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Starglider01

Any way to UN-retrobrite an Atari 400 case?

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Hi guys, I was retrobriting the components of my case and the cartridge flap sank to the bottom of the hydrogen peroxide which I think caused it to retrobrite much faster in today's 90 degrees California sun.

Option 1: I could spray the whole case. Any idea of a color code?

Option 2: Is there any way to reverse this, other than leaving it in the sun for 35 years? [emoji2357]

Thanks! 11a4bb27b51ca3af02395ce80e87c869.jpg6224e8f4024796a9ff0d9682df6b7f62.jpg

Thanks!, Starglider aka ԹҽɾíƒɾɑϲԵíϲ's RҽԵɾ๏ RҽϲíԹҽs
[emoji973]️ http://youtube.com/perifractic
[emoji973]️ http://patreon.com/perifractic

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I don't know if it will be good idea in this case, but I know one reverse method. I didn't try it yet, but I was reading on some guitar forum, that some people puts a white guitar pickups into strong black tea or strong cofee for a few hours to look them older. I think maybe it is good idea to try it with a small unnecessary piece of plastic for test the method. It's simple to test it.

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I've done the tea trick on guitar parts. It might work; guitar guys know it only works on ABS, which is the kind of plastic that yellows too. So I'm guessing the 400 case is made from it.

 

Tea works much better than coffee, no matter how strong it is.

 

I can't guarantee that the resulting color would match the rest of the case, though. Just that it'd probably be darker than it is now.

 

Of course, in my experience, if you wait like 6 months it'll be back the way it was anyway. Everything I've retrobrited has gone yellow again ridiculously quickly.

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I'm guessing the real answer to your problem may require a delorean and a generous quantity of plutonium Edited by AtariLeaf

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I agree with Jon. Bleach the rest of the case to match the cart door. That is the easiest way. In time it will all get a little darker again.

 

That reminds me. I should do this to my 800.

 

:)

 

Edit: typo.

Edited by Kyle22

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This is just another reason I choose not to retrobrite. Just let the stuff age the way it does...there is no way to really bring it back, at least not to the way it rolled off the assembly line and not permanently.

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Yeah retrobrighting isn't cleaning, it's literally bleaching. It's exactly the same as when someone who's a brunette makes their hair blonde - it's the same chemical with the same effect. Generally whatever you do it to, whether hair or plastic, has to be clean *before* you do it...

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Thanks guys!

I'm starting to dislike retrobriting more and more, in favor of a very light paint spray.

I went to Lowe's (American for "Homebase") and they knew the exact color match for the Atari 400, somehow. Video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/GjFoicKos9KEFvBZA

Here's the end result! Full details coming up in my next video at my little channel. Thanks again friends! 584fbe674a94ba83472ce27b34fb9c2d.jpg

Thanks!, Starglider aka ԹҽɾíƒɾɑϲԵíϲ's RҽԵɾ๏ RҽϲíԹҽs
[emoji973]️ http://youtube.com/perifractic
[emoji973]️ http://patreon.com/perifractic

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That looks great. One thing I did discover when working on the machine featured in this video (which was very yellow before treatment) was that if we assume the aftermarket keyboard's base plate was a good match for the original colour, the 400 (and 800) plastics were a lot less beige than many assume:

 

https://youtu.be/FILXpqTrXdE

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That looks great. One thing I did discover when working on the machine featured in this video (which was very yellow before treatment) was that if we assume the aftermarket keyboard's base plate was a good match for the original colour, the 400 (and 800) plastics were a lot less beige than many assume:
 
https://youtu.be/FILXpqTrXdE

Yes, this paint matched the inside color of the case which hadn't seen UV. It's still pretty beige I'd say and seems to match the commercials of the time.

Thanks!, Starglider aka ԹҽɾíƒɾɑϲԵíϲ's RҽԵɾ๏ RҽϲíԹҽs
[emoji973]️ http://youtube.com/perifractic
[emoji973]️ http://patreon.com/perifractic

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I've concluded that the cases discolour on the inside as well (regardless of exposure to UV), so I take that colour with a pinch of salt. But I'm not arguing about the quality of your paint-job. It looks really splendid. :)

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I thought they were always a little on the "orangey-yellowy" side and not straight grey.

 

The C64 is the same way. Some say brown/tan, some say grey. 

 

I wouldn't try to retro-brite a 400 or 800- they were from the 70's, and earth tones were the thing.

Edited by R.Cade

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Amazing that Lowe's knew. Did they scan, match and custom mix it, or was it a spray can?

 

Also, what experiences have people had with paint? Any problems with rubbing off, flaking?

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The yellowing tends to return to the same level within 6-12 months, it does not take 30 years to get really yellow again. Also depends where you have it stored. I had a 65XE that was very yellow get pretty yellow again in less than a year.

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Jon:

 

The colorimery of the above picture is mostly messed-up because of incidence of (at least) two sources of light with disparate white-balance / temperature points.

 

The hints are the in BACK "garage" door,shows as "BLUE" (but, in reality, there is no such thing, as it is WHITE) and, second, the faceplates of the 810 and 820, which are more of a deep-dark brownish / charcoal (but show up as greenish/blue under RGB readings in Photoshop).

 

I remember all these machines when working as a kid in my favorite electronics / tech. shop, selling them day-in, day out. The following pictures resemble (closer) what I have in memory, starting with yours (WB-corrected) and one of mine, today (but under different sources of light):

 

[attachment=601793:A800-True_Color-1-web.jpg]

 

[attachment=601794:A800-2-web.jpg]

 

[attachment=601795:IMG_2483-web.jpg]

 

[attachment=601796:IMG_2486-web.jpg]

 

[attachment=601797:A800-3.jpg]

 

In any case, these machines WERE NOT a definitive "gray" or light-gray, etc. Instead, more of a pleasant, tan / slight brownish-cream color... and made out of superior construction and plastic / materials than ANYTHING that later came out of Atari (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it).

 

One key clue, as to evaluate how well preserved (and true colors of the exterior case) is the look on the left and right edges right UNDER the cart-lid (not the lid itself, but the actual main body) and compare to their immediately adjacent externally-exposed surfaces. Right there, color should match VERY CLOSELY (there should not be any significant deviation), and also provide a strong clue to the original exterior color of that particular unit. Furthermore, what you see there, should ALSO match the color observed when taking apart the case panels, and inspecting them on their reverse (e.g. the surfaces that remain facing INSIDE, not visible).

 

In any case, these are the "real McCoys". ;-)

 

Cheers!

Edited by Faicuai

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Agree, that is what they look like. They are tan, not grey. That picture above is very "cold" as they call it on my TV, which is toward the blue side.

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I find it hard to believe they came out of the factory with these khaki-tinted case badges, but whatever. The aftermarket keyboard in my video only matched the machine it was designed for after the case was Retr0Brited back to a warm grey.

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