Painted Red Color on Space Shuttle Pinball Cabinet

After letting the blue paint dry for a week, today I proceeded to the next step and painted the red color. The graphics are painted using vinyl stencils which have an adhesive backing – be warned this can easily lift paint that’s not fully cured! Also note that the stencils for the cabinet are quite large and would be difficult for one person to handle – I summoned the help of a fellow pinhead to put them on. Everything that’s blue paint and not covered by the yellow stencil got masked off, and I was ready to start painting.

spaceshuttle-red-1

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Starting out with a very light coat, I then proceeded to slightly thicker coats…

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At first it seems like the red paint will never cover the blue, but with patience and enough coats, it will. Note that I didn’t use primer because I wanted to be sure the edges were clean and without visible primer – let’s hope I don’t have any adhesion problems…

spaceshuttle-red-5

After a bunch more coats, the vinyl mask is ready to be peeled! I did this with the paint still slightly wet, otherwise it would be easy to pull off paint with the mask.

spaceshuttle-red-6

Some tips on pulling the masking material:

  • Pull in the same direction as edges as much as possible, not perpendicular. This results in cleaner edges.
  • The vinyl mask is quite large – pulling it in one piece with the paint still wet is asking for trouble, especially around the intricate parts. It’s much easier to start peeling and let it tear / cut into smaller segments as you go.

Here’s the cabinet after pulling all the vinyl! Pretty good. Some slight bleeding under the mask here and there, and not all the edges are perfectly clean, but decent enough. Obviously there’s still half the graphics missing (the white color) so for now you’ll have to use your imagination to picture what it will look like when complete 🙂

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Here’s the part I’m dissatisfied with the most though, the backbox.

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Notice how the left edge is quite jagged on one side. Unfortunately the paint pulled away at me with the edge of the mask. Since those are straight lines though, it shouldn’t be too hard to patch up using masking tape and some more red paint.

My other beef with how this turned out is that the stencil was obviously not done properly – the top line should be parallel to the edge of the backbox above, but the angle is wrong and there’s a much bigger gap on the right side than on the left. Update: It looks like it may not be the stencil that’s off, but rather my backbox itself! It seems as though other Space Shuttles out there have a backbox that matches the stencil! Very strange indeed…

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2 Responses to Painted Red Color on Space Shuttle Pinball Cabinet

  1. BloodyCactus says:

    that backbox stencil does look odd. in pics on ipdb the frame fits the back box nicely.

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