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Ms. Pac-man Pink Finished

I finished spraying the passion pink on my Ms. Pac-man on Thursday, but with family in town this weekend I am only now getting a chance to post some photos. I think just now the Ms. Pac-man machine is really starting to manifest, looking like a real project with a real ending. But of course, every stage has its hiccups and the pink stencil was no different.

The importance of spray gun filters

I learned a couple of things when I did my Ms. Pac yellow stencil. First, when *you* think the paint is still wet, that is probably a little bit closer ‘tacky’ and it might be time to pull the stencil off. Certainly don’t leave it on there more than 20 minutes or you’ll be cutting it off.

Second, that tiny little plastic filter that comes with your spray gun is like Bernie Williams. Bernie Williams was the single force that made or broke the Yankees during their dynasty days, and this filter is no different.

I had a ton of problems with clogging, spitting and spraying in general when applying my yellow. Like I said before, the directions from Harbor Freight for this gun were minimal and I by looking at the strange balled tip on the filter I really didn’t figure it went into the spray shaft. But it did.

I only figured this out later into my application. In Brian Jones’ stencil instructions he talks about certain industrial sprayers not being appropriate for this application because of the ‘orange peel’ texture they leave. I can only assume this is what he was talking about. The main danger is that the low tack stencils won’t stick to the cabinet, and that is what I experienced.

Here is a photo of my ‘orange peel’ yellow, a detail shot showing the bubbly texture.

Ms. Pac-man Yellow Stencil Artwork Detail

And here is a detail shot showing some of the pink stencil paint after I was finished. I knew the stencil wasn’t sticking, but I didn’t know what I could do about it.

Ms. Pac-man Pink Stencil Artwork Detail

But when you look back at the old Bally Ms. Pac-man cabinets, you see that alot of the lines beyond the black were kind of fuzzy. I didn’t think I would prefer overspray, old trying to replicate this look. But I will say that as of right now, some of the spots don’t bother me. I anticipate that I well go back and dab some yellow paint into the overspray areas that aren’t covered by the black stencil artwork.

So, here is what the cabinet looks like now with the pink applied.

Ms. Pac-man Pink Stencil Artwork Photo

More good tips for me?

The next step is making a little hacked together stencil to add the yellow the ghost’s fist on the front. Then, I apply the black.

Does anyone have any tips on application techniques that have worked for them for touchup on a smooth finish like this? My fear is that even if I dab the paint with a painter’s paint brush, the thin handle kind not the thick room painting variety, is that I will see the brush strokes.

I don’t have any idea of what the Minwax clear coat will look like, how thick will that be if I apply 2-3 coats? Will that hide some of the texture of the paint and brush strokes if I have them from small touchups?

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It looks very good in that second pic, which is how most people will see it. Sorry you ended up with those bumps, but it will still look great when done. I guess it’s too late to mention it now, but for your next one it’s probably a good idea to test the paint on some scrap wood, even letting it dry to see what you end up with first. You can also test your clear coat that way.

As for not seeing brush strokes, if you are going to make a small stencil, I would recommend using one of those cheap foam brushes with the round wooden handles. They are good for stencils and don’t leave brush strokes. That 3M blue painters tape would be good for making the stencil/masking off what you don’t want painted.

I put the same Minwax on my Moon Patrol, and used 3 coats if I remember right. I honestly couldn’t even see a difference.

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Nice. The cabinet is really starting to look like a fresh Ms. Pac.

Are those bumps in the paint finish permanent or do you plan on knocking them down? Also, how come your registration marks on the front are yellow?

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I’m with Jamie, do NOT use a brush with bristles. Use a foam brush or a small roller. If you use a regular painters brush you will get brush strokes, guaranteed.

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Seems like if you’re getting that much texture you need to thin your paint some more. With everything set right you should get no texture at all. I’d also recommend a detail gun when doing the actual stencil painting, a full size gun tends to put out too much air pressure and will lift the stencils if there’s any kind of texture from the paint under neath.. for the black, i’d HIGHLY recommend you use rust oleum satin black in the spray can instead of the spray gun. much lower pressure and finer direction, you won’t see the stencil lift issue. Often I use the disposable ‘preval’ spray kits you can get at lowes to make hand spray cans from custom paints.

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For future reference, try mixing some Flotrol in your paint. It does not thin the paint but it lets the paint lay down and smooth out. If you thin a paint, like oil by using thinner or acetone, you shouldnt need Flotrol. But whenever I use laytex I always use Flotrol with some water to thin the latex. Thick paint can also create a spitting effect!

Also, if you prime your areas needing stenciling, you should only need a light spray of the color paint. This should help keep the rising of the paint after the removal of the stencil down to a minimum.

I look forward to the final pictures!

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Wow, that full cab shot is really looking good. Even with the minor issues you’ve mentioned, it looks like you’ll end up with a fantastic looking Ms. Pac. I’ve been looking for a cab to do the same process and now I really want one.

Looking forward to the completed product!

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@Jamie:

As I had mentioned in a couple of other posts, I do a test with all the paint on wood or cardboard before I move forward. However, I didn’t let it dry. I may not be patient enough for that, not at this point at least.

Interesting on the Minwax. Is it’s purpose to protect the cabinet artwork only? I guess I kind of thought it was a visual finishing touch. I wonder how many coats you’d need to make a cabinet look different.

