Having given the playfield a look over and making a few notes on things that will require attention, I decided to start working on it. The first thing I wanted to do was get the playfield stripped down. The small upper section of playfield was already stripped (both top and bottom sides). The lower section (large area) had lots of parts to remove.
Not being in a rush, I spread this work over a few days. There was a lot of rust built up around the screws and many of the metal parts. I’m not sure how much of it will be salvageable, but we’ll see. After heading out to the garage for a few nights in the week, the playfield was finally stripped on both sides.
Giving me quite a few parts to sort through:
There were quite a few screws and posts:
I also wanted to remove the blue side rails so I could repair and respray them. They were a real pain to remove as the staples are very long and most of them were pressed into the underside of the playfield. This made them impossible to extract. I managed to remove the blue rails from the top (being VERY careful not to damage the playfield). With the rails removed, you can see how tall those staples sit:
I used a small hammer to gently knock the staples back towards the playfield. This pushed the head of the staple away from the playfield, which allowed me to pull them out the rest of the way. This process took a little bit of time as I didn’t want to damage either side of the playfield.
There were a few star rollovers still left in the playfield. I removed these so they would not get in the way.
Since I had the star posts off the playfield (along with the star rollovers), I decided to give them a bit of a clean. I wanted to try out a few different methods for cleaning. First was to put them into a small tub of hot soapy water and shake them around a bit and then left them to sit for about 30 minutes. After that I then cleaned them off with an old toothbrush. This method worked OK, although still left some visible dirt in some sections. The next method was to put them into the dishwasher and put them through a wash. I found this achieved roughly the same results as before, although was slightly better. In the end I stuck with the small tub of hot soapy water and picked up a new toothbrush with better bristles to help wipe away the remaining crap.
Given how cheap it is to replace these parts, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort. It just seems a waste to throw perfectly good posts out if all they need is a clean.
I also washed the rollover stars:
Having just recently seen an ultra sonic cleaner in action, I wouldn’t mind getting one as it’s fantastic on plastics and metals. Might wait for some excess cash laying around though before I invest in that – but it would certainly take out the effort required in cleaning and help save perfectly fine (dirty) parts.
Next up will be removing the mylar from the play field and cleaning it up a bit ready for some paint touch up.