Game Boy Light - Restoration

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Lphillimore
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Game Boy Light - Restoration

Post by Lphillimore » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:04 pm

Hey Guys,

So this is a slightly different project for me - a restoration of a Game Boy Light.

I've been after one of these for some time to add to my collection but as you may know they are not so easy to come by and those available are often in poor working order or physical condition.

I managed to pick this one up for $75(AUS) from an eBay seller of the east coast. He specialises in retro gaming equipment which is nice for me as things can be scare here! :D

Electronically this is in great condition. The power switch was a little sensitive so I worked some isopropyl into it and it's now perfect. The screen also works fine and the backlight is nice and bright.
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As for the internals they were dusty and dirty but nothing a bit of cleaning couldn't fix and in overall great condition. Battery terminals showed no signs of corrosion which was also nice to see.

The shell was in quite poor condition however hence the inspiration for my refurb. Some of the paint had completely rubbed off, there were various scratches, a few dings and the screen lens has seen better days. The serial number sticker was also missing and main sticker was worn. There were also remnants of old stickers that had been added by the previous owner.
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To refurb this I wanted to respray the shell and replace all the stickers and the lens. I managed to find a replacement screen lens on eBay which is almost identical. The 'Light' font on the replacement is ever so slightly less bold than the original but I'm not going to argue or $5.
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I also managed to find a set of aftermarket stickers which are currently on their way. As for the paint, I've not done much by the way of shell / console spraying before so took some time to read up on it. It's worth nothing that the shell dings and marks I have mentioned were not too severe / quiet subtle and as part of this refurb I decided not to fix them. I guess some light filler, sanding may have allowed for this but I wanted to keep some of its character in place.

First thing to do was to clean the shell of all dirt, grime, oil etc. This was done with hot soapy water and a brush / sponge.... Easy 8-)

Next...what paint to use and how to do it?

I settled for automotive paint which is hard wearing and perfect for handhelds and decided to go with the 3 stage paint process. Primer, paint and a top coat.

To colour match I took part of the shell to the local auto store :geek: - I was pretty happy with the shade I found. Ironically, a shade I HATE on cars :lol:
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Before even considering the new spray job it was time to remove the old paint. I tried a few light solvents with no real success. I then took some very fine micro grit sand paper which removed the paint quite easily taking time to clean the shells of any dust etc. as I went. Once I was happy with the removal I cleaned the shell parts one last time and dried well making sure they felt smooth.
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Some remnants of original paint which was particularly hard to get to between shell details such as the writings, and the 'Nintendo' logo etc. was left in place but from what I'd read this shouldn't cause any issues. I took some of my fine hand files to lightly and carefully scuff this paint where possible and accessible hoping it would allow the primer to bond.

Next, the primer itself... I used a spray primer specifically for plastics and one that was the same brand as my paint and top coat. I'm no expert but I've read that mixing products can end badly if they are not compatible. The primer was clear went on nicely and I gave the shell parts 2 coats each.

After allowing time to dry (time varies depending on product) I gave the first coat of colour, each time shaking the can for circa 2 mins and spraying from around 20cm. This went surprisingly well and I applied a second coat which is, as of now drying.

Depending on the finish I may add a 3rd before looking to cope coat once 100% happy with finish. I will also look for a nice gloss top coat to try and match the original.

For now, so far so good and I'm happy with how its going. Really excited to progress and hopefully get this project finished with a great looking Game Boy Light at the end of it. More to follow! :mrgreen:
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[UPDATE]

Currently waiting on my stickers as I have completed the painting and top coat layers. Slightly less glossy than I was going for but working to polish the top coats once its had a few more days to dry.

Here's a picture of the front in its current state:

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rodocop
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Re: Game Boy Light - Restoration

Post by rodocop » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:50 pm

this looks amazing, I love the new color! Now I really want a light!

Trekintosh
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Re: Game Boy Light - Restoration

Post by Trekintosh » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:30 pm

Looks like it's coming along well. Can you get a pic of the final paint with better more neutral lighting? It's looking pretty beige as is and I'm not sure if that's the lighting or not.

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Lphillimore
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Re: Game Boy Light - Restoration

Post by Lphillimore » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:26 pm

Trekintosh wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:30 pm
Looks like it's coming along well. Can you get a pic of the final paint with better more neutral lighting? It's looking pretty beige as is and I'm not sure if that's the lighting or not.
Have since completed the spraying and uploaded a shot from front. It's definitely gold and imo a close match but granted the lighting on previous pics (and less coats) show it lighter 😎.

Waiting for the stickers and after a few days will look to polish.

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Wailer
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Re: Game Boy Light - Restoration

Post by Wailer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:00 am

Nice job,

A tip for paint removal from plastic shell's, try brake fluid next time.
Just let it soak for a couple of hours and the old paint slides of, especially handy around embossed lettering and other places you cannot use sandpaper on (use a old toothbrush).
Got this tip from a colleague who is an expert model builder, he uses this on paint jobs gone wrong.
It should not damage or soften the plastic.

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