In May 2016, I purchased a Capcom Airborne pinball machine along with another 9 games in my Barn Find for $400.

When I got the game home I started taking my first look at it. The backglass was not too bad:

The sides weren't bad either:

However, the playfield was absolutely disgusting:

How can you get a pinball machine that is covered by sheet of glass this dirty inside?


The inside wasn't any better:

The dirt was coming off the wood by scrubbing it with a wire brush:

I wiped a little on the playfield and it was kind of pretty under all that dirt:

After wiping a lot of the dirt off the playfield that was easy to get at I turned my attention to getting the game to fire up. When I picked it up the game would not turn on but I soon found that it was simply unplugged (you could not see this unless you removed a metal plate on the back):

Since it did fire up I started getting ready to clean everything and bring the machine back to life. This would be my first real pinball restoration and I picked one of the most complex machines to work on. There were about a gazillion parts on this thing to take off. It took me three days to get this stuff off and I am still not 100% done:

Once most of the parts were off and the playfield was exposed I could start looking at what I was dealing with. Some of the mylar pop bumper shields were coming up:

There were also some broken plastic parts. Since this game was a little on the rare side these would be really hard/expensive to replace:

Even some of the metal parts were broken. I will have to construct a new ramp flap:

Of course, all of the rubber was completely gone:

This is four very long work days into the project. It is hard to believe this is even the same game. Most of the plastic, rubber and bulbs have been removed. After another day of cleaning it will be time to start waxing:

I ended up putting three coats of Turtle Wax on the playfield and then removed, cleaned, and reinstalled almost every part of the pinball machine (under the glass). It took me almost three weeks to get everything cleaned and back together. I know a lot of pinball guys use Novus #2 to clean with but I had an open bottle of Meguiar's and decided to use it instead. I'll keep the Novus for the next shop job I do:

After all that time it was neat to go back and see old pictures of what the pin looked like:

It is hard to believe this was even the same machine:

Note - You are probably seeing missing links to some pictures above. I still use Notepad to create the html code and have a template with plenty of extra references to pictures to save on typing. As I continue the page I will add pictures and descriptions and these missing links will disappear. Link to another page: Sippy (Geo Metro Convertible) Watch the video here (the fun starts around the 20 second mark):