I ended up getting a foam brush today and doing some initial touchup in a couple tiny areas near the bottom of the kickplate that had some overspray.

@Donnie
My registration marks on the front are yellow because I forgot to cover them up. My mistake. However, I didn’t have any issue of overspray on the yellow so I got lucky. I wish there was a way to ‘knock’ the fine bubbles down, but I don’t think there is, and I have come to grips with them now. Nothing I can do, only hope others learn from my mistakes.

@Brian
I do have a can of spray paint black. You’re note about the pressure is a relief. I hadn’t thought about that, but the air coming out of a spray paint can won’t be able to really blow back my stencil from the cabinet, and I am anticipating that I will have issues with the black sticking as well since it covers so much yellow.

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@ibis:

I did use water for thinning, and I am not an expert here, but from what I could tell I really think the filter is what made the difference. I am just about convinced that if I had used a filter from the start I wouldn’t have had spitting from the spray gun. I had chunks of dried latex paint spraying through the nozel. Since I didn’t use the filter I had all of these built up hunks in the shaft of the gun that kept coming out. After I used the filter, the no longer came out. I still can’t seem to get them all out though, even with the provided wire brush and even after I let the shaft soak in some mineral spirits.

As for the primer, that is something Brian told me later on…could probably have figured out myself. I will do that if I ever stencil a cabinet again, and information about that technique will be in the formal written up tutorial parts that I will finish once the cabinet is done.

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@Spyridon:

Thanks for the kind words, I think the fresh paint on my Ms. Pac looks good too and you probably would only see the issues if you looked for the up close.

I just made a little makeshift stencil to add some yellow to the ghost on the kickplate. I added a photo of that to the ‘Artwork Missing’ post. So, next step is truly the black this time. But I am at a loss on the temp. My space heater can’t heat my garage, and I noticed problems today with the paint drying due to the colder temps.

I don’t own a propane heater, don’t want to add $150 to my project cost either. Wouldn’t know how to evaluate a used one if that was an option. Plus, could I really still spray in the garage with a propane heater? I would put myself at serious risk.

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>As I had mentioned in a couple of other posts, I do a test >with all the paint on wood or cardboard before I move >forward.

Ah, OK. I didn’t see that. That will teach me to skim through posts. I have a bad habit of doing that because I’m reading helpdesk tickets from customers all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

>Interesting on the Minwax. Is itโ€™s purpose to protect the >cabinet artwork only?

That’s what I thought, but I also thought it would look a bit different. I can’t tell the difference at all, but maybe it’s helping to keep the paint from chipping/scratching. It’s also possible I didn’t put it on thick enough. After my drip disaster on Moon Patrol, I was afraid to screw it up on the last step.

Not sure what to do about the heat situation. You *might* be able to rent a small kerosene heater. I used to be in a band years ago, and we practiced in an unheated (large) garage. We used to use 1 or 2 kerosene heaters to heat up the room, and the fumes haven’t killed me yet. The paint fumes shouldn’t be flammable if you are using latex/acrylic. The heaters we used looked something like this one:
http://tinyurl.com/625neb

Worst case I guess you would have to wait until next year, but I probably couldn’t sleep if I had to do that. You’ve made me want to get back to working on my games. I am SOOOO sick of working crazy hours on my day job, and I’m going to have to wait until warmer weather to paint my Baby Pac now.

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My painting projects are all on hold until Spring / Summer due to the weather. I would be afraid to spray with a heater near by.

Looking forward to the final write up on the process as I have three stencil projects lined up for when the warm weather gets here.
1. Gyruss
2. Taito Cab
3. Pac Man

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@Spyridon:

I don’t remember where in the US you are located Joe, but it is funny how the weather panned out here in Indiana. Never would have thought we would be having 75 degree days in November, I got really lucky.

That Taito Cab should be fairly easy and look really nice because of the simplicity. Don’t know if you plan on spotlighting any of those on your site, but if you want I would love to write about them here, you do the cabinet / stencil work and I can do the work of posting / writing with photos. Let me know what you think.

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Sounds like a good plan. I don’t have a website yet but I’m good at taking photos of the entire process. I’ll let you know when I get started on the projects and you can do the write up.

The Taito cab is for an Arkanoid cab with a custom marquee and bezel. It will have 3 PCB’s with a switcher allowing me to play Arkanoid, Arkanoid II: Revenge of Doh, and Arkanoid Tournament in the same cab. I haven’t determined the color combinations for the cab yet, but it will be the classic Taito design with new colors.

I’m in Pennsylvania and its been warm here this week as well but we did get 18 inches of snow 10 minutes from my house last week (I got a dusting).

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I take it that the harness, this ‘Taito Classic’ conversion class, is the same for all versions of Arkanoid? You can just swap them in and out?

Are you going to use some sort of system where you hit use the .25 buttons to switch between the games? I’ve seen that before, or are you going to manually do it?

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Arkanoid and Tournament Arkanoid use the same Taito harness, but Arkanoid II: Revenge of Doh is Jamma. The cab had already been converted to Black Tiger, so I’m keeping the Jamma setup. I have Jamma adaptors for the Arkanoid boards. Right now, I’m switching them manually, but I’m hoping Mark Spaeth gets his switchers done soon. That will allow me to daisy chain them together and some combination of button pushes (maybe hold down P1 and P2) will switch games. If those switchers are done, I may be forced to go with the 6 board switcher with remote.

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