Big Wheel 1968
Considering the age of the bingo's it's a miracle that there is any paint on them. Generally Bally used only four colours. The first layer of the Beach Time is light blue. The metal panels next to the playfield had the same colour. On the head and cabinet are white clouds. As the green and red layer have many tiny parts, it's advisable to do the white layer before the green and red layer. Bally used the same colours for head and cabinet. In the old days Bally used a screen print process and sometimes it is possible to see in what order Bally worked. By sanding the head or cabinet you can find different layers.
Many bingo's have been painted by former owners or they removed the paint completely and fitted a darkbrown plastic coating. Obviously they did not like the colourfull machines in the sixties in the brown smoked arcades or pubs.
The biggest problem is to determine the correct colours used by Bally. We don't find that many original coloured bingo's. Often are the designs repainted by hand with a paint which only is about the original colour.
However it appeared that in the past people followed an easy road fixing a bingo. Mostly is underneath the metal sidepanels of the cabinet (from bingo's after 1960) still the original paint and many times you can find the correct colours after dismantling the buttons of the front of the cabinet. With help of these little remainders a specialized factory can mix the correct colours for us.
To use the genuine Bally design, we need the original drawning. Fortunately we do have more examples of one type bingo and we can also use the original bingo's from our friend Peter Hoebert to trace the drawning.
In the past it was a lot of work to copy a drawning on tracing paper and make a stencil from this paper.
Now I take a digital picture and after editing a special computerprogram, the compluter can plot the stencils. Each colour needs a stencil and every side of the bingo needs it's specially made stencils. So I needed 15 stencils and Coos' plotter used about 15 meters of special stencilfoil.
Before starting the first colour layer, I have to prepare the head and cabinet. It's a lot of work. Mostly many joints have to be glued again and bad wood has to be renewed, everything has to be sanded, filled and sanded again. All fittings has to be removed. Bally firstly coloured the panels and did fit the hinges and fittings afterwards.
The special effects are sprayed on the panels and only after this the spraying of the last four colours can be started. So it's nice that the new stencils can be used, so that the cutting by hand can be dropped and we do have a file with stencils in the computer.
Besides the artwork restoration, I also take part of the playfield and frontbar restoration. It's a lot of work (a carefull estimate is about 80 - 100 hours), and the technical service takes about the same. But being a hobby we don't bother about those hours, as long as at the end a new Bally Bingo has been born.