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mprvmnts Posts

Team One, vector reconstruction from trace

After trying to find a place to scan my trace for a few months with no success, i finally decided to scan it in piecemeal and stitch it back together in Photoshop. After i got that done and tweaked the image so measurements were extremely close to 1:1 with the actual playfield, I started vector tracing elements in Adobe Illustrator. It’s been awhile since i spent this much time in Illustrator, and i gotta say that i like the updates—they’ve made it MUCH easier to create these kind of shapes with accuracy.

The idea is that i’m going to trace in all the fundamental playfield elements, then use that as the foundation for the re-theme art/design. So far, i’ve made a huge amount of progress, vectorizing:

  • Holes and playfield cutouts
  • Screw/post/nail holes
  • Keylines around holes and cutouts
  • Keylines for areas below plastics
  • Inserts
  • Pop bumper area placeholder
  • Line showing ball travel from the shooter lane.

Next i’ve got some more elements to scan and/or draw, so that i can lay them in this design as well.

  • Posts
  • Plastics
  • Lane guides
  • Return bumper
  • Ball gates
  • Flippers
  • Ball guides
  • Top metal arch

This is going to be an enormous project but i’m really having a blast.

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Putting in pinball work

  • Fixed a GI issue with Taxi, got it cleaned and leveled
  • Leveled, cleaned, and replaced bulbs on Sinbad
  • Leveled, cleaned, and switched out flipper rubbers on Surf Champ
  • Cleaned Shadow and replaced a few flashers
  • Cleaned, leveled, and finally put the right shooter spring on Blackout

Tomorrow I’ll go through Funhouse and that’ll mean I’ve got 8 machines nicely dialed in.

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Millennium Falcon mod (final)

Wanted to post the final version with properly sculpted lens (I sanded down the excess), including the vertical striations etched in with a dremel. It’s tied to some controlled lighting right now but after playing a premium on location that was lit the whole time I think I’ll end up moving it to a persistent GI socket. I’m glad I did this.

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PinVault (Indianapolis)

Thanks to some real lucky connections, we were able to get into the PinVault for a couple of hours on Tuesday. What a great space and collection! Thanks to Matt, Ben, and Jon, for making it possible.

Special mention to some games i hadn’t played before and thoroughly enjoyed:

  • Victory
  • Hard Body
  • Future Spa

They also had the best working NBA Fastbreak i’d ever played, and a really great mix of early solid state, 80′s, and 90′s games. Not to mention some really nice beers on tap.

It’s worth noting that the beer selection at La Margarita (below PinVault) is OUT OF THIS WORLD. And over at New Day we tasted the Imperial Breakfast Magpie which was a goddam revelation. A fun night in Indy and my first real exploration of Fountain Square.

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Baby steps (M.F. mod)

Cut the makrolon for the “lens” with some newly acquired snips. Turns out metal snips are perfect for rough cutting materials in the plexi family. Random reading on Pinside often yields tips like these.

I’ve still got to figure out the bracket solution. I ordered a cutting blade for my dremel (misplaced all my attachments!) and I’ll be cutting an access for the bulbs later this week. I’ll sand out and refine the shape of the lens when I can test with light.

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Working on a Star Wars mod

Used the dremel to grind out the plastic on this millennium falcon toy (from the X-Wing game) where the blue lit propulsion area is. is that hyperdrive or rockets or engine or what? I have no idea but it will glow blue. I’m cutting some plexi to fit in perfectly there and it will serve as a lens for the LEDs inside the ship.

Next i need to figure out my bracket endgame so i can create a hatch or hole on the bottom of the ship to insert the 2 LED sockets.

Must say again how much i love the Comet Matrix system. I’m going to add the dimmer component on this so i can dial it in perfectly.

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Star Wars (pro) comes home

Friday night after I put the kids to bed I drove over to Brixie’s to pick up this lovely machine (Rob has replaced it with an LE or Premium). What a crazy, beautiful, fun game this is. The more I play it, the more impressed I am. The use of the theatrical score is perfect, and all the sounds are so authentic that it really becomes immersive. The light show is pretty great too, with subtle and dramatic lighting coinciding with the game play.

Now I need to focus on selling a few games to make room and to help pay for this one!

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Taxi bell woes

Got a new clapper and coil for the bell so I could hook it up. Unfortunately now as soon as the power is on the bell rings. Bad transistor? I don’t have it in me tonight to troubleshoot.

I did manage to fix a couple other annoying issues on Taxi. The Dracula catapult now sends the ball perfectly on the ramp, whereas before it was getting rejected about half the time. Adjusted the spinout kicker switch to prevent it from kicking early like it had been. Also adjusted the trough switch, it was occasionally not triggering.

I broke down and ordered a new spinout ramp. Mine is broken in a few places. I was procrastinating that purchase but I gotta get that spinout adjusted correctly and it’s impossible the way it is. Plus, you never know when these parts are going to go out of stock and the last thing I need is to pay extra in a couple years just because i missed the production run.

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