Also, it has a shop vac attachment so that kicks ass. Pin-Bot is naked.

Filled, sanded and a few coats of red primer.

After a few missteps on the right paint and colour, Pinbot is finally going red.

I got the stencils out of the tube and flattened them for a few hours with whatever weight I had around the shop. Handling a flat stencil is much easier than a curly one. Once the stencil relaxed flat, I got them on the cabinet and sprayed the black.

You’ll notice in the pictures below the red is a bit hazy and dull. This is because I lightly sanded it with 220 grit to give the stencil paint something to grip. Once all the colours are sprayed, I’ll give the entire cabinet a coat of clear satin Varathane. This will give everything a nice rich deep colour and protect the paint a little.

After I got the black on, I had a crazy idea. I thought I’d do a little paint test to make sure my paints are all compatible. All was fine and dandy until I tested a glow in the dark spray paint. That wreaked havoc with the red base coast paint.

Time to get the second stencil on. For the most part I think I got it lined up rather well.

Now the fun part. Colour.

I like the idea of doing LEDs to highlight the blue and red side of the playfield. Sometimes it’s a little overpowering though, so I scattered in some plain white LEDs and purple in the upper left scoop. I also added strips of blue LEDs under the blue ramp and strips of red LEDs to backlight the red vortex.

Here is a before and after of the playfield.


And then we put it all back together, clean and wax, and play a few games.